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Breastfeeding is a mission, but what about exclusively breastfeeding twins? This is the story of the inspiring super momma, Sarah Akram, who managed to pump 21 liters of breast milk in two months. What a record!
We talked to the mommy of the 10-month-old twins about her inspiring journey since pregnancy.
Twins and exclusive breastfeeding, can they co-exist?
When Sarah knew she was expecting twins, she started asking about ways to exclusively breastfeed. Everyone ensured the impossibility of breastfeeding twins without introducing formula. A pediatrician told her that she doesn’t have the needed weight to achieve that.
“When I gave birth, it was not just the challenge of breastfeeding the twins, I went through early labor and the babies were kept in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). My breast milk supply was zero. Besides the physical pain, all nurses at the hospital told me that having no milk supply is very strange and it’s probably because I don’t eat well. However, I knew later that it’s very common that breast milk delays for days after C-section labor,” Akram told us.
You can have breast milk without eating halawa
Sarah decided to take on the challenge. The new mom and her husband started searching online about increasing milk supply without eating halawa. She came across a lactation consultant page where she read about mothers of twins who managed to exclusively breastfeed their babies. This was a big motivator as she felt that she’s not alone!
Besides healthy nutrition, she found that frequent breastfeeding increased the milk supply. As her babies were still in NICU, she used to pump milk every two hours even when she had no supply to stimulate the nipple.
Another challenge was the inability of the twins to latch for a whole month; they were bottle-fed instead. However, this enabled Sarah to make a feeding schedule and not to feed on demand. When the babies managed to latch, she fed them at the same time; the mom breastfed one and gave pumped milk to the other.
Pumping is not shameful
“In order to be able to pump continuously, I broke the stigma of pumping in public. I pumped anywhere you can imagine; from restaurants to fitting rooms. Once, I sat on the pavement, put on my nursing cover, and pumped like a boss,” the mom proudly explained.
Harsh comments were her new best friend. Many used to mock her by calling her a cow, others blamed breastfeeding for her babies being underweight.
Breaking a record
Then it was time for another challenge, Sarah needed to take some time off for herself to travel. However, she didn’t want to introduce formula to her babies. She was not sure she could pump a sufficient amount of milk. She had to pump 21 liters.
“I saw a post by Naila Bahgat, certified newborn care specialist and founder of New Bornians, where she explained that she was able to pump 47 breast milk bags,” she added.
However, Sarah had to pump for two. She was literally on a mission. For 2 months, she kept pumping to reach her target. It was not easy and at many times she felt like giving up. However, she managed to do it and left them 125 breast milk bags!
A happy mother, a happy baby
Besides the healthy nutrition and power-pumping, Sarah used to ask for help! Sarah was aware that her psychological health is as important as her physical one for breastfeeding. She used to sleep or go out at times and asked someone else to bottle feed the twins. Her family support made her believe that she comes first!