Double Blessings' History
BREASTS – NOT JUST FOR OGLING ANYMORE!
Breasts, knockers, boobies, hooters – there are more names for this one area of the female anatomy than any other. They’re gawked at, giggled at, drooled over and some are more enhanced than digital photography. But stick a baby on the end of one of them; the laughing stops and people turn their heads in horror. I actually witnessed one gentleman trip over a small dog while attempting to pass by a nursing mother without actually having to make eye-breast contact. Now I realize that almost the entire male population is under the impression that women’s breasts were invented purely for their enjoyment. Well, to an infant male – that pretty much wraps it up. But why is it that the same men who will trip all over themselves to catch a peek down a woman’s blouse on the subway, are quite offended by the glimpse of a nipple in the mouth of a breastfeeding baby? Why are breasts only socially acceptable when adorned with tassels, rather than a nursing infant? And it’s not like breastfeeding mothers are strutting around with their blouses gaping, yelling “Hey you! Look over here! I’ve got my boobs exposed for you to ogle! Check ‘em out!” Nursing mothers are simply feeding their babies. And usually quite discreetly, I might add. And personally, given the choice between a screaming infant and a content baby at his mother’s breast? I’ll take a flash of flesh any day.
Everyone seems to have a breastfeeding story, or knows someone who does. Attitudes from spouse, parents, siblings, friends, and even younger children, can play a big role in the breastfeeding experience. Mother Earth Extraordinaire can be a difficult role to play when you have your husband making comments like, “For goodness sake, you’re not going to flop those puppies out right here in public, are you?!” Or, a well-intentioned girlfriend who positively gushes about how wonderful the whole experience was for her and her daughter. “Look at how happy and healthy my Molecular Biologist has turned out”, may not be overly helpful if you’re struggling to nurse with bleeding nipples and a baby who seems to have been born with his first set of teeth.
For some women, it’s just assumed that as soon as their newborn is placed in their arms, baby will turn to the nipple as if magnets were somehow involved, and the feeding frenzy will begin. I bought into this. How hard can it be? You shove a nipple into the kids’ mouth, and he sucks out the milk. Big deal. My son was obviously a leg man, because he showed absolutely NO interest in either of my breasts. I waved those nipples in front of his face as one might wave a new Ping driver in front of their husband. Nothing. He took one look, screwed up his little face and started howling his objection to the one-eyed Mammary Monster that was obviously about to gobble him up. I’m sure this will come up in therapy one day.
For those women who are truly blessed with a supportive and informed circle of friends and family, breastfeeding may well be one of the most rewarding aspects of motherhood. And the best part is it occurs long before your adorable little bundle of joy is flushing your gold earrings down the toilet, just to see them go “bye bye”. It’s that magical time when you first connect with your newborn baby on such a profoundly intimate level. You bask in the beauty of your God-given ability to simultaneously provide nourishment, security and love. To look down upon your little one taking their sole sustenance from your body is an experience equaled by few. Although, I have since discovered that watching your child make their own breakfast, thereby allowing you to return to bed for a few extra minutes of sleep, rates right up there as well.
I have always marveled at mothers of multiples who nurse their babies. It’s enough work to co-ordinate the feeding schedule of one baby, let alone two or three. But, breastfeeding more than one baby is not only possible; many have done it quite successfully. Personally, I think it would be a whole lot easier if we were made like cats – have four babies, have the required four nipples (and even extras to accommodate the heavy drinkers), lie down on one side, and while thumbing through the latest issue of “Parenting Without Stress - Fact or Fiction?” and sipping on an iced tea, we’d nurse our offspring lined up like kittens, slurping away. And that kneading thing kittens do with their paws has got to help that mother’s stomach return to it’s former self. My own cat had six kittens once and her stomach is as firm as all get out. You go girl.
But, alas, we women have to be more resourceful than cats. Fortunately for women who choose to breastfeed, whether one baby or many, there are organizations and publications out there geared to support and encourage their success. I feel strongly that for it to be a successful endeavor, the comfort and confidence of the mother is of the utmost importance.
How does that saying go? “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Well, I think the word “mother” is the key here. There are many mothers who have discovered something lacking in our world, and just plunged ahead to fill the gap. Sandy Clark of San Diego, CA is one of those women. Having her first pregnancy at 37 years old, her foremost desire was to breastfeed for as long as possible. But, early on, when an ultrasound showed two tiny heartbeats instead of one, Clark wondered if breastfeeding twins would ever be a reality. Armed with an encouraging sister who was a Childbirth Educator, and valuable information from La Leche League, Sandy regained her confidence and prepared herself to tackle the task with both breasts. The pun is totally intended..…
With great intentions of nursing throughout the twins’ first year, Clark began tandem nursing, trying several nursing pillows and positions. She soon realized that she’d require much more support if she was going to succeed. After hearing her frustration, her husband suggested, “If you think you can design something better, do it!” (Now, if it was my husband making that suggestion, he would have been met with a death stare, a whack upside the head and a full tub of Baby Wipes strategically aimed at his chest. Fortunately for breastfeeding women worldwide, Sandy is made of tougher stuff than I.) So, with some blocks of foam, and an electric knife from her kitchen, she went to work. And thus – “Double Blessings” was born. Was it not enough for her to have just given birth to twins? Show off.
After many prototypes and refinements, Clark’s nursing pillow has taken the breastfeeding world by storm. Her “EZ-2-Nurse Twins” Nursing Pillow is unique among its competitors in that it has an angled top surface, which slopes towards Mom on all three sides. This design safely positions babies towards mother’s breasts, while freeing up her arms and hands, which are needed for positioning, stimulating, caressing and burping. Simple math shows that if a mother were to bottle-feed formula to her twins, it would require preparing over 700 bottles in the first month alone! It exhausts me just thinking about it… Life with multiples is no doubt busy enough! I’m also thinking why buy the cows, the farm, and the equipment when you can get a much higher quality milk for free.
Six years later, Double Blessings is now hailed as one of the largest suppliers of twin specialty products and offers a full line of twin-related embroidered logo t-shirts, ball caps, visors and window signs. As of 2001, Double Blessings launched its redesigned nursing pillow for twins, now offered in an inflatable model. It easily inflates to a mother’s individual comfort level and deflates for travel and storage. Also included is a detachable back pillow for mother’s comfort and support. “The redesigned product is a response to customers who love our pillow, but sometimes find it cumbersome to store or ship,” says Clark. “The new version provides the same unique features, while offering versatility. And the smaller package design requires less shelf space and reduces shipping costs.”
Double Blessings can be found at www.doubleblessings.com and 1-800-584-8946. Included are instructions on where to sit, where to place the babies, and how to coordinate bringing them to the pillow at the same time, without help from anyone else. And while the “EZ-2-Nurse Twins” Nursing Pillow is designed for nursing multiples, its design makes it totally user-friendly for mothers of singles, as well. Not to mention the added bonus of making it comfortable for Mother’s Helpers when it comes to pitching in with bottle-feeding pumped breastmilk. Having Daddy, Grandma or Nanny happy while helping out is sure to keep them coming back for more.
So where was Sandy Clark when I was struggling to breastfeed my firstborn? Apparently very busy! But now that her twins have long-since weaned off breastmilk and are now more into Karate and Ballet, she has more time to encourage, advocate and support those women who choose to breastfeed their multiples. We might not have the edge on nursing that cats do, but we’re lucky to have women out there like Sandy; women who are dedicated to working passionately to make breastfeeding a pleasurable and memorable experience. You go girl.
Paulette King, Freelance writer & mother of 2 young boys, B.C., Canada
Deluxe Privacy Pillow with Comfort Bolster. Support, Comfort and Discretion... for both mom and baby, anytime - anywhere!
San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow is made of a baby-safe, patented eco-fiber that is hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, non-flammable (no fire-retardant chemical additives), and is recyclable, odor-free, glue-free, foam-free, lead-free and Phthalate-free.
Available in super-soft plush fabrics in a variety of chic colors.
- A GREEN design for your baby’s healthy future!
- Signature Privacy Cover is detachable and provides complete discretion – anytime, anywhere!
- Patented angled surface designed to position babies towards mothers’ breasts
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- Detachable back pillow positionable anywhere along spine where mom needs it most
- Adjustable strap comfortably fits up to a 52″ waist
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- San Diego Bebe Twin - also available for nursing twins simultaneously