“Desperate Housewives” actress Marcia Cross conceived her twin girls through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The twins are nearly two months old now and Marcia told People magazine how happy she is with new motherhood and what her days are like:
I’ll tell you my routine – it’s really exciting! I feed, I burp, I change diapers, I pump. And then I have a tiny window of time to myself. I can breastfeed them both at the same time, which for me is a huge accomplishment!
Marcia should feel doubly proud (pun intended)Â for breastfeedingÂ her twins.Â A University of Melbourne study released last monthÂ found that women who use assisted reproductive technology such as IVF to conceive are less confident about their mothering skills, more anxious about caring for a newborn and less likely to be breastfeeding at three months.Â Based on the study of 150 women, the researcher concluded that women who used IVF to conceive should receive additional parenting information, reassuranceÂ andÂ intensive support for breastfeeding.
I recently spoke to a new grandmother whoÂ described the difficultyÂ her daughter had breastfeeding after IVF. Explaining why her daughter stopped breastfeeding, the womanÂ essentially said,Â ”HerÂ doctor told her she might have a hard time breastfeeding after all the fertility drugs and she did.”Â I’m not aware of any research that supports the notion that fertility drugs cause difficulty with breastfeeding, but it’s very clear to me that the doctor’s wordsÂ served as a damaging and self-fulfilling prophecy! How dareÂ that doctor sabotage that woman’s ability to breastfeed! Even if the doctor had concerns, the expectant motherÂ should have been encouraged to seek support to ensure the breastfeeding relationship–not told not to be surprisedÂ if it didn’t work out! Â
The sad thing is thatÂ breastfeeding can actually restore a woman’s confidence in her body and help herÂ feel empowered after infertility. That’s what Michigan mother Sue Stuever Battel described as her experienceÂ and that was my experience too!Â Based on the above quote from Marcia Cross about what a “huge accomplishment” it is to nurse her twins it sounds like she feels empowered as well!Â Congratulations to Marcia Cross on her new babies and her breastfeeding success!