Even an experienced mother can feel unsure of herself and her body in the wake of delivering twins.
Stephanie Yingling found herself in that indefinable mental and physical space between elation and exhaustion following the birth, via scheduled C-section, of her daughter, Berkelee, and son, Briggs.
Although Yingling’s oldest child, 3-year-old Beckett, was also delivered via C-section at Passavant, the difference between her first delivery and her second was clear from the moment Yingling’s daughter – the “oldest” twin – was placed on her chest.
“We had Beckett at Passavant, and I have nothing bad to say about that experience. But this last time, Passavant really knocked it out of the park,” Stephanie said.
In the past three years, Passavant Family Maternity Suites became one of the first maternity units in central Illinois to join the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide program promoting the mother/infant bond through breastfeeding and continuous support for mothers who choose to breastfeed.
Stephanie had struggled to breastfeed her oldest child and eventually stopped breastfeeding, relying instead on pumping and supplementing with formula. But when the twins were born, a Passavant lactation consultant was on hand to help.
"I feel that had she not been there and part of the process, I would not have been able to breastfeed,” Stepanie said. “But she was amazing.”
Three years earlier, after her first child was delivered, Stephanie was separated from her husband and their baby when she was transferred to a separate recovery room. When the twins were born, she experienced skin-to-skin contact with the babies immediately, and the family was never separated.
“It was a lot more relaxed,” she said. “I fed them during my recovery process, and I felt more connected and prepared. I felt included.”
Babies born in Baby-Friendly units also receive health and wellness checks and are bathed in the mother’s room, allowing a mother – experienced or not – continuous support and encouragement.
“The nurses offered lots of praise, which is so important,” Stephanie said. “Just the overall caring – when they saw me stressed, they would take the babies for a little bit or they would offer to talk. I was a little more prepared because I had had Beckett, but, with twins, it was new to me. Everyone was just so very supportive.”