Ashley Graham is learning to breastfeed her twins through “trial and error" and lots of teardrops.
"Double fisting," Graham, 34, captioned a new Instagram photo of her nursing her 4-month-old twins, Malachi and Roman, whom she shares with husband Justin Ervin. The couple also are parents to a 2-year-old son named Isaac.
In a second photo posted to Instagram Stories, the Sports Illustrated model sits in a chair to nurse her sons, whose heads are propped up on pillows.
"My normal position for when I tandem feed the boys," she wrote. "This took me a solid few weeks of trial/error and lots of tears to latch consistently. My doula, who is also a lactation consultant, was so kind and gentle with me in helping all three of us figure out how to do this together."
Tandem nursing means nursing an older and younger child at once, although some use the term when describing breastfeeding twins.
"What Ashley Graham is doing is ‘twin nursing’ which is a challenge for many moms," Jennifer Meyers, a certified nurse-midwife and Mayo Clinic spokesperson, told TODAY Parents.
Although experts endorse breastfeeding for the first six months to one year of a baby's life, it's not physically comfortable, feasible or desired for everyone.
Infants may not latch or suck correctly because of birth defects, medical problems or other perplexing causes. It usually takes practice, patience and yes, tears to get into a groove.
And breastfeeding two babies is — literally — double the work.
“It requires a strong milk supply, and often requires extra help and support from family, a spouse or a lactation expert,” Meyers said. “It’s also important for moms who nurse twins to do so frequently, in order to boost their production and tackle any latch issues as soon as possible to keep up with their babies’ demands.”
Graham has an abundance of support — and she knows it. As she remarked in a Byrdie interview last summer, "I’m just like any other mom going to work and doing what we have to do. I lean on community. I’m so lucky to have my mom and my in-laws and Justin pitches in. I have to really schedule out my time, which is how I’m getting my work done."
Last October, Graham wrote this ode in her Instagram Stories: "Parents of multiples — you are my heroes."