Considering switching to exclusively pumping (long)

My twins are fussy latchers. Especially Cal, and sometimes also Luke. They'll chomp on, then spit out, then chomp on, then spit out, and repeat. The result is that: 1) Tandem feeding them is impossible. And 2) Feeding them separately, which already takes a long time, takes an extra long time because of the amount of time it takes to get them successfully latched, and then relatched after each burp, etc. 

On top of this, I have major, major nipple pain. I have tried everything I can think of to deal with this. Everything my LC has suggested, every product on the market. Seriously in tears when they latch, which (see above) is an ordeal even without the pain.

Breastfeeding has been by far the biggest challenge since the babies have been born. By miles. I want to feed them my milk, but I'm miserable. One major side effect of all this is that I can't get them on a concurrent schedule, because one baby is always waiting in the wings while I try to feed his brother. And when I write "in the wings," I mean, "on a boppy beside me. Screaming." I'm worried that they're fussy because they're getting cruddy sleep, constantly waking up hungry after inefficient feedings. I'm worried about how long it will take to recover from this.

Meanwhile, when we feed them from bottles, they eat just fine. So, I'm considering switching to EP. But, I'm also sad about that idea, because I'd envisioned breastfeeding them and because I do envy women who have a rewarding experience BF.

Has anybody successfully made the switch to EP and then switched back to some breastfeeding? I was thinking that perhaps I could go to EP for a while, until my nipples heal and until their neck muscles are stronger. But maybe I'm dreaming about that being possible. Maybe by that time they'll find my boobs even more frustrating then they do now.

If you either made the switch, or almost did but decided not to, can you let me know how it went? I need some help here. I'll call my LC, too, but I'm not sure what to say that I haven't already said to her. "Hi LC. This sucks and I'm thinking of quitting. Thoughts?" 

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Re: Considering switching to exclusively pumping (long)

  • image babydontforget:


    I was thinking that perhaps I could go to EP for a while, until my nipples heal and until their neck muscles are stronger. But maybe I'm dreaming about that being possible. Maybe by that time they'll find my boobs even more frustrating then they do now.


    Hang in there!!! 

    I EBF my twin boys for the first 7 weeks without any issues (using nipple sheilds) and then all of a sudden during week 7 we started having issues & major pain while feeding.  I tried latching the boys without the nipple sheilds but had no luck with that - I also met with a LC and she thought the boys latch looked good and could not figure out why I had gotten blisters on my nipples.  After one more feeding at home I realized that one of the boys were sucking so hard that they sucked some of my nipple through the sheild and that is what was causing the blisters.  I have decided to take a break from breastfeeding and go to just pumping for a little while to let my nipples heal.  I also ended up with yeast infection as well, so I'm sure that hasn't helped in the pain department.

    Anyway, long story......but I've been so disappointed that I may not be able to breastfeed my boys as long as what I had hoped.  Pumping is going OK but we've had to supplement with formula.  I have been doing this for a little over a week now and my breasts are still sore & recovering so this may be a permenant change for me.  I totally understand your disappointment if you're not able to - I'm in that same place.  I am just happy that I was able to provide them with BM for 7 full weeks and now approx. 75% of their bottles are BM.  You can only do your best and sometimes things don't work out as planned.  Good luck and hang in there but know that if you can't do it - you did everything you could!!  I hope this helps because just reading your situation helped me feel a little bit better too!!

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  • I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.  Don't put so much pressure on yourself to actually breast feed.  If they're getting breast milk, does it truly matter how?  I pump and occassionally put my girls to the breast and it's going great.  Because of NICU time and having one at home and one still in the hospital for a period, exclusive breastfeeding wasn't an option for the first 6 weeks of their lives.  I briefly gave it a try when they came home and it was just too chaotic for me.  They do a lot of the chomping and unlatching that you talk about.  Now, I've figured out how to bottle feed them at the same time, pump right after, and it gives them some solid synchronized sleep, and me a brief rest.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  I had hoped to actually breast feed, but am now completely content knowing that it's been 10 weeks and they're still getting breast milk...even if it is from a bottle.  If your sons know how to breast feed now, chances are that even if you switch to exclusive pumping, they'll still be able to breast feed when you want to.  Good luck, and remember to just do whatever is best for you and your babies.

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  • I exclusively pump - but I've also supplemented with formula from the beginning. I stopped nursing for the same reasons you described but I made the switch when the girls were only 2 weeks old. Maybe I didn't give nursing enough time but I feel that all 3 of us are much happier this way. 

     I have found that using the nipple shields helped A LOT with both latching and soreness. It's much less painful for me using them. I will nurse a couple times a day after their bottles if they are showing signs of hunger and it helps get them to sleep at night.

  • Similiar story, and I exclusively pump, the girls are now almost 4 months old. I too drove myself crazy, but quite honestly looking back, it doesn't really matter. They love me the same as if I nursed!

    do what you need to do, and do NOT feel guilty. I'm starting to supplement just now with formula and again I'm feeling guilty that I didn't make it 6 months. At the same time I'm exhausted so this is the best decision for me!

  • I EP'd with my singleton and my twins - I nursed them all for a few days in the hospital but at home decided it was better for us all for me to EP... I liked the control it gave me- i could see how much they were eating - other people could feed them... and i could see their faces while feeding them.  Also, with twins, much easier to feed at the same time with bottles than nursing.

    I liked it... it does take a lot of work (so does nursing though) and I eventually gave it up b/c I needed my body back (i get migraines and just needed to be able to take my meds again... and just not feel like my body wasn't mine anymore).  But I'm glad I EP'd while I did - so they got my milk for a period of time- and everyone was happy.

    Do what works for you. don't compare yourself to other women - just enjoy what you have and what works best for you.  Pain and struggling with nursing is not fun - and for some of us it's just not worth it.... esp if babies are not happy and not eating well.

  • I EP'd with some formula supplements. Seriously, it was the best decision I ever made. Yes, pumping is a PITA, but I just got on a pumping schedule, and it helped me keep the boys on a good schedule. I was bummed that bf-ing didn't work out for me, but we did what worked and I was really glad that they were at least getting mostly breast milk. I pumped for 8 months, and looking back, it really wasn't that bad. 

    GL to you! I know that bf-ing can be so frustrating and painful!! Maybe just try pumping and see if it makes things better. 

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