Breastfeeding

Is it too late? :( (sorry long)

I gave birth to twin girls just a little over 4 weeks ago. They were 5 weeks early and small so they had a really tough time latching and sucking... they just weren't strong enough. I met with a LC while in the hospital and they got me set up with a Symphony pump that we continued to rent once we came home. We had to start the girls on formula b/c I was producing almost nothing and they needed to put on weight to regulate their temps. One of the girls had to stay in the NICU for a week. During this time I tried to nurse the other and pump (we still had to supplement b/c of their size). I was only able to get about 5ml a day pumping from both breasts which I alternated between the two of them. Recovery was really tough which only made things harder and more frustrating. At about 3w PP I developed shingles and had to stop breastfeeding completely to keep the girls safe (it was on my chest). I still pumped and managed to get about 1/3 oz total on a good day. We finally were able to attempt BF again last week but of course the girls still aren't great at it b/c they haven't had much practice and fall asleep after about 5-10 min so they are still getting formula (b/c the ped wants them to continue to gain weight). I've continued to pump but have NEVER been able to produce more than the 1/2 oz total in a day. It's really disheartening b/c while they may not be able to BF and I'm ok with supplementing, I'd like to be able to supply them with at least some pumped milk.

It doesn't seem to make a difference how much I pump. Is this just the max I'm going to be able to produce? I'm worried that at almost 5w PP this is as good as it's going to get Sad Sorry for the novel!

ETA: I have a call in to a LC but haven't heard back yet. Just looking for some encouragement

Re: Is it too late? :( (sorry long)

  • You can do it! Def meet with the LC. I would have them check to make sure your flanges are the right size. Make sure you pump every 2 hours around the clock. You can also take fenugreek to increase your supply. Hang in there and never quit on a bad day!
    image
  • Talk to your OB or a lactation consultant about natural ways of increasing your supply. I've heard of many people taking fenugreek to help up their supply. Keep working at it. Remember that it's supply and demand, so if nothing is "needed," your body will slow down and eventually stop producing. Just keep pumping even if you don't get much because it's stimulating you to continue producing milk. Also remember that pumps don't always get as much out as a baby can. Good luck, and I hope that everything works out!
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  • I definitely don't think it's too late!

    Have you tried fenugreek?  It's the first thing my LC recommended when she thought I had supply issues... you should be able to get it at your local health food store... my LC said 3 pills 3 times a day, but it probably depends on the dosage.

    I also found that breast compressions/massage helped keep my sleepy baby awake and eating longer. 

    Remember, whatever you're able to give them is excellent, whether it's a teaspoon or a ton. 

    ETA: I would also call/email your local La Leche League leader... I finally did the other day and I wish I would have sooner -- she was very helpful/supportive. 

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  • Hey hun, sorry your having a rough start. Congrats on getting through those rough few weeks! I would suggest calling the LC and also checking to make sure the flanges are the right size for your nipples. Also, I know it's hard to get the girls to latch and eat for long but I'd encourage you to keep trying to get them on the breast as they will stimulate your supply better than the pump. Once they are done you should pump immediately after. Keep drinking lots of water, oatmeal, mothers milk tea and feuneek to build supply. I'm sure it's difficult with twins but keep your head up, your doing a great job!
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  • Everyone has already hit on Fenugreek and oatmeal, so I want to hit on sleep. Sleep is so important, as is drinking plenty of water! Also, make sure you are still taking prenatal vitamins.

    If you haven't, see if there is a local La Leche League group in your area. Having support is super important during this time and the leader may be able to help you while you are waiting to hear back from the LC at the hospital. 

    You are a complete super mama in my eyes! I always am amazed by women who have twins and try to breastfeed! Don't be afraid to let your LOs dream feed... if they stay latched on after falling asleep, let them nurse like that for awhile. Sometimes the mere action of letting your LOs suckle will help increase supply! Breastfeeding is very much a supply and demand thing.

  • Thanks ladies, it's been really overwhelming. If I could make enough to give them each 2oz a day I'd be ecstatic! Hoping the LC can recommend a supplement
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