BF vs Formula — The Bump

BF vs Formula

I'm debating between breastfeeding o formula feeding the twins. Before I knew we were going to have two, I was seriously considering BF. Now I'm not so sure. Any tips on breastfeeding twins?

Re: BF vs Formula

  • It is totally doable. Especially if you tandem feed, it will save you a lot of time if you decide to BF. The lactation consultants at the hospital are incredibly helpful as well as the women on this board. I would also recommend a tandem feeding pillow such as the My Brest Friend.
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  • After exclusively BFing my first son for 8 months, I made the decision to FF my twins from day 1...that being said, I am a total advocate for breastfeeding and I also believe that breast milk is best and superior to formula. However, I also believe in sanity and being the best mom I can be for my 3 kids under 2....and for me, that means getting some rest and not stressing myself out over nursing. I'm 100% happy with my decision and know it was the right one for our family. 

    Tons of moms on this board do/did breastfeed so if you decide to BF, you'll find great support here. If you're a FTM, I say go for it and at least give it a try! You'll probably be happy that you offered your babies breast milk :) I made my decision to FF having breastfed before, but if the twins were my first, I probably would have tried.  

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  • I'd check out the breast feeding board. I tried, probably not as hard as I could, but it didn't work out for me. We've been lucky with the formula tho, no allergies or whatever. And our babies are happy and healthy. 

    So whatever you do, that's the goal, and you'll figure it out :) 

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  • Definitely doable. It's a lot of work, but a lot of ladies here have done it successfully.

    I recommend the book Mothering Multiples. It was a great resource. It's very pro BF'ing, but still very informative.

    I tried my best, but I had some trouble with mine latching at different points. DD would get so hungry and scream that she wouldn't calm down to latch. DS was better. I did the next best thing and pumped. After a few weeks home, I decided to EP. It's more involved with the time and washing parts and bottles, but I was happy to still provide. I pumped until mine were just over 3 months old. It just got too hard with my job to find time to go do it during the day, I was falling behind. I will admit, once I got over the guilt of FF'ing (my own self imposed guilt) I felt much better about being done with pumping. Our two have had their fair share of daycare colds, but have been perfectly healthy otherwise on formula. As a side note, I also supplement them with Vit. D and pro-biotics.

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  • It is totally doable! BFing twins is hard, but I can tell you from my own experience with my oldest, BFing in general is hard... at least at first. Then it is amazing!

    If you think you'd like to try, give it a shot. The book Mothering Multiples has wonderful information, and Lactation Consultants at the hospital can help you figure out latch and such. Once they get their latches down, tandem feeding makes life so much easier.

    I am very pro-BFing, but I am also very pro Mommy keeping her sanity. So my suggestion is to start out BFing, at the very least give your babies that all important colostrum and any milk you can, and then see how things go. Exclusive breastmilk is wonderful, supplementing still gives your babies the benefits of breastmilk, and formula feeding will still keep your babies perfectly healthy. So I guess I'm saying, keep an open mind, and do what feels best for you!

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  • And if you do decide to FF, it does not mean you did anything wrong either.  I wanted to BF but got little support from the hospital and tried for 10 weeks driving myself crazy only producing about 1 oz at a time, if I was lucky.  I had to accept I tried and I was not a failure, which so many people made me feel.  If you try and decide to FF, they'll be fine!  Mine are great! And they ended up on two different formulas anyway as I had one big eater and one with reflux.  Best of luck with your decision.  No matter what you do, if you feel it's right for you, then you can't be wrong.
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  • Plenty of MoM are able to successfully BF, so if you want to go that route know that even though it's difficult it's possible. Others choose to FF or had to FF due to various issues. There are others (like me) who pumped instead (one of my babies had issues BFing, the other I did BF for a while). 

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  • I just wanted to say I completely agree with everything pp have said. If you have a way to borrow Mothering Multiples so you can get a feel for what it involves, or even better talk to several MoMs IRL who have EBF, that might help you decide if you are up for it.
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  • image emilyec1:
    It is totally doable. Especially if you tandem feed, it will save you a lot of time if you decide to BF. The lactation consultants at the hospital are incredibly helpful as well as the women on this board. I would also recommend a tandem feeding pillow such as the My Brest Friend.
    This exactly. I also recommend the book "Mothering Multiples" - it is mostly about breastfeeding and had a ton of tips. I BF my singletons and this book addressed issues I had with the boys, but didn't have before. The boys will be 10 months old next Friday and are EBF. Good luck!
    Megan B.
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  • BFing twins is definitely doable.  Honestly, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't BF.  It was a lot of work and difficult in the beginning, but within a couple of months it was so easy, and I was thrilled not to have to deal with mixing formula, washing bottles, and paying for formula x2!

    I definitely recommend "Mothering Multiples," which has some great information.  I would also meet with a lactation consultant before your babies are born - she can give you some good pointers and help you know what to expect so you are prepared before the insanity of two newborns hits.  I met with an LC at my hospital, and she was able to flag my name in the system, so when I went in to have the babies the on-call LC got a notice to come see me.  It was a huge help.

    We had a lot of trouble in the beginning, but my boys were EBF, and we nursed to 14 months.

    Good luck!

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  • It's definitely doable, but with twins especially I think you need to be 100% committed. BFing was extremely important to me but my supply was always extremely poor. Trying to build it was very time consuming and we invested a lot of money into it. Unfortunately I could never get more then 18 ounces a day, and finally stopped at 12 weeks when I was only getting 7 ounces. That being said, I'm glad that they got some BM for 3 months, especially while they were in the NICU. e doctors and nurses stressed during their time there that every little bit helped.  On the other hand, it was very relieving when I stopped because I had so much more free time with the girls (but keep in mind that until the end I was trying to build my supply so I was investing a lot more time that is normal for that stage). 

    If you do want to BF I definitely agree with the Mothering Multiples recommendation and meeting with LCs while at the hospital. You should also ask for a pump and start pumping as soon as you can. Good luck! 

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  • I tandem BF both for the first 1.5 months before my son was dx with EE and had to go on elemental formula.  I found it easiest for both to do the same method.  I never did figure out how to bottle feed DS while BFing DD, so I started FFing both shortly after DS was diagnosed.  But its really not nearly as hard as you think its gonna be!

     I used the My Brest Friend twin pillow and LOVED it!

    DS#2 diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, laryngomalacia, apnea, Sandifer's Syndrome, torticollis, plagiocephaly, and MSPI. Starting Birth-3 EI program.
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