Breastfeeding Multiples — The Bump
Multiples

Breastfeeding Multiples

Ok- I know I have read posts about BF'ing but I have been telling people I plan to breastfeed the twins and it seems to be funny to them? I keep getting the "Yeah good luck with that, it's hard enough with one" OR "You can try but I bet you can't produce enough for 2 it's hard enough to keep the supply up with 1"

Well I know it won't a walk in the park but EVERYONE seems to think I am crazy for planning on BF'ing.

Am I being unrealistic here? I didn't think so Confused

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Re: Breastfeeding Multiples

  • there is a post from earlier today about how long people have BFed. You'll find many people have for quite some time. I'm at 11 months and going strong. Not to say it doesn't take some commitment.  I pumped for 10 minutes after every nursing session for the first few weeks to build my supply and there were times it was hard, but it is so worth it. GL!
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  • You aren't being unrealistic at all!  There are lots of MoMs here who BF, and I fully intend on it as well.  I managed to provide breast milk for my son exclusively for 6 months while being a working mom (pumping sucks!  haha) and still nursed him twice a day until he was 9 months.  While not everyone's body is prepared to make milk for 2, there is no reason NOT to try if that is what you want for your babies.  I strongly believe that every day of breast milk that I can provide is beneficial for my kids!
    BFP 2-28-09, DS born 11-11-09

    BFP 11-2-10, blighted ovum discovered 12-8-10, natural m/c 12-13-10
    BFP 1-27-11 - TWINS! di/di IDs born at 36w5d


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  • I get the same thing from people but it IS possible! Pick up "yes, you can breastfeed twins" you can probably find it on amazon. Its a great book with lots of tips and pix showing how she does it (gets them both on her pillow). I just got a twins nursing pillow today and fully intend on not getting discouraged. best of luck to you, you are not crazy, you're smart! It may be the only way we get a little break LOL
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  • The exact opposite happened to me...everyone and their mother told me how wonderful BF'ing is and "of course you can make enough for two!".  Totally not the case for me. Like SpinningJess said, it's beneficial to the babies so I'm trudging along, but I am HATING every minute of it. I am confused, frustrated, and in pain. I also feel like I'm strapped to a chair around the clock trying to feed these kids and my milk doesn't satiate their hunger anyway. It's so frustrating and demoralizing. Sorry to be so negative but I'm being honest when I say from my own experience that it's damn hard and the people who made those comments to you aren't that far off the mark. I almost wish someone would have given me a clue earlier so that I wouldn't have had my hopes and expectations so high.

     

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  • I had to supplement for a while, but eventually it was all breastmilk. The first 3 months was so hard.  It feels like a baby is constantly attached to you and it makes it really hard to get any breaks.  It does get easier though.  It does make things easier if you tandem feed.  Get yourself a good twin nursing pillow.  Make sure you have water and snacks nearby.  I had to snack during the night feedings too.  
    Twins Born September 22. 2010
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  • just go into it knowing it might not work out- and it might work out- either way as long as your babies are eating- they will be happy... so go with an open mind- but that's ANY mom- not just MoM... b/c many singleton moms fail with nursing for various reasons, too - and it's all OK.

     

    I used to be Goldie_locks_5 but the new nest is so screwed up that I was forced to start over.
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  • BFing IS hard, and I don't think people are really prepared for that.  BUT, I don't think BFing twins is necessarily 2x as hard.  There can be a lot more roadblocks (NICU time and early babies make it really hard to establish BFing b/c the pump just isn't as good at establishing a supply.  I don't know if I'd have enough for 2 if that had been my experience.) 

    The thing I find hardest is tandem BFing them by myself.  I can't do it without wrenching my wrists (I now have tendonitis from early tandem attempts), so I do them one by one. They're fast, but we still have some times where one lays next to me crying while I feed the other.  Makes me sad.

     With my older DS, things got magically easier around 6w.  Thsi time it was closer to 8 that it started getting easier (better head control, faster eaters, etc)

    I think with twins the thing that frustrates me is that so much of the sleep advice revolves around FFing.  (Stretch them to 3 hrs, reduce oz they get at night, etc.)  BFing doesn't work like that.  If you start counting oz in, oz pumped, etc, you'll go nuts.  You'll know you're making enough if they're gaining appropriately and have 5+ wet diapers a day. If they need more, they'll nurse longer and you'll make more.

    ETA: I should I add I wouldn't be able to do this without an awesome DH.  He gets the babies up at night, brings them to me to feed in bed (only place I can currently tandem), and then puts them back down.  It would be really hard if I couldn't tandem at night and get it done quickly.  I'm also lucky to have quick efficient eaters.

  • People said the same thing to. Some even laughed when I told them I wanted to BF. It p!ssed me off and made me more determined to do it. It's definitely not easy. The first 6 weeks were harder for me than any part of the pg or the c-section. After that though, it was pretty easy. I EBF until we introduced solids at 5-1/2 months. I BFd until the girls were 16.5 months and only weaned because I'm pg.

    You can do it! You do, however, need to be prepared. Attend a BFing class at your hospital, read "Mothering Multiples" and have the contact info ready for a LC and your local LLL chapter.

  • It's definitely not easy, but plenty of us have done it.

    People are so obnoxious.  If they were trying to help you, there are a million other ways to provide "helpful" information.  People rolled their eyes at me and laughed when they found out that was my plan.  So silly.

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  • Just want to be another voice of support to you!  It's totally possible to BF twins.  Everyone has a different experience with it, but know that it is completely doable and may even be easy.  I haven't had any issues with it and I started out with one of my boys in the NICU.  I will say that tandem feeding feels like juggling babies at first, but it doesn't take long before you get the hang of it!
    (F/K/A MrsB*7*21)

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    BFP #2 - 8.19.10; u/s on 9.13.10 at 7w4d revealed twins!!
    EDD: 4.28.11; "Twins" Due Date: 4.14.11
    C-Section on 4.14.11 (38w) due to Baby B being breech

    Baby A: 7lbs 13oz, 20.5 inches long; Baby B: 7lbs 3oz, 20.5 inches long

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  • Be optimistic, but also be prepared that things won't go according to plan.  Everything I read before I had my twins said that "BFing is all about supply and demand and of course you can make enough for 2 if you try hard enough."  Well, I thought I'd be able to EBF no problem, but tried everything under the sun and I was never able to make enough.  But, also remember that BFing is not all or nothing - I've nursed, pumped, and supplemented with formula for almost 11 months now, and while it might not have been the ideal that I originally planned, I feel good that I've done the best that I can for my kids.
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  • I don't have my babies here yet, but I get a some skepticism when I say I plan to breastfeed (for some reason, people accept the word "nurse" better than they do "breastfeed" - I get a lot fewer comments) the twins. I've also gotten some surprising support. I found out one of my old friends from elementary school breastfed for a year and is an enthusiastic supporter, and another friends sisters all breastfed all their kids (7 so far between them) - although I don't know multiples. The midwife at the practice I go to said she could put me in touch with other twin moms who successfully breastfed. Maybe that's a good option for you to prepare, too? Your doctor may be willing to help you contact other MoMs who could provide the support you need.
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  • You are NOT being unrealistic.  I was determined to nurse my 32 week twins and ended up doing it for 18 months (DS) and 25 months (DD) even though they couldn't latch on for the first few weeks of their life (they got pumped BM during that time).  It is amazing how your body just knows how much milk to produce.  I would definitely recommend surrounding yourself with many resources (LC's at the hospital and pedi office, LLL and possibly joining a mothers of multiples group in your area).  
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