Ebf twins!!

(26 Posts)
Cheeka Sat 27-Apr-13 19:28:31

Hi-I'm currently ebf my 6 week old twins. I'm doing block feeding, assigning one boob per twin and then switching the next day. I'm assuming the twins are on a growth spurt because they seem to be feeding every other hour. My question is, am I producing enough milk? One twin seems hungrier today so I've given her the other twin's breast but now he's waking up and I'm worried that she's draining it dry..not sure what to do now-take her off and latch her back onto her original breast? and then latch the boy twin on 'his'newly freed but not so full breast?!?my mum is muttering about them being hungry and needing more, ie formula top up...

tiktok Sat 27-Apr-13 19:41:52

Wow Cheeka, you're doing well, and you don't deserve to have any mutterings!

You cannot drain a breast dry. Honestly, you can't. The emptier the breast (and it is never totally empty) the faster the milk production . That's how it works smile

I don't think it matters what you do, or which breast you choose for which baby....you certainly don't need to judge how much milk is in the breast by feel or appearance, as even 'empty' feeling breasts have milk in , and I think you are making life unnecessarily complicated by feeling as if you have to stick to Breast A on Saturday for Twin A, and Breast B on Sunday for Twin A.

It doesn't matter a bit if they are feeding more often. That's how they get the milk they need, and you will provide it....if you respond to those 'requests' for it. You won't provide it if you start giving formula (but you know that, anywaysmile )

Wigeon Sat 27-Apr-13 19:43:11

Has anyone pointed you towards the wonderful, evidence-based Kelly Mom website?

These are really helpful links:

Is baby getting enough milk?

Has my milk supply run dry?

and Do breasts need time to refill?

Wigeon Sat 27-Apr-13 19:44:00

Oh, sorry, am blush to have cross-posted with tiktok about BF!

Arseface Sat 27-Apr-13 19:45:49

Hi, have 11 week ebf twins here and what yours are doing is exactly right!

They need to feed more at times (sometimes for hours) to give your body instructions to produce what they will need to match their growing demands.

It's known as cluster feeding and there's loads of info (to brandish at DM) on these boards and elsewhere.

I know it seems as though your babies are going hungry but, as long as they're gaining well, alert and going through plenty of nappies, it's a sign that the whole demand and supply thing is working perfectly!

Congrats on your twins and getting this far with bfing though, it's mad at times isn't it?
Have you cracked tandem feeding yet? mine are non ID and have slightly different eating and sleeping needs so I start off with them in sync in the morning and they move gradually further apart as the day goes on.

HappyAsASandboy Sat 27-Apr-13 19:54:10

I won't repeat it, but I agree with everything tiktok said.

I ebf my twins too, and stated out like you, feeding one side per twin and switching each day. I found it a bit confusing (it didn't take much to confuse me!), especially at midnight ish, when I couldn't decide what day it was!

I decided to stick to one boob = one twin for a while. It might have been coincidence, but my milk supply settled down a bit and I found it all so much easier. I was worried one twin would feed more and I'd get lopsided, but I don't think that was an issue (feeding both from one side for a week for various reasons did make me lopsided, but that's another story!).

If you keep feeding your babies then you'll keep making milk. If your babies seem hungry, feed them. It's completely normal for babies to feed frequently and at random intervals - your MIL was probably told four-hourly and for 10 mins was 'normal', but that advice is seriously out of date (and IMO one of the main reasons for the high FF rates we have now).

Good luck, well done and keep going grin

Arseface Sat 27-Apr-13 20:00:02

Oh, and during the day I just put the whichever twin needs feeding on the fullest boob at that time. I don't switch sides during a feed but let them go for as long as they want on the side they started.
At night I assign them a boob each so I don't get confused.

In this instance, I'd put dtg back on her original breast and give dtb his boob back!

Don't worry there's always milk there, they just have to work a bit harder to get it on the emptier feeling breast. It's important to let them do this though as that is what will increase your supply as they grow.

Cheeka Sat 27-Apr-13 20:04:36

Thanks Tiktoksmile
That's really reassuring to hear, i was fairly confident about supply and demand when bfing my first DC but it's so daunting having two hungry mouths to feed at once!! That's really interesting that it doesn't matter which boob to offer, I get into a flap when I accidentally latch a twin on the wrong 'boob'!!
Wigeon-thank you for the links, I will read these later on as I'm stuck feeding on the sofa grin
Arseface:11 weeks! That's really impressive. I hope to get to 11weeks ebf!
We've had a few issues- ie tongue tie (which has now been snipped)but I'm steadily plodding through. The twins are gaining well, roughly 1/2-3/4lb a week, producing lots of wet nappies. They used to poo constantly throughout the day and night but from last week, I've noticed they are only pooing once a day. A huge one nevertheless..does this sound right?

I tandem feed on my cushion when they are both awake and demanding to be fed but I prefer to feed one to one because it is easier that way (but this feels like I'm feeding non stop all day and night!)
It's knackering!!!
Thanks for your replies xxx

Arseface Sat 27-Apr-13 21:22:28

One of mine had TT too but I was prepared as DD (3) had a bad tie which went undiagnosed for ages. Hope you didn't suffer too much.

Gain sounds great. Well done you! Don't think you need to worry about frequency of poo with ebfers - DS1 used to happily go days with just wet nappies then have poomageddon at the most inappropriate moments.
I do like to see a nice daffodil yellow colour though!

Know what you mean about the one to one feeding. it's so much nicer whereas tandem feeding feels like an impersonal means to an end.

I did find that feeding them both together helped my weaker twin in the early days though. He could then benefit from his brother's work to elicit more let downs.

Really good hearing about someone else doing this. Am hoping to keep going as long as possible. So far it hasn't been too restrictive and is getting easier every day.

Hey there, well done for getting through the first few weeks with twins. It's a big adjustment!

With mine, I started off trying to be careful about which baby had which side when, but I think around about 6 weeks I just put whoever was hungry on whichever side was fuller. They fed one on each side at the same time quite a lot so I didn't worry about uneven supply.

If they both seemed hungry I used to switch them both and they'd settle, never understood that!

One thing that helped though was understanding that milk production is like a stream and not a pond. Every time a baby sucks milk is produced. So you might feel empty, but milk is still being made whenever your babies suck. Presuming there are no existing concerns re weight gain, I would just let them feed whenever they're hungry and trust your body work it out. It managed to feed them both and breathe for them whilst they were inside you, remember smile

11 week EBF twins here too.

I used to switch every day as well but have now assigned a boob each although I like them to have a go on the other side every other day or so to keep their hand in!

If they are fussy of an evening, I walk them about for a while and then swap the, over to the other side mid feed. They think there are getting something new even if it is a partially fed from boob! Think they like the change in position as much as anything.

I quite like tandem feeding now, it's cute seeing their two little heads bobbing away and sometimes they even hold hands <ahhhh>

Oh and they cluster feed until v recently. You have to try not to take it personally - mine have pretty much stopped cluster feeding / evening fussing and DTS actually slept straight through from 9pm til 7am last night. S it really does improve <glosses over DTD's 3 wakings!!>

HappyAsASandboy Sat 27-Apr-13 22:16:57

Hi MamaChocoholic, Think our twins are about the same age - I remember you from the BF boards back when they were all tiny smile

Well done to all of you for ebf. It is a big commitment, but it really can be done - I (and many others) made the golden 6 months ... and carried on! My DTs are 2 and a half now and still have the odd feed, though we're down to one or two (or none) each day now.

Keep going, and keep posting. Maybe the group of you could start a thread so you can keep supporting each other?

HappyAsASandboy Sat 27-Apr-13 22:17:32

...or just use this one! blush

Mandy21 Sat 27-Apr-13 22:33:21

Hi there, just wanted to agree with the others really that if you've got to 6 weeks ebf, you've done the hard work smile. I think there are various stages where they have growth spurts or seem to feed more, if you can go with the flow and just go with it, I'm sure it'll settle down. You're doing a brilliantly job!

I gave my twins one boob each - right from the start and never really swapped (fed them for 11 months and I'm not lopsided!). The only time I had a slight issue in that regard was when my DTB started sleeping through (and his boob was rather full in a morning!) whilst DTD had fed from her boob a couple of times during the night!! All matched up again after the 1st morning feed wink!

My mum was also very anti-breastfeeding at first - I think looking back now it was all wrapped up in being worried about me. She wanted me to have more rest (my twins were premature so it was all a bit stressful to start with) and I think she thought if I let them have a bottle, she could have helped more, I'd have got more rest, they might have been less demanding etc - is that where the mutterings might be coming from - she probably doesn't mean to be unsupportive I'm sure!

Cheeka Sun 28-Apr-13 12:36:31

A support thread sounds like a v good idea smile
Does anyone have any tips for tandem feeding? I tend to hunch over my bf cushion which is killing my upper back and neck. I do try to support myself with pillows but it's so hard to achieve the perfect position where I'm leaning back comfortably, yet maintaining two latches!i used to cosleep and feed with my DS so not being able to do this with both twins is hardsad
If I do feed one twin lying down, the other twin almost always wakes up halfway through and starts screaming. I jump up, scramble around for the bf cushion and latch both babies on. Not in the most comfortable way, normally at the expense of my back.....Any suggestions?

I prop each side of the bf pillow up with a cushion under each 'wing' - started off with a big fat pillow under each side. That raises them up to the right level. I also used rolled up and folded Muslims for weeks to get them into the right place/angle (a rolled up muslin under my boob was v helpful for DTS for a few weeks it lifted it up so the nipple was higher for him).

Not sure which one you have but I use the my Brest friend one and actually detached the back support section from the main pillow. It sits permanently on the sofa with a large cushion for my back on top of it, small cushion each side to raise the feeding pillow. I have also slumped the back cushion of the sofa so that it sticks out more at the bottom to support my lower back.

It does get easier as they get bigger and more capable of latching on. Mine can pretty much suck a nipple into their mouths if its vaguely in the right area- can be a bit of a surprise when you're sorting one and suddenly the other one speed latches of his own accord!

I think between 4 and 8 weeks I didn't feed them tandem in bed - it was too difficult. Have got back into it now - they are a good size and don't need too much support so I can flop them about fairly easily!

Cheeka Sun 28-Apr-13 13:35:13

Ooo..some really good tips, Freebuttonbee!smile
I do have the mybrestfriend and I'm starting to prop it up as the twins get heavier. I use two of DS's toys to wedge it up!grin
When u say u removed the back support cushion, do you mean the whole of the back with the clips or just that little rectangle pillow with the Velcro?
I'm going to give that a go, I spend AGES building a perfect nest only for it to tumble down when I get up...
Looking forward to them being a bit older. I worry about their heads as i heft them into position...DTS's latch is still awkward since the tongue tie dissection, takes ages for him to latch. I dont dare move a muscle once he achieves it...
Another Q!! Sorry smile
After tandem feeding, how do you manage to wind both babies? I'm putting one over my shoulder as the other squirms on the pillow..xxx

schmee Sun 28-Apr-13 13:45:52

Just one caveat about assigning a baby its own breast, you need to watch that the baby doesn't develop flathead syndrome from always looking in one direction/lying on one side. For most babies this won't be a problem, but twins are particularly susceptible (due to prematurity/restricted positions in the womb and possibly c-section births) so it's just something to look out for.

The whole back section - I found the Velcro bit a real pain and never use it - the ripping always seemed to stir/wake them.and actually for a few weeks when they were small, I didn't bother with the the little back pillow at all, meant I could get them closer to me somehow.

Re winding, i do them part way through feeding so the other is still latched - but one had a lot of trapped wind and the other is a happy puker so if I wait til they have finished, it was a disaster. I also sit them up on the pillow (with their bum by the other's head!) as well as over the shoulder.

I have found that their head control is really excellent which I reckon is down. To their having to work hard at latching etc on the pillow! It'll get easier - by 8 weeks, I was delighted that I had stuck at it and am now getting cheeky smiles from DTD as she feeds.

There is a good video on youtubeshowing someone's twin bf set up. Will see if I can find it.

Here, I found this helpful

http://youtu.be/_wPsO8o9G4s

Cheeka Sun 28-Apr-13 20:00:50

Thanks FreeButtonbee smile

Nicknamefail Sun 28-Apr-13 20:23:52

Everyone has already answered your questions, I only wanted to wade in to say WELL DONE and keep going. Ebf twins is awesome.

I think i have no extra advice either, its all been said. My twins were ebf, fed so, so frequently at 6weeks. It took a long while for them to feed space better. However, I did it, they're 12 months now one still feeds like a bloody newborn all night and still happily bf.

I had a my brest friend pillow too, sat one on and winded while the other carried on feeding. I feed singly now, have done for months, but mine are non id and feed totally differently.

You're doing brilliantly, keep it up!

HappyAsASandboy Sun 28-Apr-13 23:25:16

I never really got the hang of tandem feeding. I feed them separately and always have, except when they were both desperate, when I'd tandem feed until one was happy enough to wait.

It is a long slog. I remember people saying it gets better at 6 weeks, but for me it was more like 10 weeks. After that, it was plain sailing though, and I've not really had any problems. At about 16 weeks they suddenly started feeding for only 10 mins every 2 hours or so, and I remember that being a real turning point. I've continued to feed both babies, and it's helped us get through starting nursery, returning to work, illness, separation anxiety ... all sorts if things. I can't count the number of times I've been happy I'm still feeding them.

I can't help with tandem feeding, but I used to feed lying down once they were a few month old. If you lie on a double bed, you can feed the closest twin and reach over that baby to rock/pat/play games with the other one. If you practice, you can so lift the far away baby over the feeding baby by grabbing a handful of babygro, so he can have a cuddle while waiting to be fed smile

Take care of yourselves so that you can keep caring for your precious babies smile

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