Breast feeding twins - on the verge of giving up :-(

(8 Posts)
FindingTwinsHard Sun 11-May-14 08:58:04

Hi, I need some help/advice.

I've bf 2 other dc before until 1 year with no problems, so really didn't expect to find this so hard.

I'm trying to bf my 2 week old twins. I was tandem feeding, but dt1 is really difficult to get latched on, he fusses, takes a mouthful then just chews, rather than sucking. He's clearly hungry and gets very fretful. He's getting harder to feed - took me 30 mins this morning to get him to latch, then he fed for 5 mins.

I've tried for a few days to feed them one at a time which initially helped with getting a good latch and making them both less windy. But dt1 is getting worse again, and because he takes so long to feed, I often only get about 45 mins between him finishing and me needing to start feeding dt2 again. I'm exhausted. My milk supply is still good though, even in the evening.

Dts were fairly small at birth and despite a good start, dt1 is now losing weight, so I can't just carry on regardless. We have tried top-ups via cup which are ok, but not enough now to supplement dt1's poor feeds.

Dt2 is a better feeder, she fusses sometimes and falls asleep before she's full, but is generally ok. I'm just finding it impossible having a 'difficult feeder' when there's 2 babies to look after.

I'm on the verge of giving up bf with dt1, but not sure the alternatives will be any easier as I'd like to keep bf dt2 as long as she wants.

Has anyone tried bottle feeding one twin and bf the other, either with expressed milk or formula? I don't see how that will be any easier, other than dt1 getting a full tummy.

Grateful for any help.

heritagewarrior Sun 11-May-14 09:24:48

Hi Finding. I breastfed my two and found the first month hell! They were one month old on Christmas Day, and one of mine wouldn't latch and feed properly, and I remember the miserable experience of having to try to express in a bedroom at my brothers house during the family celebrations, from 'his' boob, as his poor latch gave me mastitis and it was too painful at that point for him to feed.

BUT I eventually managed to feed them both for a year. Just after that first Christmas we saw a private breastfeeding consultant, who I had met via an NHS breast feeding group, and she identified that DtS1 had a slight tongue tie. We had it snipped (by her - paid for it as was likely NHS wouldn't have done it) and things improved almost instantly.

I would also say that although I did the lions share of the feeding for a full 12 months, they were never EBF. Several times a week, especially in the early days, I would bottle feed at one feed, either with expressed milk or formula. This wasn't anything to do with them - my milk supply was epic - but just to give me a rest. Some days you just feel like you're pinned to the sofa by hungry babies, don't you? I found it rather claustrophobic sometimes.

I have never felt guilty about the mixed feeding (well, maybe slightly occasionally), and in the end I think it's benefit of being able to carry on for a whole year rather than giving up, hugely outweighed the guilt trip. I found that breast feeding, especially when they got so big I had to feed them separately, was really important 1-2-1 time with each baby.

Mine are great big 5 year olds now. I hope it all works out for you. More than happy for you to PM me if you want brew x

MrsWolowitz Sun 11-May-14 09:32:50

I was determined to bf my twins. I'd bf DD1 with no issues so I just assumed DTs would be easy too.

Oh how wrong I was!

My MW gave me some good advice that was, they've had their colostrum and now they'd rather have a happy mother than one that just sat and cried all the time (which is what I was doing with one or both of them hanging off my nippples).

I gave them bottles and never looked back. I beat myself up so much and now I look back and give myself a break.

DTs are such hard work, be kind to yourself.

Hope you're happy with whatever you decide flowers

FindingTwinsHard Sun 11-May-14 09:45:12

Thanks both for the replies.

I'm quite open to mixed feeding - wouldn't feel remotely guilty about doing one feed with expressed milk or formula to get a break. I just never imagined that every feed would be so difficult. I don't want to give up bf, but feel I've not got many options at the moment.

I have asked 2 midwives to check for tongue tie, and they said it's fine. I have a niggling doubt though, but not sure who else I can get to check it?

Heritage - did you have any tricks for getting through the first month? I'm not getting much rest, which is making the whole situation much worse.

Superworm Sun 11-May-14 19:47:02

I would check again for TT. I saw at least eight HCP's and DS had an obvious TT , they all said it was fine. I paid privately for a lactation consultant in the end.

It's massively misdiagnosed unfortunately. Do you have a breastfeeding cafe or milk spot near you?

FindingTwinsHard Mon 12-May-14 04:18:32

Thanks, I'll look into nearby bf cafés.

I've had another couple of people look at his tongue and still everyone thinks it's fine. So frustrating to have a niggling doubt though!

DancingtheTittyTango Mon 12-May-14 06:15:04

I met a mum at breastfeeding cafe recently with twins and she has had exact same problems as you. One twin will latch and feed ok, the other pulls off, fusses and struggles. Turns out 2nd twin has tongue tie and despite having it snipped its no better he now expressed for twin 1 and bottle feeds him and breastfeeds twin two.

At the same time there was another mum there who has also has twins and she exclusively expresses all their feeds.

FindingTwinsHard Mon 12-May-14 16:15:22

Thanks Dancing - good to hear some twin mums can mix types of feeding/ express all feeds and still make it out of the house!

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