advice needed, so how do I breastfeed twins?!(27 Posts)
Bit about me, am 32 pregnant with twins, already have 2 older Dcs. I managed to breast feed older two relatively easily (due to ridiculous supplies of milk) apart from a nasty spell of mastitis and taking a few days to come in to supply immediately after birth.
Have not attended any twin parentcraft classes (not sure if available around here) or looked at twin books and have only seen consultant and not midwife for appointments. Would anyone be able to give me some practical guidance on how to feed twins...what positions work, routines, etc Thankyou x
Sorry, that should read 32 weeks pregnant.. Doh.
Congratulations! I don't have twins myself, but a friend I know had a special twin feeding cushion and always fed them together when possible.
Congratulations on your twins! I used a ez2 pillow which helped with feeding them together, but mine were quite small (around 6lb each) when born, so I also had a bit of a combinations of rolled up towels to sort of wedge under them to make sure they didn't roll off. After a while I'd also feed them separately (and always when out - I couldn't find a way to tandem feed without basically being naked from the waist up, although someone might be along with a tip 😀
I remember I had a bit of a knack of getting them both latched on - putting them both on the pillow first, latching one on, wedging them with the rolled up towel, then getting the other one latched & wedged!
Hope that helps! I did find I had to leave my blushes at the front door - quite a few family friends saw me topless over that time!!
Also, there are some YouTube videos about positioning, that's what helped me the most
Also (it's all coming back to me now - m
Mine are 2 now...
I would feed them together whenever the first one seemed to be getting hungry, rather than following both sets of signals iyswim? So one twin would get fed earlier than thru woud have (probably) if I'd waited for them to get hungry.
I have twins and I tandem feed because it's what works for us.
My twins couldn't sleep without each other's touch and wake if one wakes or is lifted out the cot, so was easier to feed them both while awake, however now I can dream feed them separately while they share the same cot.
During the day I tandem feed only rarely feeding one on one when out and they're on similar feeding routines so it works out for us.
Best advice I can give; do what feels right for you and what suits both you and babies' needs.
I'll have another set in December so I'll have to learn how to breast feed 4 of them.
Oh definately a pillow and when they were younger (their 9mo now) I had them both in the rugby hold and now the just slouch or lay on each other.
A friend of mine has given me a blue and round feeding cushion with straps attached and an insert which pops out but no instructions. Is this an Ez 2 cushion. How do you use them, sorry prob obvious!
I think the strap fastens around your back and is adjustable so it keeps the cushion stable and in the same place. I think the insert that pops out is a back rest. All just guesses. Haven't used the product to know.
I just have the Twin Z pillow.
I'm 2 weeks into feeding our twins so advice I would give in the thick of it is
- get a pump (for me supply for 2 was/is an issue, if not for you then maybe you can get someone else to feed or bottle feed one whilst breast feeding the other).
- get the latch sorted for them individually before attempting to tandem feed (which I've found is easier especially at night).
- lots to eat and drink (obvious but really important for supply)
All the twin mums I know who have previously breast fed (I fed DS for 7 months) definitely find it easier to establish so I'm sure you'll be fine. I got a lactation consultant in in the first week due to supply and whilst that might not be an issue for you, probably worth getting a number for a recommended consultant just in case you want some advice. Good luck.
I agree with high voltage. The electric mandela breast pump seems to be widely recommended. I used it at the same time every day, leaving my husband enough milk to do a night feed before midnight each night and allowing me to get at least some sleep after my older one had gone to bed.
Tandem feeding works great for some people, though I never managed it. Might have been due to a rubbish health visitor who never really tried to help. But I would also say don't panic about getting that working in the first week or so when they are just learning to feed and your milk is just coming in.
The big pillows for twin feeding cost a ridiculous sum but seem to work for those who get tandem feeds going well.
Ditto lots of the above! I use an EZ2 nurse cushion, which sounds like what you have. They still mostly tandem feed in rugby hold in the daytime at 5 months old. At first, I seemed to spend most of my time strapped into it on the sofa - remote controls, food and drink close at hand! I expressed in the hospital to help get supply going but haven't since because it seemed like another thing to do and didn't really know when to as always seemed to be feeding at least one. At night, I fed in the same way at the start. I now mostly feed laying down at night either tandem or singly and they sleep with me as they wake to feed a lot and it's the best way for me to get enough sleep so we can all be happier in the daytime. It wasn't the plan but I reckon you just do what works for you. Here's a link to laying down positions http://www.karengromada.com/lying-down/. I also found YouTube clips re tandem nursing helpful. Good luck with it!
The pillow you have sounds a bit like my Harmony Duo, white side up for breast feeding, blue side up for bottle feeding. If so, what Multiplemama says about the other bits is right. I think it's great.
I had the harmony duo too and got on well with it.
If you've bf before and have a good supply try to get the hang of tandem feeding as soon as you can. Took me a couple of weeks to get the hang of latching one at a time before i could even contemplate it! Made such a difference in the first few weeks when feeds took 40-50 mins. Once feeds only took 10mins I rarely tandem fed as preferred feeding individually/ more discretely than having to bare all all the time!
If you're a bf pro already you may well get the hang of tandem feeding really easily, but in case not i'd recommend sussing out where you can get good help on bf twins in advance so you can get advice quickly if you need it once they arrive. E.g. Bf support groups, twins clubs, ask for word of mouth recs on bf counsellors. My health visitor seemed clueless on tandem feeding and i was really struggling to try and work it out myself until I chanced upon the local 'bf guru' (a midwife at the local maternity unit) who turned things around for me in a couple of supervised feeds.
Also, if you are confident and you know your supply is good don't let midwives push you into "topping-up". I know a lot of hospitals a very supportive of bf but mine didn't seem to be. I was in hospital for 3 days and given virtually no help bf and told that I had to give formula top ups after every "attempted" feed (3 hourly) until they had regained their birth weight. This regime nearly killed me! Although they were born at 38 weeks they were deemed small at under 6lbs (despite me only being 7.5 stone), and i was told we couldn't risk weights dropping too much. It only took 9 days to get back up and in hindsight I'm sure we would have got on fine without the top ups as they were both good feeders and my supply was good.
My experience the same as random, wouldn't bother with a pump, and practice the rugby ball hold first. x
I didn't tandem feed, I never really got the hang of it, but got quite efficient at feeding them both very quickly. I only ever put them on together when they were screaming! I had a feeding pillow which was useful.
Routine wise - just feed them both whenever you feed one - even during the night. If one wakes for a feed, wake the other and feed it too. That way you'll get at least a couple of hours hopefully in between feeds. Good luck.
I fed mine for 12 months. Started off tandem feeding in the rugby hold, which as others have said, takes practice to get them both latched on together. Just used lots of pillows etc, nothing special. Eventually they got too long to wrap round behind me, and then I used to feed one after the other. Fortunately they were quick feeders. I found that the breast pump was my friend. Local HV team lent me a double 'Daisy' pump for about six months, and this gave me a bit of freedom. Also, always feed them together - waking up the one who isn't crying if necessary - any other way leads to madness.
Mine are now about to start school! I miss the bfing even now - it's brilliant! Good luck!
Where do you live OP? In my area there are specific twin feeding classes and a twin expert bfing supporter, all free.
Hi there, I was the same as mandy21. Couldn't get the hang of tandem feeding. Mainly because my two were different weights so the smallest wanted to feed more often. Best thing I did was to throw out all those advice books, trust my instincts and just go with the flow. You're mum - you really know best! I managed to feed them separately until 14 months. I was always feeding out and about but it was never a problem, if not a bit tiring! Good luck! My two are 7 now, time flies....enjoy it.
I couldn't get the hang of both together either and hated the big blue cushion with a passion. DT1 always stirred before her sister, so it made sense to feed her first, then DT2 straight after (moving her sister away made her wake up.)
They were born at 35 weeks and quite small (4lb4 and 5lb4) and couldn't quite latch on for the first few days, so they got bottles of expressed milk, though they took to the boob very easily - MN had terrified me that this wouldn't happen.
In hospital I used the big industrial pump - this built up my supply really well and quickly and I took lots of milk home to freeze. I didn't pump after that ran out though - too little time and too much to do. They did get a bottle of formula from about 4 months - again MN had scared me that it would affect my supply but it wasn't the case for me.
Have you joined TAMBA, the advice is good and they run courses for twin parents to be, but if you are 32 weeks you may not get one before D day.
Good luck and 'enjoy' the rest of your pregnancy
I think the Mothering Multiples book has a lot of 'how to' breast feeding pics showing different positions ets in it.
I have an old copy, will try and take a look when I can find it.
Feeding two isn't the hardest bit - getting two on/off without disturbing the other one is trickier, and winding the one that finishes first - especially if you have pukers! - is quite challenging. My DH would sometimes come home to find me beached in the middle of the bed unable to dislodge two babies post evening feeding frenzy!
Thanks everyone, plenty of really helpful advice to go on! X
10 days in and managing to tandem b/feed without top ups (mainly due to luck and nature as stupid amount of milk supplies have kicked in again). One tends to fall off latch after a while so finish them off with singular feeds. Managing to get around 5hrs sleep a night between feeds, had such low expectations that I am feeling ok about it all...so far!! X
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