Encouragement needed please from those who've ebf twins with an older DC as wel....

(34 Posts)
legallyblond Sat 14-Sep-13 20:17:11

Excuse typos in advance... On my phone.

DTs are 4 days old... Born by elcs at 37+3 - twin 1 6lb2, twin 2 5lb3... I have a 2.11 yo DD who I ebf and carried on bf until she was 2.

Positives are both twins have good latch and my milk is nicely in. Also, I've cracked tandem feeding!

In hospital, because of twin 2's weight, they did blood sugar testing and she kept on being a bit low, so I reluctantly agreed to formula top ups, mainly to get discharged!

Now we're home, the MW has been once and both twins had lost 5% of birth weight... Apparently not too bad. She suggested I get pumping to boost supply and then replace (from tomorrow) formula with my milk. I did tis but have decided to replace the formula with my milk already... I'm getting loads of milk and it seems totally insane to be giving formula when there's stacks of bm in the fridge!!!!!

Tbh, I'm loathing the expressing and concept of "topping up" three hourly feeds with a sippy cup. It takes up so much time and anyway, they're feeding in demand way more than three hourly.....

MW coming again tomorrow and I'm dreading the weighing...

I can do this right? Surely I just feed them both on demand ideally at the same time as much as poss?

Am feeling very very overwhelmed and teary generally. It just seems like I have no time for sleep (unlike with a singleton - i'd just bring DD into bed and feed her while co sleeping if it got bad) and no time for DD sad

Is this do able? Does it get better?

MumsKnitter Sat 14-Sep-13 20:47:47

I'm sure it is do-able. Trust your instinct. There is no need to complicate it by expressing milk when they are happy to feed on demand. You are obviously doing great. Sod the midwife and her scales!

hoppingmad Sat 14-Sep-13 20:48:48

It does get better, I was feeding one whilst expressing for the other as she couldn't latch. In the end the expressing exhausted me so much they both ended up on formula sad
I would just tandem feed on demand if you've cracked that (well done you!) Try not to get too hung up on weight gain - my eldest dd took 3 weeks to get back to her birth weight but is now a very healthy 9 year old smile

You really need to do what feels natural and doable to you otherwise you will exhaust yourself and twins are quite tiring enough without extra stress!

harassedmotherof3 Sat 14-Sep-13 20:55:42

Sounds like you're doing a fantastic job. As a doctor, and mum who has BF her 3, I would def agree just breast-feeding them on demand is the right thing to do. Have never had twins though, so can only sympathise how hard it must be. Do you have husband or mum who can help?
I do know one mother of twins who did it!
Can you get BF counsellor?

legallyblond Sat 14-Sep-13 20:57:25

Thanks both - I guess that it's just that I worry that the MWs will somehow be able to force me into a situation that I think us unecessary - my experience with DD tells me that we've " cracked it" as we're successfully bf ing on demand, mostly tandem, but Twin 2 being small seems to give then much much more scope for worry and interference....

hoppingmad Sat 14-Sep-13 21:06:44

Twin 2 isn't that small for twins tbh. I think the average weight is 5.5lb

My smallest was just under 6lbs and the women in the bed next to me had a 5lb singleton (full term)

With regards to the midwife, make it clear you are confident in what you're doing (without being rude) but that you will take her advice on board. Keep the peace and when she leaves do it your way.

If twin 2 doesn't start gaining enough weight then you could consider mixed feeding but I'd give the breast feeding a bit longer first

hoppingmad Sat 14-Sep-13 21:07:48

*meant to add, just under 6lbs at 39 weeks

Cheeka Sun 15-Sep-13 09:35:54

I posted on this thread last night, legally, but it hasn't appeared!
Argh. Will try again later!im ebf 6mth twins and have a toddler DS so it can be done smile

GoofyIsACow Sun 15-Sep-13 09:46:41

It does get better I absolutely agree, I ebf my twins and DS1 was three when they were born.
I had so many hv and other hcp's suggesting formula, one after 24 hrs of them being born because I was crying that i was tired, 24hrs after giving birth to twins hmm shock
My hv (after me saying i wasnt introducing formula) was very supportive and I made the effort to go to a bf group. I had always avoided them with DS1 thinking it was pure weird to turn up somewhere to wap out your boobs and feed your babies! It was, thankfully and probably obviously nothing like that, but noone was desperate to talk me into giving up bf. I understand it was purely well meant, they couldn't believe that it was possible, I have since spoken to two hv who said they had never known someone successfully bf multiples in our area, I now know two other multiple parents who exclusively bf so Im not entirely sure it is as rare as they made out.
It was pigheadedness that got me through the first 8/10 weeks, i think i wanted to prove everyone wrong and also I knew I would never be organised enough to sterilise and mix formula. DS1 was ebf too so formula was a new thing I didn't have the brain space for at that time.
You don't need to top up with formula if you don't want to, just stand your ground. Good luck, sounds like you are doing a great job! thanks

GoofyIsACow Sun 15-Sep-13 09:50:29

Mine are 26 mths now and big strapping lads... I barely remember those first few months.
I do remember nearly sending DH to 24hr asda a few times for formula etc. but my twins suffered from reflux and the thought it might made it worse always ultimately stopped me, it was more the fear of the unknown. I am glad now that i stuck with it but things could have gone differently, i appreciate that smile

Twicethehugs Sun 15-Sep-13 10:36:43

I've got twins who are 7 1/2 months and ebf - no older children but wanted to give you some encouragement anyway! Mine were 4lb10 and 5 lb2, we were in for 5 days and also had to agree to top up bottles to get out of the hospital - same concerns about weight gain when we got home too and remember dreading the weigh in! Like others I think it was more my pig-headedness than support from professionals that helped, although did get some advice from a friend who knows a lot about breastfeeding and rang TAMBA who have trained twin mum breastfeeding counsellors. I did top up bottles for a few weeks, gradually dropping them but my milk supply took a while and when expressing didn't get so much and hadn't experience so lacked confidence in supply. If you've got loads of expressed milk, I agree there seems no point giving formula. Also it takes so much time breastfeeding twins that doing bottles and expressing seems like a lot of extra work if not really needed!

After about a month I started co-sleeping with my twins, initially by accident as would just fall asleep while feeding them ad wake up 2 hours later in exactly the same position and feed them again, now one sleeps either side of me, OH in spare room but he's not too sad as gets enough sleep to get to work and function there.

I had times in the first 3 months when I really doubted if I could do it and often had people kindly suggesting formula would be easier but I'm glad I stuck with breastfeeding now as they've got so much quicker at feeding. A friend who had a daughter then had twins with not much gap between has said her parents helping was really necessary, I hope you've got some people around to support you. Good luck to you, it will get easier.

temporary Sun 15-Sep-13 10:49:42

How are you doing? You really sound like you are doing great to me! A 5% weight loss sounds good, and if you can get both of them on at the same time then that is fab as it gives them both more time to feed.

I think you should trust your instincts. Just offer the breast loads. Then any free hands time you have you can save for cuddling your 2 year old.

You are doing well, keep doing what you're doing

Cheeka Sun 15-Sep-13 23:13:03

Can't believe it!second post disappeared into the ether! Took ages to write too...Something up with my phone? But briefly AGAIN, I second the advice to bf on demand to drive your milk supply up. I soon ditched expressed milk top ups as it was such a faff to sterilise and express. My twins weighed 5lb 7 and 5lb 12. Lost 7.6-5.5 % of birth weight and took 10days to regain. We had blood sugar testing too which i hated because it was so inconvenient to wait for midwife to test when demand feeding. Keep going,it does get easier. Now mine are 6months, I'm wondering if they are getting enough as they have been crying and whining at the bedtime feed. But I'm continuing to feed on demand and we start solids tomorrow. Good luck OP xx
I co sleep too by placing twins bang in the middle of the bed but in 'landscape' mode rather than 'portrait' so that I have extra room to manoeuvre around the twins. I feed one on one side then slide off the bed and up the other side to avoid leaning on them accidentally in sleep deprived state. They seem to know to wait their turn at night (unlike the day so I HAVE to tandem) and I play a bit of white noise to keep the waiting twin at bay when feeding. Hope this helps xxx

legallyblond Mon 16-Sep-13 13:19:21

Thanks all. It is indeed getting better. Twin 1 is gaining now, not losing (still below birth weight, but its only day 6!) and twin 2 is down, but still only 6% in total. I'm "officially" allowed now to just top up in ebm but tbh, I'm not doing it all the time as sometimes I just "top up" by hand expressing into her mouth while she's on the boob still but no longer sucking. Really hoping to drop that soon and just bf on demand. Tandem feeding when I can, but when they're out of sync, just doing one at a time on demand! I got an hour if sleep here and there last night, so feeling much better.

legallyblond Mon 16-Sep-13 16:50:46

But now getting nervous about weigh in tomorrow with the MW..... Really really hoping twin two has gained.... Don't know what more I can do as I am feeding lots... sad

hoppingmad Mon 16-Sep-13 17:44:37

You are doing brilliantly by the sounds of it - far better than I did. Don't let anyone make you doubt yourself.
My midwife when I had the twins said not to worry about the chart as the percentage drop can be higher initially for breastfed babies but they soon catch up smile (so at 6% I would say you are doing great)

Clockers Mon 16-Sep-13 22:02:29

Hi my twin boys were born at 32 weeks weighing 2lb 15 and 4lb 10 (ttts pregnancy). I also have a dd who was just 3 when they were born. For the month they were in hospital they were exclusivly on my milk (fed through a bottle/tube if I wasnt there and once they were home I did demand feeding with no expressing despite my smallest twin being only 3lb 14oz when he was discharged.
Tbh i was so sick of expressing by that point and feeding twins is time consuming enough !
I started giving a bottle of formula at the bedtime feed at about 4 months as bf was taking so long and I needed to get my dd into bed (dh gets home late) but they were ebf till that point.
Hvs were quite twitchy about my smallest but my experience of breastfeeding my eldest told me that he was ok. He gained weight slowly but surely and now weighs 22lb ! They are 1 this week.
Remember no one can make you give the formula and it took both of mine 2 weeks to regain their birth weight. Sound like you are doing fab - the first few weeks / months are so hard and I was so worried about my dd but she adores her brothers and seems to be unscathed by the experience! it DOES get better..
Good luck and congratulations!

legallyblond Tue 17-Sep-13 12:42:15

Thanks again everyone, kind words making me teary in my hormonal state!

Twin 2 has gained. Yay! Was 20g down 2 days ago, now 30g up (so now only 5% weight loss or less). Tbh, she hasn't taken the top ups of ebm more than one feed in every three, so it's just bf really. Told I should keep topping up until 2 days time then can stop if she's still gaining... Phew. Until next time!

Twin 1 is a little champ - he's now only 5g below birth weight! After just 7 days as an ebf twin. Whoop! The old boobs do work!

I'm surprised how much all the blood sugar testing and paeds insisting that formula was the answer in hospital really knocked my confidence.... I am sure it puts done people off altogether sad

beachesandbuckets Tue 17-Sep-13 21:08:02

Hiya Legally Blond, remember you from previous posts. My dts are now 6 wks and I too have ebf my babies so far. Have two older dcs (aged 5 and 3). Tried tandem feeding on first night in hospital and worked so have carried on! Babies lost weight and then gained it, hv never suggested top up at all, she has been very supportive although it seems very unusual for women to ebf twins it seems. They are both 10lb now and little chubsters!

On the down side, I have suffered from mastitis twice. Boo. But got through it.

beachesandbuckets Tue 17-Sep-13 21:26:10

Wld also add that I haven't expressed, I hate the faff, and tbh dh at work so can't feed for me and any other help (parents) are better off keeping my older two entertained as bf'ing at least means I am sitting down and resting, if not sleeping.

My dts took a lot longer to regain their birth weight than older two, but in the fog of tiredness, I wasn't too bothered and my hv was totally unconcerned. They did have prolonged jaundice however which is just about going.

The only two friends with twins I have also ebf their twins and have older dcs so didn't think it was particularly out of the ordinary until I was told by my hv that I was 'well known in the hv office as the woman who ebf twins'!!

Pm if you need to, am on my phone A LOT whilst feeding! Good luck.

legallyblond Wed 18-Sep-13 10:46:07

Thanks Beaches! I'll catch up properly soon!

legallyblond Thu 19-Sep-13 19:02:53

Yay!! No more expressing and top ups! Been officially released! Day 9 and twin 1 is well over birth weight and twin 2 has piled the lbs back in so only has a few grams to go... So happy to be just bf on demand after all the blood sugar tests etc etc...

hoppingmad Thu 19-Sep-13 19:40:20

Well done you grin. Knew you could do it. Now relax and enjoy, the baby days seem to fly by and before you know it they are toddlers who still don't sleep through but have gained the art of emptying everything on to the floor grin

legallyblond Thu 19-Sep-13 20:41:24

Thanks. I was a mixture of sad shock hmm when the MW who came today said she had been doing the job two years and I was the first twin mother she'd come across still breastfeeding and doing it successfully at this stage. They're only 9 days old!

legallyblond Thu 19-Sep-13 21:10:11

Mostly sad actually. I was surprised how much my confidence was knocked (not just about bf) by all the blood sugar testing and constant interference monitoring... And I've done it all before so am fairly confident! That coupled with the teary overwhelmed feelings of day 3/4... I am not surprised people get disheartened....

beachesandbuckets Thu 19-Sep-13 22:40:10

Best to draw a line under it now, and take from the experience that your gut instinct is usually correct. The early days are hard enough as it is (speaking as someone only 6 weeks in, what do I know?!).

I must admit I nearly binned ebf after my second batch of mastitis in two weeks (plus antibiotics) esp as never got it ebf older dcs (for a year each) but have been clear now for a fortnight so hope I can continue. I think the latch can sometimes go squewy with twins when trying to get and keep them both on. Are you using a feeding cushion LB?

sara11272 Thu 19-Sep-13 22:50:24

It gets better!! Congratulations on your new DTs and well done on your progress to date, sounds like you're doing great.

I had DTDs when DS was 20months - it was mayhem in the beginning (and for a good while after!) -and it is hard bfing while an older one is demanding your attention, but it can be done.

I introduced one bottle a month so by 6 months they were entirely on bottles. Til then lots of picture books to hand so your Dd can sit with you while you're feeding and you can look at a book together, also, random made up games (cuddly toys racing in daddy's slippers?!) - anything you can think of so older DC is occupied for a bit while you feed.

Lots of luck and please believe me when I say it gets better at regular intervals ..it's little steps rather than great leaps but it does get easier!!

Bibblebo Fri 20-Sep-13 11:46:47

Watching with interest as I'm 31 weeks with Tg's and have a 3yo whom I ebf for 2.5yrs. The weighing in sounds an awfully nerve racking experience on top of having brand new twins. I would smile politely and get on with my plan unless I felt truely concerned. I remember the 'alarm' being raised so many times and totally unnecessarily when I had DS1 - it really interfered with me being able to just get on and do what I needed to and caused me unnecessary anxiety.I cannot believe that with all the evidence that a baby's still forming gut cannot digest cow proteins and that BM has both proven and yet to be understood benefits from its components in the forming of the gut that formula is being pushed to a mother who is actually doing well with breast feeding??!! Wow! Sounds as if you are doing an amazing job! Oh the things I'd like to say but won't!!
Just well done OP. xx

legallyblond Fri 20-Sep-13 12:10:35

Thanks Bibble.... In hindsight it was bemusing.... But it shook me at the time and I needed to get out of hospital, so focused on that. Water under the bridge now, but I felt v vulnerable... All ok now though! Just got to work up to managing the school runs alone next week.... Eek!

Bibblebo Fri 20-Sep-13 12:44:21

Would love to hear how the school runs go with the three of them!
I'll be doing those soon and keep running through my head the logistics of even getting out of the front door - esp as I have yet to move house (currently in a 1 bed flat) - how will it be if I live on the ground floor, first floor etc etc.. I just can't imagine it! I may start a thread on this and see how people get on with it all!
Wishing you all the best Legally! smile

Twicethehugs Fri 20-Sep-13 13:42:25

Fantastic to hear your babies are gaining weight well, I remember the relief of this. Well done!

beachesandbuckets Sun 22-Sep-13 18:36:33

I started a thread on school runs (google mumsnet school run 4 dcs) had loads of helpful tips. Was completely bewildered about how I was going to cope and its be FINE. In fact I prefer the order and routine of school/pre school days more than weekends as everyone is up and out and I can then relax at 9.30 rather than spending all morning playing catch up. Just a shame the babies won't sleep at the same time at moment so I could have siestas at the same time as them!

rednellie Sun 22-Sep-13 18:52:57

Argh, sorry legally, I totally missed this thread and remembered uoyr threads when you were pregnant. Congratulations! So exciting. I'm just sorry I didny see this when you were struggling. I'm still bf my twins at 18months and have about older DD. Dt2 lost 11% of his body weight and my midwife didn't bat an eyelid. They were amazing and within days we were all fine. Just having people around me who truly understood .bf helped so much.

Anyway congratulations again and glad things are working out.

Linguaphile Tue 24-Sep-13 12:52:53

Oh man, Legally, I could have written this myself. It's a huge confidence knock to have all the weigh-ins and blood tests, isn't it?? I'm still struggling to wean them off the formula and build up my supply--they throw fits to high heaven if they don't get the full amount, so I'm having trouble keeping up. Tandem works really well, but they still seem to get hungry after about 1.5 hours instead of three, and after 2 feeds every 1.5 hours my supply is gone and I end up having to use formula. Aargh!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now