I have twin girls who were born at 33 weeks and are now 11 days old. I am desperate to get them out of hospital but am having trouble getting them to feed from me. They have latched on and sucked for up to ten mins once or twice but not in the last couple if days. They have just been transferred to a local hospital which has unsettled me. I don't know whether to try them on the breast for every feed and for how long. I am also not expressing much milk and am going to start taking domperidone which will hopefully help. Any advice would be gratefully re wives as I am feeling pretty down about everything.
The sucking reflex kicks in between 34-36 weeks old, so it's going to take time. IN the meantime, keep expressing and the neonatal nurses are very experienced at helping to establish breastfeeding. They will get very tired from sucking until their bodyweight comes up and they get stronger. My triplets were born at 33wks2 days and came home at 3 weeks old, and they had no issues. You'll have them home soon.
Hi there. I agree that the sucking reflex kicks in later - until they get there, I used to put them to the breast whilst they were having their tube feeds - apparently helps them associate the boob with the full feeling in their tummies. My twins were born at 27+6 and they really only got the hang of proper feeding at 36 weeks and beyond. They were having little licks and occasional sucks up to about 34 weeks, and then gradually started getting it. Just persevere, I'm sure they'll get it.
In terms of expressing - I was told to express every 3 hours religiously in the day, and every 4 hrs in the night - apparently 2am/3am is the best time to express, it really stimulates the supply. I was also told by my consultant that its not just the amount of fluid that affects your supply, but your food intake too, especially when you're trying to produce enough for twins. Oats are good.
Do you have a double electric pump? I had access to one in the hospital and then hired a hospital-grade pump for a couple of months - it was definitely worth it.
dd was born at just turned 34 weeks - she was a good weight and pretty healthy but it took until 37.5 weeks for her to breastfeed well enough to be allowed home. (And then another few weeks at home before feeds were no longer a struggle). Hopefully your girls will be quicker than mine, but it does seem common for it to take until 36+ weeks. At the time the 24 days in hospital felt like forever and I was desperate to get DD home ASAP, but with hindsight it would have been better for me if I had accepted she was likely to be there a while and there wasnt much I could do to speed her up. Hang in there, they will get it in their own time. Do try to take care of yourself as much as possible in the meantime as you will need the energy once they get home.
Re trying at every feed - I would say yes if you want to, but don't try for too long if it seems unlikely to work that time, as youll get Frustrated and theyll get tired. You may find they are better at some times of day (dd was better in the evenings), if so, maybe focus on those times and let them be tube fed at other times. Or you could try them on the breast at at alternate feeds (especially as you have twins). From my (limited) experience, I don't think trying more often necessarily means they get the hang of it quicker - it's down to when their instincts kick in and muscles develop enough, more than practice.
Re milk production - yes do hire a hospital pump if you can, they are so much more effective. I would say pump every three hours in the day and once in the middle of the night (some people say every three hours at night too but I think it's more important you get some sleep!). If you can pump next to their crib in the hospital, or look at photos of them while pumping, that is supposed to help. Eating lots helps too I think, if you are able to find the time.
You've already had some great advice here but would second using a hospital grade pump and just trying to really relax when pumping. I ordered DH to bring coffee and cake and a magazine whenever I was pumping! You will get there. Progress seemed painfully slow for us but then over the course of two days we were suddenly on track and were allowed home