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Breastfeeding twins

(33 Posts)
WalterFlipschicks Thu 07-Jul-11 14:21:27

Hi all, i wasnt sure whether to post this in multiples or bf, so here we are!
I have 2 week old twin boys, ebf, feeding well, good latch but very windy in an evening.
I give them a boob each, so each one produces the right amount for each baby.
We started with infacol 2 days ago and i think its working but last night it took us until 5.30am to settle them, i have had 2 hrs sleep! Zzzz
I ebf my ds1 and fed him til 9 mths and am keen to bf the twins too.
The hv and mw have both said how well i am doing and they are both feedinh well and are both back to their birth weight now.
My ds1 was 9lb and always fed really well and it was so clear just by looking at him that he was thriving, i was always so proud of how he was growing, but the dts were born at 36 weeks and are still under 6lbs. I know the first few weeks were difficult with ds and was so glad i carried on bf and giving up was never an option, im just so tired!
Has anyone bf twins who can offer some positive stories to make me feel better!

WalterFlipschicks Thu 07-Jul-11 14:23:09

Im wondering if bf twins is unrealistic sad
Sorry thats long grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Jul-11 14:28:03

Walter haven't got any experience of twins but have you got a local TAMBA or LLL or could your HV put you in touch with someone who has fed twins?

Madlizzy Thu 07-Jul-11 14:29:57

It's not unrealistic at all and they're only 2 weeks old, so it's going to take a bit of time for them to settle. Do you have good support so you can nap in the day? I have triplets, although I didn't breast feed, I know many people who did very successfully.

WalterFlipschicks Thu 07-Jul-11 14:34:53

Thanks i am going to try and get to one of the breast feeding groups, although... I didnt go with ds1 as i thought it was a bit weird lots of women getting together to get their boobs out and feed their babies! Im sure i will feel better once ive had some sleep, i am going to feed them now and then try and have a nap, they sleep great during the day! angrygrin
Will try the tamba website shortly too

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Jul-11 14:46:32

Walter thats made me laugh. You might like the local NCT group then if they have one as there is usually a good mixture of every type of feeders.

Just thought LLL might be useful as they may have some books on feeding twins or be able to put you in touch with a mum with experience.

MamaChocoholic Thu 07-Jul-11 14:51:36

congratulations! it is totally not mad to bf twins, that's why you got two boobs grin and if you doubt yourself, some women manage to ebf triplets.

my twins have just turned 9 months and we are still bf smile the first few weeks were tough. dt2 was colicky/refluxy/generally miserable, and spent the first few months in a sling, which helped enormously. my dts were born at 38w, both 6lb 5oz, and have both had a boob each since a few weeks in. I used to try and swap them over as I had read it was necessary, but they had different feeding patterns (one preferred day, one night) and it just led to engorgement.

the thing which saved us was cosleeping. it's hard learning how to feed two lying down, especially when they're teeny, but there are photos here. I did something like this but with my arms under the babies too, so I had a baby bottom in each hand and a head on each upper arm. latching wasn't easy, and I decided to live with the discomfort of less than perfect latches as the price for getting some sleep.

I also used a twin feeding cushion which meant in the days I could feed both together in the rugby positions and have my hands free to MN latch, eat etc. it was the EZ-2-nurse and had a top that sloped in to my body so if they slept I knew they wouldn't fall off. there were times I hated that cushion as it made me quite claustrophobic but I don't think I'd have managed the early weeks without it.

things got easier as the babies grew and learned how to sleep themselves. right now though, you just need to survive. get plenty of easy to eat/drink food available. some people I know leave packets of chocolate oatcakes lying all over the house so wherever they stop to feed there's a snack in reach. can your dp help by preparing your food? can he wear one (or two) babies in a sling to give you a break and time to sleep? I don't know how old your ds1 is, but do you have friends/relatives who can look after and entertain him? my ds1 was mostly in nursery when dp was at work, but the days I had him and the babies on my own were really tough.

it gets easier. I still remember my pride when I got the babies weighed just before we started solids and realised just how much baby I had grown all by myself grin

sorry for the long ramble. it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job.

crikeybadger Thu 07-Jul-11 14:59:53

Hah, was just thinking that Mamachocoholic would be the best person to speak to ....and there she was. grin

Fantastic that you are still breastfeeding at 9 months.

MamaChocoholic Thu 07-Jul-11 15:21:07

thanks crikey, there are lots of twin mums who bf, though, perhaps I just like talking about it more than most smile

Teapot13 Thu 07-Jul-11 21:22:10

I can't offer firsthand stories like Mamachocoholic but SIL fed my niece and nephew till about a year -- they never had formula. I think if you've made it through 2 weeks you're doing great.

WalterFlipschicks Sun 10-Jul-11 15:48:08

Mamachoc you are a lifesaver! Thanks so much for that, i am going insane here, as we speak i have one in a bouncy chair which im rocking with my feet, he is screaming off and on! The other is feeding, eventually as it took me over an hour to get him latched on, he kept havinf a suck, starting the let down, then messing, resulting in him and me being soaked with milk.
I was up all night again with them, i really dont want to bottle feed but i am losing it fast!!
Im going to find a group to go to tomorrow... sad

WalterFlipschicks Sun 10-Jul-11 16:16:11

Ps which sling did you use?

IgnoringTheChildren Sun 10-Jul-11 17:05:42

Another second-hand story here: A friend of mine BF her twins til they were about a year old. She didn't get on with feeding them both at the same time (struggled with keeping them both latched on) so fed them individually! They were both quick feeders but it was still pretty tricky for the first few weeks. She obviously found it easier the older they got and didn't seem to be constantly feeding - she could probably have fed and winded both her boys in the time it took me to do DS1 if the extra nappy change hadn't slowed her down! grin

I'm not recommending that you feed them individually (what would I know?!) but it obviously worked for my friend. She did get pressured into "topping up" with formula a bit to start but managed to get back to EBF once the midwives stopped hassling her about their weight gain.

Hope that you manage to make it work and get some sleep. Although I don't have twins my DS2 has been a lot more difficult than DS1 - what felt like constant feeding from weeks 2-7, lots of night waking (we ended up co-sleeping which I didn't even consider with DS1) and lots of wind issues! I got very close to giving up altogether as I couldn't see how I could make BF work AND take care of DS1 but we got through it and to the stage where BF is soooo much easier than FF (in my opinion!)

Good luck getting the help and support you need.

MamaChocoholic Sun 10-Jul-11 19:11:13

It is sooo intense for the first few weeks. you're doing great.

in the early days I used a kari-me sling. I could sling them both an once, but more importantly I could have dt2 asleep in the sling, then shift him to one side a little and slip a boob out on the other side to feed dt1. a ring sling would probably have been fine too, but a kari-me is more comfortable for my back.

I found the EZ-2-nurse cushion so good because it meant I could either feed them together, or have one lying on it and feed the other. I could comfort the lying one, or pick them up, but if I needed both hands to latch one baby, I knew I could lie the other down safely and they couldn't roll off. expensive though, so buy from ebay. I couldn't get on with bouncy chairs. though I have heard lots of people have success with battery powered chair swings, particularly if you start them when young.

it's a challenge learning to comfort two babies at once. have you dropped into the multiples threads? there will be lots of advice there. the first few weeks I found really tough. I was exhausted most of the time, not from feeding so much as just looking after two babies who both needed my full attention. but it does get easier. they are now 9mo and spend time entertaining each other (and have done for a while). today they spent a full 5 minutes just making each other giggle hysterically by looking at each other. it sounds an age away, but you will be there soon, looking back on the early days with a victorious shout of "I did it!".

IamtheSnorkMaiden Sun 10-Jul-11 23:49:16

I have breast fed both my sets of twins and it is really hard at first so well done for even giving it a go. Sorry if that sounds patronising - I don't mean to be but I'm knackered and I've typed a mesage twice and my internet connection keeps going each time I post...

My first lot of twins were born at 35 weeks and tube fed EBM in hospital. I was exclusively feeding one and mix-feeding one when they came home but gradually stopped formula. I fed on schedule as I was unaware of demand-feeding adn as such my daughter was slow to gain weight. I also fed each in turn which was very time consuming; I only tandem fed when they were both screaming blue murder and I struggled to get them both into place. I did however manage to feed them until 20 months.

I was much more confident with my second set who arrived at 37 weeks (they are now 13 months) adn tandem fed from teh start to save time. I don't have an EZ2 nurse pillow - which I have heard lots of good things about - but instead I would get my cushions prepared on the sofa, scoop a baby in each arm from the Moses basket and sit in the middle of the sofa with a baby each side and latch each one on in turn. A bit tricky but I worked out a system. The hardest bit was getting up again after the feed. I don't tandem feed now as they don't feed as much of course although my daughter is booby-mad at night so she co-sleeps with me. My son sleeps through (actually both my sons have been great sleepers and my girls crap sleepers so I don't think there is any correllation between BF/formula and sleeping through).

As you know, feeding in the early weeks in knackering as newborns want to feed very frequently. Yours are probably having a growth spurt and due a couple more at 3 and 6 weeks so go with it and feed on demand as much as they want. Try to get yoru partner or friends, family etc to really help you out during these few weeks as you'll be spending lots of time feeding until you settle into an easier pattern. I used to spend every evening clusterfeeding for the first 3 months or so - totally knackering, but at least I could doze while I was doing it rather than having to make/wash/sterilise bottles.

Essentially though, you can breastfeed twins and once you get through the hard bit at the beginning it's easy - much the same as dealing wiht a single baby really. If the babies are having wet nappies and are contented between feeds then they're getting enough milk. Giving them their own sides is a good idea - as you say, your boobs will make the right amount for each baby. Don't worry too much about their weight gain. All four of mine have been soooo different.

Just make sure you are eating and drinking plenty too cos you need the calories for energy. I always get a really dry mouth when feeding. And make sure you've got anything you need (eg TV remote, book, chocolate biscuits) close at hand. My husband used to torture me by leaving my cup of tea just out of reach and then bugger off.

Sorry again for the waffling. Congrats on your new babies. smile Oh yeah and definitely go to your local breastfeeding support group and/or twins group when you can be arsed.

WalterFlipschicks Tue 12-Jul-11 13:27:20

Thankyou so much for the positive stories, im still at it, one is feeding as i type, has been for hours!! I am definitely going to persevere, largely due to reading these messages when i really wanted to be in the car finding bottles and formula... I know i would regret that decision though knowing how much easier it gets.
Thankyou again for taking the time to post, you have kept me sane, truly
smile

VeronicaCake Tue 12-Jul-11 13:51:58

Another secondhand story - my Mum breastfed my younger sisters who are twins. Obviously her memories are somewhat rosetinted but she insists that once they'd got past the hideous first six weeks it was far easier than bottlefeeding because she was able to feed them simultaneously balanced on pillows on the sofa whilst still having a hand free to stuff biscuits into my mouth to keep me quiet.

She exclusively breastfed them up to 6m because she wanted to delay weaning as long as possible (she is quite hazy on the details of weaning twins but I think our house was fairly thickly coated in pureed carrot for some months).

midori1999 Tue 12-Jul-11 15:53:30

I can't help much, but I did have twins last year who I intended to BF, but we lost them both. I now have a 22 day old DD daughter who I am EBF and I wonder how the heck I would have managed to BF twins, so without wanting to patronise, I absolutely admire anyone who manages it!

I am sure you are a more experienced breast feeder than me anyway, but my DD has been very windy and been awake all night sometimes and it is really hard, even with one baby, so I sympathise. However, the last week or so has been better. She still needs me almost all day, but is going for up to 5 hours a night, so it does get better quickly, as I am sure you know.

MamaChocoholic Tue 12-Jul-11 20:36:33

Walter glad you're still going strong. keep posting, and keep sane smile

WalterFlipschicks Wed 13-Jul-11 20:40:42

Have taken delivery of my ez nurse pillow today, bargain purchase from a twin things for sale group on facebook...well worth a look, twindipity.
Cannot believe the difference it makes, i have two hands again!
Its probably a coincidence but both boys are settled and asleep already, hence me replying to allsorts of messages!
Step one to making this easier complete!
grin

holyShmoley Thu 14-Jul-11 11:39:42

i'm still feeding our 21 month old twins. It really does get easier, and the ez2 is fab. Pretty much what mamachoc says is my experience too, especially the days when our older one isn't at nursery.
Both ours had reflux, and one struggled with weight gain because of it, and ended up in hospital at four months, we supplemented with high calorie formula for a while, but it got better from eight or nine months.

For me the biggest advantage was when one of the twins was frighteningly sick at 14 mths, she still nursed- a bit anyway, and i think this got her through it. They are ill so rarely and it is such a comfort to them.

Congrats o your little boys, twins are great

WalterFlipschicks Mon 18-Jul-11 19:00:24

My boys have gained 8oz each this week, a whole lb of booby growth!! Yippee!

MamaChocoholic Mon 18-Jul-11 19:57:59

grin I always used to just remember the total too. you grew 16oz of baby in a week? amazing!!!

twintwo Mon 18-Jul-11 21:38:50

Well done to you for carrying on with the bf. I have twin boys who exclusively bf and people would not believe they had never had any formula! Your body is definitely designed to feed 2 or more, my boys are still having one night feed at 3 years old! We found co sleeping the only real way to get any rest in the early months. I used to put both boys in the middle of the bed then just switch sides to which ever one woke up. In the day I spent hours in the middle of the sofa with various cushions around us or rocking one in bouncy chair whilst feeding the other one, as others have said you need tv remote, phone,book all to hand. Make sure you look after yourself and eat and drink as much as possible! I'm sure we saved lots of money not buying formula but our food bill was massive because I ate so much!

kathryn2804 Tue 19-Jul-11 15:00:37

Hi, I breastfed my twins for 13 mths. Gosh it was hard at the beginning. I used the EZ-2-nurse pillow and fed them together most of the time. But once I got to 6 months, (when I was planning to give up!) it was so easy by then i couldn't imagine having to sterilise and prepare feeds etc.

Keep it up. Well done!!

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