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Some advice / reassurance about cluster feeding twins

(19 Posts)
ZippysMum Tue 03-Nov-09 17:07:02

Hi all,
Just looking for your experiences and advice. I have twin boys, nearly 7 weeks old. They have been breastfed since they were 2 and 3 days old (they were tubefed formula for 2 days in NICU due to low blood sugar but have been EBF since then).

The last week or so, the larger twin has been cluster feeding - doesn't even want to sleep during the day, just wants to feed all the time. Twin 2 looks like this is starting too - the last 3 or 4 days I have been bf all day, a baby on each side.

Problem is, I'm shattered and hoping you'll be able to advise. Today, straight after an hour long feed on the back of a whole morning on the breast, DH took the boys out in the car for 2 hours so I could get some sleep. I feel awful but I am up much of the night with them both and just desperate for some sleep!

I know they cluster feed to increase supply - Am I going to compromise my milk supply by restricting the cluster feeding by 2 hours a day? I feel awful by letting dh take the boys out so I can't hear them, but I really need the rest, and my bbs also need a break - I am still battling thrush and I am supposed to apply cream 3 x a day - but I rarely get time when I am not feeding with them! Boys both having heaps of wet and dirty nappies. Good weight gains.

Also, can you reassure me tha this won't be for ever? I am soooo hungry and tired!

Many thanks.

shock well done!
DS cluster fed in evening only
can't imagine that a 2 hour break in a whole day will compromise your supply

APOLOGIES for saying weell done twice but am in awe

What a lovely DH you have for taking them away so you can rest. I'm sure you won't effect your supply and it will probably help to get a proper couple of hours sleep. Eat as much as you feel you need and drink lots and give yourself a huge pat on the back for the amazing job you are doing with your DTs. It will get better they are probably going through 6 week growth spurt which is mega. My sister is in hospital at the moment having her 33 week twin boys monitored and will be there until they are born.

The feeding will slowly get easier. 12 weeks is a big turning point and by 4 months I felt like my DCs were starting to feed at regular intervals.

Rest well grin

BertieBotts Tue 03-Nov-09 17:26:02

Wow - you are doing amazingly well. I think 2 hours would be fine (am not an expert though). They may be building up your supply to go through a growth spurt, which will hopefully mean they sleep a bit more soon.

It definitely won't be forever either way Are you able to feed them lying down at all so you can get some sleep? Even feeding one at a time, if that is possible. Or one either side propped up on cushions.

Some good bf food is the new Innocent veg pots - they heat up in the microwave in about 4 minutes and you can eat them one handed, they're really filling. Make sure you have lots of bottles of water within reach everywhere as well.

ZippysMum Tue 03-Nov-09 17:41:29

excuse typing - one handed!

many thanks for your encouragement. good tip about the veg pots! I am v thirsty so I'm drinking lots of water.

The boys are back from their drive and glugging away again - it is good to hear it going down - when they feed all day it doesn't seem like there's enough milk iyswim.

I am holding my nerve but my mum keeps suggesting formula top-ups. i know this will compromise my supply so i'm repeating the "this too will pass" mantra, and I'm growing roots on the sofa!

MarsLady Tue 03-Nov-09 17:52:40

I'm very proud of you zippy. You've come a long way since the early days. Good for you!

Don't forget about breast compression and yes it's good that your DH takes the babes so that you can get a decent amount of sleep.

Remember... all offers of help should be accepted, esp the ones that allow you to sleep.

1stMrsF Wed 04-Nov-09 15:13:19

Well done on getting this far - just a few more weeks and it gets easier I promise. I am still fully bf my 6 month old twins. Try to ban your mother from saying stuff about top ups - it's much easier to keep going if those around you support your decision to bf. The first 8 weeks or so I seemed to be feeding the twins all the time, but I did get a bit more time between feeds from then and then there was another step change at 10/11 weeks. From about 6 weeks mine would sometimes sleep for 3 hours at at time so 2 hours to let you get some rest should be fine - you will also have a chance to make some milk so there will be plenty for them at the next feed. Try not to worry about not having enough milk, supply and demand is a clever thing! Getting enough time to rest, eat and drink is very important. I recommend a v big sports drink bottle and bagels a-plenty!

StealthPolarBear Thu 05-Nov-09 09:05:03

how are you doing ZM?

ZippysMum Thu 05-Nov-09 11:17:09

Hi Stealth, thanks for asking! smile

Still feeling a bit sorry for myself - the thrush in by bbs seems to be flaring up again and last night after I had fed the DTs and DT1 wouldn't go back to sleep I had to draft DH in to sort him out as I was so grumpy I just couldn't deal with it. Feel like a pants mummy sad.

last night was the first time I really have thought "nuts to this, I've had enough! Bring out the formula". Thing is, I've been so gung ho that I would EBF till 6 months that I am too stubborn to back down now. I am soooo tired though. DH is being wonderful, as ever. Heard him saying to DT1 "When mummy's happy, everybody's happy", and it made me feel sad that I'm bringing everyone down by feeling a bit rubbish.

Anyway, enough self pity. It will all seem much better after some sleep and I'm hoping to rope Granny in to take the boys for a walk later so I can get some zzzzzzzs.

Thanks again for asking smile

NotQuiteSoBigBird Thu 05-Nov-09 11:39:35

Just wanted to say hang in there, Zippy - I remember 6/7 weeks being the worst time for us but also with hindsight a small turning point. After the growth spurt had subsided and my supply had caught up, things were easier. I did succumb to one formula feed for my DTs from this time, and TBH I wish I hadn't - my supply was never quite enough and I do wonder now if the formula caused that. Try to hold your nerve, you are doing so well.

And don't beat yourself up about being tired, of course you will be, you are human. If the worst you do is wish your babies would go back to sleep in the night, you're frankly a saint. grin

NotQuiteSoBigBird Thu 05-Nov-09 11:40:59

Just re-read that and it looks contradictory - my supply never seemed quite enough but the cluster feeding definitely lessened after that growth spurt - does that make sense? hmm

StealthPolarBear Thu 05-Nov-09 13:41:47

i agree, you both sound fantastic parents
would love to say something trite like keep going it'll get better (and i believe it will) but i've never fed twins so what do i know hope the weathers good there too & granny has a LONG walk

teddymummy Thu 05-Nov-09 13:51:39

I fed my DT and well done for keeping with it! I know how you feel. Just make sure you follow all the advice here and drink lots of water, eat, rest and forget about housework- just do the bare essentials to survive!! It is still very early days and it will get easier - it really will. Sounds like they are about to have a bit growth spurt and they need to take on lots of calories- your body will catch up. And you are very lucky to have such a supportive DH. Having twins is not easy and it tests the strongest relationships because it it so relentless. but it is a wonderful thing to have them, very special!

StealthPolarBear Thu 05-Nov-09 13:59:42

tm, i really hope you fed both of them!

ZippysMum Thu 05-Nov-09 14:27:13

Thanks NotQuiteSoBigBird

It's really interesting that this was a tricky time for you and your twins too. The comment about 'hold your nerve' is exactly how I feel! Like I have to keep 'thinking happy thoughts' to keep in the air like in Peter Pan!

Have had an hour and a half's sleep and I'm feeling more chipper. DT1 has just slept for 5 hours shock and I've woken him up now and I'm feeding him. Hope he also sleeps tonight - maybe this is the week of cluster feeding translating into some accelerated growth for him. DT2 not asleep, though!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with introducing a formula feed - that's what I'm worried about; it lessening my supply. With enough sleep (!) I definitely want to avoid that - breastfeeding is no nice and so convenient when it's going well1 smile.

I am so hoping for a better night tonight!

ZippysMum Thu 05-Nov-09 14:31:38

Ooh! x-posts!

thanks Stealth and teddymummy

I am going to try to take one feed at a time, and hopefully, before I know it, this bad patch will have passed.

And the eating lots thing is great and some consolation - Dh and I polished off a whole ginger loaf between us in one sitting last night (with double cream blush), and this morning I've lost 2 lbs! grin

teddymummy Thu 05-Nov-09 14:38:31

oh yes, i remember now that the best bit about feeding twins is that you can eat anything and everything and still lose weight!!and yes I did feed them both! now strapping 4 year olds- and still eating all the time!

StealthPolarBear Thu 05-Nov-09 14:42:59

glad to hear it - assumed you meant DTs!

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