Support for breastfeeding twins in south London(14 Posts)
My dear friend has just given birth to twin girls by c section, at 36 weeks. She would very much like to breastfeed them but is encountering various difficulties.
Both girls are pretty small and one spent time in scbu due to blood sugar issues. So far they have been mix fed but both have latch issues, the smaller one in particular.
Support in the hospital was patchy, and she has only just got home so is not sure what support there is in the community.
Does anyone know of any breastfeeding support or lactation consultants in the south (southeast) London area who might be able to help? And who preferably could do a home visit? she could really do with some practical support to get feeding going, advice about expressing or combined feeding and some emotional support too, as her confidence has been knocked by everything.
I am cross posting this in breastfeeding.
(she knows I am posting on her behalf- her hands are pretty full at the moment! )
Breast feeding is tricky, breast feeding twins is an art form but once you get it, it is well worth it!
Don't know of any consultants in London sorry but having breat fed twins one thing i can recommend is a twin feeding cushion for once it does start working. it makes it much easier to get them into the 'rugby ball position'.
I got one a bit like this
from one of the twins sites I think. it was brilliant- you can keep biscuits in one pocket and the remote in the other! but most of all it makes it possible to have both twins snuggle into you at the same time. other wise it was like a juggling act! (and I sold it on for not much less than I paid)
I wish your friend the best of luck and hope she gets someone to come and help her out- maybe try through the health visitor? (I got excellent support though the hospital who had special twin feeding classes)
and if she does get it sorted one advantage of feeding twins is you lose any baby weight twice as fast.
And keep doing what you are doing and be very good friend to her...twin mums need all the help they can get. it's exhausting. my MIL used to take the washing away and bring it back done. it was a godsend.
TAMBA has breastfeeding support. I don't know if she's a member or not. It's the Twins and Multiple Birth Association. Well worth the membership for the support they provide.
Thanks for the replies. I think she is a tamba member so I will suggest that.
Minkembra, I wish I could do more! Sadly I live a long way away so my support can only be virtual for the time being.
Thanks again for reading and replying!
I've just bought "mothering multiples" which has tons of info. Might be a bit of an overload at this point but maybe for a little while in the future.
Also do try the local NCT - certainlybthe BFC that i saw as part of my course was available after either over the phone or at local groups.
Wish her all the best!
Whereabouts is she? There are several twins clubs - Greenwich and Lewisham meet weekly and have a Facebook page where she could get in touch.
Katie Fisher and Jill Dye are names that frequently come up on the East Dulwich forum.
I think their contact details are in this thread.
I just wanted to send a message of support, as I was in your friend's position and had so many difficulties at the beginning. I think it is made more complicated by the fact that so many twin mums don't breastfeed so hvs are not really used it, nor do you meet other twin mums bfng. I had to remind my hv at 4 months that I was bfng the twins as she just assumed I wasn't...and kept saying things like when you give him/her the bottle before bed x y and z... (re sleep patterns etc)
However, it can be done, and the most inspiring person I met along the way feeding twins tried not to worry about timings, routines etc, whereas there was I clockwatching, trying to make a perfect plan, measuring feeds etc. The more they feed and the stronger they are the better they get at latching, so even if they need formula in early days (and mine did for jaundice and loss of birth weight etc, milk not in for a week etc etc)
Don't beat yourself up about mixed feeding ever and remember even IF they only get half breast and half formula so what? They are still getting the benefits of some breastmilk, and you are getting pleasure of feeding in the longterm. But I think you have to see breastfeeding as the goal. I found that you can change the amount of milk they get just by upping feeds slowly and surely and increasing "demand" on your supply,even if it is counsel of perfection to ebf singletons. By the time mine were on solids at six months they were only getting breastfeeds for their milk intake (apart from some formula in cereal at breakfast). Before that they were mixed fed formula and breast. I accept now that the difficulties I had contributed to mixed feeding, not everyone needs to mixed feed but in my case that was what happened.
Practical tips. Get a very very comfortable feeding station set up both upstairs and downstairs with everything next to you, entertainment, place to put fed baby down, support under arms so you can tandem feed without having to hold both babies up in the air with your own arms, very tiring and draining.
Make sure someone is there to help you in early weeks when you are first tackling feeds, as part of problem is the burping, dealing with other baby crying when trying to tackle latching first. Also do mixture of tandem feeds and singleton feeds, both have their advantages in emergencies.
And be prepared for everything to be difficult in first ten weeks. Expect nothing to go well, colic reflux sleep patterns.
But it can be done. Bon Courage to your friend. P.S. Clare Byam Cook is not much loved by mumsnetters but she was a source of advice to me on latching even if her other advice not so helpful. She is in Putney I think or was 10 years ago.
The other thing to remember about twins is that because you are producing double the amount, even if you feel your supply is not so good, it will still be equivalent to half the feeds, and one baby can always stimulate the supply if the other baby is not latching on. Also the first six weeks is a crucial time for establishing supply so if you can work hard at feeding then and not resort to lots of formula even when going gets tough it will pay off later. But if one baby just doesn't latch at all (which is what happened to me for first six weeks of his life) at least there is a supply to go back to, if and when he/she does latch. My baby son came down with a virus at 6weeks and this gave me the will to try much harder latching him on, and from then he breastfed. The same thing happened at night. He was being bottlefed at night by my husband, but my husband suddenly cracked and brought him to me because the baby was so unsettled and colicky, and I just started breastfeeding him at night too. That was at six/seven weeks. It took that long to get breastfeeding started with THAT baby.
I was really lucky, one of the maternity nurses in the hospital was a bf twin mum who gave me tops tips.
They also had prenatal twin feeding classes and post natal drop in.
I also used to express on one side while feeding the other twin and cup feed them.
As for good friendship even bring on the end of the phone to talk helps. if she ever has time!
Have you tried the BfN, the Breastfeeding Network? I am in Tower Hamlets so they are particularly active here, and I did get a home visit.
Breastfeeding twins is straightforward once you are in the swing of it and there are no latching problems, but if even one of them has issues then it is so, so much more complicated and time consuming, let alone if both of them have them.
If there are people in SE London, then they may be willing to do home visits as it is acknowledged that it is much more difficult (impossible) for a multiple mum of teeny tiny babies to get out to a support group on time.
If you breast fed yourself then I think any time you can give will be a help, as your experience is relevant. The basics of skin to skin, keep putting them to the breast, keeping well fed and watered, relaxing etc all apply and that is the sort of thing you can help with by being able to sort her out with pillows, hand her stuff, hold a baby, wind a baby, change a nappy, chat to her and keep her spirits up.
Mine were bigger than hers, but in the early days I managed to do a 24 hour stint of skin to skin with lots of servants doing everything for me. I won't go into it here unless you want further info, but it was quite nice and relaxing.
Thank you for all these replies. I will let her know that more has been added to the thread.
I wish was near enough to be a practical support for her but I will continue to do what i can from a distance. I think that knowing that strangers on the Internet care enough to post will be heartening for her
Having babies is hard!
Sorry, I know this may be too late, but Katherine Fisher helped my sister and a couple of friends of a friend. She doesn't do home visits though I don't think. My sister went to see her in Croydon and found her very useful. She's not a miracle worker (at least not for my sister), but she really did make a big difference. The other thing which made a massive difference was taking the baby to see a cranio-osteopath, which had immediate effects.
Fisher's details are on the internet, but I'll repeat them here:
Name: Katherine Fisher
Area covered: London and adjoining Kent and Surrey London Boroughs
Tel: 07949 176776
And the cranial-osteopath is called Simon Grayling and is based in Wandsworth and Colliers Wood. http://www.sw19osteopaths.com/index.html If you google him, you should find some rave reviews. He really was close to being a miracle worker! My sister's baby refused to feed at all off the breast and immediately after the session fed for 45 mins!
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