Just wondering how long you breastfed your twins, or what your plans are for feeding if you're pregnant? If that's not too nosy! I bf DS solely until 4 months and then mix fed until 6. I was happy to give up, never really liked doing it and felt that I didn't get "me" back until I stopped. Had this been one baby I'd probably have tried to do the same, but I'm just not sure how I'll cope with feeding twins. I'd like to start breastfeeding, but trying not to put too much pressure on myself to do the same as I did before.
I tried. But one twin wouldn't latch and one made me bleed. Yeouch. Because of emcs my milk didn't come in for 5 days. My bf support workers were more than useless and I got no help. Different person each time with different opinions of how to do it. One at a time, 2 at a time. Not easy to do with a CS wound. Then I got a horrible infection and had to go on really strong anti-bs which meant I had to ff. It works brilliantly for us. Now. We feed every 4 hours, my Dh can share the feeds and they are thriving and sleep through. But the guilt is still there.
I think I'll just give up quickly if there's no decent support available. It was tough enough getting started with one, never mind another who needs feeding and a toddler who needs attention. When H is on paternity leave it might be easier, but once he goes back I'm on my own. I had a horrendous time getting started last time so hoping that previous experience will help a bit this time.
Hi quesadillas, I'm BFing my 16.5 week old twins.
It's not easy but I think that everything with twins is a bit trickier! The fact that you've breastfed before will stand to you in the early days and weeks.
I breastfed DS1 until he was 13 months and I really think this helped with encouraging my milk to come in much quicker with the twins even though I had an EMCS with them.
I highly recommend the book "Mothering Multiples" by Karen Gromada. It's really reassuring.
Lots of HCPs believe you can't breastfeed multiples but you absolutely can.
There's a great Facebook page called "Breastfeeding Twins and Triplets UK" which has some amazing stories and experiences on it. It shows that there really is no "right way" to breastfeed multiples but that it is possible to EBF, combination feed, express some feeds etc etc.
Good luck and congrats on your twins!
16.5 weeks, that's brilliant! Last time I used to take it one week at a time. I think this time it'll have to be one day at a time. I see myself mix feeding quite early on, but I'd like to continue some breastfeeding for a couple of months ideally. Ideally, I'd like to have them have the same as their older brother, but I really don't think I should put that pressure on myself.
At least it'll be autumn and winter for their first few months so I won't feel the need to be going out too often! I can sit on the sofa, relax (with twins? Ha!) and see how it goes.
Hi. I found the hospital staff and HVs assumed I would bottle feed my twins and offered no real encouragement or practical advice. We were put on a horrible strict 3 hourly regime of attempt to bf for no longer than 15 mins then give a formula top up. Looking back I'm not convinced this was necessary - they were quite small but not prem and did not spend any time in scbu. At about 10 days I managed to spend some time with a very experienced bf counsellor for a couple of supervised feeds. Without that would have given up on bf. I then had the confidence to cut out the top ups and bf on demand, but kept an evening bottle which my DH could do so I could have a break (and sleep). Dropped that after about 3 months and EBF for a while. Started using formula for some daytime feeds at about 5months and stopped bf completely I think at about 8 months. It was so much tougher than I expected, but glad I stuck with it. For me, the few early weeks constant bf felt far less stressful than dealing with sterilising etc. You have done it before so at least you know what to expect to a certain extent, but like a lot of things it's just that little bit more complicated with twins (never mind also toddler to deal with!) There are probably a million ways to go about bf/mix feeding twins and you won't really know what strategy is going to suit you and your family until they are born, so I'd say do your research as much as you can beforehand, e.g. try and drop into a bf cafe type thing to speak to someone about tandem feeding positions. Arm yourself with the information now so you can try out different things and make the best decisions for your family in the midst of the newborn fog. Not putting too much pressure on yourself is a good mindset, enjoy your babies :-)
I'm 19 weeks pregnant with DCDA twins so no firsthand experience yet. But I spoke to my childhood paediatrician about feeding twins and she advised EBF from the word go. That way other people can take over while I sleep. She also said not to worry about it doesn't work because with twins things aren't as straightforward. So I'm looking into hiring a hospital grade breast pump and seeing how it goes. DH has been informed that if it doesn't work, I will be buying a Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine because the thought of having to go downstairs to make bottles at night is that unappealing.
It's definitely a good idea to take it one small step at a time - I took it one feed at a time in the early dash and now I have little goals for myself. The next one is 4 months which we are very nearly at so I'm very proud of myself and my little men!
There are so many ways that twins enter the world, and lots of them do come early, so the best thing (I think) is to be open to everything and see how things go for you.
For our family, it just worked so much better that I do the nights with the twins because my DH takes over my DS1 once he comes in from work and will settle him in the night if needs be.
Also, to give you some positivity, one of my twins sleeps 8-10 hours at night! The other guy doesn't but he will do a 5-6 hour stretch so I am getting some sleep and everything is easier when you get to sleep.
Hi I bf my twins for 13 months however I was given very little encouragement from midwives etc, some just assumed I'd bottle feed and the rest assumed that because I'd fed DS1 that I wouldn't need any help or advice at all. I'm very lucky that I bf DS1 for 11 months so it wasn't such a steep learning curve as it could have been though and the boys were both good feeders from the beginning.
My advice would be to get a good nursing pillow for twins (I literally could not have done it without my pillow!) and learn to tandem feed as early as possible. I also made sure that I always fed them both together, even if that meant waking one, so that their schedules remained the same.
I breastfed for over a year, started from mixed feeding as it took a while for my milk to come in after emergency CS. I reckon you have to be pretty determined to do it but I'm sure that having breastfed one baby will help. The best advice I got was not to quit on the worst day. I agree with advice above re tandem feeding, pillow and taking it one step at a time.
Glad to hear that several of you have managed it successfully. I admit, it's not something I'm looking forward to, but I'll just have to see what happens. I might try in advance to see if I can find a bf consultant anywhere who specialises in twins, get some advice.
One day at a time, one day at a time......
I managed it, but only with help from a bf advisor and la leche league. I found it very difficult for the first few months, but well worth it in the long run. Worth anticipating problems and reading up while pregnant, as the la leche book I had sorted out lots of my issues.
Bluskies at your pediatrician she suggesting the hardest part of both situations. Expressing means you have to clean and sterlies all the equipment. Rather then sleeping you will need to be pumping while some else feeds your babies. Expressing regularly is important to establish a good supply and keep it going plus not all women manage to express successfully.
I had a friend who EBF her twins for over six months. One baby couldn't latch due to a server tounge tie. She gave up when she realised she was still getting up in the night to express but her babies where sleeping through. I think her supply dropped off quickly after that.
I think it's great that you're going to try to find some support in advance. Although my twins were born at 37 weeks, they fell asleep any time I tried to feed them and lost quite a lot of weight early on. We ended up back in hospital, topping up with formula, and after that I was never able to get on with exclusively breastfeeding. I mix fed until about eight weeks and now we're on solely on formula. It has benefits, inasmuch as my husband does Friday nights so I can catch up on some sleep, but I had intended to exclusively breastfeed so I'm disappointed that it didn't work out. I wish that I'd had some additional support in those early days, even if someone had suggested using formula to stabilise their blood sugars and wake them up a bit before their weight loss has got so extreme.
Also, if you can express before they're born, definitely try. I could have expressed colostrum if someone had properly shown me how, and I think that would have helped.
I exclusively breastfed mine for well over a year. It was very hard work but I am (quietly) so proud of myself for doing it. I didn't get much outside support, everyone just assumed I'd give but my 'idealistic notions' about breastfeeding twins very quickly. I only kept going (through cracks, mastitis and thrush) because I am deeply stubborn and my DH was brilliantly supportive.
My DH found this wonderful book when I was struggling at 9 weeks and it made all the difference:
Mothering Multiples by Karen Kirk Gromada
It has pictures of feeding positions for twins and I really can't recommend it highly enough.--it is tiny bit American though--
I breastfed mine for a year. Separately not tandem. However these were first born - not sure I could done it with a toddler. I.did them separate cos they were quick and it meant precious one to one time. I found most ppl told me I wouldn't be able to bf which spurred me on as stubborn. Also tight and I didn't want to spend £100pcm on formula. Also lazy as I couldn't be bothered to get up for bottles. That said of you didn't enjoy it the first time round don't pressure yourself. do what's right for you. Congrats btw!
It may be worth getting in touch with the Infant Feeding Specialist at your hospital to see what support she can offer? A local IBCLC with experience of supporting a mother feeding twins? Local LLL leader and peer support - two mothers in my local group both feeding twins.
Good luck OP!
I mix fed my twins until 11 months - a mixture of breast, expressed milk and formula from about 4 days old.
Hospital were generally very unsupportive of bf and encouraged formula top ups from day 1 which I resisted but when they did the 4 day weigh in and DS had lost 11%, I was pretty much forced into formula. DD was very tiny despite being full term and they gave her formula through a feeding tube without even asking me (I was in recovery after CS for several hours and didn't see her until she was 12 hours old). But when we got home I persevered and eventually got to the stage of only 1 bottle of formula each, expressed milk for night feeds and breast fed for the rest.
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