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caesarians and breast feeding twins

(22 Posts)
hannah001 Mon 25-Aug-08 17:24:40

I asked this question on the "pregnancy" board - but as I'm expecting twins - I'd be interested to hear from the ladies here too. I'm expecting twins next month - and the consultant seems to be persuading me to have a c-section. I want to breast feed - but I'm worried that this will make my milk come through late - can I hear some stories from ladies who had a cs and how it affected breast feeding twins?

accessorizequeen Mon 25-Aug-08 20:09:19

Bumping for you, hannah (expecting dt's next month too!). I've had a section and a VBAC, made no difference to how long it took my milk to come through btw. I found it harder with the section because I couldn't manoevre myself very well, but milk supply was the same and don't see why different for twins although of course a great deal harder. I would have thought extra support for you (e.g. people to bring you the babies, bf counsellor) would help a lot. Why is consultant recommending section, you don't sound convinced?

hannah001 Mon 25-Aug-08 20:20:24

Thanks for the words of support - good to know you managed it and it didn't make any difference to when the milk came through.

Twin 1 is cephalic and twin 2 is breech - (also I've already got one DD - natural birth) - from everything I've read, they normally attempt natural birth if twin 1 is cephalic - but the consultants here (Portsmouth) don't seem to think it's a good idea and are talking about "risk if entrapment" (or was it entanglement - I can't remember) - anyhoo - I don't want to argue with them as they're the experts - I'm just a bit fed up about it.

How are yours presenting? And what sort of birth are you aiming for?

kitstwins Mon 25-Aug-08 21:26:40

I think they prefer to give caesareans for twins just because it makes it easier for them - in the sense that they can control the birth and the likelihood is that there will be fewer surprises. Certainly, I know a lot of twin mums in real life (9 of us) and we all had caesareans. Some were emergencies and some for medical reasons, but there were also some that were just advised to "reduce risk". All well and good, and when someone tells you that when you're pregnant with twins it's very hard not to feel backed into a corner and suddenly paranoid about things going wrong. But after the caesarean, you're the one stuck at home with knackered abdominals, a grim scar and newborn twins to take care of. It's no picnic.

However, that's me on my soapbox. I'd have loved to avoid a caesarean (sadly not possible as I had placenta praevia of twin 1 which led to lots of bleeds and an emergency section at 35 weeks) - not because I felt a burning desire to experience birth but more because I realised that newborn twins and a caesarean recovery would be no picnic. And it wasn't.

Having ranted at length though, I had no problems with milk supply. I had a bells and whistles traumatic caesarean (failed epidural, general anaesthetic, heavy blood loss, healing issues, etc., etc.) and my milk POURED out of me - from around day 3 or 4. It can delay it slightly, but I didn't find that it did and I couldnt' do any of the things that can help it along (skin to skin contact is supposed to help jolly along your milk supply).

Kx

kitstwins Mon 25-Aug-08 21:27:16

I think they prefer to give caesareans for twins just because it makes it easier for them - in the sense that they can control the birth and the likelihood is that there will be fewer surprises. Certainly, I know a lot of twin mums in real life (9 of us) and we all had caesareans. Some were emergencies and some for medical reasons, but there were also some that were just advised to "reduce risk". All well and good, and when someone tells you that when you're pregnant with twins it's very hard not to feel backed into a corner and suddenly paranoid about things going wrong. But after the caesarean, you're the one stuck at home with knackered abdominals, a grim scar and newborn twins to take care of. It's no picnic.

However, that's me on my soapbox. I'd have loved to avoid a caesarean (sadly not possible as I had placenta praevia of twin 1 which led to lots of bleeds and an emergency section at 35 weeks) - not because I felt a burning desire to experience birth but more because I realised that newborn twins and a caesarean recovery would be no picnic. And it wasn't.

Having ranted at length though, I had no problems with milk supply. I had a bells and whistles traumatic caesarean (failed epidural, general anaesthetic, heavy blood loss, healing issues, etc., etc.) and my milk POURED out of me - from around day 3 or 4. It can delay it slightly, but I didn't find that it did and I couldnt' do any of the things that can help it along (skin to skin contact is supposed to help jolly along your milk supply).

glamourbadger Mon 25-Aug-08 22:25:17

I was really upset when I was forced to have a c-section for my twins but it turned out to be a very easy procedure. I healed up amazingly quickly - I was discharged on day 2 and by day 3 was able to run up and down the stairs at home. No problem with my milk supply, came in as normal. It's probably not the PC thing to say but I would definitely opt for another section if I was given the choice again! Like any medical procedure it depends on so many variables - you hear of positive and negative experiences with sections and natural births. It's difficult to plan for a twin birth, I think you just have to take it as it comes . Best of luck with it x

accessorizequeen Mon 25-Aug-08 22:47:11

I'm surprised to hear that your dr suggesting a section if twin1 head down and presumably can't move as you're, what, 36 weeks+ now? I'm nearly 35 weeks and I was clearly told several times by mw & consultant that if twin1 was head down I could go for VB. And I've had a section already which complicates things. I was under the impression that even if twin2 is head down when you go into labour, they often turn breech once first twin delivers so they may have to turn it anyway, which my dr wasn't phased by so clearly has the experience.
Both dt's are head down, so I've been given go ahead for VB.
Whilst your dr can 'recommend' you have an elective, it's your birth and your babies so if you feel that you ought to be able to try for a VB as you've already had, you could certainly argue for that. The worry would seem to be that your dr doesn't want to turn the 2nd breech twin, or lacks experience in doing so (or wouldn't trust midwives to do so). This may differ from consultant to consultant, if you ask an experience mw there you'll get the lowdown on which consultant favours sections etc & could poss. switch consultants. I did this after first baby (section) and got a consultant who is far more supportive of VBAC.

lulururu Tue 26-Aug-08 07:07:56

my twins were twin1 head down and twin2 transverse and they told me to expect to possibly need an epidural after twin1 was born so that they could manually turn twin2 but a manual turn wasn't necessary, once twin1 was out, twin2 had enough room and stretched out and spun around so VB was possible for both and i was happy to avoid a c-section.

i was offered a c-section all the way through my pregnancy as an option but wasn't forced to. was pretty much forced to have an induction though which they convinced me would help avoid a c-section as i was already overdue so making it over 40wks is possible. i'd ask for a second opinion on having to have a section, it might just be their lack of experience in turning a second baby like another poster has said.

hannah001 Tue 26-Aug-08 08:25:16

Thanks everyone.

35 weeks now - and been told they're unlikely to move. It sounds, from kitstwins, as if I probably got my hopes up a bit too high - I read "Double Trouble" (amongst others) - and she's waffling on about natural birth and twins - I think she even had a homebirth - but then I think she's rich and had a posh independant midwife.

Ah well - I appreciate it's my birth accessorizequeen - but if something goes wrong and I haven't taken medical advice - I'd feel pretty awful.

MerryMarigold Tue 26-Aug-08 13:12:58

hope all goes well for you hannah. am reading with interest as I'm now 29weeks and wondering what kind of birth I'm gonna have. Can't decide! But no advice from docs as yet, as I assume babies can still move. Yeah, the double trouble woman did seem a WEE bit loaded didn't she?! (and therefore a little bit hard to take seriously...).

frumpygrumpy Tue 26-Aug-08 18:35:02

I'm copying this into our daily thread for more advice..............

ItsMrsMommaFeelGoodToYou Tue 26-Aug-08 20:17:35

Message withdrawn

MERLYPUSS Tue 26-Aug-08 20:21:23

I had mine at 37+5 (pre eclampsia). I was having elec C/S at 38 wks but never made it. I was very poorly afterwards as I have endometriosis (sp) and fibroids (which they only found when I was unzipped). I lost a huge amount of blood and spent a whilst on high dependency. I was so anaemic that everytime I tried to get out of bed I nearly passed out. I was let out on day 4 and my milk had not come in til day 5/6. I had other reasons why they are now FF but I did combination feed for 4 months. I had real difficulties positioning the boys at the same time so fed them singly. But that was nothing to do with having a sore belly.
Whatever you do I really hope it goes well for you. Twins are fab.

ScummyMummy Tue 26-Aug-08 20:26:09

hi there- i found a section and breastfeeding totally doable. Good luck.

MarsLady Wed 27-Aug-08 00:31:36

I had a c-birth and exclusively bf my DTs till they were 18 months.

I have had clients that have had c-births and breastfed their babies.

Because its DTs you'll need a pillow to help you hold them both (so that you can tandem feed), this will protect your scar from any knocks.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of consultants who routine suggest a c-birth for twins. I have clients who have given birth to DTs naturally on gas and air. I had my c-birth as mine were a transverse lie with presenting cord... no options there then.

It saddens me that so many women are scared into having c-births for their twins when a vaginal birth is better for all concerned. there are stories here and information to help you with your choice

Come join us on the d'y ever threads. Lots of breastfeeding advice to be found on MN. Look out, particularly, for TikTok and Hunkermunker. How Breastfeeding Works is another good site for information and of course us multimums are here for you to.

Congratulations by the way and well done for getting to 35wks! grin

mumoftwinz Wed 27-Aug-08 16:36:46

I had a section (which i found took a lot out of me and long time to recover) but milk production was no problem. Getting them to latch was...but thats another story. So I would express and they would take the bottle to the fridge down the hall. The midwives were all joking 'spot the bottle from the twin mum' as quantity was so much! Just as you would expect really, 2 babies twice the milk!

rubyloopy Mon 01-Sep-08 11:00:42

Message withdrawn

PazzaPlusTwo Thu 04-Sep-08 02:44:06

Hello

My lovely scrummy DT girls are 4 weeks and exclusively BF grin and growing well grin grin yes I am proud of myself!!

I had a planned CS at 36+5 as twins were breech/transverse, went really well, recovered easily. Got helped with skin-to-skin and BF in Recovery room straight after and midwives helped with positioning. Midwives would get babes out of crib and help me BF them, day and night. Lots of attention because of twins grin and hospital very pro-BF. Milk came in on day 3 - ouch! So much milk! No problem at all.

I was told that the process that makes the milk come in happens the same regardless of whether it's a VB or CS - once the babes and placentas are out it's triggered. So it shouldnt be a factor in deciding VB or CS. I think it is more an issue of how much help and support you get just to give you confidence and assistance in the first days to get thru any problems.

I didnt find BF painful as girls were in my arms higher than scar. Scar wasnt very painful anyway, I did feel weak but so did the VB mums on the ward! I was home on day 4 and loving the fact I wasnt allowed near the kettle, hoover, frying pan ... anything heavier than a chocolate bar grin

Good luck hope it goes well x

hannah001 Thu 04-Sep-08 09:17:14

Thanks everyone - I'm feeling quite reassured now. I shall update to let you know how it goes!

thenapper Fri 12-Sep-08 08:38:39

I know I'm late adding in but I thought all support helps!
I had a c-section at 38 weeks (breech) and felt like a whale. I think my abs had packed up at about 35 weeks and had to wallow around to get up or plop onto my hands and knees from the sofa and then drag myself up grin. The CS experience was great and the midwives sorted out my gown before going into theatre to allow for skin to skin (taking into account driplines etc). No problem breast feeding afterwards but I did take my feeding pillow into hospital with me. The reason I mentioned about the crap abs was that once the twins were born (7lb each), suddenly I could move again! The scar didn't seem to make any difference to feeding at all. I hope all is going well. You're doing so well. I have a pic on profile of them from my view!

hannah001 Mon 15-Sep-08 13:43:10

Back from hospital

I went for a scan at 36wks+6 and the consultant thought I should be induced asap (growth had slowed). This consultant was one I hadn't seen before AND he recommended having a natural birth! So I got to go through the wonders of labour again - which only lasted 2 hours before the twins came flying out - the midwife had no problems delivering Thomas who was breech.

But back to breastfeeding - as the twins are a bit early, the didn't really want to suckle - so I used the hospital expressing thingy to stimulate milk production which came through at day 2-3. So now I AM breastfeeding - but have to express too as they are a bit too small to feed on demand so I have to ram it down their throats every 3 hours some way or other.

Soooooooo - thanks everyone for all the info

Leoloopydoo Tue 16-Sep-08 14:44:26

Congratulations!

I had my dts at 36/6. They also struggled to feed and were getting weaker and weaker, I spoon fed (dripped milk off teaspoon into their mouths) them with expressed milk in between breastfeeding. It took about 3 days of doing this for them to get strong enough to able to take enough from the breast themselves. Hang in there!

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