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Not sure if I can keep on bf twin one 4 months, all confused (very long!)

(20 Posts)
accessorizequeen Sat 24-Jan-09 21:34:53

I am considering giving up feeding dt1 (ds3) as I am finding feeding him so unenjoyable, stressful and he just doesn't seem satisfied. He's now waking several times in the night, when he was going through to at least 4 or 5 before christmas. He's also feeding for longer and longer, up to an hour for nearly every feed now without actually seeming happy and satisfied with it, just fussing and coming off and looking very hungry! He feeds about 7 times over 24 hours, although this includes at least 8oz of formula, sometimes more at 5am when I've been up for hours feeding him and he's still not happy.

He was diagnosed with reflux about 3 weeks ago and the gaviscon has reduced his fussing and vomiting quite a lot, he does seem somewhat happier. But all in all his feeding is making me unhappy, and it's ruling the rest of the family by default - everything revolves around him at the moment and dd (dt2) not really getting much of a look-in. I also spend so much time dealing with him that neither twin is getting fun time and my other 2 ds's (5 & 2) are being ignored a lot too. The whole family is suffering and I'm not sure that breastfeeding him is worth this as I get no joy from doing it for him (I do with dd,it's lovely).

I fear I have brought this upon myself by supplementing from day one and using more formula lately in an effort to just get through the days and nights without screaming/collapsing/developing pnd. He seems to have got used to the bottle and the way formula fills him up, can this be right? I've done everything wrong really, they both have bottles, dummies and I use nipple shields because I have flat nipples and nothing brings them out.

His sister is still v.happy bfeeding and has none of these issues, I really enjoy feeding her and wouldn't want to stop. But feeling very guilty about 'choosing' one twin over the other. I also think it would be easier to just bf both rather than bf one and bottle feed another, but I'm kind of at the end of my rope with this, I just want some peace and some sleep. I was coping quite well with everything (4 children under 5!) until he started waking in the night a lot and I feel as though he is starving although he is putting on weight, has wet nappies etc.

Could anyone help me sort through the issues here, please?

mummy2benji Sat 24-Jan-09 23:22:44

Firstly, don't beat yourself up! You sound like you're blaming yourself and you shouldn't, you've done really well to breastfeed up until now. Your babies are well and putting on weight, so they are healthy and happy which is the important thing. How you feed from now on is really not hugely significant, your babies have had all the goodness of your milk so far, and most of the vitamins and immunity come from the colostrum at the start, anyway.

The main thing to remember is that every baby is different - even with twins there is no guarantee that they will behave the same way or have the same feeding behaviour. One is happy with being breastfed, the other isn't finding it enough and you shouldn't feel at all guilty if you decide to solely bottlefeed that one. At the end of the day you need to find a feeding method that satisfies you as well as your babies, and if you are getting worn out and stressed and feeling low then that isn't helping you or your babies. They need a happy mummy! I have a friend who found it so easy to breastfeed her first 2 babies that she was asked to speak about it at NCT antenatal classes, then found she couldn't feed her next baby at all.

Whatever you do you mustn't feel guilty if you stop feeding one twin. I gave up breastfeeding after 10 days because I wasn't making enough milk, only I didn't realise initially because baby latched on and seemed to feed really well - I only realised when he stopped wetting nappies, lost a lot of weight and had to be readmitted to hospital with dehydration. I tried really hard to increase my milk by expressing all the time and it just got too much, I was so tired and fed up. I decided to solely formula feed and felt horribly guilty for ages, but he is so well and happy now that I'm glad I did. It is more important to feel content and relaxed and to bond with your baby. And you're not choosing one twin over the other at all, they simply have different feeding requirements.

Definitely chat to your health visitor about all this. I was scared when I decided to bottlefeed that the midwives would be disapproving, but they were really supportive about it all. You have nothing to be ashamed of, you've done fantastically!
Loluv xx

TeaSleepFood Sun 25-Jan-09 09:21:17

I agree with MTB, you have done really well! My DTS are 13 months now but I do remember a patch at about 4 months when they went through a growth spurt and seemed to be feeding constantly and it felt interminable. I too have DS and DD twins and noticed quite a boy/girl difference in the growth spurt. All babies ar e different and boy/girl differences are also there. It could be that his growth spurt is also coinciding with feeding actually becoming easier for him due to the gaviscon, so therefore more enjoyable to him. I don't know though: just a thought.
I started weaning at 5 1/2 months as DD was really grabby for my food and obviously wasn't satisfied with her milk alone. DS was just over 6 months when he started weaning, before this he still had a tongue thrust and so wasn't ready. I stopped BF at 11 months with DD, she self weaned as it wasn't coming quickly enough for her compared to her cup of water. I therefore had 2 weeks when I BF one and bottle fed the other. It wasn't easy but doable for sure. I did find it tricky to know what to do with bf just one baby grin

Sorry to ramble, I hope some of this helps. Do what you must for you and the sanity of your family!

chellimum Sun 25-Jan-09 21:34:45

Hey there god u are brave breastfeeding with 4 under 5. I have 4 under six and my twins are now one.............and how do u do it. I didnt breast feed as thought i wouldnt be able to spend enough time with the other kids if i was sat breast feeding all day so do feel guilty but well done to you. You have done well to manage up until 4 and half months. Can understand the guilt if you have one breastfeeding and one not but if he is happy then I suppose just go with it. Maybe your partner can become more involved feeding him. Although I didnt breatfeed I can understand how you can feel guilty if one is and the other isnt but once they both get onto solids properly then the what feels like constant feeding should fade away anyway when they become fuller with food. Maybe you can try and give your boy twin some more attention and hugs when your girl has been fed. With my boy twins one was more alert/demanding than the other and I felt guilty so i tried to make up to the other by giving him more attention and now they seem to have evened out. Bless them. Its all worth it in the end. Good Luck xsmile

chellimum Sun 25-Jan-09 21:34:48

Hey there god u are brave breastfeeding with 4 under 5. I have 4 under six and my twins are now one.............and how do u do it. I didnt breast feed as thought i wouldnt be able to spend enough time with the other kids if i was sat breast feeding all day so do feel guilty but well done to you. You have done well to manage up until 4 and half months. Can understand the guilt if you have one breastfeeding and one not but if he is happy then I suppose just go with it. Maybe your partner can become more involved feeding him. Although I didnt breatfeed I can understand how you can feel guilty if one is and the other isnt but once they both get onto solids properly then the what feels like constant feeding should fade away anyway when they become fuller with food. Maybe you can try and give your boy twin some more attention and hugs when your girl has been fed. With my boy twins one was more alert/demanding than the other and I felt guilty so i tried to make up to the other by giving him more attention and now they seem to have evened out. Bless them. Its all worth it in the end. Good Luck xsmile

fishiedewar Sun 25-Jan-09 21:40:56

accessorizequeen here is a blog by someone who has had the exact same situation as you, plus i think her ds has some sort of oesophagus (sp?) problem. floppy larynx?

i'll have a poke around and see which archive bits are pertinent, but since hers are about 13m now then a year ago seems likely.

thisisyesterday Sun 25-Jan-09 21:43:22

hi AQ, i just wanted to say a big well done to you as well, because you've done fabulously, and are still doing fabulously.

I just wantd to say that he is prime age for a growth spurt. they have a BIG one at 4 months (hence many mums weaning early) and it will settle down.

also, that giving up bf and formula feeding is absolutely no guarantee that he will stop waking at night or that he will be happier during feeds.

Personally I feel that breastfeeding can sometimes be a case of short-term pain for long-term gain.
ie, it IS hard during growth spurts, it really is and I feel for you because you have a lot on your plate.
BUT, formula feeding is more hassle long-term (IME) because you've always got bottles to wash and sterilise, you've got to remember to take stuff whenever you go out and it's harder to do at night.

whatever you choose to do is absolutely fine, you know that. you have to do what you feel is right for your family, I just wanted to point out that changing how he is fed will not necessarily change any of the other stuff that you're struggling with right now
<hugs>

fishiedewar Sun 25-Jan-09 21:47:37

march 08 but there is more later.

a friend of mine with twins could only get one to latch on and (in the absence of any decent bf support) decided it wasn't fair to give one bm and not the other. this just does seem to be the worst of all worlds to me, but i haven't had twins so what do i know?

thisisyesterday Sun 25-Jan-09 21:49:30

btw I also don't think 7 times in 24 hours is THAT much for a 4 month old. ds2 used to feed at least 12 times at that age lol

does he have formula before bed? just wondering because if you're thinking that it may help his sleep then you could trial it just by making his last 2 feeds formula or something??

accessorizequeen Mon 26-Jan-09 14:36:08

fishie, that blog looks really interesting, I shall read more when I have the opportunity!

thisisyesterday, I'm starting to remember that I struggled with ds2 at this point so maybe this is my feeding crisis point twins or not.

You're right, might not make a bit of difference to his sleeping. Sat night we did give him 2 bottles formula on the trot and he was awful, up until 10 whingeing with wind/reflux/whatever and then up at 11ish, 2ish and 4ish for feeding. Worst night in ages. So switching to bottle might make things worse in reality. Plus I cried half of saturday night at the thought of not feeding ds3 really. I'm not ready to give it up.

I keep reading elsewhere that you should do whatever you need to to get through with twins, and that's what I've been beating myself up about. I'm so hard on myself nearly all the time. I haven't actually admitted to myself or anyone else that it's quite tough really having 4 under 5 much less just dt's on their own! Not sure why that is, but if I keep on going like this it'll be PND for sure (had it with ds1). So just told that to ds3 whilst he was sat in his bouncer watching me feed dd - whatever gets us through from now on and I shall limp my way through to weaning, hope things improve then. But off for a nap before the school run as both off to sleep!

thisisyesterday Mon 26-Jan-09 14:50:55

AQ, can you get any help with the children at all?
surestart or homestart or something? or perhaps if you ahve a college nearby you could put an ad there for a childcare student to come and help you out in the evenings or something? I think they're often quite keen to get experience, and baby twins might be appealing!

i hope you manage to have a bit of a nap now though. that's the key I think, jsut sleeping when you can.
i used to go to bed at about 7.30/8pmish when ds2 was at his worst and dp would try and keep him downstairs for as long as poss and just wake me to feed him so that I could catch up on some more sleep.

it's really hard, and yet when you look back on it it seems like such a short space of time.
<hugs> cos it's tough living with sleep deprivation

dairymoo Mon 26-Jan-09 15:02:24

Hi there, just wanted to add another vote of moral support. You sound like you are doing really, really well and should be really proud of yourself - I only have 17mo DTs and cannot imagine what I'd do with any more kids - you sound like supermum to me!! But you also sound like you are being really hard on yourself.

I BF, and still do, my DTs and luckily have not ever had any major differences in their feeding habits - possibly because they are identical and the same size, etc, possibly just down to luck. I DO remember though, going through a HORRIBLE growth spurt around the 4-month mark, when I was so tired I was barely coherent. I echo in what thisisyesterday said in that 7 times in 24 hours seems fairly normal to me (I think we went up to 9 at one point, sorry you might not want to hear that! Lol) but if the feeds are taking an hour then I definately sympathise as you must be exhausted.

I do think you've got the right attitude - do whatever it takes to get through this tough blip, as I'm sure it will settle down again very soon. Do you have friends or family who can take the kids off you for an hour or so a day, just so that you can have a bath or a rest?

Anyway, I just wanted to give you some support but just remember that whatever you choose to do, you have done a FANTASTIC job in feeding your babies and should feel very proud. They are lucky to have such a fab mummy. smile

accessorizequeen Mon 26-Jan-09 20:43:30

Thank you both I'm feeling quite proud of myself today. I know feeding dt's is something I'll look back on with pride despite the supplementing!
I do have quite a lot of help, my dad paid for a p/t nanny so she's here when I have ds2 (2) and the dt's, the hardest days. And ds2 at nursery 2 days, my mum has him a 3rd day, if I didn't have that level of support would not have lasted a month feeding them. It's because nanny is here that I can spend decent time with ds1 and ds2 whilst she stays at home with the dt's.

piximon Mon 26-Jan-09 23:41:35

accessorizequeen, I gave up bf-ing my dts at around 8wks when one of my twins was hospitalized with her reflux, with hindsight I believe it was caused by dairy intolerance - although I only discovered this when I had ds3 (9mths) and he showed same symptoms and I went dairy free after advice on here and his symptoms went away. You are doing brilliantly!

We also went the gaviscon route with dt1, although it did some good (cut down on half our changes of clothes per day) did not clear it up fully. She got better around 18mths.

I had some real issues over the whole thing, hard to have one sickly baby and one 'good' baby, easy to resent either depending on the day, maybe the non reflux one for needing you as well when you need to tend to the poorly one or vice versa.

If at all possible, please consider trying going dairy free for a few weeks and see if his symptoms ease up. I wish I could go back in time and do it with dt1. I loved feeding them, but for me, once the formula crept in I found it too hard to build supply back up. Of course to see if it is dairy intolerance you would have to change his formula to one that is dairy free or drop it altogether for a few weeks. I saw results within a few days. DS3 is now able to tolerate small amounts in his own diet and mine. smile

And by the way, you are doing a fabulous job to have got so far! Well done and don't beat yourself up. grin

swanriver Thu 29-Jan-09 09:51:50

I think if you keep one twin on the breast you are still leaving your options open anyway, as you can always kickstart your milk production. Sometimes I found I was giving lots of bottles, and then one would be a bit under the weather and I would bfeed that twin far more, and then milk production would increase. I don't think you have to label one as breastfed and the other as bottlefed, you are feeding both with love and attentiveness. When my twins were a few weeks, one was entirely bottlefed and the other bstfed then they both ended up mixed feeding and then by six months both were bstfed, on solids and no bottles at all! I definitely needed to get through with formula at one stage. If you read threads in Feeding about breastfeeding 1 baby at 4 months growth spurt, sleepless nights etc you will realise you are completely heroic.

Btw I had that experience of bottles not actually improving situation. DH ws meant to bottlefeed one formula and I was meant to bfd other at nightime - I was supposed to have the difficult option and he was meant to be getting a good night's sleep. Quite the opposite, Dh ended up after a week handing me back the baby and demanding I bfd it, as he couldn't cope a moment longer with 4 nightwakings, wind colic etc.

accessorizequeen Thu 29-Jan-09 09:55:18

thanks swanriver & piximon, I have persevered this last week trying to just bf ds3 at night (although gave into a bottle at 4am after feeding him at 3, which apparently isn't enough).
Just not sure when this growth spurt going to end, it's been several days now certainly not 48 hours! I am trying to remember that it will end and things get better and I will have easier option of it once that happens (bf rather than bottles). I did consider dairy intolerance but ds3 showing no signs with the poo which apparently main symptom of it from what I read/heard.
Waking for 10am feed now so best go!

moptop Thu 29-Jan-09 21:24:24

Hi, I remember your posts when we were both pg - Congratulations on your twins.

Mine are 4 months now - both boys - and I have a similar story. One BFs well and the other pulls on and off all the time and definitely prefers his bottles. Like you, I've supplemented with formula and feel guilty but hey ho. I also have a 2yo and have found the whole thing hellish - just been diagnosed with PND and started anti-depressants.

Anyway, didn't want to bring you down - just wanted to say hi. Reading all the replies you've had has made me feel better about myself - maybe neither of us is doing such a bad job, after all?!

jennyroper Sat 31-Jan-09 08:40:25

wow AQ you sound like you are doing amazingly. I think it's important to remember that staggering through the first year of twins in survival mode is par for the course. I bottle feed mine (11 wks) as my right arm doesn't work and so BFing was a bridge too far. You are truly a superstar and don't forget it. Just do whatever you need to do to get through it. Throw money at the situation (increase nanny hours maybe) to get rest as I hear sleep is an enormous factor in the quality of your milk.
The great thing about bottle feeding is that you can get a babysitter and go out and drink a bottle of wine with your friends who will all tell you that you look amazing and that they are in awe of how you cope. Then you get to go home after having had a break and cuddle all your children and husband and feel excited about your life all together

kathryn2804 Sat 31-Jan-09 23:45:41

It is a phase, even if it is more than 48 hours. You're doing absolutely brilliantly. Don't look at the supplementing as a failure, just as an aid to giving them a very healthy start!! They are getting so much goodness from you.

Are you tandem feeding together? This can save a lot of time, and it's never too late to start even if you haven't done it before.

With the giving equal amounts of attention thing, if they need it, give it to them. If they don't need it, don't worry about not giving it to them! Give it a few weeks or months and it will probably have swapped to the other one anyway! I'm sure over the last 33 3/4 years, it has probably evened out bbetween my two. They do have this uncanny ability to be quite undemanding when the other really needs you, it's amazing!

Every day you manage to breastfeed is a good thing, every day you manage to supplement, give yourself a huge pat on the back, every day you end up supplementing, just think of iit as being the thing that helped you to keep breastfeeding! When you start weaning in a month or two, and they start to cut down their milk intake a little, you'll probably find you can ditch the formula aaltogether.

Sorry for the essay!! Hope things settle down.

kathryn2804 Sat 31-Jan-09 23:46:57

That should have been *3 3/4* years!! I'm not that old yet!!

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