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Im Cracking Up-EBM for one twin and formula for the other

(14 Posts)
valz Tue 01-Sep-09 17:41:11

Please help. my twins are one month old, the smaller twin never managed to latch on properly and kept hurting me so i started expressing a week ago for him and bf the other one. i always had a 3oz bottle in the fridge as well as a bottle for the next feed. on sunday evening my extra bottle got used up and last night i found myself expressing for the feed that was due at that time, last night i cracked and was a crying stressed out mess. my husband told me i had give them a month of good start and to switch to formula so this morning i decided to formula feed the bigger twin and continue expressing for the smaller one to help him catch up. i always expressed while bfeeding as i seemed to get 3oz from one breast, however ive noticed that today the feeds i expressed totally from both breasts i still only got 3oz, where as yesterday i would have fed one twin and expressed 3oz also.

So im wondering firstly am I been unfair FF one twin and EBM for the other? and am i expressing wrong or how can i keep up a good supply as if i were feeding both twins? Also what is the best formula to use, i bought aptimel because i was told it is closest to breast milk?!

Any advice would be great.

BosomForAPillow Tue 01-Sep-09 20:45:16

Sorry I haven't got any advice but I'm just bumping for you. Also have you posted this in Breast & Bottle feeding as they will know all about expressing etc.

Of course you are not being unfair on one twin, you have done your best for both and your dh is right you have given them a great start. A friend of mine had twins and did mixed feeding so they both had some formula and some bm, which might be more manageable.

Congratuations on your twins and good luck.

evieb300 Tue 01-Sep-09 20:50:56

You haven't been unfair, you are just doing your best. This is exactly what happened to me - my smaller twin just never got the hang of BF so I started by expressing for her whilst BF the other.

I just found it was impossible to keep up with BF/expressing/bottle feeding the second twin after feeding the first so switched (in tears at the time, but trust me it's just tiredness and hormones!) to formula for the second twin. I used SMA gold but I think they are all regulated and full of what babies need (disclaimer - that is not intended to start a debate about whether BF is better!)

6 years on both are thriving - you cannot tell which was which. Keep in mind you haven't slept properly for weeks now, that plays tricks with you! You are doing your best for both babies. Hang in there and good luck!

Themagicnumber Tue 01-Sep-09 22:06:52

It was the same with my b/g twins now 19mths (also have older DS1 3.4).

DS2 was smallest and couldn't latch, whereas DD1 b/f easily from the word go. DD1 was b/f for 8 weeks then reluctantly put onto formula (cue buckets of tears from me). DS2 struggled with mixed/f for 4 weeks then onto formula without looking back. No noticeable differences between the two after 19 mths! Both weaned well, healthy and great eaters. Interestingly, b/f DS1 for 12mths and he is no different to the twins in health, growth and development either.

If you can find an easier way to keep both twin tummies full and yourself sane then go for it. No reason you can't b/f one and formula feed the other, or formula feed both. But keep it as simple as you can. You already have enough to do being a mum of twins!

BTW I also used Aptamil and found it easy with ready to use cartons available. Handy to have some disposable sterilised bottles from boots in the cupboard too for those emergency feeds.

I found 2 sterilisers and 2 kettles just the job once they were both on formula. I also made up feeds in advance cooled rapidly in the sink, straight in the fridge and used within 24 hours.

If you do go onto formula, might be worth seeing if they like it at room temperature from a carton to start with - it means you don't have to worry about warming feeds when you go out. I was horrified at the prospect of this to start with, but it works a treat!!

Congratulations and all the best.

thisisyesterday Tue 01-Sep-09 22:12:42

i have to admit that i couldn';t do it i don't think.
there is no one formula that is closest to breastmilk, they are poles apart. you should use whichever one you want.

my advice though would be to see a breastfeeding counsellor asap and see if you can get the non-direct feeding twin to take the breast without hurting you., pain indicates a problem wtih the latch and this can pretty much always be fixed or perhaps a local la leche league group?

either ought to be able to help you with either breastfeeding both, or expressing enough.
if you do want to express you really need to do it a lot, inc during the night

kim111 Tue 01-Sep-09 22:48:59

I expressed for 3 months (my twins were born at 33 weeks and I never managed to get them to latch on properly). I got my supply up by expressing each time they were fed so 8 times a day/night initially. If you do end up doing this I found that I actually got the same amount expressing 4 times a day as 7-8 times.... I only found this out when I was scaling back the expressing because it was just too much stress.

kathryn2804 Wed 02-Sep-09 13:37:17

thisisyesterday has got it spot on!! Get a breastfeeding counsellor round, you could have both of them breastfeeding perfectly in one visit if you're shown what's not quite right with the smaller twin's latch!!

The latch for both twins might be slightly wrong, but with a bigger mouth, you can get away with it being slightly wrong without noticing, but for the smallr twin, it will make a big difference. If you get someone round in the next day or two you could be fully breastfeeding which is much easier and you will be happy!

National breastfeeding line is 0300 100 0212 or the BfN helpline is 0300 100 0210

You have to learn how to breastfeed, it doesn't always just come naturally, you need someone to show you how to latch.

In the meantime this is a great video explaining a good latch

valz Wed 02-Sep-09 14:58:34

thanks ladies, kim out of interest what pump did you use?

kim111 Wed 02-Sep-09 22:24:36

I used an Ameda Lactaline (double electric one). Found it just as good as the "industrial" ones they had in the hospital!

accessorizequeen Fri 04-Sep-09 19:44:57

valz, hope you get some bf counselling but if you do end up bfing one and ff another, really do try to be nice to yourself about it. I gave up with ds3 because he was absolutely godawful to feed (had/has reflux) at 5 months and couldn't cope with it anymore. Fed dd until 10 months (they're now 11 months). I'm sure tis perfectly possible to do as suggested and express for the other twin (or do half and half for both, which a lot of people do). However, life with twins in the early days is so impossible sometimes that you have to make compromises. If you can get some help, then wonderful but don't beat yourself up about it. I think anyone who bf's twins for any length of time deserves sainthood when you consider how many mothers of singletons alone don't even do it!

rattling Sat 05-Sep-09 21:41:52

I have just re-started breastfeeding my smaller twin (at 3 months old) who I just couldn't bear to breast feed to begin with. Breast feeding counsellors could find no problem with his latch - his mouth was just too small. Now it is entirely painfree. Not suggesting you try this, just to let you know that I do think there sometimes is nothing that can be done. My twins have been fed very randomly - breastfed, EBM by bottle and formula. Too early to say what the longterm outcome will be for them, but I tried to exclusively breastfeed and it just didn't work. This way they are fed and I am sane. Do whatever works for you.

MarsLady Sat 05-Sep-09 21:50:47

valz if you want to email me to talk it through do feel free. lovelymarslady at aol dot com.

If you can get to see a breastfeeding counsellor or Lactation consultant then you should. There's help out there if you want it my lovely. smile

swanriver Mon 07-Sep-09 13:42:23

Just to put my oar in, things can change, you can restart breastfeeding the ff twin at any time, nothng's fixed in stone. Sometimes babies get better at latching as they get bigger and stronger, and just a few days of feeindng in a very unstructured frequent way can make all the difference to supply. One of my twins didn't get more than miniscule amounts of breastmilk till he was about 5 weeks then his technique (or mine) improved, as was still plugging away hapzardly at other twin...By the time they were 7 months both were on solids and getting no bottles at all, only breastfed, till 2 yrs. I saw a not very helpful counsellor, who did however correct the latch, so always worth doing as Marslady said. Tandem feeding really helps, but is often v. dfficult at beginning. The mechanics of expressing and sterilizing and mkaing up bottles can take away the time you might have had just sitting down and feeding feeding feeding.

swanriver Mon 07-Sep-09 13:50:10

P.S. By the time they are six months, you will be saving SO MUCH TIME if you are breastfeeding still, however hard it seems now, and four to 10 weeks is the absolute worst worst stage of bfng twins - as you are finding (well in my experience) Later - heaven. Try not to worry about routines - it really made me so unhappy to be clockwatching.

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