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Breast Feeding Twins

I have made the decision (a while ago) that I AM GOING TO breast feed my daughters. I know that this is going to be a difficult task, to say the least. I have waited SO LONG to be pregnant and to have children that I want to do all of it. I want the whole experience, no matter how tough. Some people look at me like I am crazy to try nursing two. Other people have been wonderfully supportive (Bry, Michelle, My buddies and family) and I am so thankful that they have been. When people are supportive it gives you a sense that it can be done. I know it can be done and many women have done it. I know it will be hard, really hard. I have read a great breast-feeding book and learned a ton. Then I read a great book on bfing twins and learned even more. It should be an interesting time trying to manage feeding both girls, pumping for the occasions I won't be home and all the other Mommy tasks, but I am so happy that I have the chance to do this. There were many days that I though I would never have this chance.

Stupid Question of the Week: :>) For those of you who nursed and pumped (so that you could occasionally be out of the house) how often did you pump? When did you start pumping?

14 comments:

seattlegal 4:38 PM  

I am going to try to breastfeed my twins too - it seems like a huge task - but I have heard of others who have done it.

When I went to the multiples class on breastfeeding, it sounded as if they may want to start you pumping right away depending on when you have the twins. One couple said that they weren't able to keep up with the amount of milk that their twins wanted, so she starting pumping right away whenever she wasn't breastfeeding.

Danielle 6:48 PM  

Congrats on your decision to BF - I did the same thing (with 1 though) I just made up my mind while I was pregnant that I would give it a try and really keep at it, no matter how hard it was. I am sure there are a lot of people out there that aren't supportive, but don't listen to them, it is your children, not theirs!
Good luck :)

Mandy 7:27 PM  

Funny you posted that today...I was thinking about that very thing this morning and was going to email you about it. LOL

I started pumping right away with Katie but didn't introduce a bottle until she was about 3 weeks old. I wanted Cris to be able to give her a bottle when need be, or whomever else was watching her. Plus, I wanted to make sure my supply was staying up.

I mainly BF but am starting to pump every night before going to bed. As for how often I pump, I probably do a half dozen times a week. Not that much, I know.

Good for you for making the decision to BF the girls. With twins it's obviously going to present more challenges than a singleton but being educated about it will help tremendously. Goodluck!

Anonymous 7:55 PM  

With my daughter I started pumping and giving her the bottle when she was about 5 weeks old. The best advice I received is to ALWAYS use the slowest flow nipple on a bottle when giving it to a mostly breastfed baby, no matter how old they are.
Best of luck to you! You can do it!

Megan
megmanamo@yahoo.com

Mich 8:08 PM  

Aww, thanks *blushing*

Really, that's not a stupid question - it's a great one! Shows that you really understand and that you've thought through this.

Breast milk might as well be gold - it's so rare and so precious!! You have to start pumping right away - even before your milk comes in. Actually, if you have twins, they might nurse often enough that you won't need to. That sucking action is what helps your milk come in. If the girls just so happen to sleep through a feeding (feedings should happen every 90 minutes during they day - for your good as well as theirs) then you MUST pump. It helps to keep your supply up. I remember one night in paticular - it was 3a.m. (when Ava started sleeping through the night I had to set the alarm so I could wake up every 3 hours to pump) and I was so tired. I got to the kitchen table (where I pumped in the middle of the night), sat down, whipped everything out and started pumping away. After a few minutes I noticed my leg was sooo warm and I looked down and realized I never attached a bag to the pump. I cried. I wasted all that precious milk...down my leg...It's funny now, but oh man was I frustrated.

It took me a couple months to get enough milk to leave Ava for a few hours. Funny thing is, you can't leave your babies and/or your pump for longer than 3 hours (90 mins in the beginning) b/c even if you have enough milk stocked up to feed the babies, you still have to pump to keep your supply up. You'll be in the mall trying to find a pair of pants that fit and your boobs are filling up and finally you start leaking...and...well...it's just good to have your pump or baby nearby.

Also, make sure you drink a ridiculous amount of water. Bryan should be "trained" (for lack of a better word) to bring you a couple glasses of water each time you sit down to nurse. And believe me, you'll chug them and still feel thirsty. Get tons of sleep too (hahahaha). I wasn't getting enough sleep when I went back to work and so I got sick and even the slightest cold can significantly decrease your supply.

There will be nights when your alarm goes off at midnight, then again at 3a.m. and Bryan will be cozy in bed, the girls will be sleeping and you'll have to drag your full boobs out to the other room and pump all by yourself (except maybe the dog will join you) and you'll be falling asleep and you'll be pissed and you'll be cold and then you have to clean all the parts, label the bags, etc. Ugh...that's where the mental and physical challenge came into play for me.

I'm not trying to discourage you - just sharing my experience. Even when I was crying and frustrated and cold and thirsty and lonely at the kitchen table at 3a.m. I felt SO amazingly good b/c of what I was doing for Ava and that my body was allowing me to do it. It's a wonderful feeling that you'll carry for the rest of your life.

I get the longest reply post ever award :)

Kristen 8:31 PM  

Yup Mich, you get the award for longest post. :>) You have been such a huge help to me though. Thank to all of you for being so supportive. I feel like sometimes I must be nuts for dedicating myself to something that is going to be so hard, but I really am looking forward to the challenge (and the very late nights).

Kristin, Rod, and Miss V 8:42 PM  

My SIL bf'd for as long as she could nurse both twins at once (one on each side, football hold for both). One thing she didn't have that would have been a huge help was a boppy/nursing pillow made for twins. There aren't too many of them out there, but they do exist.

Re: pumping. I pumped exclusively as soon as V was born (had to as she wasn't ready to nurse when born) and throughout her time in the nicu. Initially I pumped every 2 hours, then dropped to every 3. Even when I was BFing, I'd pump immediately after to make sure to keep my supply up. She got bottles first, then I introduced nursing, and it really wasn't much of a problem. For me, it was just easier to pump and bottle feed so I knew how much V was getting.

No matter what you decide, I know you'll make the right decision for your babies.

Lindsey 8:50 PM  

Good luck with the BFing, I think it's wonderful that you are doing that. Go you!! Let me know how it goes (for future reference, haha)

Emilie 12:13 PM  

I worry about the person that said start pumping before the babies come. Breast stim can cause your labor to start. Talk to your midwife about that before you try it.
I pumped from day 1. However, we didn't use a bottle right away.
Mother's milk tea is very useful, too, as it helps the milk production, and it contains phenegreek (sp?) which keeps down infections that cause plugged ducts. I recomend it hightly, and took it / drank it in the hospital.
A very good friend said breastfeeding is really aweful for the first 12 weeks - and she was right. It takes time for the baby to learn, the mommy to toughen up, the the routine to settle. But after that special moment... it all goes well and is wonderful. Just try to tough it out till it works.
I liked having the baby in bed with me. Once I learned to feed her on my side, I hardly woke up for night feedings. Very easy.
I am very happy to hear that you are going to try.

Nickie 5:57 PM  

of course you can do it! It will be tougher than if it was just one, but totally doable!!

I pumped with my son and didn't do it much for the first week or so(no time, he was on the boob a lot) but after that I tried to pump after each feeding to get anything he hadn't eaten and to increase the supply. Seemed to work well. I also added a pumping session before I went to bed once he'd gotten into somewhat of a schedule.

I kept my manual pump (avent isis) with me in the car so if he ever slept thru a usual feeding time when we were out and about I could relieve the pressure and keep the boobs on schedule. I'd just feed him the bottle of pumped milk when he got hungry if it was very soon after I'd pumped.

Mich 9:01 PM  

Uh oh...I just want to clarify b/c I'm worried that I might be the person whose comment was misunderstood regarding pumping BEFORE the baby comes.

I said "You have to start pumping right away - even before your milk comes in." This does not mean before the babies come. PP is right, that can start labor. Your milk typically doesn't come in until 3 days after the babies are born. Ava was nursing about every 30 minutes in those first 3 days so my milk came in without any problems. I can't imagine the twins will be any different, especially since they're twins - you'll always be feeding someone :)

Just wanted to clarify in case it was my post the pp was referring to - DO NOT PUMP BEFORE BIRTH, pump before your milk comes in if the babies aren't nursing enough. The nursing/pumping action helps stimulate your milk glands or hormones or whatever. Phew ;-)

Kristen 11:33 PM  

Mich - You crack me up! :>) I knew what you meant but still glad you posted that in case anyone read and misunderstood. I never realized that ppl will try to pump before birth and I have read how dangerous that can be.

Thanks girls for all your help!!!

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

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Anonymous 8:44 PM  

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