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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Ladies

I really want to b/f but I also want my DH to be involved with feeding the twins.

Is it possible to b/f the babies during the day whilst DH is at work, and then bottle feed them expressed milk during the night?  Can I do a mixture of b/f milk, expressed milk and formula?

I'm thinking this isn't going to be possible because I'm never going to get enough milk expressed?

Another option I'm thinking of but not sure if possible, is it possible to bottle feed them expressed milk all of the time?  Is there any benefits/disadvantages to this?

Confused.com  :-[  xxx
 

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Dear Ronniecat, many breastfed babies have a bottle before bedtime so I think you can do a mixture of b/f and bottle feed, and certainly you can do a mixture of breast milk and formula.
I purely expressed and fed them the expressed milk for the first 8/9 weeks. The disadvantage is that it's a lot more work than breastfeeding. Bottle feeding took a long time initially, and after that I also had to go on the pump (about 8 times a day, so every 3 h including during the night), and there is all the sterilising of course. I had to do it because they couldn't latch on properly initially but after that they learned to latch on so I move on to pure breastfeeding and that was a lot less work. No pump, no sterilising, just sitting around with a baby in my arms all the time! I can understand that this would drive some people crazy because there is very little time left for other things, and I was lucky that I could rely on help with everything else, I couldn't have done it otherwise. So you have to go with what suits you and your situation. All I want to say is that for the first period nothing is easy - breast feeding takes a long time, bottle feeding takes a long time as well. Eventually in my opinion breast feeding becomes the easier option (quick feeds, no sterilising, milk always there so no need to prepare for going out, and the breast is a great weapon for consoling them , putting them back to sleep if they wake, great thing to sort out stuffy noses, to resolve all sorts of cries and tantrums !) but that's only after the first 4 months or so.
About the worry of not having enough milk, you can always offer them a top up of formula after a feed if you are worried that they haven't had enough, but if they don't drink formula normally your body will adapt to produce more according to their demand. There will be periods of growth spurt when your body will need a few days to catch up with the increased demand so you might have to feed one all the time but eventually you and they will reach a balance again.
Personally my advice would be to keep things simpler by not expressing and use the occasional formula even if that means not involving your husband int he feeds. He can be involved in other ways. Once my children learned to breastfeed lying down I stopped involving my DH in the nights so that he could sleep and do more in the day. I used to sleep in a big bed with both children, one on each side, and just roll over half asleep to feed them if they woke.
This worked for us, but everyone's different and you need to keep an open mind and consider all options as you are doing and perhaps try a few and see. In any case, the first period is hard and breastfeeding twins is no walk in the park !!!!!!
 

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What barb said is right. Expressing is very time consuming, it's not easy to keep the supply up .

If you want to bf and also have help from dp you would be better to plan a babymoon and have dp supporting you by making you food and drinks, doing nappies, fending off too many visitors and didtrCtions and reassuring you you are doing a good job
 

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I was feeding my latest baby on expressed milk at first due to a Tongue tie ... He didn't bf properly till 6w

It was very hard and I knew we were missing out on the lovely happy hormones you get when you bf

I found it hard not being able to just put him to the breast when he cried

Also some of the benefits of bf come only by direct feeding - jAw development and passing of bugs from baby to mum via saliva so your immune system responds and produces antibodies in the milk

Bf is better if you can
 

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hi Ronnie

I was the same as you, wanted to BF but also wanted DH involved, this is what we did.

I BF during the day when DH was at work, then as the babies tended to cluster feed between 4pm and 7pm,they had BF when they wanted and then a formula feed at 7pm.  I would then express some milk between about 8 and 8.30pm and go to bed (in the spare room)  and leave the boys with DH, he would then feed them the expressed milk at the next feed and then put them to bed in a cot with him in our room.  he would then wake me up at the next feed and I would take over BFing them again and he would sleep in the spare room.  I would often also try and express during the night as I found my supply to be at its highest then.

We found this worked for us for quite a while, until they started dropping night feeds.  It also allowed both of us to get some undisturbed sleep.  It also allowed DH to become very confident with them and looking after them by himself.

Hope that helps, any questions let me know

Barnet girl
 

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Barnet girl, that sounds like a very good system. I also always produced the largest amount of milk in the night, especially at about 1am, while milk production was at its lowest in the evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the advice ladies.  I must say Barnet, I think you're system may just suit us so I think, if we can, we may just try it x
 

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Hi ladies

I hope you don't mind me joining in the conversation.  I also have worries about bf and being able to produce enough milk.  I don't like the idea of giving formula, if I can help it, but I'm very nervous about not getting on with bf, the babies not latching on and stupidly I worry that I won't like it.  My nipples can be very sensitive and I just don't know if I'll be able to bare it.....but I'm going to try my hardest. 

I really don't know what to expect as I've never had any involvement with babies before.  I really feel like I don't know what's going to hit me.  But for now, I'd like to know roughly how often they need a feed.  Do you breastfeed both at once or one at a time?  Friends haven't been very supportive and say I'm silly for thinking I'll be able to bf twins but I'm sure it has to be easier than messing around with formula feeds and bottles.  I want my babies to have what's good for them and just don't like the idea of putting fake formula into their bodies....unless it's an odd one each day to help us along.

I've been looking at breastfeeding pillows and wondering what is recommended for twins.  I really hope I can bf my boys and not have too many problems!

Emma
 

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Hi Emma

I think any sane person would be worried about Bf twins (or just one) but it is possible, I managed to BF mine, with one formula feed every day, until they were 8 months and I know a number of people who did it exclusively for even longer.

I would try not to get too worried about the use of formula, yes in a perfect world all babies would be BF but there is also nothing wrong with using formula and although yes bottles are a faff it also means people can help you where as BFing can be a very lonely road especially all those night feeds.  My boys actually started life on formula as one was in scbu and the other was very jaundice and needed lots of fluids, and at other times when I wasn't very well or when we went on holiday they had more formula in a day then BF.  At the end of the day its what suits you and what you and your partner want.

Anyway answers to questions - I'm no expert but this was what I found out and experienced

Check with your hospital if they have a BF person (normally a specialised midwife) if they do get them to come and visit you and your babies as soon as possible and they will check the latch etc and give you some great tips.

Even if there are problems with the latch or the baby has tongue tie - there are ways around it if you really want to BF.

Its rare you don't have enough milk (although does happen) again there are methods of increasing your milk production.

How often do they feed?  depends on the child to be honest - at the beginning I was having a very good day if they lasted 3 hours, normal was 2.5hrs between feeds (and thats the start of feed remember it can take some members quite a while to take a feed and then you have all the winding todo).  A general rule most people try to stick to is the more they get in the day the longer they will sleep at night  ::) ::) ::) (hopefully).

Feeding - I always fed mine during the day together.  I would sit on the sofa - baby each side on a bed pillow, I used a normal BF pillow (like a banana shape) on my lap and then used the rugby position.  At night I generally did one at a time unless they woke up together.  Its upto you what you do, either method can work.


Sorry for the waffle and my food is ready now so I'll go.  There is a really good thread on here about BF that really helped me when I was and some really experienced people are happy to answer questions.

barnet girl
 

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Hi Barnet Girl

Thank you so much for the reply.  Very informative and given me lots of food for thought.  I will ask my MW on Monday if there's a BF specialist at the hospital....can never be too prepared!!

Emma  :)
 

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Dear Emma, breastfeeding twins takes a lot of perseverance and also some luck, but it can work. There are many examples on this website of mums who breastfed their twins successfully, and I am one of them. It was no easy ride and for me the support of the NCT breastfeeding counsellor and my local MWs as well as the support of some fellow twin mums on here was very important. I wasn't doing anything wrong but it took a long time for the babies to be able to latch on and without the external support I wouldn't have persevered for all those weeks. If you can afford it, you could also consider using a maternity nurse. Also, breastfeeding twins can leave very little time to do anything else so for me it was very important to have people here (mainly my DH) who could take care of everything else for a while.
I tried breastfeeding them at the same time but we found it very difficult and eventually I gave up and breastfed them one at a time. Only later we learned to breastfeed in tandem. I was using the EZ2 pillow (or a similar name to that, funny how quickly one forgets) which was recommended so maybe it works for others.
About the formula, I think it's important to keep in mind the big picture with children. You all need to find a balance that suits everyone and a system that leaves everyone with enough energy and rest and sleep to deal with the huge effort that is the first year with twins. If on the one hand you need to become quite fixated on the idea of breastfeeding in order to succeed with it with twins, on the other hand you need to think about yourself and your wellbeing as well as theirs and a bit of formula might be a help for you all and it won't harm them.
 

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Thanks BarbWill for your reply....very helpful  :)

I might find it a bit stressful to BF if it doesn't leave time to do much else.  We have little 4 dogs - all very well behaved and know their place within the home but they make for extra hoovering and cleaning!!  My partner works full time so I'll be here on my own quite a lot.  Is BF a lot more time consuming that bottle feeding?  I imagine that expressing is the most time consuming as you express and then bottle feed the EBM.  I'm just going to have to see how it goes and adapt to the demands of bringing up twins.  I will persevere with BF and try to get support from the MW etc but I'll only know how I'll manage once I've given it a go.

Thanks so much for everyone's advice.  I really appreciate it!! 
 

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One of the best uses of money I spent during the first year was a cleaner  :) :) :) , just a few hours a week but it saved my sanity sometimes.  Bottle fed or breast fed time becomes very precious during the first year with twins and anything that helps is worth trying.

With bottle feeding you have all the bottle washing and making up etc but someone can help you with this, but formula fed babies often feed every 4 hours rather than the 3 hours which is fairly normal for BF babies.  (to do with formula being heavier and more filling in the stomach and taking longer to digest).  So you might get more free time if you formula feed.
 

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I think that BFing is slower in the periods where the milk production doesn't quite match their demands. These are normally short lived (a week or so) but I do remember that in those periods I had a baby in my arm all the time. Later on, after 4/5 months, BFing becomes quicker in my opinion, and it's great combined with weaning and eating solids. Keep and open mind, remember that if BFing is fantastic for babies (and mums!), formula is not poison and children grow up well on it as well. Good luck !!!
 

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Yep, I think I'll just have to go into it with an open mind and see how things go. 

Barnet Girl:  We've been talking about getting a cleaner but I would feel ever so strange having someone do my housework.  What kind of things did you have done?  I'd be afraid of not finding anything!!  I remember my Nan coming to help me when I was ill a few years ago and I couldn't find anything!!  Not even my toothbrush coz she'd put it away under the sink!!  But I can imagine it would be a big help if we had someone to do the hoovering and mopping (which has to be done everyday without fail due to the dogs).  I might also hire a groomer for them as that can take a lot of time.  I can get the boys coats cut as I don't show them anymore but the girls are show dogs and can't be cut.  At least I have someone to show them for me!!  One of my big worries is being able to keep the house ticking over while I have the babies to look after and I really want to BF if I can so a cleaner might be the answer!

Thanks again both  :)
 

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I use cleaners and they religiously put things where they found them. I do tidy the house really well before they come to make it easier for them. Even just tidying takes a long time in our house, but we're messy.

I think you'll have to set your priorities, decide for yourself what can be left out and what can't, because you won't be able to do everything. 
 
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