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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I am going to have a go again at bf the twins when they arrive but after a disastrous go first time round I'm dreading it! Basically I got a severe infection post birth and this along with the IV antibiotics dried my milk up, however no one told me this would happen, so I struggled on. It was only 3 months later (DD was getting SMA by then!) when my HV told me why it had all gone wrong and by then I had PND as I felt like a total failure! However, moving on from that, I know every pregnancy is different and hopefully I will have more success this time round. Basically does anyone have any tips for getting bf established with twins? My plan is to express as I want DH to help once my milk is in. Has anyone hired a pump form NCT and were they better than the hand held ones? Did you go for one or 2 plungers (;D) so you could do both sides at once?

Thanks ladies xx
 

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Hi! i didnt end up feeding my firstborn for long, but am still b/f the twins at 14 months.  Here is what i did.

Stayed in hospital until babies were feeding well
Tandem fed (had a tandem pillow), it helps with the letdown.
Got a lactation consultant to pay a private visit 2 or 3 times.  expensive, but you save on formula in thelong run!  ;)
Didnt listen to the naysayers who told me to 'just give a bottle' or that it 'couldnt be done'
Discouraged any visitors!
ate and drank lots and lots and lots
i got a hospital grade medela pump - didnt have double attachment, but would do if i had my time again.
didnt give any bottles for as long as i possibly could, as i wanted them to get the hang of breastfeeding.  if you want your dh to help, he can get up in the night with you, make sure you're comfy, get you drinks, change babies etc.  plenty of time for giving bottles later, when breastfeeding is established.
i did have to give ebm to my boy who wasnt very strong for the first couple of weeks, but i ditched that as soon as i could.  I didnt give any more bottles 'till 7ish weeks.

hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I especially like the bit about eating lots and lots!  ;D

Did they have any problems taking a bottle when you eventually gave them one?

 

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no, none at all.  as i said, i had to give ebm to my boy for the first week or so from a bottle, but i stopped it as soon as possible.  then after that i tried not to give them a bottle.  then i started giving them an occasional bottle of ebm and after a couple of months, they were going from breast to bottle easily, so i felt i could 'up' their bottle feeds.  though be careful with that.  you can never express as efficiently as babies can suck so you dont want to express then feed ebm too much in the early days.  though its ok to do a feed, then express after, just to help build your supply.

after a few months, you will find that you can feed them both in a lot less time than it takes you to express, feed, and clean the expressing equipment.  so at that time, i ditched the expressing alltogether.  it was soooo much easier that way.

it sounds all very nice to express so other people can feed the babies so you get a break, but the reality is often with twins it is nice to sit down to feed them....that may be the only time you get to sit down all day.  and guaranteed, if other people are giving them a bottle....you'll be making cups of tea!
 

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Hi
Just to add to what encore has already said my twins were born at 34 weeks and I breastfed up to 91/2 months I only expressed whilst my DD was in scubu and found it quite difficult after that I exclusively breastfed my daughter until six months when I started solids and my son used to get one formula feed at about 10pm from about 8weeks. I think expressing and breastfeeding twins in reality is quite difficult and as encore says it's nice to sit and tandem feed them as it gets easier as they get bigger, when I used to go out if someone was here I would feed one at a time feeding my son first as he drank quicker and cried louder I hope this helps.
Annette
 

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Hi

I wished i was able to breastfeed for longer.  But i can look back now and see what went wrong....
I expressed whilst they were in NICU, had a fantastic supply for the 6 weeks they spent in hospital as i was eating proper meals at the canteen every day.

It all went wrong when i got home as i simply wasnt eating and drinking enough, and was absolutely exhausted and wasnt getting enough rest.

Also both my 2 were poorly after coming home, and i got very hung up on how much they were having, and ended up giving them ebm in a bottle at every feed, but obviously a breastpump doesnt stimulate your milk like a baby does and eventually my milk dried up ( even took domperidone to try and boost my milk for a bit longer), so directly breastfeed wherever possible.
On the breastpump advice i used 2 avent hand pumps and it took less than 10 minutes to drain both breasts.  I couldnt get on with the electric pumps at all, but thats just me.  Some hospitals have lots of electric ones/manual ones that you can use whilst in hospital.  If thats the case try them out whilst your in there and find out which is best for you then order one off the internet.


All i can say is

EAT ALOT!!!
DRINK ALOT!!!
SLEEP ALOT!!!!

In the early days if you have alot more milk than they need, express it and freeze every last drop. You can always get DH to give them a bottle of defrosted ebm one night to give you a rest (i kept my 2 going for an extra month on my frozen stash)

Try and tandem feed, its sooo much quicker.

Persevere if its what you want to do, but if its not working out for some reason, dont beat yourself up about it, its not the end of the world.

S
xx
 

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on the eating and drinking thing.....thats sooooo true.  but it is time consuming in a way!  sometimes it is tempting to have a nap rather than make yourself a sandwich and sit down and eat.  consider building up a stash of nuts/raisins to nibble on.  also protein shakes are brilliant if you havent had time to eat properly.  dont eat too much crap - make sure its nutritious!  If people ask you if they can help in any way, SAY YES FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!!  Tell them it would help if they could make you a lasagne (or some easy to re-heat meal) that you can stash in the freezer.  Then ignore the horified 'oooohhhh i wish i hadnt asked....' look on their face!!!

I'd also have the numbers of the la leche league handy. useful for advice or a shoulder to cry on.

Remember, if its all too hard, a bottle of ebm or formula might be just what you need to get you through the next couple of hours.  It doesnt have to be all or nothing.  If you do end up giving formula for 1 or 2 feeds, make them the feeds that you are going to (hopefully) drop first - like the 10pm or middle of the night feed.  That way, you can go back to exclusive breast if you want.  I did that.

Also, be prepared not to like it very much!  I hated it for the first little while.  then i was sort of ambivalent, then i liked it, then i loved it!  I never understood why anyone would want to feed their kids after the age of 1.  Now i TOTALLY get it.  I'm like a reformed smoker when it comes to breastfeeding!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone. I'm definitely going to give it a go as hopefully this time round it may be a totally different experience. Last time round I had very little support in hospital (was stuck in a side room and forgotten about) but my friend has just had her baby and said the staff this time round were really helpful and supportive. Last time she too ended up giving formula and this time she's taken to it like a duck to water which she swears is from being a bit more laid back second time round and the help she received at the hospital to get her established. The whole twin thing does terrify me though!! I really did beat myself up about the fact that I'd stopped with DD, but this time if it all does get too much (with DD to look after too and not a great deal of family support at home apart from DH) then I will stop and not feel guilty. I think if I adopt this attitude it may take the pressure off a bit. Also I would happily give top ups of formula if needed which I was dead against last time. Thanks again  ^hugme^
 

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i bf for 6 weeks, here is what i found. four weeks in hosp they were tube fed so i expressed every three hours with an avent pump which was great. when we got home i carried on but the problem was i was on my own. they were being fed every three hours and on my own had to do one at a time which could take 30 mins or more. tandem was great if someone was here and i had a great EZ2 cushion. however as on my own by the time fininshed feeding ti was nearly time to start again so i did not get a chance to feed and water myself properly so my production dropped so babies were hungry and i was tired - bad circle to be in. tips for you are make sure you have plenty of foods which you can quickly grab and eat and loads of water. if poss have someone around so you can tandem as much as poss. if i had known this it would have been easier. i loved bf and they took to it soooo well. moving over to bottle was no problem.
good luck
 

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excuse one handed typing..

my tips would be, rest, rest, rest, have someone around to help as much as possible. Don't give a bottle too early. Don't try to express unless necessary.. if you have to top up with ebm, use a syringe

i feed mine separateky mostly, it's relaxing while tandem is fiddly
 

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Hiya,

I had my two at 36 weeks and 13.5 weeks in I'm B/F exclusively. Here is what I did and my tips!! Encore has most of this covered - she's given great advice....

1. I think B/F is as much about a mental commitment as a physical one. Be prepared for the time and the commitment to get established and then continue. Make sure your nearest and dearest know how important it is to you so they support you and get all the help you can from midwifes/la leche/nct

2. Yep - eat, eat, eat, drink, drink, drink lots and lots and lots. As encore said the protein drinks are great for when you don't have time to make a proper meal.

3. As DG says rest all you can, try to spend the first 4 weeks doing nothing but feeding and sleeping and get help around the house to help you do this.

4. Believe in yourself and persevere - lots and lots of people successfully b/f twins!

5. If you want some time to yourself get the hang of tandem feeding quickly, it really, really helps with let down and supply and it means you aren't feeding forever. Mine are tandem fed during day and fed seperately over bathtime and at their night feed.

6. Again - I agree with encore at first it was sooooooooooo hard I really didn't like it....it took hours, Stella was a nightmare latching on, I felt knackered, was always feeding or expressing and then I got to 7 weeks and the girls feed in about 12 mins flat and now I totally love it!!

7. I would say to try and top up with ebm rather than too much formula at the start as this can impact on your milk supply and this is often where b/f'ing goes wrong. Certainly don't drop the night feeds - these stimulate your milk supply more than any other.

8. As you said - don't feel guilty if it isn't for you, its hard work looking after twins and you need to do whats best for you.

What I did!

I fed very frequently in hospital every 2/3 hours until my milk came in, I stayed on 3 hour feeds for a few weeks whilst I got my milk supply established. I had one fabulous feeder and one terrible feeder that did require topping up. In hosp she got formula but I was encouraged to express. When I got home I expressed off my milk after every feed. This meant the girls got what they needed but I stimulated myself to have a slight oversupply. As I was topping up one of mine from the start with a bottle so I'm not a great believer about nipple confusion etc, that said I found it a real faff sterilising stuff so weaned her off after 7 weeks to totallly b/f....so much easier!

Expressing after every feed was not fun.....I now only express after morning feed and then again at 9.30pm (take off all my milk) so hubby can do the 10pm feed. I use the Ameda Lactaline double pump. I have plenty of milk now at 13 weeks and seem to be able to cope with most growth spurts!

To make night feeds easier I'd set up a bowl of nibbles (biscuits etc!!), a flask of tea and good magazine and settle in when I got woken up. I have always stuck to a routine and fed mine together...including waking them to feed...I definitely couldn't have coped with true demand feeding. Mine feed now 7am, 10.30am, 2.30pm, 5.45pm, 10.00pm and 4.00am (on a good night!). At night if one wakes and is hungry I feed them first and then wake the other to feed.

Hope this helps
xx
 
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