View Full Version : A friend just had twins- they are still in NICU

04-04-2008, 09:44 PM
Do yout BTDT moms have any advice on how to deal with this? She thinks the twins (they were born at 33 weeks) will be in NICU for 2-3 weeks. Any pumping, attachment, etc... advice would be great! I'll pass it on, or she may be lurking here-- if so, Hi, Traci!! :hug:


04-04-2008, 10:09 PM
Congrats to your friend! If you do a search on preemies there have been lots of them here.

Best recommendations - tell your friend to pace herself, the NICU journey can be a long one, and things are only more tiring once the babies get home! I was tired with one, can't imagine two.

Kangaroo care (holding the babies against their chest) is great for the parents.

If she's planning to nurse, make sure they're working with an LC who is familiar with preemies and potential issues.

Good luck to them!

04-04-2008, 10:14 PM
Not a twin mom, but Amy was born at 34 weeks. I think 2-3 weeks is probably the minimum stay for 33 weekers.

She needs to pump religiously if she wants to breastfeed them exclusively. The NICU should have an LC and she should consult with her right away. She should aim to be pumping 8-10 times a day. Each NICU has its own protocol for how they want pumped breastmilk to be stored and labeled, so she needs to learn their protocol.

I liked the Sears Your Premature Baby Book. LLL has a nice little pamphlet called Breastfeeding Your Premature Baby. Both were helpful and gave me something to read during the downtime between feedings and pumpings.

Helpful things for your friend would be healthy, non-perishable snacks that she can take to the hospital. Encourage her to buy extra pump parts so that she doesn't have to wash so much in between pump sessions. (There are much stricter cleaning/sterilization guidelines when pumping for a preemie vs for a full term baby.)

04-06-2008, 01:27 PM
Congrats to your friend!

My twin girls were born at 33 weeks 3 day. They were in the NICU for 12 and 14 days (They did not have nay complications - just feeding issues). As the pp said, lots of pumping is essential. My NICU would let you pump next to the baby if you wanted, or they had a special pumping room. The Medela microwave sterilization bags are great for cleaning the pump parts.

We did not have any other kids, so we spent almost all of our time at the NICU. The hospital let us stay in an empty room for a while - but all hospitals have different policies on that.

One thing that was hard was figuring out how much time to be there. I am sure she wants to spend as much time as possible up there, but she also needs to take care of herself. I felt like I HAD to be up there at all times (then I got mastitis and a fever and had to skip one night and get some sleep). But, you might want to suggest that she take a couple nights and get as much sleep as she can. She has had a long twin pregnancy and things will be crazy once they get home and the babies are in good hands now, so this is the time to take care of herself!

Kangaroo care is great, as the pp mentioned. Just talk tot he nurses, ask lot of questions, and take care of yourself also. Snacks and bottles of water are important. She may also want some preemie clothes for the babies - it makes you feel better to see them in "real" clothes. Also, make sure she ahs a supply of preemie diapers at home. My girls came home pretty suddenly (the first one) and we had a hard time findng preemie diapers that first night.

Also - the breastfeeding was an issue for us. It may have just been my NICU, but -we only had 30 minutes to handle/feed them. Attempted nursing time counted, but then they still had to take a bottle (pumped milk) so the nurses were sure they were getting enough. IF they didn't finish in that 30 minutes they had to tube feed the rest. If they were tube fed, they couldn't come home... So it kind of felt like they couldn't come home with me nursing (Again, I may have been worng and should have aksed more questions, but this was how it felt). So I focued on getting them to eat from the bottle so they could come home. They came home qucikly, but we never got the hang of nursing, so I ended up pumping for almost a year! So - tall her to talk to the LC!

Good luck!

04-08-2008, 07:40 PM
She should definitely ask to meet with the nicu LC. Our nicu's LC was awesome and met with me daily once ds and dd (30 weekers) were able to be put to the breast.
Also, our nicu had an awesome lending library...I borrowed/previewed a ton of bfing books and preemie books while I was hanging out with ds and dd.

ds&dd 5/03

04-10-2008, 11:42 AM
My twins were born at 34w5d and were in the NICU for 16 days. They had mostly feeding issues (we were through the apnea and temperature things early on.) DD1 was 23 months when they were born, so I was dealing with her as well!

I tried to go to the NICU once a day, sometimes twice. The staff would let me try and nurse and then bottle/tube feed after that. About day 10, I got the neonatologist to allow me to "count" the nursing as part of their feeding (they weighed them prior and after feeding and assumed the difference was due to nursing.) The NICU nurse cautioned me that this does not always work, but it did for us and I felt like we were making progress.

I had a large milk supply, so I didn't have to worry about waking up every 3 hours and pumping at night. I pumped when I rolled over and needed to and then I tried to do so about every 3 hours during the day. I rented a hospital grade pump (an Ameda, but only b/c that is what they had at my hospital & I received the supplies while I was still there.) They also had the same pump in the NICU and would let me pump there after I tried to nurse the twins.

I also used a nipple shield b/c one of the twins had trouble latching on. I used it with DD1, so it wasn't anything new to me. The NICU nurses were extremely helpful in teaching me how to tandem nurse, but I was never very good at it in or out of the hospital!

hang in there! It takes some work but it is worth it!