Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    21

    Default BFing / pumping for twins - how did you do this?!

    Need advice please... our beautiful baby girls are almost three weeks old now and I'm really struggling with the BF/pumping situation. We're feeding every three hours... DD1 nurses like a champ - latches on, goes to town and done in 15-20 minutes. DD2 is not nursing well at all so we've been bottle-feeding pumped milk or supplementing with it if she's able to nurse even a little while. Both girls are still very tiny so weight gain is key. We're also doing one bottle feeding of pumped milk for both each night (per our ped's advice) to split up the feeding duties so we can each get a little bit of uninterrupted sleep.

    Did anyone else have to do something like this with twins, and if so, how did you do it? I'm concerned about supply and have yet to be able to pump enough to bottle feed DD2 for an entire day plus feed both overnight. I have been reading up on exclusive pumping for DD2 but not sure how I would blend that with BFing DD1 also? Each feeding takes SO long and I'm quickly approaching exhaustion trying to keep up!

    Thanks in advance!

    Vicki
    Proud mama to twin girls Moo and Peanut born 08/09
    and our two angel babies, 08/06 and 03/07

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    308

    Default

    I could have written exactly what you said here myself. I had one twin (DS)that was nursing decently and the other that just could not (DD), partially becuase of her small size. I ended up pumping and bottle feeding. Trying to nurse DS and then pump for her, plus supplement to make up what I wasn't pumping was getting out of hand --especially because we were having to feed every 3 hours also because of their small size. We were also doing one formula feed at night to give me *somewhat* of a break. I was always trying to pump before they ate, but sometimes they'd get hungry before I expected and then they were crying, waiting on me to finish pumping. So then I started pumping after they ate, so that I would have that milk ready and waiting for their next feed, but eventually it just felt like there was never time for me to pump with everything else that needed to be done and I was just constantly in pain. For awhile I was pumping enough in the morning to make several bottle for them and then once in the afternoon and then again before I went to bed, but even that got hard when they would be crying to eat in the morning and I wouldn't have time to pump before taking care of them.... I managed to keep all this up for 2 months. I finally decided that at least I had done it that long and figured no baby was ever malnourished from eating formula. I think if I hadn't been dealing with 2 babies I would have had more determination to keep at it, but I finally just gave it up. I think it made life a little easier with that one less thing to worry about. Don't want to discourage you from trying if BF is important to you, just wanted to let you know you weren't alone in what you're going through. It will sllooowwlly get better - promise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    183

    Default I did the same thing

    We had exactly the same issues. My ds never did learn to nurse properly despite the best efforts of two lactation consultants during our 18 days in the hospital after they were born. My dd nursed well but it would often take 45 minutes for me to know that she was done/had gotten enough. We were also feeding every 3 hours due to their small size.

    The only way we managed was by me pumping after every breastfeeding session with dd. I never did manage to provide 100% breastmilk for both babies. The closest I got was 80% for both and then, when my c-section scar got infected and I had to take antibiotics, I got a bad yeast mastitis infection and my supply was affected.

    I just split my beast milk as evenly as I could between the two babies. I rested during one middle of the night feeding and my husband took care of it with bottles. The bottles always had a portion of breastmilk and a portion of formula depending on how much breastmilk I had on hand. When the babies started sleeping through the night, I still got up in the middle of the night and pumped.

    Lastly, the only way I was able to keep pumping as much as I did is (until almost 9 months) is because I had my mother on hand to help for the first month and then we hired a mother's helper for 40 hours a week during the daytime hours. She fed me, cleaned the house, did laundry, helped settle babies and most importantly, looked after both babies while I was pumping. I didn't keep pumping every 3 hours until the 9 months, and, as a result, my supply dwindled but I know that I did as much as I could handle. If you are truly committed to providing breastmilk to both babies, I feel like you need help.

    Hang in there and have hope! My tiny preemie babies are now 95th and 75th perctile (as of there 9 month checkup).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    DC Suburbs
    Posts
    21,474

    Default

    I think many twin moms, me included, have had this same problem. Are you pumping after you feed them? That will make sure your breasts are completely empty, which will encourage production. But I hear you, by the time I finihsed feeding them, and then finished pumping, it was almost time to change them, then feed them again. It was never ending. Luckily my DH happily took on bottle washing duties.

    Have you tried "More Milk Plus?" It's a supplement that helps milk production. It really works.

    Also, to aid in production, make sure your room isn't too cold, that you massage your breasts before hand, and drink lots of water.

    I had to supplement one bottle a day with formula. My daughters were very early, and they HAD to gain weight, so they were on low birthweight formula. But I wouldn't have been able to keep up if they hadn't had that one bottle a day. I ended up successfully breast feeding for over a year (just stopped a few weeks ago because I had to go on medication that was counter-indicated.) Good luck!! It's not a failure to supplement. Moms who make snarky comments about it are mean, and singleton moms to boot.
    Mommy to my wonderful, HEALTHY twin girls
    6/08 - Preemies no more!

  5. #5
    fivi2 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    .
    Posts
    5,278

    Default

    Like pp, I ended up switching to exclusively pumping. It was just too much to try to nurse, then bottle feed to supplement, then pump. So I allowed myself to "just" pump. and not have the goal of transitioning to direct nursing. It was such a relief.

    I pumped a lot in the beginning. Every two hours during the day and every 3 or 4 hours at night. But I was fortunate in that I had a great supply. However there is no problem with supplementing with formula. You are doing a fantastic job no matter what you choose!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    160

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fivi2 View Post
    I pumped a lot in the beginning. Every two hours during the day and every 3 or 4 hours at night. But I was fortunate in that I had a great supply. However there is no problem with supplementing with formula. You are doing a fantastic job no matter what you choose!
    DD1 & DD2 9/2008

  7. #7
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    15,746

    Default

    Yes, absolutely supplement with formula (if your doctor agrees) if it gives you some relief.

    Sisi never developed as good of a latch as Greenbean. And her suck was weak, very much so in the beginning. When one got hungry I ALWAYS fed both. I used the EZ2Nurse pillow which is WONDERFUL (was told about it here) and always fed both at the same time. One big plus to this is that Greenbean had a strong suck and I felt that because of his strong suck, I produced a lot of milk on both sides. Sisi always got her fill and I think it was because of Greenbean's strong suck on the other side. Not sure if that made sense. I don't think she would have gained the weight she did if he hadn't had such a strong suck because she couldn't achieve a good let down on her own.

    But, in the beginning, when they were so tiny and so very tired, neither wanted to eat. I would try to nurse, then try to pump to keep my supply up until they got stronger, and then dropper feed them formula. After a few months, they got stronger and stayed awake for feedings. But man, that first month was so hard.

    Hang in there, you are doing great. Congrats on your new twins!
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  8. #8
    twowhat? is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13,429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gatorsmom View Post
    One big plus to this is that Greenbean had a strong suck and I felt that because of his strong suck, I produced a lot of milk on both sides. Sisi always got her fill and I think it was because of Greenbean's strong suck on the other side. Not sure if that made sense. I don't think she would have gained the weight she did if he hadn't had such a strong suck because she couldn't achieve a good let down on her own.
    This is totally true. Let-down is stronger when both babies are sucking, and the stronger sucker definitely does some of the work for the weaker one. I always BF both of my babies at the same time, day and night, for this reason. They eat faster too...on the occasion that I nursed separately each would take longer.

    I pumped at the beginning to supplement for jaundice and always pumped after the babies finished nursing. It was easiest because they were likely to be asleep. I used the EZ-2-nurse pillow too, just left them sleeping on the pillow, and pumped right there (have the pump and supplies nearby). Then, I'd nap right there until they woke up and then I'd worry about storing the milk away. It made sense to do it this way because you're just telling your body you need that much for milk for each nursing, and allows your body to establish supply based on the babies' actual nursing schedule.

    Definitely DO supplement with formula if it would help you. It might help for your husband to do a formula feeding at night so you can get a longer stretch of sleep, and more rest will help milk production too. Pumping is hard. You're doing great, and it WILL get easier.

  9. #9
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    .
    Posts
    19,453

    Default

    I mean to come back to reply to this thread, but am limited on how much I can type as I'm always sitting here hooked up to the pump, if that tells you anything. My 5w old girls both have sucking issues that make nursing near impossible until they are resolved. Till then, I pump and bottle feed. It took about a week of heavy pumping to get my supply up to cover both babies' needs; now we have an excess. But I've nursed before and am comfortable pumping, so know how to maximize my time at the pump - it does all make a difference.

    For nursing one and pumping for the other, I'd probably assign each baby a breast for each 3hr period. So, nurse on one side and pump on the other. 3hrs later, switch. If you just pumped on one side and baby needs to nurse again, offer baby the other side not just pumped.

    I can relate to how much time is spent feeding babies - for us so far, it has been by far the hardest part about having twin infants!
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

  10. #10
    BeachBum is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    .
    Posts
    3,371

    Default

    My ped and lactation consultant wanted me to feed every 2 hours instead of every three because of weight gain issues. That is something you may want to consider as well.

    I also agree with the pumping after you feed, nurse both at once for stronger/helping let down, comments. If you really want to BF I think you've just got to stick with it, and keep working on your poor nurser by offering the breast, not just the bottle. Once they get a little weight on them they will nurse so much stronger/ better. IMO, it is so much easier in the long run to nurse from the tap instead of bottle feed.
    While 20 minutes of nursing feels like a long time, is the minimum goal my Ped set for us for that age. Our goal was at least 20, but not more than 40.

    Three weeks, while it feels like a million years of your ass glued to the chair, is really still so early in the process.

    I do want to offer lots of hugs and support.
    Those first 2 months of nursing my boys was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I hope it helps to know that lots (maybe most) twin moms have been there with feeding issues and just the overwhelming feeling of nursing twins in general. It really, really, really does get so much better and easier.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •