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Breast feeding advice.


Forum: May 2012 Playroom

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  • 1 Post By *Jillian*
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  #1  
March 1st, 2012, 02:18 PM
Dóchas's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Girls do you think it's ok to pump straight away?
I want to breast feed the twins if I can but I also know that if they are prem they will be taking away so I want their 1st feed to be breast milk.

I know breast is better but also know I might not have a choice depending on their size.
I'm also terrified about breast feeding Twins. Would you feed both together or one at a time.
I want to give them the best start but its so over whelming.
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  #2  
March 1st, 2012, 02:24 PM
*Jillian*'s Avatar Baby #3 on the way
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Try not to overwhelm yourself with that too much. You can absolutely pump in the hospital and give them that for their feedings if they come early. One of my besties gave her babies breastmilk and she had triplets at 34 weeks. She managed to keep that up for 4 months. It's totally doable, but you have to get as much information and support as you can. Don't fret too much. It can be done, but it's going to be a different experience for each baby. Approach it like it's one child and each one will learn a different way.

And I really think you'll have to experiment on whether it's easier to feed separately or together. I'd just try all sorts of options.
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  #3  
March 1st, 2012, 02:27 PM
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It's fine to pump right away, especially if the babies are in the NICU for a bit. I've known many women IRL that have been able to exclusively give their twins breast milk just fine, from nursing straight from the breast, pumping, or a combo. Most NICUs will syringe feed breast milk to babies from the start, then move onto giving them breast milk in a bottle or nursing from the breast, but it can vary depending on their size, etc.

I would probably try to tandem nurse them, just to make things easier for you. But what's most important is to nurse them on demand to keep your supply up. So, if one is hungry, but the other is asleep, then I'd just nurse the one at that time. I'd try to tandem them when they're both looking to eat though.

The Breastfeeding Board might have some more ideas/info for you as well.
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  #4  
March 1st, 2012, 02:32 PM
Dóchas's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks girls. I'm just nervous that I won't be able to give them the best start.
I want to try to feed them if I can. I know its going take up a lot of time if they feed at different times. But I'd suppose ye're right it will keep my supply up.

I think the closer it comes to them being born the more nervous I'm getting. I know I will love them 100% and try my best to give them my all. I'd suppose because I'll be a 1st time mom I have the normal worries x2.
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  #5  
March 1st, 2012, 02:35 PM
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In general, nursing a baby exclusively can take up a lot of time. But keep in mind that as they grow and get older, they'll usually space out feedings more and more. It's just getting the hang of nursing in the beginning, etc that can be difficult. But we're here for support! I usually tell people that the first 6 weeks are the hardest, after that you usually have figured out the best nursing positions for you, have an established supply, are used to nursing a lot, etc.
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  #6  
March 1st, 2012, 03:26 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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You know what? You ARE going to give them the best start. Because you're a good parent and you care and you'll do whatever you can for them. And that's the important part.

You can pump right from the start. Make it clear to the nurses that your plan is to breastfeed and if they're in the NICU you'll need a pump, you should be able to rent one while you're there. (And the hospital grade pumps they have are a step above anything you can buy.) For the first few days you won't get much out, and some people think there's nothing there.... but the drops you get are colostrum and it is what babies need those first few days - and they need very little of it. Anything you can pump out and provide for them is fantastic, truly. Even if they're in the NICU and need to get some formula, just keep pumping. Even a teaspoon is AWESOME.

As far as nursing goes I like the advice of treating each baby as an individual. Every baby learns differently and you're all going to be newbies - it probably won't go perfectly smoothly. That's okay! Kate when she was first born would pop on and off constantly, she'd suck and I'd think, hey, she's figured this out!" and then she'd be turning her head left and right again, mouth open, fumbling around for that nipple. (It was kind of amusing, really.) Have the number of a Lactation Consultant and your local LLL leader available so you can call for advice if you get stuck and need help - and find out if your hospital provides certified Lactation Consultants (mine does!). Not just a nurse who thinks they know what they're doing. You'll get conflicting advice when you're in the hospital, probably. I was polite and thanked everyone and then did my own thing anyways.

Some twin moms tandem nurse (at the same time), some don't... it really depends what works for you. You'll figure it out, I promise. There are all kinds of pillows and stuff on the market... try them out, see what works. I've heard that the My Breast Friend is a good one for twins, btw - because it's bigger so it's easier to fit two babies on there to nurse at the same time.

Your nipples will probably hurt for a few weeks. Some people get just mild tenderness, and some get wicked sensitive (guess which one I am?!). It's hormones and getting used to the wet/dry and suckling. It DOES pass. After about 3 weeks for me, sometimes longer for others. If the pain is super bad and/or lasts longer than that then it's worth getting checked out - well honestly any pain is worth getting checked out. I had a LC check Kate's latch to make sure she was doing it correctly and that there wasn't anything more I can do.

Read some books beforehand... I recommend LLL's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. And take a class if you can... they are very informative. Mostly I liked the diagrams and how things should look when it's working right, and the common things to look for and ways to correct it (latch problems, etc).
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  #7  
March 1st, 2012, 03:39 PM
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I know when I was pregnant with DS I worried a lot about if I could BF or not. No matter how i tried to inform myself and prepare myself nothing really prepared me other than doing it. Experiencing it and working through the difficulties of the first few weeks. It's natural to be worried and with twins it would be that much more worry.

Funny thing is when people talk about having multiples this is always one thing that would worry me if I had them. Would I be able to nurse them? It's just important to me and I get your concern. The unknown is always difficult, but you are going to do great.
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  #8  
March 1st, 2012, 03:44 PM
Dóchas's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks girls. Yer support means so much. At least when it all gets to me I know I can turn to ye.
I have one of the "My Breast Friend pillows" so fingers crossed I CAN DO THIS...

I'm going to my 1st local Multiples Club coffee morning tomorrow. as far as I know I'll be the only one pregnant but all the other ladies there have twins or more so I'm hoping I'll get some good advice.
It'll be weird walking in on my own (DH is working) they will all have their twins with them running around etc and know each other but I'll just have to out on my confidant stage face and walk in...
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  #9  
March 1st, 2012, 04:08 PM
KaiyaRae'sMomma's Avatar Forever missing Kaiya Rae
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I agree with all the suggestions. All you can do is give it your best and try to do what you want! Pump, feed from breast, a mix of both, you can and will figure out what works for you! I think there is a multiples board on JM too? Maybe they can help too.
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  #10  
March 1st, 2012, 06:44 PM
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I know it was already mentioned but Im going to say it again Find out if you have a la leche league meeting near you and go. Also get their book the womanly art of breastfeeding so awesome!
At my local meeting there is a girl who is EBF twins. They are 2 months right now and she feeds them both exclusively and pumps for storage once a day. Most of the time she feeds them separate but occasionally does tandem.
LLLI.org will get you started looking into the group
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  #11  
March 2nd, 2012, 02:34 AM
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I think there are two seperate issues here - one is the 'usual' worry of will I/can I breastfeed, the other being the twins aspect.

Wrt to actually breastfeeding, the hospital will be delighted you want to do so and will support you in every way they can - if the babies are poorly/v.prem/unable to suckle they will provide you with a motorised pump to get things going whilst you are in the hospital (and will loan it to you once you leave, I believe - at least that's how it worked for my step sisters 32-weeker). They will offer all kinds fo tips like actually pumping alongside the babies so that you can see/touch them and if that's not possible to hold/smell an item of clothing they have had on and look at a picture of them. You must rest/try not to stree/drink enough fluids. In short, establishing breastfeeing with even a singleton preemie can be hard work to get going, especially when they haven't got a suck reflex, but is SO worth in wrt the benefits for both/all of you. You CAN do it, I'm sure because you sound determined and you will be supported.

Now, as for the twin thing, I have no experience (nor anyone close to me so that I could relay experience by proxy!) but I suggest you contact TAMBA (or the Irish equivalant). I think you really need the experiences/points of view from a few different women who have managed to bf twins. Do you have the NCT in Ireland? Or again, equivalent.

Good news you're meeting up with the multiples group - hopefully someone there will be able to offer you some advice.

Also, just as an aside, the amounts you get in the first few days will likely be, to your eyes, pathetic. But even a couple of mls of colostrum is like gold and also such a small amount is normal! Even when your milk comes in you may still not get what you think is 'enough' but again, a small amount is better than none and the supply will increase eventually - ESPECIALLY if you don't let it stress you (that's why I'm giving you a heads up - I've seen many women stressing in the early days of a preemie that they're not producing enough which in turn affect their ability to produce!). You have to think calm, happy, thoughts and that will help!
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  #12  
March 2nd, 2012, 07:54 AM
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I wouldtry to bf them at the same and then would probablybpump afterwards to build up a really good supply. The first few weeks you will probably feel like you are breastfeeDing 24/7 but it will get better.
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  #13  
March 2nd, 2012, 12:59 PM
bookworm16_2000's Avatar Mom to Allison and JR
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I agree with what everyone has said! The biggest thing to realize is you will be feeding them constantly for the first few weeks! It's normal and nothing wrong with it.

As for pumping, start ASAP after the birth. I started pumping once a day as soon as I got out of the hospital. I wasn't doing it for any other reason than to build up a stock pile, in case I needed it. I ended up having to have my gallbladder removed at 2.5 months PP and couldn't breastfeed for a week because of my having severe jaundice. I had exactly enough stored to allow my daughter to have half-breastmilk, half- formula bottles the entire time. My mom called to say they were out of BM (she and DD were at home) 5 minutes after I had gotten the okay to start breastfeeding again!

As for feeding twins- I've got nothing But if you are determined enough you will get through it and succeed!
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