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Breastfeeding Twins


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  #1  
June 13th, 2012, 07:54 PM
Rae-of-Sunshine's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Ok .. so far in our expectant MoMs check-in thread breastfeeding and or feeding twins in general seems to be an issue of interest. Now it is our turn moms, tell us how you fed your twins:

Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination?

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both?

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane )

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse?

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom?

Anything I missed?
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  #2  
June 13th, 2012, 08:11 PM
Rae-of-Sunshine's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination? Both. I actually fed them with a syringe and tube for almost 2 weeks, because they were having trouble latching on and I did NOT want to introduce bottles. This was a royal PAIN, let me tell you, but DH helped and we survived. Finally about a week and a half after they were born I made an appt with a lactation consultant and that made all the difference in the world. She got both of them to latch and stay latched (with the help of nipple shields, but I was not complaining). From then until I went back to work at 9 weeks they were primarily breast feed with supplmental bottles every now and then, mostly for Abigail who was a lazy nurser, but occaisionally for Noah too if he was really hungry and didn't seem to be getting anything anymore.
Abigail was bf until about 6 months, when she just put up too much of a fight, and she switched exclusively to bottles. Noah was bf until 11 months when he again decided he had enough.

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both? Both. They had about 95% bm until I went back to work at 9 weeks. Keeping up with demand pumping at work didn't happen, and they slowly decreased to about 80% bm by 6 months and 50% by 9 months. At 12 1/2 months now we are just starting them on cows milk and I am slowly decreasing pumping (down to twice a day) and I expect to be done pumping by in 2-3 weeks. Both worked well for us. At first I hated when I didn't have enough milk for them, but once I stopped stressing about it, things were a great balance. They got milk bottles if DH had enough for 2 during the day and if not they got formula.

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane ) Always at the same time. I had a twin nursing pillow and even when I switched to one nursing and one with a bottle I still fed them both snuggled with me on the pillow. It was HARD at first. Trying to keep them both latched on and nursing about an hour a pop made me very sick of my couch. I would always get Noah on first since he stayed better, then get Abigail on and it would take both hands to keep them positioned and on (none of this checking the I-phone while nursing like you will hear single moms talk about). It IS doable though.

At night when one would wake to eat I would wake the other. I honestly wonder if Abigail would ever have eaten if Noah hadn't woken up. We had our routine. Get both up at once (back then I could carry both), scream through a diaper change on the couch, feed, back to bed. I did all the night feedings myself. I know many couples that shared. Since I was nursing though, there wasn't much DH could help with and we decided in those early weeks that one of us needed to get enough sleep to be able to drive to appt and all. It worked for us. DH was a SAHD and I had 9 weeks off, so I had nights and he would let me nap a bit during the day. By about 6 weeks I was managing to get up with them at night and not need a nap during the day.

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse? These were my first and I was clueless ... I HIGHLY recommend figuring out where you can get help if you need it now, so you know who to call if you do (hospitals often have lactation consultants, or local la leche league, someone). For me it was the local hospital had a specific office with a nurse who did LC full time. It cost me $15 to see her. The best $15 I ever spent!

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom? Twin nursing pillow .. feed both at once ... and don't stress, do what works best for you and your family and don't let anyone tell you what you "should" be doing
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  #3  
June 14th, 2012, 08:31 PM
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Did you breast/bottle or both----I thought I would nurse one and bottle feed the other then switch at the next feeding. However, they were a little finicky about nursing at first and I didnt want to get them too used to bottles so I nursed excluively for a couple weeks and then I just found bottles to be too much work so I really didnt use them unless I was in line at the store or I wanted a nap. I started introducing a little formula about 7 months and Ava quit nursing at 11m, Aleah at 13months

Did you feed them both at the same time?--Only when they were both super hungry or I was in a hurry. I like my snuggle time with each baby and I have never much liked feeling like a dairy cow. lol. They were such very different newborns that it took a long time to get them on the same schedule. Eating was a little easier than sleeping. We would start out each day/ night on the same schedule but when we tried to force them to stick with it all day/night it always backfired. IE.. Aleah would sleep 5-7 hours without waking but once she woke she would never really settle down well again. Ava would go back to sleep fine but never slept for more than 3-4 at a stretch. So if we tried to wake aleah at 1am when Ava got up to eat she would never go back down well, but if we left her alone, she would sleep till 4or5am and I would only have to nurse ava that first feeding.

tips or tricks?--- I used a rocking/lazy boy style chair and pillows. It was comfortable and had room for all 3 of us and sometimes my toddler.

Advice?--- I would soak up as much information as you can but know that any/all of it might be totally useless to your situation. Just try to breath in those beautiful babies as much as you can cause it goes soooo fast.
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  #4  
June 15th, 2012, 01:11 PM
Celry's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination? BF and fed pumped milk in the beginning. They were horrible nursers and it took us about 3 months for them to nurse really well.

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both? Pumped milk. We did have to use formula for one of the girls, every third feeding for about a week because of weight gain issues. My pedi wanted us to use it every feeding and not BF and wanted me to continue after the week, but I refused because I knew my kid was fine. I would have continued if I thought she needed it. What she needed was to eat from a bottle, not necessarily formula.

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane )..fed back to back in the beginning when trying to get them to BF, then we would feed bottles at the same time most of the time. At night, DH would take a baby and I would take a baby and each would feed that child all night. They tended to wake around the same time.

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse? The twins were my first. I now have a 2 day old and she nurses way better than they did.

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom? Hang in there. If you're determined to BF, keep giving it a try because it can work out even if they aren't good at it for a long time. If you decide to formula feed, then don't beat yourself up over it. It's so hard in the beginning and you have to do what's best for all of you.
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  #5  
June 29th, 2012, 05:00 AM
Rae-of-Sunshine's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Anyone else have some good advice for our new moms. There seems to be lots of concern about bfing twins, and I know we all have very different experiences and things that worked for us, so come on .. share!!
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"If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy hand lead me and Thy right hand shall guide me."

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  #6  
July 1st, 2012, 06:08 PM
Amari's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you!
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  #7  
July 17th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination? we had to suppliment (a few oz a day) for the first week with formula b/c of issues with being jondace. Otherwise it was breastfed from the beginning until about 2 months. then i would pump once a day and have DH feed them to get used to taking a bottle.

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both? so far I am pumping while at work for them. We will do this as long as possible without supplimenting formula, but i'm only a week back at work.

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane ) mostly its at the same time. at least for the first month. that would be the one thing that I cannot stress enough to try to do! it saves so much time! I would even wake up the sleeping twin if one woke up at night to eat - the one night I didn't I ended up being up all night going back and forth between the girls. now that they are older and eat much less during the day I feed them together for the first feeding of the day and then feed on demand throughout the day. it's not too bad, they are quick eaters and I don't feel like I am constantly feeding them. Plus it gets them used to not eating together b/c DH doesn't feed them together when he's watching them all day (he's a stay at home dad).

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse? I do have an older child, and I think it probably did affect it because he was a great nurser and I never had any issues with him. So it made me really optimistic and I knew what to expect and how to latch, etc.

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom? I have a twin nursing pillow and a 4ft by 4 ft crochet blanket (any thick blanket would prob work). I lay the girls together on the middle cushion of the couch (feet facing me) and get my pillow on my lap, then lay one on each side of the pillow in the football hold. use the blanket to prop up thier heads once you get them latched so you can use both hands to get the other twin latched. works great. then while they nurse i do usually hold thier heads with my hands, but i don't have to if i want to flip the tv channel or something. plus if one needs to burp i can easily pull them up to my shoulder without disturbing the other twin too much - and can easily pop them back on if I pull it out of thier mouth.

Anything I missed? Just try it. and keep in mind that it will be a bit more difficult then you expect. I tried the first time in the hospital and the nurses were great with getting enough pillows and helping to get the girls latched. I feel like that definately helped - you have to let them touch your boob though!

You can always PM me if you have more questions about it. only 3 months here, but going strong with no issues yet!
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  #8  
July 17th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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I dont have twins, but I thought I would share how I breastfeed my triplets. I have been breastfeeding them for 24 months
Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination? combination. I would BF 2 of them at the same time and bottle feed the other by propping up the bottle. the bottle still had breastmilk though. I would switch between which 2 i would BF, so that at some point they all had both BF and bottles.Now that they are older, I just BF 2 of them, then when theyre done I BF the other.

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both? I pumped. Ive only used formula in situations where I didnt have time to pump.

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane ) all of the above lol. I usually try to have all 3 eating at once, but sometimes its just to crazy. Xavier is hungry a lot more than Ansleigha and Nevaeh, always has, and Nevaeh is a lazy eater so that has always made it somewhat difficult to keep a schedule. Now that theyre older I tend to lean more toward whenever each one is hungry

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse? no I dont have older children, but I am pregnant again, dont know if just 1 baby or not yet, but I am hoping and planning on being able to tandem nurse later on.

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom? when they were little, even if they were all sleeping I would wake them up to eat cause I wanted to try and keep them all on schedule. if I didnt, I would just end up confusing myself. some advice would be that you dont have o be afraid to try and BF twins, or even triplets because it is doable. it takes a lot of work, but it is definitely worth it
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  #9  
July 18th, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination? bottle fed

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both? pump

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane ) both at the same time

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse? I pumped with my first child as well.

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom? I used a Podee bottle with one and held the other one and then I would switch for the next feeding.
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  #10  
July 20th, 2012, 10:30 AM
cachex10's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Did you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination?
At first it was a combination, when they were first born. What they received in their bottles had some formula at first but after my milk came in and I pumped constantly, the bottles only had breastmilk. By a couple months old they were exclusively on the breast.

If you bottle fed, did you pump or use formula, or both?
See above

Did you feed them both at the same time, back to back, or just whenever each one was hungry (and if you chose option 3, please tell me how you stayed sane )
I tried to feed them tandem, but it was really, really hard to. The girls were never great at latching so if I did too many tandem feedings in a row I would end up with milk blisters (OUCH!!!) or in pain. If I could work with them one on one it was much easier to get a good latch so most of our feedings were back to back or when they were hungry ... no idea how I stayed sane during that first year with so little sleep. I don't remember much of it, though!

Do you have an older child that you nursed singly & did this affect your decision/comfort level (what you were used to) on whether or not to tandem nurse?
I have three older children and it definitely affected my decision to nurse. Each of them was nursed for over a year (17 months, 14 months and 13 months each) so I really felt strongly I wanted to do the same for the twins and not let the challenge of it stop me ... even though there were doctors and nurses that were not very encouraging.

What tips/tricks worked well for you to feed both? What advice would you give a new mom?
Just be patient with yourself. Pumping is definitely necessary, I feel (and I never really did it with my singletons). Having a store of BM in the freezer really helped even with just my confidence level. Also, look into local lactation consultants and utilize them if you're having any problems. My lactation consultant was also a twin mom so very familiar with all of the struggles I was having and that really helped a lot! Overall I was able to nurse them until 14 months (planned to go to 18 months but family tragedy changed things for us) and I'm really glad I didn't listen to anyone who said I couldn't do it and keep my stubborn butt going!
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