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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

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Absolutely! Sounds like you have a great thing going -- though it is hard hard hard no matter how you do it right now -- hang in there! I also did a combo of nursing and bottle feeding due to low milk supply with my twins, and while I angsted about it often, it was definitely nice to be bottle feeding sometimes. I did not get that nighttime longer stretch of sleep though and boy, it was NOT pretty -- I don't really recommend it at all. So good for you for finding out a routine that works for everyone!

Also, yes yes yes, it gets so much better as they get older. Nursing my twins was a joy from about 8 months on, and I am actually still doing it now at 3 years old. It still gets them to both fall asleep for nap every single day, and that is SO worth it to me! Not to mention the sweet cuddles and bonding between them that is pretty amazing.

You are so awesome. I mean, fantastic awesome. I admire you so much! And, your babies are still getting YOUR milk. If they can switch from breast to bottle, you should dance a jig and then just keep on doin' what you're doin'! Lots of hugs and prayers for all your sweet babes :)

Ditto HouseUnseen! I nursed Monica for 25 months...and enjoyed about 20% of that time. Didn't hate the other 80%, but it was more tolerance than enjoyment. It just seemed better than the alternatives. Especially since, due to nonexistent-let-down-reflex followed-by-supply issues, I could never exclusively breastfeed her. So, having been not only a bottle-plus-breast mama, but a breast-plus-formula mama, it sounds to me like you're doing a fantastic job, and the twins won the lottery!

I was one of those that exclusively nursed my twins, but my situation was so different from yours it doesn't even seem comparable. For one, my twins were 39 weeks when they were born, and latched vigorously from the start. While I don't really remember the first 4-6 weeks (except for that all three of us had thrush and I suffered greatly and had a really hard time getting rid of it), by the time I came out of that fog, both babies were extremely fast nursers. I could nurse them both in 20 minutes, 30 TOPS. (I always nursed one and then the other b/c tandem nursing made me CRAZY. HATED.)

I had a friend that had a baby around the same time, and once we were out together when our babies got hungry, so we went into a dressing room together. I nursed BOTH of my babies and was in the middle of changing one of their diapers and her singleton was JUST SWITCHING SIDES. As in, only half way through his feeding! So yeah, mine were fast.

The other factor was that my twins were my first so my ONLY parenting task was to keep them fed and happy. I think things would have gone very different for me if I had other kids at home.

It sounds like you have a fantastic system down. If you can hack the pumping, I say keep on doing what you're doing!

You are AMAZING. I also love nursing almost all the time, but the pump drives me a bit crazy. As does all the washing it causes - it must be quite the job just keeping the bottles/nipples/breastshields clean. Do the twins take bottles from you? My singleton won't even take a bottle from someone else if I'm in the room.

Jessica beat me to my first line - you are absolutely AMAZING. Awe inspiring. Your living out of your vocation is so beautiful, despite how exhausted you feel. AMAZING.

I just spent the weekend with a dear girlfriend whose newborn is having problems latching, so it brought back all sorts of memories of my pumping/hand-expressing for tongue-tied Teddy. Her DOG chewed up the pump parts (shields, connecters, valves and flaps) while she and the baby came to get us at the airport, so we had to do a mad dash around town looking for pump replacement parts. The things we do, eh? :)

I am in awe of you being able to nurse twins and feed them exclusively on breast milk. I've met so many moms who have ended up with supply issues and had to use a bottle or two of formula in addition to pumping and nursing. Not all moms are made the same in that way sadly. You are doing what is best for you and your kids! That is ALL that matters.

It sounds like you're doing great. Yes, some twin moms nurse exclusively. But plenty of others can't even get their babies latched on, and pump and bottle feed till they can't take it anymore and then switch to formula. I'd say that you're probably nursing more than the average twin mom. I'm glad it's working out so well!

As a fellow twin mom, I totally understand that you gotta do what you gotta do!

I had one good latcher and one who would fall asleep nursing with a weak suck, so to be sure that they would both get adequate amounts, I turned to pumping/bottlefeeding breastmilk 50% and formula 50% (I wasn't producing enough milk for both - would have been enough for a singleton though). At 3 months, even the pumping was too much for me so I stopped and we moved to formula.

Bottom line, you have to do what's best for YOU and YOUR BABIES. Good for you for realizing that early on!

I know it's weird, but I actually like pumping. Maybe for the reason you said, there's something oddly satisfying about watching those little bottles fill up!

Anyway, you're doing a great job, lady! Just remember that.

I couldn't agree more with the comments that say you are AMAZING! You are doing such a great job getting Linus and Ambrose breast milk in the way that works best for all 6 people in your family. Wow! Keep reminding yourself how great you are doing and keep adjusting things as you need to to take care of yourself and your family.

A fellow twin mom saying - whatever works, it's all good. If switching up nursing with bottles is what works this time around, go with it! I had my twins first, so never had to worry about other kids and their needs. I hated tandem nursing, so there was some listening to the other baby fuss while waiting for her turn (since my two refused a bottle until 5 months.) I have long said that it's a bit easier to do the twins first, because then there are no previous experiences to set up expectations that you'll never meet. You sound like you are doing great!

I gotta say, I am so relived to hear you, champion nurser, say it's not all roses!
My babies were born at 28 week, I fought so hard to get a great supply (which I got!), and then had a wonky left breast, yeast, staph and inflamation issues that finally led me to just say goodbye to lefty and nurse one baby at a time, while the other is bottle fed.
Tandem nursing, while a great idea, like a couple other said, made me feel nuts. I couldn't relax, but with only one nursing, I can.
Sadly, I've just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, so I've only got a little time left to nurse before I have to take meds to save my joints.
BUT! I have a deep freezer full of breast milk and so they will get at least two bottles a day until I runs out. Keep sleeping, it is more important to be sane than to breastfeed every single feeding.

Hi Arwen! I commend you for being such a strong mother. Raising your twins and feeding them with your milk is not a very easy task. You are doing such an incredible job. Two thumbs up for you.

Sounds like you have an awesome system worked out and it will get better as they get bigger. You are doing awesome and I am sure exhaustion is a daily part of your day but hang in there! They are growing each day and it will get easier!

I tandem nursed my twins (after returning the pump- gotta love those industrial strength pumps!- around 4 weeks old) but the only way I could do it was using a big twin nursing pillow. It's like a boppy but a lot bigger. They both laid on it football hold style (which I had never used for the 1st three and never really liked until I was forced to do it). Then the babies switched sides at the next feeding because I did have one hungrier one who was making me lopsided! They each only nursed on one side at a feeding. The pump helped build up my supply really well.

I always nursed them at the same time until they were maybe 10-11 months because that was just easier for me to get all the feedings done at once. Around 6 weeks, we started giving a bottle at bedtime but my girl choked and gagged and wouldn't take formula. They boy would so our routine at bedtime was I nursed our girl and my husband fed the boy. We did that probably until they were around 10 months old every.single.night.

Feeding twins is a full time job and I would just say try to get as much rest as you can and make sure you are eating enough! It takes a lot of energy to make that much milk. At one point when my twins were maybe 5-6 weeks old, I just resigned myself to the fact that all day, every day I would be nursing babies for a real long time and just not plan on doing much else. Once I lowered my expectations, I was happier and so was everyone! The older kids and I played a lot of Uno-- as long as they would take my cards for me. It was something I could do while sitting nursing. Those are good memories (now- it's been almost 8 years!)

Good luck and just try to enjoy those little guys! There's nothing like twins and believe it or not, I sometimes find myself wishing it would happen again because I think now I would be able to handle it better! :)

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