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Managing Breastmilk Oversupply with Twins

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Over the past week, my happy breastfed babies have turned angry and fussy. They're gassy, pull away from the breast a lot, are hungry all the time, have watery poops and the occasional green stool. I think I've got an oversupply/foremilk-hindmilk imbalance. All the advice I've found about dealing with this is written for mothers feeding one baby. Have any of you had this problem, and how did you manage it?
post #2 of 13
how old are they?

you could try expressing to empty both breasts as completely as possible and then start feeding them straight away from 'empty' breasts. this can kind of reprogramme them, if that makes sense.

otherwise, you could allocate each twin one breast for 12/24 hours and see how it settles with less swapping them to each side (if that's what you're doing atm)
post #3 of 13
just to add that green stools could also be an allergy or infection, so if they're poorly go get them checked out (but keep b'feeding!) if you've fed them for some time without issue, then infection is probably more likely than oversupply.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
The babies are 3 weeks old (born at 40 weeks). I know we're all still getting adjusted, but I don't want this to get worse. My mom stopped BFing my brother because he was having similar problems and the pediatrician said he was lactose intollerant. But I would guess it was probably an oversupply problem with her too. Her milk always let down when any baby cried.

I feed each baby from the same breast for 24 hours and then switch them for the next day. For a while the letdown reflex was so painful that I thought I might have a really bad case of thrush. I've started feeding them more often so they're more likely to get to the hindmilk, but I would really like to get back to feeding them every 3 hours or so rather than every 45 minutes.

They're both growing like weeds. (One baby gained over a pound in the four days between leaving the hospital and visiting the doctor.) So I know it's not a major problem, but I'd like my happy boys back. It's awful to feel like I'm causing them so much discomfort and pain.
post #5 of 13
Don't they say to nurse more frequently if the mom is having LOW supply, so that it will increase her supply? So maybe you should try stretching out feedings to 3 hours or a bit more if they'll go that long without crying.
post #6 of 13
Keep nursing how you are but once you get letdown remove the babies and let the milk flow a bit into a CD. Then latch them on again.

I've had overactive letdown with both of my kiddos. With my DD (first) I didn't know what it was and she was acting how you describe. Nobody was particularly supportive of BF so I had to stick to my guns! After a day or two she was fine!!! So when DS started showing similar signs I immediately started with the CD.

I know it has to be trickier with two, I'm not there yet, as I can't imagine the logistics. But maybe you can nurse separately for a bit or ask for a helping hand.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, the boys cry bloody murder when they get hungry. Then the adrenaline kicks in, I start sweating, my milk lets down, and we're all miserable. When I'm able to feed them individually, I've been massaging the breast to help the fattier hindmilk get to their little mouths before they fill up on foremilk. This seems to be helping. They don't get hungry as fast and their poops are looking more normal. I am also considering just assigning them a breast, rather than switching each day. Even if I end up lopsided, at least they'll be able to regulate their own milk supply.
post #8 of 13
I was going to suggest assigning them each a breast and not switching every day. That was what finally worked for us. And I wasn't lopsided!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Lindsey. I think that's the route we're headed. I've had them on the same sides for two days now and the fussiness seems to be improving. I am a bit lopsided right now, but that could be because we're still adjusting.
post #10 of 13
I'm lopsided as it is. Assigning a breast would never work for me, my left just produces way more than the right, and both of my babes preferred it as they got older. To the point that DS wouldn't even take the right at all after 9 mo. I'd also be afraid that if something happened to one breast (injury, infection, etc.) the baby on that side would refuse the other side.

My fears are probably unwarranted, I've never been there before, but the thought scares me.

But if your kids get hungry that fast, can you catch them before, as they start showing the earliest hungry signs?
post #11 of 13
My twins are nine weeks old and we occasionally have the same problem ("enthusiastic" let down, gassy babies). They usually only nurse on their assigned side, but when the green poops start, I then switch them every feeding. I really don't know why this works; I must have looked it up in the middle of the night and then completely forgotten the rationale, but it totally works for us.
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by Valerieg View Post
I'm lopsided as it is. Assigning a breast would never work for me, my left just produces way more than the right, and both of my babes preferred it as they got older. To the point that DS wouldn't even take the right at all after 9 mo.
i had this the other way round with previous children (left less than right) but, amazingly (or not) my left is now a bigger supply than right (due to ds nursing way more) so i can confirm that it was mostly my personal preference that seems to have swayed previous children!? however, i do seem to have less breast tissue on the left, so perhaps that explains why he feeds more often (ie: he has to work harder to keep the supply up) BUT it doesn't explain why he has 5lbs on his sister despite her being allocated the 'better producing' breast

all to say - you might be surprised (or you might not )
nursing twins challenged many assumptions i previously held (and i'm trained in b'feeding theory and support as well as having 4 previous b'fed children)

twins.rock.your.world.in.every.possible.way!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #13 of 13
My New Years resolution was to become more laid back and accept life as it comes...I figure the twins will definitely help with that! In fact, I think I was blessed with twins so that my world would get rocked and all my assumptions would have to be thrown out the window.

I'm glad to hear that things can reverse. I don't doubt that I prefer the left- that's where I prefer to hold my babies. So it's good to know that a baby placed on the right can still thrive. I have much less breast tissue on the right though- I was lopsided prior to my first child.
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