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How realistic is it to nurse twins with no bottles? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
I never introduced bottles to my twins. Before they were born, I was pretty set on exclusive at-the-breast feeding, and after they were born, I just couldn't imagine when I would ever have time to pump! The babies nursed ALL THE TIME. I was mostly never separated from them, but my dp would sometimes take one (or both) for a walk for an hour or so to let me nap, and I'd always just nurse them before they left; it was a non-issue that no one else could feed them.

It's true that it is hard to tandem nurse discreetly. If I had someone with me in public, I would usually nurse my twins one-at-a-time. I'm guessing that your older kids will be a big help to you in this regard. I'd also sometimes try switch nursing the babies: nurse one for a few minutes, then nurse the other for a few minutes, and so on and so forth. Once they were about 2.5 months old and became more efficient nursers, I stopped tandem nursing them all together (then started up again around 7 months when they became aware of each other nursing and would get jealous).

It's definitely possible to forgo bottles with twins (assuming they are able to nurse well at birth), and it sounds like the commitments that require you to take some space from your babies are so minimal that they shouldn't require your babies to be fed anything in your absence.

post #22 of 35
For me your question breaks down into two parts...
1) can you nurse twins without pumping or supplementing
2) can you nurse twins in public

To question 1 -- yes undoubtedly you can exclusively nurse twins without pumping or giving formula.

To question 2 -- to me the answer is yes, if you can nurse a singleton in public you can nurse twins in public, just one at a time. (That's what I did.) But if the question is really can you *tandem* nurse in public... I see that at least one poster mastered that, so it seems quite possible! I never tried it--but I didn't like tandem nursing even at home.
post #23 of 35
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
To be honest, it's not a hill I'm going to die on. I mean, I definitely don't want to supplement with formula, but I'm really trying to let go of this idea that a good mommy doesn't use bottles. I never would judge another woman for pumping and feeding breastmilk, and I'm trying not to be hard on myself. I have no problem NIP, but prefer to do so as modestly as possible. I mean, I don't cover or anything, but I don't let it all hang out either. I'm not sure how I'll be able to do that with twins.
HI Annettemarie, I didn't read all the replies, but I did cruise through yours.

TOTALLY POSSIBLE to nurse twins with no bottles. I did it for 3 years (exempting a week of H@&(LL following an LC's instructions to try to force-feed them pumped milk w/ bottle or usually syringe, after each nursing b/c slow weight gain . . . didn't work anyway).

Your comment about being out with several older kids and the balance between no problem NIP, but not all hanging out reminded me of myself. I found it was easy to nurse comfortably in public without any sort of cover. I always could do this only with a parallel hold. But if I pulled the stroller near my chair, I could pick up one babe and latch on, then pick up other babe and latch on when they were only 1.5 weeks old. Later, I'd get both of them in my lap and then arrange one at a time. I'm sure you imagine it to be squirmy and crazy with two, but most of the time it was pretty orderly. Sometimes a home they were a little more "adventursome" during nursing!
post #24 of 35
My twins are now almost 7 months and they've each only had two bottles of EBM. I have obligations (two older children, school, church, and social) but they never have me away for more than an hour or two max. And the bottles were a choice I made, one for a bridal shower (3 hours) and the other a birthday lunch (3 hours). It would have been hard to get away in the early days, their schedules were slightly unpredictable, but I would have felt comfortable if they were in the same location and could be brought to me to nurse if necessary.

I have nursed the twins together away from home (friends' or family homes)but never in public. When we're at the zoo or a restaurant I just nurse them separately. I've found that I have to lift my shirt up too far to stay modest without a cover (and I dislike covers). I've also nursed in my car (minivan) multiple times and it's pretty easy to get them both together in there. It is amazing how strong my arms have gotten (and how skilled I've become) over these months- I can now lift my 16 lb boys up with one arm! Safely!
post #25 of 35
It was easy for me. Never bought bottles. One of my sons did have a bottle of EBM when he was in PICU for a week after birth but we just used the hospital bottles.

I detested the feeling of nursing both at once. Ugh, gave me the willies. So I didn't, modesty wasn't an issue. Occasionally I'd try it at home, but...*shudder*. I know other people that enjoy it, but not me. I learned how to nurse one and rock the other with my foot in their bouncy chair or bucket (in public) and switch off. They were both quick, efficient nursers so it wasn't a big deal.

Hard to say what it will be like until you actually meet your twins though. Some babies are easier than others, or if you've got two leisurely nursers that might be a problem. Or if you end up preferring to nurse both at the same time.
post #26 of 35
We didn't use bottles either. I found after a few months old, I preferred to nurse them seprately b/c they would bother each other. We went in spurts tandem nursing or nurseing alone, but I can absolutely see you nursing them, then leaving to go do the choir thing, coming home and nursing them without needing to pump. And at church I can see nursing one while the other sleeps in the carrier, although I think you need to have a reality check. 4 older kids + twins all by yourself??? You will need some help, and I am sure you could ask someone at your church to help you I would say try to let all obligations go teh first 8 weeks or so, then gradually work them back in. You may be able to work them on a schedule where you nurse the babies durring 'class' time in the baby room, and when the sermon is going on they probably won't need to nurse. They may sleep or just be content to be held. I really do think a second set of hands is necessary, though, if you are trying to keep them quiet for church service and still handle the older kids.
post #27 of 35
Just go slowly, and don't try to do everthing all at once. Be willing to be flexable, and you will have an easier time.
post #28 of 35
I haven't had time to read the other posts, but I just wanted to say that we did it, and I was lucky enough to get the tandem thing down right away. Mostly we tandemed, but I also would nurse each individually as well, as their time clocks for sleep were different. I did take the twin thing seriously, though, and got lots of help to make exclusive bf-ing possible.
Good luck! There is a lovely feeling to nursing two at once. Your arms are just full of love, especially when your older is climbing on your back at the same time.
post #29 of 35
Perhaps my experience was very different that a lot of other moms here, but at 6-8 weeks postpartum with my twins, I was not at all ready to resume outside commitments. After my experience and my experiences as a doula, I usually strongly recommended to expectant twin moms to seriously take it easy for the first 12 weeks minimum. Mothering, caring for and nursing two newborns is very physically and emotionally intense, IMHO. Plus, a twin mom's body will not only be recovering from birth, but also from twin pregnancy, which while a normal, healthy phenomenon, places different stresses on the body than a singleton pregnancy and requires a different recovery and healing process. Not to mention adding in meeting the needs of any other children in the house. I don't mean to freak anyone out or to be a total downer. But I felt like I needed to share my perspective and experience in those first postpartum months. Outside support at home was essential for me. As was releasing my expectations of what I'd be able to accomplish in a day just at home, much less trying to get out and about.

As far as nursing them at the breast w/o bottles, ITA that it is completely doable. That coincides completely with my experiences and the experiences of other friends who are also twin mothers.
post #30 of 35
Nursing twins with no bottles is realistic.

Getting back to your commitments at 6-8w pp is NOT, ime.

With twins, not only are you doing everything twice, you're often having to do things twice SIMULTANEOUSLY. That's the rub. Not just doing it twice; but having to pick and choose which baby is more hysterical and needs to eat/cuddle more than the other baby who is crying but not hysterically. Not getting any consecutive sleep for the first couple months. One baby eats, the other is asleep, 45 min later the other wakes up, by the time you've nursed him the other is waking up, someone needs a change, someone needs to be burped, someone needs to be cuddled and won't sleep without a boob in mouth, or only with you holding him...

God, I'm totally having PTSD-like flashbacks of my twins first year.
post #31 of 35
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the flashbacks.

My husband is actually pushing for me to quit my choir job now. It pains me more than you know to admit it, but I think he may be right. I don't know that I can do it. Last week, I went to church. Sunday School started around 9:30 and I was fine. I was fine at the beginning of church. By the end of the service, I felt like I had been run over by a truck. I came home, fell into bed, napped for three hours, and still didn't get out again. I don't know how I'll do Sunday School and church and then go back and do choir at 4. I don't know.

I just hijacked my own thread, LOL!
post #32 of 35
Replying from my phone. Pardon brevity and typos!

My twins never had bottles until they were older and we introduced diluted juices. I definitely think that's possible and that many twin moms sabotage their bf supply by introducing bottles and formula too soon just because that's what they've been told to expect. It's one thing to keep an open mind, but it's something else to set an expectation. Just make sure you're clear on which you are doing.

With regard to the choir job, I like that you see open to seeing what happens. You may get two super easy babies who are great sleepers. Or you mightget one easy and one high needs (which is kinda how mine were), or you might get two high needs babies. If they need lots of advancE notice, I would give myself the more open option that left me available to my babies. But if the church can be flexible, maybe you can wait and see how the first 4-6 weeks go before making decision.

Either way, I hope you find a solution that brings you joy.
post #33 of 35
I don't mean to scare you, and there is the occasional mom here who gets two easy-going newborns, but I think it's probably better to end up pleasantly surprised than... have PTSD-like flashbacks!
post #34 of 35
Forget PTSD-like flashbacks... I can't even REMEMBER those first 6 months!
post #35 of 35
Originally Posted by MamaRabbit View Post
Forget PTSD-like flashbacks... I can't even REMEMBER those first 6 months!
only I'll extend it to the first year.

Re: exclusively breastfeeding - it's definitely realistic! My twins were my 3rd & 4th babies (prior two had also been breastfed) and nursing was fine. Great, even. There were a couple times ever that I left them with pumped breastmilk but that was emergency-type stuff that couldn't be helped. We never supplemented and they nursed for almost 3 years.

Re: getting back to work - I dunno. I think you're setting yourself up by thinking that you'll be that into the swing of things so early on. Unless you have a nanny that does the parenting for you, I don't see it as realistic. Take it easy and try to enjoy this time with them. It flies by and before you know it you won't even remember it happened!
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