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I don't know if I'm cut out for bfing... help please!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm a second time mom w/ twins. My first, my DS was a terrible nurser, and we had so many issues that we wound up moving to formula when he was around 6 weeks old. I have been completely set on nursing these babies since finding out I was pregnant, but there are some things I'm concerned about. EBFing is not something I can do right now... that may be awful, but right now we're in survival mode around here. I NEED to still give my toddler time, I NEED to not be a walking zombie during the day for him, and for my girls! if I were to be nursing my girls for 1.75 hours every 3 hours through the night I would not be able to function...

My girls are 11 days old. Since we came home from the hospital we have been giving bottles of formula for all night wakings. DH gets up w/ me, we wake whichever girl didn't wake, and change and feed both at the same time. The girls for the most part go back and forth between breast and bottle seamlessly.

They also both are using nipple sheilds. Baby A would only EVER latch w/ the shield. We absolutely couldn't get her on any other way in the hospital, we started using a supplemental nurser there to just get her feeding. We don't need to supplemental nurser, and haven't used it since leaving the hospital since she for the most part nurses when brought to the breast. I started using the shield for B after she managed to crack both of my nipples and her nursing w/o it was putting me in tears for the entire nursing session everytime. w/ the shield it was at least bearable. Now that she's been getting bottles she wants the shield too but usually nurses like an absolute champ w/ it. I have gotten her to nurse once w/o it... but honestly that's not a hill I feel I need to die on right now. In a few weeks we'll work on weaning them from that... I'd rather get our other issues under control first.

During the day I've been attempting to ebf... BUT they frequently want fed at the same time, I haven't been able to master tandem nursing reliably yet. I'm FAR from being able to tandem when I'm on my own. One of the girls (my better nurser actually) will be pacified back to sleep w/ a finger this is a problem when her sister wakes first, because it's either remove the one who is nursing, offer a bottle, or let her go back to sleep. She's only 11 days old, I'm really worried about making her wait. Their nursing sessions are regularly 30-45 minutes each. I pop off around 15 minutes if the tricks to keeping them up aren't working for a burp, then they wake and are ready to finish. Sometimes after 30 minutes or so they still act hungry and wind up w/ another 2oz of formula... I HATE this, because I feel like I'm not making enough to fill them up!!!

Tonight when they woke we actually managed to get them each positioned correctly for tandem nursing and they BOTH refused the breast. They kept popping off and screaming after 1 or 2 sucks, I tried hand expressing a few drops to get them interested and that didn't work... we wound up giving them formula because they were definitely hungry and wouldn't nurse.... they gobbled the formula and fell immediately back to sleep.

Giving up bottles just isn't an option... I'm sorry but there is NO WAY!!! not if I want a hope of being able to function for my son... I also don't want to give up nursing, I LOVE nursing my babies... I'm just not sure what to do next and DH goes back to work on Wednesday so we'll be on our own for roughly 3 feedings a day!!!
post #2 of 4
first hugs and hugs and hugs.

i have no first hand experience with any of this, but i do want to encourage you to make an appointment with a lactation consultatant who is an ILCBC who has experience with nursing multiples. My sister nursed her triplets for 7 months, so i know it is possible.

I don't know where you are, but use this link to find nearby certified lactation consultants. if you look, they list their areas of specialty and someone will hopefully be exp with multiples.

http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3432


Call them and ask them about making a home visit. Contact your birth professional about getting a referral if you need to for insurance purposes. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
post #3 of 4
Did you xpost this in multiples? There is a thread that has pics of different tandem positions. Depending on your breast size and if it hurts your back, you may be able to lay them next to each other and you kinda kneeling over them. Or try laying down on your side. One baby on bottom breast laying same as you. The other will be laying on a pillow or two with her feet towards your head. It took me a few months to be able to tandem my twins. For a while ds would only take bm in a bottle. For those feeding, I nursed dd in cradle hold on the floor and sat with the soles of my feet together. I put ds's head on my feet and gave him the bottle that way.

Finally, if there is anyone in your area to help wih your older dc, please contact them! Twin newborns are hard!
post #4 of 4
Hey Mama, first, YOU CAN DO IT! Sending you hugs and encouragement. We've got some similar problems, babe, I've got 3 month old twins who also can only nurse with a shield (they were preemies, so they needed it at the start, and now I'm working on weaning, but it's not easy), and who also love their bottles of EBM.

I think a good solution for you would be to get an electric double pump so that when you do use bottles, it can still be BM. The best of both worlds, right?! Give them the best food, but via a method that is easier on you, so that you can give your boobs a break some of the time. The pump will also help you build up and maintain your supply, which is necessary for these little guys!

I find a pump absolutely essential. I will BF most of the time during the day -- they may get a bottle during the day if I pass them off to Grandma for a while or whatnot. Like you, I also started using only a bottle of EBM during the night, because they will just eat a bit, get it fast and easy, and go back to sleep.

My guys will also nurse forEVER. The 20-30 minute feed is a rarity. They are clearly not the most efficient nursers. Usually they'll eat for 45 minutes, all the while stopping and starting, taking their sweet time. I'll change them, then they're hungry again for more boob. Another 30-45 minutes. Fall asleep on me. If I move myself or try to move them, they wake up screaming, usually for more boob. This cycle goes on and on all day, so sometimes I just need to bottle it and give 'em a quick injection of milk, so they'll get food coma and pass out.

Also, you must get a twin size nursing pillow. Absolutely required! This lets you do double football hold so easy. It's huge, but it's worth it!

To get the milk supply going, get some Mother's Milk tea! It totally boosted my supply within one day. After a few more days I had even MORE of a boost. Worth a shot.

Lastly, for the cracked nipples: I got a cracked nippy a few weeks ago, and OMG it was awful. I went to the BF'ing clinic and my LC suggested Medela's Hydrogel pads. They worked. I put one on, and overnight it was healed up. I kept using them for a week just to be sure. Ever since then, no more pain and no more cracking.
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