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Breastfeeding twins after C/S experiences

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am trying to wrap my head around the possibility of a c/s for a breech first twin. Could any moms who have had a c/s describe their recovery with twins and other young children to care for and their experience with breastfeeding in the early days. What am I in for??
Is extra help around the house absolutely essential - and what areas were the most helpful- childcare, cleaning, laundry etc...?? We are trying to decide if we should hire help as we don't have family close by to call on.
post #2 of 11
Mine were my first, and I was in hospital for about a week (not because of recovery but because I had one baby in the NICU and they didn't need my bed) so I had somewhat of a baby moon. But once I got home reality did hit. I do have to say that my C-section was actually a very positive experience. I had a fabulous surgeon who gave me a tiny scar, a wonderful anesthesiologist (happened to be my SIL best friend from college) and the surgery itself was wondeful. I had a very short time in recovery and two hours after surgery I was nursing D (a natural) and ten hours after surgery I was nursing R (in the NICU). I made myself get up and showered and wheeled to the NICU because my need to see my baby was greater than my need to faint R was in distress (not TTTS because they are not identical) but there was only one placenta and D was taking all the food, so R was starving, and tiny. He nursed like a champ too. We did have some latch issues due to me being big, them being small and me being a first time mom, but the breastfeeding coach at the hospital was a really big help. I suggest you line up some LLL coaching to come to the hospital to make sure all is good before you go home.

I would also suggest a nursing pillow. No actual brand name recommendations, but a friend bought me one and it was a godsend. I basically lived on the couch with the nursing pillow on my lap and babies on pillow. Nursing was not a problem, it just went on for ever, non stop for at least the first three months. I nursed them until they were 18 months. The football hold was key for me. I also only tandem nursed because it was easiest.

There were no such thing as visitors. Anyone who came in had to either hold a baby so I could take a shower, or help hang up laundry, do dishes, etc. You will also need somebody to cook meals and clean because you probably won't have the strength to do it. I was lucky enough to have my mom come stay with us for the first three weeks, so I kind of sussed out what I would need when she left. We went to our church and asked for volunteers because we didn't have the money to hire someone and they sent us mother's helpers and teenagers eager to hold and play with babies. It was wonderful.

I was not allowed to lift heavy thigs. Be prepared to cuddle with the older ones on the couch rather than picking them up. It took me about three months to come back to myself, but I was allergic to the pain medication so I was used to the discomfort. My recovery was really not painful, but I would say more uncomfortable and I had to be careful. I also got a UTI from the catheter, so watch for that as well. I just wanted to be real and honest with you and not sugar coat it.

I didn't have older kids, so I can't comment on that, maybe somebody else can.

It is do-able, it just takes a little planning.

Good luck and if you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me.

Shuli
post #3 of 11
I think help is awesome. I had very little help with my first c/s (my singleton)-- just DH home for a few days-- and I managed just fine. I think I recover very easily from my sections-- I had very little pain, and was mobile again within two days. I was very tired, but that's normal after any birth I think. I didn't really have any pain worth mentioning, by about five days PP when I came home.

With the twins, I had more help-- I had DH home for a week, then MIL for a week, then my mom during the days for a week. What I needed in those early days was mostly help with DD1. The twins and I mostly spent the time lying around in bed or on the couch, nursing. But DD1 really needed somebody to dress her, and get her snacks and take her outside and stuff. It helped her to have somebody around to pay her extra special attention, during the initial adjustment.

The other thing I really appreciated-- I had a friend who used to come over in the evenings. Just for a few hours, from about 6:30 to about 9. That was nice, because it let me leave the babies in her arms while I bathed DD1 and spent some time with her, and got her to sleep. Then my friend would help me bathe the babies, and hold them while I showered. It was great, because DS was extremely fussy in the evenings, and DH was having a lot of trouble coping with both babies AND stuff like doing the dishes. And I think DD1 really needed her mama's exclusive attention, even if it was just for 15 minutes or so.

I think that if you talk to women who had difficult c-section recoveries, though, you'll get different answers-- like I said, I never had much trouble, either time. I was on my feet by 12 hours after birth, and off pain meds by 48 hours (other than ibuprofen to manage the afterpains while I was nursing, which you'd have even with a vaginal birth.)
post #4 of 11
One more thing that I forgot to mention. What really helped with the breasfeeding was the Haberman feeder. It really helped their latches and made breastfeeding more manageable. I pumped when I could or needed somebody else to feed them. I have a madella double pump'n'syle. A littel expensive, but totally worth it. I also started pumping as soon as I was out of recovery. My milk came in ten hours after surgery and I had tons of milk. It was the best thing I every did in terms of a successful nursing experience.
post #5 of 11
I had a section and breast fed the Duo - along with looking after my older 3 kids and only my husband for help, along with finishing the build on our house (we lived in a camper the first 2 weeks of the Duo's out-utero life, as we call it).

I was able to exclusively bf them to 7mths before we had to add some supplemental formula (I can't pump worth a darn and I needed a break!!!)

I'm not sure what I did special tho, bf'ing is just a way of life for me. I know that i made sure I drank lots, got myself comfy, made sure DH was watching the big kids....and just enjoyed my babes. So, I'm not much help other than to say it IS possible....
post #6 of 11
My twins were born by C-section at 38 weeks. They went to the regular nursery while they stiched me up, and then I went right to recovery in my room. (Different with my singleton, where I had to go to recovery. Every hospital must be different.)

I asked for the boys right away, and had asked that they not be given anything so we could nurse right away. Lactation consultant was there to help. Latching took awhile that first time, but we were successful.

I ended up needing a nipple shield for awhile due to baby B being an "aggressive nurser". Shark is what I called him.

My advice is to nurse often. Just plan on being attached for quite some time.
I loved my EZ 2 Nurse twin nursing pillow, and we also used Haberman Feeders for awhile to feed pumped milk.

We did supplement for a short time (3 days?) while I built up a supply. I would tandem nurse, give the babies to someone else, pump for awhile, and then take the babies back, usually to nurse again fairly soon. Pumping increases supply and creates a freezer stash, should you need one.

Yes, help is great, if you can get it. Having someone around to figure out the meals and laundry so you and your spouse can concentrate on the babies is wonderful. I'm not sure I'd hire it done, however, if family or friends aren't an option.
Good luck! I'm wishing you well.
post #7 of 11
I had a slightly different experience.

My boys were born at 33 weeks and spent 1 week in the NICU and 3 weeks on the peds floor. The boys were started with gavage feedings and then the bottle with both breast milk and weight gainer formula. The NICU preferred the pumped BM because they bulked it up with an extra calorie supplement. I had a tough time actually nursing (these were my first) because the babies had gotten used to the bottle. However, I am a champ @ pumping and as long as they are getting BM, I'm not really too worried about it gets into them. (I had to give up my wish of EBF babies, even with domperidone, I don't produce enough BM for them exclusively).

As for C section recovery (mine was an emergency C due to pre-e), the best advice I can give you is walk as soon as you can. my DH is an RN who has LOTS of experience recovering ab surgeries. He had me up and walking as soon as I was off the mag sulfate. I was the only woman at my d/c class 2 days later with both C & vag deliveries who did not need help sitting or standing. Another word of advice, take all the pain medication given to you. You want to stay ahead of the pain, if you do, you will recover quicker. I think I took 1 percocet twice a day after I went home for days then switched to motrin. I was off all pain meds within a week of coming home.

I did not have much help when the babies came home. My Mom came for a week and that was it. Keep in mind that my DH is a nurse which made things a bit easier but not that much. We are both Active Duty military and are not living close to family which sucked. My husband got 10 days of leave. I made the decision early that I would do better if we had one outing per day so I really concentrated on making that happen. Because I was alone with them, the double snap and go was a godsend because it made it easier for me to take them places. when DH or friends came with, everyone was enlisted to wear one of the babies in a moby carrier and I wore the other. I can't recommend a baby carrier enough. The other thing I made sure of was that I got a shower and 3 meals a day (even if the meals were microwave ones). My boys are now 3 months and are still worn every day. They are champs at restaurants and outings because we started right away. The inpatient time was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to heal and it got the boys used to trusting others from the start which has made for a seamless transition to day care.

I hope this helps you!
Gabrielle

Mommy to Franklin & Callan
post #8 of 11
My twins were born at 36 weeks and nursed beautifully. I had three older kids at home- all who were born vaginally. I honestly believe the recovery from my c-section was way easier than my vaginal births!! Granted, I had been on bed rest the whole pregnancy so I was elated to be up and moving- nothing was keeping me down! I had no complications, and I really feel it was easier for me. I nursed exclusively- never had to supplement. Just wanted to share, because I had a great experience with a c-section.

I really didn't have help other than my DH. I was so worried about how we would handle raising three kids plus twins. The first year was really easy for us. It was the second year that was a challenge I think I was expecting the worse, so it seemed a lot easier than I thought!
post #9 of 11
My guys were born at 40 weeks via c/s. They went with me from the OR to the recovery room where the nurses had me nursing almost immediately which I was so grateful for! I watch the boys get their first baths not even 4 feet from me and then a yummy snack for them after (nursing!!) They went to our regular room right with me in their basinets where they roomed in with me till the last night where I had them in the nursery so I could get some rest. The nurses there were awesome b/c they didn't give my boys formula or pacies unless I consented. They brought the boys to me as soon as they started fussing.

In the hospital, I would nurse them one at a time. When I got home, I started tandem using the boppy and 2 pillows under the boppy while I used the football hold. Both my mom and my dh helped me get the babies latched on till I could do it myself. I had my mom at our house for a week after having the twins for extra help. My dh had a month off of work to help too. Our friends in our bible study group brought us meals.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who posted their experiences. It has been encouraging to hear some stories that weren't as traumatic as my brain can imagine things will go.
post #11 of 11
I carried my twins to 40 weeks and baby A, DD, was breech pretty much the whole time so I had a c/s. I had built it up to be this horrible thing. I read so much about immediate imprinting and was worried about not being able to fully bond with the kids etc etc. But when Aurora wasn't going to turn it around that didn't leave a whole lot of room for negotiation. Turns out my c/s was a breeze and my recover was easy. My doc was fantastic, the kids stayed with us in the recovery room and I was encouraged to nurse them immediately.

My babies are 6 months old and still super nursers. I attribute this success to the LC at the hospital, my two boppies (one for downstairs and one for upstairs, my ez2nurse twin nursing pillow and my medela pump in style. When the kids were brand new and really floppy, the ez2nurse pillow provided more support for tandem nursing. Once the babies were a little more sturdy and we'd all gotten the hang of nursing I was able to tandem nurse on the boppies. (I am now trying to master tandem nursing while laying down so we can all have a nurse and snooze.)

I was also super paranoid about the kids not getting formula or being bottle fed. I put so much pressure on myself and I was so exhausted that I was a total zombie the first weekish and an emotional wreck from lack of sleep. One day a LC from the hospital called to check up on us. I ended up bursting into tears on the phone w her bc I was so worried about giving the kids bottles bc of nipple confusion. She gave me the best advice ever. She told me I needed to stop putting so much pressure on myself, I needed to sleep and to let someone else feed these kids and if that means a bottle then it's not the end of the world. One bottle a day out of 10 - 12 feeds a day (per kid) isn't going to confuse them. The babies need a mom who is relatively rested and in a good place and if that means feeding them from a bottle then so be it.

My kids lost weight a few days after they were born, ps all babies do, and it totally freaked me out. The nurses and ped suggested I supplement w a couple ounces of formula after a feeding once or twice a day and again I freaked out. I think a lot of mothers and moms to be think it HAS to be all or nothing and the reality is that most of life happens in between. If you stress yourself out about milk production, guess what, your milk production suffers. We can't make milk if we're stressing out about making milk. My kids got a little formula for about two weeks, I think, I still pumped after each feeding and pretty soon I was meeting their demand and the formula supps stopped and my kids are thriving.

Sorry if I sound all preachy, I know some babies do experience nipple confusion and the supps might not work for everyone but stressing out over it isn't going to help either. The babies might be tiny and seemingly oblivious to what's going on around them but they can sense when we're tense and stressed and that's not going to help your cause.

Regarding help, my mom came to stay with us for two weeks right after the kids were born, we hired a night doula that came two nights a week (10pm - 6am) for about 4ish weeks, and my MIL came to stay one night a week for about a month too. DH is a teacher and the babies were born about a month and a half before the end of school so he was home with us all summer. Also we have someone come to clean our house twice a month. She started coming before the babies were born bc when you're making people you can't be cleaning too...at least that was my motto.

Sorry if this is way too much or more info than you wanted. I just know how unsure I was when I was in your spot and hearing that I had to have a c/s was like a sentence to me. It wasn't that bad at all, actually it was nice to have a few extra days in the hospital with nurses who knew what the frack they were doing and who could teach me their ways.

Congratulations on your bambinos and good luck
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