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I don't feel like I can nurse them on demand. - Page 2

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

I've figured something out-- Matthew can only nurse on the left side. Every single time it's his day on the right (I switch sides each day) he hamburgers my nipples, but he does fine on the left. So, what the heck? Can I just keep him on the left and Molly on the right and deal with maybe being lopsided?


I don't why not.  I did that with my youngest after figuring out he really didn't like the right side and I gave up trying to force it.  He was happy as a clam with just one side and my body quickly adjusted.  Yes, I was lopsided (I only had one baby to nurse so this might not happen to you) but it didn't last forever.  He hasn't nursed in well over a year and my breasts are the same side again. 

post #22 of 39
I assigned my guys a side, from about six weeks old. It actually solved a lot of problems for us. DD2 nightweaned herself around 10 months, and from then on, I used to assign sides all day, and then DS got both during the night. But other than that, they kept their assigned sides until they were completely weaned.
post #23 of 39
Are they sucky babies because they want to nurse, or sucky babies because they want to suck. Dd1 loved sucking, but if she didn't want food too, all hell broke loose. She got a pacifier at 4 weeks, and we never looked back - she nursed for food, had the soother for comfort. We were both much happier. I realize I only had one kid at a time, but I wouldn't hesitate to offer a soother and see what happens.
post #24 of 39

I don't have twins, but saw that you were asking for paci/bottle/nipple recs.  With both my nurslings we used MAM pacifiers and the nipples made by Medela.  That being said, my best advice is to go buy a few different types of paci's and try em all until you find one they like.  That's what we did with both boys, it just happened the picked the same kind!

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories. It really helps to know I'm not alone. I am going to try to nurse them together at least once a day-- I just did it for a partial feeding, so joy.gif.

I would also cheerfully take any paci/bottle/nipple recs that work with breastfeeding. Now if I could just figure out when I'm supposed to pump...



Annette,

What an unbelievable birth story - you are amazing!!!! I had two older children at home when I had my twins and did find it really difficult to balance breastfeeding, even with family here to help me. And, of course, I wasn't dealing with recovering from congestive heart failure like you are. Still, I found it really difficult!  I did nurse them both at the same time during those early days. This was one of my goals. Even though I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as nursing them separately, it was a huge time-saver. If I had someone there to hold one baby/entertain the older 2 children while I was nursing the other baby, I did feed them separately on occasion. Also, if one nursed, I always nursed the other one in an effort to coordinate their feeding/sleeping needs. I have never had a problem with nipple confusion and did use MAM pacifiers with the older 2. The twins were not interested in pacifiers but eventually sucked their thumbs. I did not pump with the twins b/c I simply did not have the time and felt like if I did have any time, it would be best spent with the older 2 or doing something relaxing for myself. I did allow the twins to have one bottle (Avent) a day of formula. This was a huge break for me, and, like I said, the twins did not suffer from nipple confusion. I don't now how you feel about formula, but for me personally, the fact that they had a bottle of formula a day did not bother me and did not seem to affect my milk supply. Also, if you find that Matthew feeds better on one side than the other, I would just let him nurse on that side and see what happens. I stopped switching the twins from side-to-side a long time ago. Best of luck to you!! Your twins are really little still, and you are dealing with so much! It will get easier!! My twins are almost 1. I shudder to recall those early days, but it has gone by really fast. It is sooo much easier when they get past those early newborn days. I do sometimes feel guilty that my 3 year-old suffered by not having enough time with me this year, but now we are able to all do things together as the twins are nursing less and becoming more and more active.

post #26 of 39

Hoping things are getting better for you Annette! In the beginning all I did was nurse them and it was all tandem, and still all I did was nurse them! I'd nurse, they'd fall asleep, I'd let them lie there on the pillow around my waist, they'd wake up, diaper change, and immediately back to the nursing. CONSTANT. 

 

I used Soothie pacifiers -- I think they're most like a real nipple b/c they're straight rather than shaped like a question mark. I wouldn't worry so much about nipple confusion -- I'd just do what I had to do to make it through the day and night semi-sane.

 

Wishing you and your babies good fortune in the new year!

post #27 of 39

My first piece of advice would be to learn to tandem.  Meet w/ a LC a few times to practice with her and just commit to learning it!  I never did and completely wish I had.  My twins were 12 weeks premature, so we had other feeding issues and lots of nipple confusion.  My babes were never fully breastfed, but I was able to be full breastmilk for 7 months.  One thing that really did help was to automatically feed both of them whenever one was hungry, so if baby A was hungry- feed him and then feed baby B (or at least offer).  That seemed to help keep them on a close schedule together (not scheduled, but similar timing, if you will).   I could not have breastfed w/out the use of pacifiers... one of my nursers was such an avid sucker that I needed to offer the pacifier a few minutes before nursing or i would end up with bleeding nipples. 

 

also remember that babies (multiples or not) are just starting to 'get it' w/ breastfeeding at this age, some as late as 12-14 weeks old (like my oldest... terrible time breastfeeding until then, nursed to 14 month w/out problems).  just focus as much energy as you can to nursing and taking care of you if you have the extra help for your older kids.  once it clicks, life will be so much easier, and the best news is that you wont remember too much of these struggles a year from now!  GL!

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm still working on the tandeming. It only seems to work if I am in the bed surrounded by pillows. I have the twin nursing pillow, but it really doesn't help.

Anyway, I have a new problem--
I have Matthew nursing on the left and Molly on the right. Matthew is doing OK-- I'm still sore, but it's no where near as bad as it was. He's also still off and on, off and on. But he's gained two pounds since starting breastmilk three weeks ago. Yay Matthew!

Molly is nursing great, no latch issues, stays on for a good long time. But she's gained less weight (only about 1 pound from her birthweight and 2 pounds from her lowest weight) and has mucusy green poo with diaper rash. Matthew's poo is fine. I just don't get it. Could this be from not switching sides?
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

I'm still working on the tandeming. It only seems to work if I am in the bed surrounded by pillows. I have the twin nursing pillow, but it really doesn't help.

Anyway, I have a new problem--
I have Matthew nursing on the left and Molly on the right. Matthew is doing OK-- I'm still sore, but it's no where near as bad as it was. He's also still off and on, off and on. But he's gained two pounds since starting breastmilk three weeks ago. Yay Matthew!

Molly is nursing great, no latch issues, stays on for a good long time. But she's gained less weight (only about 1 pound from her birthweight and 2 pounds from her lowest weight) and has mucusy green poo with diaper rash. Matthew's poo is fine. I just don't get it. Could this be from not switching sides?

The less-than-stellar weight gain, plus mucus in the stool, suggests malabsorption, to me. DS had a severe casein intolerance, and still has a moderate soy allergy, and that's how it showed up first-- green mucousy poop and lousy gain. It was a bit later that we saw blood in the stool, and that's what finally alerted me. Mucus in the stool is almost always a sign that something's going on-- that there's injury to the intestine. Have you tried eliminating dairy, and probably soy as well?

I don't think I'd look at not switching sides as the cause. It just doesn't seem reasonable, to me. I'd be looking at dietary influences, and if that doesn't pan out, then I'd be wondering about other reasons for poor absorption, like a virus for example, or as a very last resort some chronic issue like celiac.
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm actually thinking virus. We all have little colds, and she was fine before. Her poo was a little better today-- more towards brownish yellow and less mucus. It didn't make sense to me that there was a "bad side" either.
post #31 of 39

Actually, her weight gain pretty sounds good.   2 lbs from lowest weight.... that's 32 oz.....  they are (according to your sig) 40 days old.   That still is within normal range, esp when you account the first few days for weight loss...   average is 4-7 oz/week.   
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post

I'm still working on the tandeming. It only seems to work if I am in the bed surrounded by pillows. I have the twin nursing pillow, but it really doesn't help.

Anyway, I have a new problem--
I have Matthew nursing on the left and Molly on the right. Matthew is doing OK-- I'm still sore, but it's no where near as bad as it was. He's also still off and on, off and on. But he's gained two pounds since starting breastmilk three weeks ago. Yay Matthew!

Molly is nursing great, no latch issues, stays on for a good long time. But she's gained less weight (only about 1 pound from her birthweight and 2 pounds from her lowest weight) and has mucusy green poo with diaper rash. Matthew's poo is fine. I just don't get it. Could this be from not switching sides?
post #32 of 39

I was in awe to read your 'births' story (hey, we do it twice or more right, i like to take credit for this thumb.gif) and so grateful you made it through mama joy.gif

 

(((I think you have an edge of experience on almost all of us, so no one can really get how you're feeling in terms of your recovery)))

 

My twins were in hosp for 4 weeks, we came home with one b'feeding at 36 weeks, and one tube fed with some breastfeeds. She was and still is slow to gain weight but meeting all her other milestones. I used pacifiers between 5 and 10 months because that was the window that they would take them. giggle. As long as you watch that you're not using them to extend feeds like crazy and their gain is fine there should be no worry.

 

I do remember I sat and nursed on cue for 12 months before I started to try and regulate feeds a little. Mine were not slow feeders once they got the hang of things (only 20-40 mins p/nursing). The first couple months were intense but they passed. I remember freaking out once though and going for a half hour walk round the block, leaving my dh with two not so happy babes orngbiggrin.gif

 

I home ed my older four children and decided we could do more with babies attached to the breast than with a mommy who had to sterilise, prepare and pay attention to bottle feeds, so even though I had times of touched out overload, I feel breastfeeding was the easier option by far. I would also say to you: don't bother to express - if anything ever happens and you needed to be away in an emergency, they would cope. Someone would find formula and get through that time. It would be fine. Pumping could just make life unnecessarily complicated. If you really need the security of pumping (I can understand that, I did it for a while as was so used to it being the only means of food for them in SCBU and I didn't like an empty freezer!!), then go for it once a day in the morning and your supply will steady at that level of production.

 

Also agree with PP's that tandem nursing saves time and energy and baby with weaker suck gets to benefit from let down of the stronger twin. Woo Hoo! Bonus!! I loathed it mostly but it served a purpose orngtongue.gif

 

Have you looked for tongue tie in Matthew? Sometimes can cause a better latch one side than the other. How is his palette? Any moulding on his head that cranial osteopathy could help with? You can also use breast compressions to increase milk transfer for them both. Just squeeze the back of your breasts gently.

 

 

post #33 of 39

I haven't read all the other responses, but I wanted to offer a (((hug))) and a great job to you.  You are amazing! 

 

When my twins were newborn, I used a big twin nursing pillow and did tandem nurse them.  It only lasted a couple of months, though, and then they started fighting on the pillow.  Honestly, when dh isn't home and one baby needs me, sometimes the other cries.  When my older kids need me, sometimes both cry.  Like another poster said, having twins has sort of stomped on a lot of my AP ideals.  Sigh.

 

That said, something we did do with both babies from birth was to give one a bottle from time to time.  Not often - maybe once a week - when I just.couldn't. do it anymore.  Also, one of my babes was smaller and weaker and had a poor latch at first and so sometimes for the first month or so would need a bottle to keep her strength up to learn to nurse better.  Yes, they got formula.  I was nursing all the time, so pumping - not an option for me.  We used/use the Dr. Brown's bottles.  My OB said, "oh, babies are smart, they will figure out it is easier to get food from the bottle and stop nursing."  Well, he was right.  Babies ARE smart.  They learned they like breastmilk better and it is worth the extra work!  LOL!  They have never had a moment of nipple confusion and will still take a bottle, but prefer the breast. 

 

I think it boils down to AP to me means giving the baby or babies what they need.  If it is formula so they can eat and have a sane mommy, then that is what they need.  Hopefully that makes sense.  Good luck to you -- I know whatever you decide your babies will thrive and be happy, loved children.

post #34 of 39

Annette, you've gotten some good advice from other posters. Just offering a bit more encouragement. I know I've always appreciated reading what others have done to learn that something may have worked for others. I've heard of moms assigning sides and it working just fine. Also taking the pump out of the situation for a while might be something to try. The less other stuff you have to do the better. :) I am also one who gave 1 bottle a day (yes, formula, but it worked for me). The funniest thing about that was eventually DD refused it, so ended up being exclusively bf (smart girl) but it gave me a much needed break and others (including older sibs) loved being able to help out. Then eventually I could leave DS with a bottle and take DD with me so was a bit more mobile. Take care and heal quickly. Your pictures you posted were amazing.

post #35 of 39
Thread Starter 
You all are wonderful, and I apologize for not being back. Some updates...

At 6 weeks, Molly is 9.5 lbs and Matthew is 9.0. The day they started breastfeeding at 3 weeks, Molly was 7.2 and Matthew was 6.7. I think they're doing OK, weight-wise.

Matthew is doing a billion times better with nursing. I've tried him on the right side, but he just doesn't do as well as on the left. He tends to be a once or twice a week pooper, which stresses ,me out. He's still pretty sleepy and tends to be floppier and more balled up than Molly, but he's really starting to find his voice! I introduces a pacifier and he loves it. It hasn't negatively impacted nursing. If anything, he is doing better.

Molly is doing well. She's a screecher, LOL! She's more awake than Matthew and seems to have more muscle control-- can hold up her head, is grabbing hair, etc-- but is definitely crabbier. She'll take the paci as well, but isn't as crazy about it as Matthew. Her poo is no longer mucusy and isn't giving her a rash, but it definitely tends towards green. It looks exactly like normal breastfed baby poo, but green. I'm hoping it isn't a reaction to my meds.

Once we hit 6 weeks of breastfeeding, I want to reintroduce occasional bottles of breastmilk. I'm also thinking of sitting down and sketching out roughly when I would like to see them nursing and napping, not as a die hard schedule, but as something to aim for.

Tandem nursing-- I am still working on it. I think it will be easier when they are less floppy, but I do try once a day.
post #36 of 39
I have heard from many mamas of boy/girl twins pairs that the boys just seem to struggle more. DS at that age was extremely floppy, had almost no head control at all, whereas my girls could lift their heads a bit from birth, and he just seemed so much more "unfinished," if you know what I mean. He met his milestones later than his sister, all the way up to walking age. He had a harder time falling and staying asleep. He cried a LOT more, and worried me a lot more. He was Twin B, too, and I've heard Twin Bs struggle a bit more.

Anyway, he's fine, now. He'll be four in a few weeks, and talks up a storm and knows the ABCs and can practically scale bare walls.

Re: the green poop. DD2 often had green poop. After a while, I stopped worrying about it, because she was obviously growing and thriving.

It sounds like you're coping. And coping, at six months postpartum with twins and your own serious health problems, is GREAT.

The tandem nursing gets easier when the head control arrives. Then the babies can help out a little, with the positioning and latching, and that makes a huge difference.

So glad for the update. I think of you guys, often.
post #37 of 39

Annette: it sounds like the BF is coming along. 

 

I think introducing a pacifier sounded like a great idea. 

 

The LC told me she went to a conference and was told the Dr. Brown's bottles were the best for going back and forth between bottle and BF.

 

I too am still trying to get a handle on feeding my twins and can relate to a lot of what you wrote.  Mine are 8 weeks now.  I have been mostly pumping a bottle feeding so I've been trying to BF more as I find this very time consuming as the girls are not very efficient nursers yet and seem to use nursing as a way of soothing themselves and falling asleep rather than feeding.  I haven't really gotten on to tandem nursing yet either.  I am working at this but find it difficult to be strapped to the couch for so many hours in a day.

 

I think you're doing great and the twins are growing well weight wise.

post #38 of 39

oh thank you thank you thank you- I have been struggling with the when to pump thing! My dear husband (is that DH?) can't take them both at once for me to pump= and besides, they are latched to me constantly, its been stressing me out to no end so this idea is so fantastic- I'm going to try tomorrow!

post #39 of 39

hi there! 

 

 

I didn't read your birth story, or many of the replies, but I wanted to offer my support. 

 

It's REALLY hard to be AP to two or more babies.  In a perfect world, yes you would BF on demand, wear both babies, yadda yadda yadda.  I'm finding that at 6 months, it's easier on all of us as I slowly nudge mine onto a schedule.  I don't let them starve or anything, but I do admittedly use distraction if it' hasn't even been two hours and a baby wants to nurse.

 

FWIW, I don't tandem, my babies always nurse seperately, they each nurse in 5 minutes.  It's nice to have that one on one time with each of them.

 

Good luck to you!  You are in the valley right now, with a long climb up the mountain.  You'll get to the top and be amazed at how far you have come!  I promise. :) 

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