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Nursing and pumping for newborn twins

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My twins are now 3 weeks old, have been home from the nicu about a week, are gaining weight, appear to be nursing well.  I have also been blessed with a great milk supply.  When the twins were in the NICU I pumped for almost every feeding and nursed them only 2-3 times a day.  I ended up with a lot of extra milk that I was able to freeze.  Now that we are home they are nursing all their day time feeding and dh will give them bottles 1-2 feedings at night (mainly so I can get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep and because the nicu had recommended slowly adding nursing sessions - advice I've partially ignored).


I am trying to figure out when the best time is to pump and how often.  Also - if I don't pump at night when the twins are getting a bottle will it be difficult to move back to night time nursing?  Right now I wake up drenched in milk at least 2 times a night and even during the day I have tender pornstar engorged boobs.  Ideally I'd like to pump enough to save some for when I go back to work, and at least 1 bottle per twin for evening feeding but I don't want to make the engorgement worse.

Any advice?

post #2 of 8

i would pump mostly in exchange for when they get a bottle, if not exactly at the similar time though. so if they get 3 oz over night, i would pump at least that much (plus probably some extra to build the stash) right before i went to bed. if your supply is good, i would avoid pumping in conjunction with a nursing session, that will prompt your body to up the output. 


at 3 weeks your supply is still just a hormonal reply to any nipple stimulation and not very regulated, they say at about 5 -6 weeks it changes over to a true supply and demand system. i found i had a very noticeable dip in my supply right as that happened but it quickly came back up and was great (never really had supply issues before or after that) so i was glad to have a stash but also careful not to use it ever without pumping in exchange to keep demand accurate.


if you are wanting to build stash i found very late night pumping to one the most fruitful, after they had gone to bed, i would pump enough to fill night time bottles and also but a few bags into the freezer. i did that for many many months. 


the crazy swings of supply and engorgement will end soon, work on being consistent with whatever you do and as things even out in the next few weeks they will even out at the levels that give you and your babies just what they need and your freezer a steady supply. i personally always aimed at having 7 days worth in the freezer in those early months, so i knew that no matter what emergency came up my babies would have just what they needed. at 3 months i pinched my sciatic nerve and needed 2 days of very strong pain medication, i was so thankful that i didn't even have to think twice, they got my stash and i pumped and dumped and everything went smooth. i would have been so stuck if i hadn't been so diligent with my stash.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice.  Things have improved over the past week - both babies are nursing exclusively and gaining weight and I'm not particularly engorged any more.  I was a little concerned about green poop and foremilk/hindmilk imbalance so now I try not to switch them back and forth from right to left more than every 24-48 hours and that seems to help.

I am still pumping once a day - usually in the mid morning after my dd1 gets off to school/daycare to build up a freezer stash for when I go back to work.  Once they are sleeping for longer stretches at night I think I will add an evening pump session instead of during the day.  Unfortunately for me they seem to sleep for longer stretches during the day and wake every 3 hours on the nose at night time.

post #4 of 8

I say pump as much as you can now! When my triplets first came home I was exploding from all the pumping + all the new demand from the babies nursing. Eventually I weaned down to pumping 1-2x/day. Now fast forward to them at 6 mths and I can barely pump more than 3oz compared to the 10-12oz I used to get. I'm just saying that it might not always be so easy to pump so stock up now.

post #5 of 8

i had the very same experience, once i stopped pumping for a while (while i was first basking in the glow of them figuring out how to nurse full time) my pumping volume went down a lot. i think my boobs were used to the pumping and responded great to it but later got more used to the demand of nursing and less so the pump.  a stash goes fast when you ned to use it, it looks like a lot in the freer but if you do the math with multiple mouths even a day if frozen milk is a LOT! 


my gol used to be to have a week, i only ever once got to that level in the early days, once they were bigger 3 days work was a more realistic goal without driving myself crazy. at 11 months i still keep 3 days in the freezer.

post #6 of 8

Just another vote for stocking up now while you can... my pumping volume also went down considerably from the early days.  We made it and they never needed formula even though I worked FT from 6 months on, but it was HARD to keep up with them.  

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the info.  Question: How much did you estimate each baby needed for 1 day (24 hours)?  Is 25 oz a good guess?  I have close to 250 oz stored but I realize that some will be wasted (not finished bottles, spilled, etc).  I also had a horrible time pumping when I went back to work with dd1 - just because of time restraints.  I rarely take breaks while at work (eat on the go etc) so I ended up pumping on the way to work, forcing myself to take a lunch break to pump, and on the drive home - thank god for hands free contraptions!  I know it will be even more of a challenge with twins so I want to make sure I have freezer back up for at least a little while.



post #8 of 8

somewhere there is a chart based on weight and how much they need to drink, i bet kellymom has it or something

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