I'm expecting twins and I've heard of companies or people donating things for mother's of multiples. I was wondering is there a place I can get a free or cheap twin nursing pillow? Actually, I'm due soon and have been reading up on breastfeeding/burping twins. How exactly were you as twin mothers able to do this? How long did it take to figure it all out and do it on your own? What advice can you give me as a soon-to-be mother of twins? Are their sites I can get discounts and freebies? We currently purchased a home and car to accommodate our growing family which has put us in a small financial hole.
I'm not aware of any discounts or freebies for mothers of twins. I've heard that higher order multiples (think 5+) sometimes have fringe benefits, but not for twins. When I was looking into daycare, for instance, I was told there was a 5 dollar twin discount! WOW. what ever will I do with that much extra money?
As for twin nursing pillows, I used the EZ2 nurse pillow, and considered it the best thing I purchased for the infant time, with the possible exception of the sling.
As for how do you nurse/burp two at the same time, you have help at first. You get settled, and someone brings you each baby. later, You'll figure out a method that works for you, and you will be able to care for them all by yourself. I personally had lots of luck keeping the babies swaddled for nursing. It helped with flailing arms and floppy bodies.
Nursing pillows are nice for nursing at the computer or in a more upright chair at the table for example, but you don't need a pillow in front for laid back nursing, which is what is advocated more these days. And with twins you can't multitask very easily while tandem nursing anyway (and really you should rarely multitask while nursing anyway - give baby your whole attention!). You won't always be tandem nursing - especially in the first 3 months, so a regular single nursing pillow may come in handy for those times that you just have to get something done while nursing or want to eat and nurse. I do use this pillow: http://www.amazon.com/Original-Theraline-Maternity-Removable-Zippered/dp/B00BQIYSLC/ref=sr_1_28?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1377606871&sr=1-28&keywords=nursing+maternity+pillow that I got originally as a maternity body pillow for nursing in bed. I wrap it around so that it supports my elbows and the middle is under my head as I lay flat on my back in bed with the babies laying on my belly on their sides in a V shape. While I was looking for that link I came across the "Leachco Two By You" pillow that looks like it would work for nighttime nursing in a similar way - maybe better. But you can also just use a few regular pillows for that and not buy anything extra.
As for nursing pillows, you don't need them, but they are nice with twins. I really like my twin Breastfriend pillow for tandem nursing and for helping me hold both babies at once. Setting up 3-4 pillows on a couch would probably work just as well though. As far as how I did it when they were littler, I would have each baby swaddled in their bouncy seats in front of me. I would attach the pillow (it wraps around and is held with velcro), sit in the middle of the couch, pick up one baby and set them on the couch to my right, pick up the other baby and put them on the left side of the nursing pillow, pick up baby on the couch to the right on the right side of the nursing pillow. It's easier to have someone hand you babies, but I did do it by myself like that when I had to. I liked doing the double football hold.
If you can get laid-back nursing to work for you, definitely go that route as I think it would be easier in a lot of ways.
I think tandem nursing twins is helpful. One can stimulate a let-down and wake the other one up. I don't think it's robbing either of attention. At first you'll need at least one extra person to help you and eventually you will need to put them both within reach and get them on yourself. Nursing pillow and little rolled up blankets for under their heads help us.
Congratulations guamgirl! I don't have any good tips about where to find freebies. Most of my baby clothes and blankets were given to us as gifts or hand-me-downs.
As for breastfeeding- you WILL figure out a system that works for you. Hang in there! I struggled with all 4 of my kids. With my eldest, I remember even at 4 months feeling like I still didn't know what I was doing! Of course the twins present new challenges- I felt like neither of them latched on very well at first, and I tried and tried to get them to latch on better but finally I just decided I could live with the way they were latched, so I quit trying. Now they eat fine! The twin nursing pillow is great, but I don't like to use it in chairs because I'm afraid one of the babies will roll off. I just keep it on my bed and prop it up with a pillow under each side, pillows behind my back, and a blanket rolled up under their heads to get them to the right height. It's kind of a production but then so is everything. I started tandem nursing on day 2, even though the nurses didn't encourage it. I think within a week I felt pretty confident at tandem nursing but I still nursed them individually at times as well.
My dd was very sleepy and became jaundiced. They wanted me to supplement with formula but I knew supply wasn't the issue. So I pumped colostrum and we bottle-fed her that. I think I offered the breast first (can't even remember that now!)
They don't tandem nurse too much now. Ds prefers to be rocked to sleep (he's teething), so often I will pick up both babies, hold him upright and nurse her while we rock. Then I can lay her down on my bed while I put him down, and if she's still awake I can nurse her more. At night I have been pretty lucky. For the first 3 months I had to sit up and tandem nurse them almost every night, but they would usually go back to sleep quickly. Now I just keep them in bed with me, they sleep next to each other, and I rotate them. A nightlight is really helpful.
I don't schedule my twins but I do try to get them to sleep and eat at the same times, or at least one right after the other. Try to figure out how to nurse one while holding the other upright.
My twins are almost 4 months old and I am just now starting to feel like I have a grip on my life again. The first 3 months were absolute chaos. I had tons of help. Don't know what I would have done without my parents and in-laws. Gone crazy I guess! Keep your expectations low- forget about housework and cooking. Focus on taking care of yourself- eat healthy and go to sleep whenever you get a chance. Don't eat tons of sugar because it will just make you more tired and upset the babies' tummies.
In writing this I've realized what a crazy ride this has been but also how much better things are now! So hang in there Momma, you will survive!
The idea of swaddling the babies before nursing is a great one, Red Pajama, can't believe it never ocurred to me to do that, lol.
2babies2kidsmom, good to know that the first months were chaos for you, also. I have been feeling so badly about my inability to get much done, housework-wise, but it is so understandable! My family is not here with me, but I am so lucky to have nice neighbors who have helped. They came over a few days agoto help me, and I accepted it. I tried not to be embarassed that my house looked like a bomb had hit it. I have 2 great reasons why I can get nothing done--2 wonderful little girls who take up much of my time.
I found that I very much needed a nursing pillow to nurse. And that a twin nursing pillow was an awesome way to be able to tend to a second infant while nursing the first (we couldn't tandem until they were nine months). We had a slow start to nursing. My twins were early and didn't latch well during the day until two months and at night three months. I pumped and bottle fed until then (with lots of practice nursing)
Edited by eaustin - 1/16/14 at 2:27pm
I never had to supplement (very lucky), though I had to pump the first three months (the kids were a month early and didn't latch well right at first). After the three months were up, I only ever pumped to donate milk to a friend (they didn't have bottles at all after that).
I nursed one at a time (nursing one while cooing at the other) until about 9 months. Tandem nursing is awesome but can be tricky if the babies are having trouble latching. (but some can do it from the beginning)
My twins are six months old. They have always been breastfed. We only gave them bottles occasionally when they were small, to practice for when I went back to work, and now they only get bottles when I am away from them. I think breastfeeding is a huge time saver with twins. The time we spend washing the bottles they drink while I'm at work drives me crazy.
I tandem nurse at bedtime and any other time it's required but I don't prefer it. That's a new development though. For the first five months, I thought it was much better to tandem nurse. I had a twin Breastfriend and really loved it. I used a boppy when they were really tiny, but a boppy is much too small for two babies. They have even really outgrown the twin Breastfriend, so I don't have a great set up right now. It's annoying me, actually. The laid-back nursing does NOT work very well for me. I tried again this morning. I try all the time since people rave about it, but it never seems to work for us. I had a double let-down, milk spraying everywhere and two babies trying to roll on the floor to crack their skulls! It was a disaster.
Good luck & congratulations!