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Twin refusing to nurse

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if any other twin mom's experienced one twin refusing the breast. At 18 days old one of my little guys was hospitalized with RSV for 2 days and I chose to stay with him, pumping milk for dh to give to his brother at home. After I came home I had a very hard time getting him to nurse and I sadly gave him a bottle. I still offer him the breast at every feeding but he will only latch on 1-2 times a day, the rest he screams until he gets a bottle. I have ben pumping as much as possible with a manual pump but he is still getting 50% formula. I can tell my milk production is decreasing without him. I have ordered an electric pump, fenugreek, and Mothers Milk tea which should arrive any day. I should say he seems to have had a sucking issue since birth, he lifts his tounge upward and takes quite a while to figure things out.
I am very concerned about him becoming less attached than his brother without the direct contact from nursing. I would appreciate any advice you have to offer!

Amy, wife to Shane SAHM to 4 sweet sons B-8/99 N-11/04 C&B-10/05
post #2 of 8
Stop the bottles. Use a cup or sns if you need to, but no more bottles.

good luck!

-Angela
post #3 of 8
Here is some good advice.

http://www.kellymom.com/newman/26bab..._to_latch.html

BTW the whole site is awesome.
post #4 of 8
you could try a nipple shield, to make the nipple seam like a bottle-only for a little while. Then switch back to the breast. Beleive me, nursing strikes are very common and usually end after not to long. Just keep at it!
post #5 of 8
Oh Amy - hang in there.

One of my twins didn't latch for 2 months. We never found out why but eventually she did and she is still nursing 4 years later. My supply dropped dramatically at one point and we ended up supplementing both babies while I took a 24 hour pumping break to recharge my supply w some sleep, good food etc.

I was really concerned about out of balance attachments as well which is why I kept at it so hard. I had great support from my lactation consultants, one who is a twin mum herself.

It sounds as though you have got a good plan. I agree with the PP who said drop the bottles. We finger fed Em until she latched - a pain but it was worth it. I would also suggest finding some really solid support. Nursing twins is hard and a lot of mums give up. My dr was great and I definitely would not have made it w/o the LC's.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

Karen
post #6 of 8
Re: << I was wondering if any other twin mom's experienced one twin refusing the breast. At 18 days old one of my little guys was hospitalized with RSV for 2 days and I chose to stay with him, pumping milk for dh to give to his brother at home. After I came home I had a very hard time getting him to nurse and I sadly gave him a bottle. I still offer him the breast at every feeding but he will only latch on 1-2 times a day, the rest he screams until he gets a bottle. >>


Just read your post. If you are still having difficulty, feel free to get back with more extensive info via personal email.

If he's taking bottles, what kind of bottle teat/nipple are you using? (Bottle teat type and technique can make a huge difference.) Also, are you really using only a manual pump? Do you have the option to rent a hospital-grade pump so you can make more milk, more quickly? (Some of the things we can do with a singleton aren't as efficient or effective when we're talking caring for two or more!)

Don't lose heart. He will get back to breast if you can remain patient and persistent. Do as much kangarooing between feedings as possible (and still maintain sanity with two babies). When kangarooing be sure his shirt is off and yours is off (or he is under your shirt), so he gets that good direct mother-baby skin contact. Not only will this put back "in the restaurant" where he can enjoy the ambience without pressure to perform, it also helps stabilize baby's temperature, cardio-respiratory function and encourages brain synapse development. It is possible to kangaroo both babies at once. I can't stress enough how helpful this skin-to-skin contact can be to help him transition back to breast...

Get in touch as you think will be helpful.

Karen
post #7 of 8
hi! mine weren't both on the breast until 9.5 weeks. one baby got there sooner, and that was hard! i worried that i was subconsciously favoring the better nurser. i tried sns and cups, and i agree with the pp that you need to stop the bottles, but you also need to have the confidence that your baby can and will nurse successfully. it took me a while to feel certain they could nurse exclusively. (i had slightly different issues from you; they wouldn't latch at birth, i never pumped much milk [tho i pumped ALL the time], i eventually took domperidone.)

but i did offer the bottle for most feedings. i beat myself up about it, but you gotta feed your baby, right? sometimes i did not even try the breast. it was a difficult time and i cried ALL THE TIME. someone on another site recommended a "nursing marathon." i sent my husband out for yummy food and dvds, and we stayed on the pull-out bed. we didn't end up watching tv, really. mostly, it was a day all about supporting me and our efforts to breastfeed.

i have to say that it was especially frustrating that first night with the baby who didn't like to nurse. it was almost like cry it out; she wanted that bottle. but i wanted her to nurse. and with the domperidone and the firm understanding that demand creates supply, i *knew* i wasn't hurting/starving my child. i hope i'm being clear enough. it was difficult, and it was all about seeing how much nursing i could get her to do that one day. no pressure/expectations about the following day. but as the first day progressed and lena was nursing and staying satisfied for a little while, i got more confident. and that was the end of formula (well expect when i went against my instincts and tried to supplement for weight gain per dr's orders; baby spit up that formula across three rooms and then no more bottles and a wonderful new pediatrician).

the key for me was online support, a day with dh's total help and attention, and the knowledge that the baby could nurse and stay satisfied for at least 30 minutes. but let me tell you, every day was a nursing marathon until about four months. so once you get that baby nursing again (and you have plenty of time), don't worry if the babes nurse all the time. try to surround yourself with people who understand that that is your only job for the next few months.

hth! hugs to you. you CAN do it!

mehera
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I wanted to send out thanks and an update that ds is doing so much better! He is lathching on pretty consistently, although he prefers one side over the other. It was most challenging because I knew he needed a lot of time & patience but as a SAHM to 3 under 13 months, there is only so much to go around
Thanks again for your words of encouragement & wisdom!!

Amy
wife to my soulmate Shane mommy to 4 sweet boys- B 8/99 , N 11/04 , C&B 10-05 !
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