How hard is nursing twins? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How hard is nursing twins?
I've never nursed twins. I have no idea what it's like to nurse 2 same age newborns. 22 22.22%
I've only nursed twins. It was easier than I expected. 8 8.08%
I've only nursed twins. It was hard, but nothing too overwhelming. 5 5.05%
I've only nursed twins. It was really, REALLY hard. 5 5.05%
I've only nursed twins. It absolutely did not work out for us. 4 4.04%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were easier than the singleton. 9 9.09%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were about as hard as the singleton. 7 7.07%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were a little harder, but not by much. 24 24.24%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were much, MUCH harder than the singleton. 9 9.09%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were pretty much impossible; singleton was not. 0 0%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. Nursing simply did not work out for us for either experience. 2 2.02%
I've nursed twins and a singleton. Singleton did not work out for us at all, but twins did. 1 1.01%
Other. 3 3.03%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 46 Old 11-27-2008, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(Wait for the poll!) The variety of responses on the Angeline Jolie thread got me wondering...

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#2 of 46 Old 11-27-2008, 10:34 PM
 
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Great question! (Not a twin mama....at least yet. But we are looking into adoption and I will breastfeed adopted baby/babies plus my own depending on ages......so they will be like twins from different wombs! )

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#3 of 46 Old 11-27-2008, 11:48 PM
 
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"I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were a little harder, but not by much. "

Really it was about the same. One of them had some latch issues which were easy to solve. My first singleton was the hardest but i didn't know what I was doing. Of the whole picture though, I think that NOW it's is a little harder as they're 16mo and nursing all the time and it's so demanding on me.

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#4 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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Some days I get overwhelmed with people touching me, and we had thrush when they were first born, but overall we haven't had any issues we couldn't work through.

twins only over here. ::

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#5 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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Where is the option, "I've nursed twins longer than Angelina Jolie, and it was the sexiest thing on Earth."? I pick that one.

I am woman; watch me feed my children!

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#6 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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I voted "I've nursed twins and a singleton. The twins were a little harder, but not by much", simply because it requires more "wrangling" of bodies. Also, mine boys were born early, so they had to learn how to nurse.

On the other hand, it is WAY more entertaining sometimes than nursing one. I was sitting on the floor today with my shirt up, all kicked back, and the boys were snacking and giggling, and I asked my husband if when we first met he ever thought this is what he would see in his living room!

The hand holding and talking and smiling and giggling between the two balances out the other inconveniences!

mother to girl (8), boy (7), girl (5) and twin boys (12/07) and a little boy due Feb 5!!
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#7 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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It was a LOT harder at first and then it settled down to a little harder so I chose that. At 6 months it's more time consuming but not HARDER per se.
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#8 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 03:54 AM
 
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It was harder at first, because I was more tired from the pregnancy and my milk didn't come in fully for a MUCH longer time, like almost a month, so I supplemented at most feedings for a month or so. Now that I am EBFing, it is SOOOO much easier! I'm so glad I didn't give up, bottles were really hard. It's getting easier day by day, since they are feeding faster now. They are only 10 weeks old, however, so we'll see if it gets easier or not from here.
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#9 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 03:58 AM
 
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I'm a twins only momma, and I picked easier than expected. No latch issues and tandem feeding almost exclusively since day two. Some supply issues, which is why I'm up pumping at 2AM, but c'est la vie.

But since I love kjoy's humor, I'll add a comment about the time I stopped at a rest stop on the NJ Thruway to feed the girls over the summer. Against my DH's wishes, I wanted the car parked in the shade, not in the most private spot. I got what I wanted, but I also got a bus load of Italian tourists poking their head in to see the marvel. There's two! One woman actually reached in to give one of my girls a sqeeze! It was hilarious and sweet. A twin feeding ony moment.

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#10 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 08:58 AM
 
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Haven't voted yet, prob just a little harder because of the logistics, but a singleton could be just as hard work in some cases.

This little ditty came into my head late one night and kind of sums up for me what it takes to be a parent/ breastfeed and so on:

o ego. o ego.
how big you have grown!
since last a baby
pushed you from your throne



breastfeeding any baby takes a whole lot of giving up of oneself, but major boons to it too, especially as they get older.

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#11 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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I voted only twins, didn't work out. But I exclusively pumped for them for 18 months. There wasn't a category for that.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#12 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kjoy, you're a hoot!

I'm in the "it's a little harder" camp, only because of the physical logistics of it-- taking turns or tandem, setting up cosleeping situation for nighttime nursing, etc.

Also, wanted to clarify, the "I have no idea what it's like to nurse two same age newborns" wasn't meant to be ugly to anyone here, it was just to make sure we didn't have some random singleton mom wander in off the main board by clicking on "recent posts" and declare herself an expert on twin nursing based on the fact that her kids were 4 years apart and tandemed for a month before the oldest weaned, KWIM?

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#13 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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I voted for twins easier than the singleton, but that is because DD had latch issues for weeks, and the boys never did. Time wise the twins took longer, but honestly, not that much longer. DD was a tough latch followed by an hour long feed every 2 hours. The boys were more efficient or I would tandem. Oh yeah, I also knew what I was doing the second time around. That makes a difference as well.

Mama to 4 darlings. A ('03), O and K ('06), A ('09), and wife to M since 2002.
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#14 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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I voted for singleton and twin experience being pretty much the same. I guess the physical logistics of twins is harder but having the experience of nursing two singleton babies has helped immensely in the whole breastfeeding experience. I probably had more difficulties getting used to nursing with ds1 then difficulties nursing twins but overall I think it balances out.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#15 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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I think, most of the time, the FIRST breatfeeding experience is the hardest, regardless of how many babies you have.

I had my twins first, and nursing them was 100 times harder than nursing my singleton baby (born 3.75 years later). With my twins I had thrush for six months and chronic plugged ducts, and my twins wanted to nurse nearly 24 hours a day. With my singleton, I didn't have any problems (aside from oversupply) and he only nursed for a few minutes every few hours. It was a hugely different experience.

If I already knew how to nurse/latch babies on correctly/etc. before I had my twins (and if my supply was bigger due to not being my first nursing experience), I think it would have been a lot easier.

All that said, I did successfully breastfeed my twins, exclusively for the first 13 months, very frequently until they were 2, and then gradually cut back to where they were weaned by age 3. It never felt impossible.

The moms who I have worked with who have twins after having had a singleton usually do really well. The most common issue people seem to have is not nursing their twin babies often enough (especially if they're born a little early and are sleepy).

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#16 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the votes and responses so far. This has been very interesting for me to see. I guess I'm kind of assuming that the crowd on MDC is pretty hardcore committed to breastfeeding if possible, so I was wondering, for those who really wanted to and tried hard, what these statistics might look like.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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#17 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjoy2 View Post
Where is the option, "I've nursed twins longer than Angelina Jolie, and it was the sexiest thing on Earth."? I pick that one.

I am woman; watch me feed my children!

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#18 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjoy2 View Post
Where is the option, "I've nursed twins longer than Angelina Jolie, and it was the sexiest thing on Earth."? I pick that one.

I am woman; watch me feed my children!
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#19 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Without taking into account that my twins were micro-preemies and how hard it was to keep up my supply while pumping and teaching them to nurse, nursing them is only slightly harder than a singleton. I rarely feed them at the same time which means I am sitting down for a good portion of my day. I don't know that it's hard, more like time consuming. I'm fortunate that my daughter can get herself a drink and snack. If she were younger, I don't know how easy it would have been to nurse.

Lindsey- SAHM to Skylar (7-12-01), Leah (10-29-04), id twin boys Addison and Riley (6-17-08, born at 25w4d), and Terran (5-29-11, born at 28 weeks)

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#20 of 46 Old 11-28-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I picked that I've done both, and that twins was much, much harder. Mostly because of those first two months, when they couldn't nurse properly. But also because of wrangling two little strong, squirmy bodies, and trying to take care of two fussy, hungry babies at once, and feeling drained dry in a way I never have with my singletons . . . I still love nursing them, and sometimes it's the sweetest thing (and WAY easier than bottlefeeding) but count me as one who thinks a lot of the moms coming down on Angelina Jolie have no idea what they're talking about!
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#21 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I was twins and a singleton with the twins being a little harder, but not by much. Actually, nursing DD1 was SO FREAKIN' HARD as she was preterm and I didn't understand that I needed to be pumping like crazy, especially when I just wanted to be with her, holding her, and we were in the crazy lockdown AKA, the NICU. AAARRGGHH!!! But there were some nights with the milk coming in that go down in freakin' hard history for me with the twins. They sucked and sucked and sucked and sucked and sucked until I was in tears. And they mixed that with crying. Inconsolably.
But I count myself as so blessed with a lovely, gentle homebirth/waterbirth, and supportive midwives who came to our home to check on them so that our family could "stay in the cave", and just nurse and nurse. And I knew so much about bf-ing, and had great little nursers w/no issues. Maybe I should have voted singleton was harder, b/c it was, but those nights of two on me and never stopping........that was hard!!!!!
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#22 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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I haven't read the replies. I chose what looks like the most popular option: the twins are a little harder, but barely. The first 6 weeks of nursing my tongue-tied singleton were harder than anything involved with nursing my twins, even though they were in the NICU 3.5 weeks and I had to pump and transition them to the breast and all of that. That was tiring and at times a bit frustrating, but it wasn't PAINFUL like it was with DS1. And as they've gotten older, there have been times when it's been harder, but I think that's more just the added difficulty of having two kids to parent, not necessarily having two to nurse. So I'd say overall during the day it's exactly the same, just there are two babies nursing instead of one (and I can't easily wear one for long stretches because the other will want to nurse, but OTOH I'm not too into BWing at the moment, except out of necessity when we're out).

Nights. Nights are harder. By far, I'd say. I personally cannot get comfortable sleeping between two babies, although I've tried. I am going to get them sleeping in their crib again when everybody is better (we're all sick). But wherever they sleep, sometimes I'll be nursing one and the other will wake up while I'm doing that, and I personally don't have a good method for doing anything about that so I end up listening to the other guy cry, or trying to stand up and give him a pacifier, potentially disturbing and waking the one I'm nursing, or rushing the one I'm nursing so that he wakes up again anyway when I get to the other one.

So...between days that are really easy, nursing-wise, and nights that are tougher, and then with the easier start (in spite of prematurity), I'd say for me nursing twins is slightly more difficult than nursing my singleton, but not by much.

eta: Re-reading this, and thinking back on starting nursing both times, I think the major difference is that I was freaking out with DS1, and calm with the twins. I was so hormonal, had no clue what I was doing, and was in awful pain, with DS1. Lots of crying on my part. The second time around I just sort of knew what I needed to do and did it, and was blessed with babies who took to nursing early and easily.
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#23 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christyc View Post
, so I was wondering, for those who really wanted to and tried hard, what these statistics might look like.
I guess I fit in that category...
Ended up EPing for all of my children. Singleton dd was hospitalized for severe jaundice a week after birth and developed a nipple preference we were never able to overcome. Twin sons born almost 2 years later were premature--same song, different dance. Tried to get them exclusively nursing for MONTHS. In the end, my boys had mostly EBM for their 1st year, though both experiences were the biggest disappointments/personal failures of my life. Fortunately, everyone is healthy and thriving today! :

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#24 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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I only have the twins, so nothing else to which to compare. I tandem nursed almost exclusively, so it didn't take any more time to nurse two than one (especially since DH got up in the middle of the night to change diapers - bless his heart!)

I think nursing twins - especially together - has to be infinitely easier than trying to juggle two squirmy babies and two slippery bottles - especially trying to prepare bottles with two screaming babies in tow. I was home alone during the day while on materinity leave, and I think bottles would have been a nightmare.

I LOVED nursing my babies!

If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

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#25 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post

I think nursing twins - especially together - has to be infinitely easier than trying to juggle two squirmy babies and two slippery bottles - especially trying to prepare bottles with two screaming babies in tow. I was home alone during the day while on materinity leave, and I think bottles would have been a nightmare.

I LOVED nursing my babies!
Newborn twins are harder than a singleton no matter what type of feeding you're doing.

The hardest by a zillion times way to feed twins is pump and bottlefeed. That is what I did eventually.

But I agree that nursing is easier than formula feeding if supply isn't an issue and you're not also pumping or supplementing indefinitely.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#26 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_tigress View Post

Nights. Nights are harder. By far, I'd say.

.
:

nights are way harder, that's true. i am currently nursing one to my side and the other over my chest and tummy down latching on. i can't can't can't cope with the crying one waiting. NEVER thought i would do as much tandem nursing as this but it's not as difficult as i expected

a lot is to do with expectation i think??


Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Newborn twins are harder than a singleton no matter what type of feeding you're doing.

The hardest by a zillion times way to feed twins is pump and bottlefeed. That is what I did eventually.

But I agree that nursing is easier than formula feeding if supply isn't an issue and you're not also pumping or supplementing indefinitely.
:

after expressing for only four weeks you full time expressing mamas TOTALLY rock my world with what you achieved. cjcolorado - please, it was a victory what you did for your babies and, really, if you see it for what it is you will be
seriously, think what credit you would give another mama, or your own mother if she had done this for you! i would be seriously prostrate - and in awe - and grateful beyond words.

see, this applies to ALL of us:

Quote:
I am woman; watch me feed my children!
:

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#27 of 46 Old 11-29-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shukr View Post
i am currently nursing one to my side and the other over my chest and tummy down latching on.
like, not right now, as in currently 'in this moment'
right now i'm only nursing 'the boy' ak - no computer in bed when playing 'special feats of tandem nursing'

my sentence structure is REALLY suffering atm

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#28 of 46 Old 11-30-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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I've nursed both a singleton and currently nursing 2 year old twins

At the beginning, it was a lot more difficult nursing my twins than it was my daughter. They were premature, and one of them didn't latch for 6 weeks. As time went on, things did get much easier, but I think for me at least, it was still a little more difficult, just for the fact there were 2.
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#29 of 46 Old 11-30-2008, 06:34 AM
 
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Didn't read all the responses, but I nursed twins first, and I checked it was about the same as my singletons. My twins were both pretty easy / good nurses, didn't drive me crazy with growth spurts, plus they were my only kids. I could sit on the couch all day and nurse if need be.

Mom to:

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#30 of 46 Old 11-30-2008, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
Newborn twins are harder than a singleton no matter what type of feeding you're doing.
Not if you had a singleton with a latch problem, horrible reflux, or prematurity issues, and then healthy, term twins.

Quote:
The hardest by a zillion times way to feed twins is pump and bottlefeed.
I have to say that I have nothing but admiration for moms for whom nursing will not work out, but still are committed enough to pump and bottle feed. That is just an amazing level of dedication!

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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