Every get tired of BF multiples misinformation? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-03-2009, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gah!

Somewhere, somehow in the universe, someone has criticized the idea that twin moms can breastfeed. I'm about sick of people promoting the erroneous idea that it's just impossible to nurse twins. Yes, there are unique challenges, and Yes, for some moms it just doesn't work out. But let's not just assume that it's impossible and get an attitude about it, okay?

Ugh. Sorry, just needed to vent.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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Yeah, I find it incredibly annoying too. I had a nurse at the pediatricians office sit down with me when I was pregnant and tell me how it basically is not possible and she tried for a whole day to only nurse her twins before supplementing and I should not feel bad at all about supplementing or not even trying at all.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ugh.

I know someone who just a few weeks ago had the MD in charge of our local NICU tell her that in his experience, it (exclusive breastmilk) just doesn't work for twins and that if she didn't supplement with formula, the babies wouldn't grow.

Wife of one and mom of five, including my HBAC twins!
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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Ugh.

I know someone who just a few weeks ago had the MD in charge of our local NICU tell her that in his experience, it (exclusive breastmilk) just doesn't work for twins and that if she didn't supplement with formula, the babies wouldn't grow.
uh. . . how did they grow before formula was invented?

I read this morning that only (this was a study from a few years ago) 20% of twin mothers even attempt bf.

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:11 AM
 
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It's really sad and yeah it ticks me off too. Yeah it's doesn't always work out but you know what? You never know til you try. My pedi told me that he knew I would be able to breastfeed but if I needed formula he could get me a case free. I never needed to take him up on it . EBF for twins IS the best way and it CAN work out! My father was a twins and he was wet nursed because my grandma was told she couldn't nurse two. So sad .

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:28 AM
 
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I'm just chiming in, I think it is awesome when a mom nurses multiples! I play around on yahoo answers and there was mom on there EBF triplets and tandeming with a toddler!! I always wanted to tell her how awesome I thought she was she was doing, since most moms of twins dont try at all.

I'm just tired of breast feeding misinformation in general! My dads fiance just had twins any they only made it about 2weeks EBF and at about three months were completely on formula... It wasn't so much bad twin advice but bad advice in general. Since I gave suggestions different from the Ped I was crazy and of course didn't know what I was talking about. :

Mama to Belly(5), homesteading in the desert with our chickens and sheep. Fish nerd, really into my reef tank. Baby due Sep 3rd!

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Old 01-04-2009, 06:45 AM
 
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It seems like sometimes with BF-ing, it's not even Misinformation, as much as no information that sabotages BF-ing. Like when people say "they weren't getting enough and were still hungry, so I supplemented". I don't think people realize that there are times they "don't get enough, but that's okay, b/c the baby will suck and suck and put the demand on the body to create the supply, and then the baby or babies WILL get enough. We are so freaked out by the idea of babies "not getting enough", even if it's one day. And of course, when supplemented, the baby isn't going to suck and suck on mama, and the body will think it's producing enough milk, until a vicious cycle is created. I always just try to talk a lot about BF-ing ---
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:11 AM
 
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don't know about you, but my early efforts at bf were HARD, HARD, HARD!! I couldn't tandem, so I basically never slept. This turned me into a total basketcase and I really have very little memory of that period. I wound up having to supplement early on ... who knows why? I was exclusive by 3 or 4 months (again, who can remember?) .... but I'm just thinking, for some of these moms, they probably were not thinking too clearly, and probably can't remember too well now! It was a crazy time.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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I haven't had my twins yet, but will in about 2 weeks. But I have EBF my 6 other dc. I have to admit that I am scared to death of twins. I just dont know what to expect. Im afraid I will be BF'ing all day and night. How do I do that with 6 other kids to take care of? My dc were always long nursers, so it felt like I was always on the couch nursing, and that was just 1 at a time!!

Having said that..... I still dont feel that supplementing is an option. I guess Im just afraid of going crazy, esp w/out any support.

So how do ya'll EFB'ing mamas do it??

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Mom2thhts- you will be on the couch nursing a lot! These are my only children, so I can't compare, but some days is a lot more nursing than others. Forget about trying "get things" done when they are newborns. I didn't get the hang of tandem nursing (at least w/o help) until a few months ago. Now we do it all the time. But there was a time when someone would eat for a few minutes, be put down and the other would eat for a few minutes etc. I don't know how it gets done, but it did. You are a hero for having twins and six other children! Hopefully they are old enough to help a bit around the house! If I was in your situation, I think I would teach the oldest how to use the crockpot, start laundry with the expectation of it just living in baskets and load/unload dishwasher. Most of the other stuff can wait. Just dim the lights when you are tired of looking at the clutter.

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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Seriously, nursing twins is not bad at all. It's like nursing a singleton only you don't have to offer both sides so it goes twice as fast. If you nurse them both at the same time it's really no more nursing then nursing one. There is more juggling involved but you get used to it fast, esp if you have an EZ-2 nurse pillow. I nurseded every 2-3 hours (usually more like three) their whole lives and we're at 17 months and going strong. You'll do fine mama!

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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I just ordered my EZ 2 Nurse Pillow!

I induced lactation so that I could breast feed my adopted son. I was pumping 12-13 times a day/night. And although we didn't have the success I'd hope for every moment of effort was worth the tiny bit of nursing we were able to accomplish.

So being able to breast feed my twins is something I'm so looking forward. I get frustrated by mother's who throw up their hands and give up on it. I wrote a blog post about this after reading on another forum a woman who doesn't plan on even trying to BF her single baby because " my pregnancies are just so hard on me". :

I completely understand it doesn't work for some people, but I don't get not even trying. (unless there are medical reasons not to).

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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I just ordered my EZ 2 Nurse Pillow!

I induced lactation so that I could breast feed my adopted son. I was pumping 12-13 times a day/night. And although we didn't have the success I'd hope for every moment of effort was worth the tiny bit of nursing we were able to accomplish.

So being able to breast feed my twins is something I'm so looking forward. I get frustrated by mother's who throw up their hands and give up on it. I wrote a blog post about this after reading on another forum a woman who doesn't plan on even trying to BF her single baby because " my pregnancies are just so hard on me". :

I completely understand it doesn't work for some people, but I don't get not even trying. (unless there are medical reasons not to).
After working that hard to induce lacation, I'm thinking that nursing twins will be a relative cinch.

I had a hard time nursing my twins, no doubt, but it you stick with it it's do-able. I've seen most moms who keep trying succeed, even those who are pumping and bottle feeding the breastmilk have eventually gotten the babies to nurse if they keep trying.

Good luck! Mine are 10 not and nursed to 4 3/4 years.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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I've been exclusively nursing my twins for 7 months and yeah, some days it's hard (like right now when we're moving and the twins are teething and my nipples hurt and so Daddy gave a bottle of pumped milk last night so I didn't fling my daughter to the floor ) BUT for the most part it's not a whole lot harder than nursing a singeton. That first 4 weeks was seriously like breastfeeding bootcamp. I did nothing but sit and nurse. I got NO sleep. Like, actually no sleep. I didn't like tandem nursing and they would often wake up one right after another until I was insanely deprived. I got cat naps! Plus I have four older children. It was really, REALLY hard but oh my gosh it's worth it now. Once they were 4-6 weeks old it calmed down, they started sleeping well at night, and I now have enough supply to nurse three!
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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I haven't had my twins yet, but will in about 2 weeks. But I have EBF my 6 other dc. I have to admit that I am scared to death of twins. I just dont know what to expect. Im afraid I will be BF'ing all day and night. How do I do that with 6 other kids to take care of? My dc were always long nursers, so it felt like I was always on the couch nursing, and that was just 1 at a time!!

Having said that..... I still dont feel that supplementing is an option. I guess Im just afraid of going crazy, esp w/out any support.

So how do ya'll EFB'ing mamas do it??
aww, you'll be fine
get the older ones working hard

i never expected to tandem and i don't love it still,but after the first teeth clenching grossed out feeling had passed i've got used to it
and how nights go is that i have one to my side latched on/ ready tolatch on whenever they like, and one kind of horizontal. the one who is on top has to have a bit more consciousness from me to latch on. i turn at an ever so slight angle to get comfy with a small pillow wedged underneath me, and then swap over at various times in the night. this way i get almost as good as nursing a singleton type of 'sleep' : which is mostly enough to keep me sane ( open to discussion )

we had the prem. stuff to deal with, 4 weeks of pumping, really anti b'feeding input all the way along ( like: 'baby isn't gaining as much as we'd like' talk over and over ), poor latch, sleepy baby etc but we got here :

ez2 nurse is helpful. i'm very 'small and high' shaped, and it's not ideal for that - a bit of floppy boob would mean i didn't have to lean forwards so much but it's good enough for nak

our routine changed so much in the pregnancy the children were glad to have a more 'normal' mummy back; even if she is still almost constantly engaged. you just find a way. you're a mummy, you will.

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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I'm scared I won't be able to nurse two

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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applepie baby - i'm still scared!!! but we just rejoice in each step in the right direction and each drop of milk that leaves the breast is precious; however it is delivered.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:29 PM
 
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~Mom2thhts~ - Nursing and co-sleeping with twins were my two greatest fears. I just couldn't wrap my head around how is was going to work. Honestly, it was pretty darn easy! I did have a couple of issues to overcome with nursing but nothing people don't get with singletons (my smaller twin was a sleepy nurser and had a short frenulum and both boys had pretty bad jaundice and needed extra bm to help flush it so I did extra nursing sessions and pumped a bit and fed it with a medicine dropper). I remember that I relied very heavily on my dh until he went back to work to help me position the boys for nursing. I didn't love the ez-2-nurse pillow but did use it a bit in the beginning. Eventually I found my groove simply using a few regular pillows combined with a criss-cross seated position on the couch - the football and cradle positions (combined - so the smaller twin rested his head on the larger twin a bit) worked best for us. I believe strongly that nursing is one of those things you just don't leave room for failure. If you let doubt hang around your mind then you're really increasing the chance that you'll feel like you *are* failing, whether or not that's even remotely the case. Plus it's very beneficial to be surrounded by people who don't doubt your ability to do it. I can imagine it would be hard if people were always suggesting you just supplement with formula or whatever. I never had naysayers (except the doc that told me they lost too much birth weight and that I needed to supplement which first, wasn't even true - they miscalculated the percentage lost and second, wasn't necessary - I never did give them anything but my own milk and they gained beautifully, particularly the one the doc was most concerned about). Look at the nursing twins galleries out there to get lots of ideas and then experiment to find what works best for you and the babies. It really is different for everyone. It makes me nuts when people insist that you HAVE to do it a certain way or you'll fail or go crazy (I was told I'd HAVE to nurse them together all the time or I'd go nuts/be too tired from the constant nursing. In reality, I was much happier nursing them one at a time).

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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applepie baby - i'm still scared!!! but we just rejoice in each step in the right direction and each drop of milk that leaves the breast is precious; however it is delivered.
I pumped for Elora when she was in the NICU- every two hours day and night... it was so hard, but I needed to be sure I had a good supply for when she came home. She barely used a fraction of what I pumped, I had over 900 ounces in my freezer when she died.
So I know I can pump, and I will if these two spend time in the NICU, but the logistics of nursing two boggles my mind LOL

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Old 01-04-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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Jayme it seems REALLY overwhelming in your mind but when it happens....you just sort of figure it out. I know you've risen above great hardships in the past, and this will be no different. It's just like anything else--it seems really intimidating at first but once you learn the skills it's second nature.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:19 AM
 
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The only planning I did for bfing twins was

A) ignore the advice from a close friend with twins who said that I'd have to supplement
B) buy no bottles (I have only 2 for catching pumped milk)... figured I could buy if needed
C) get the EZ2nurse pillow
D) a quick thought that if they were preemie I'd need other plans

After that quick think-through I decided I didn't even want to think about it as it was so overwhelming and figured that when they were born and I had to feed them it would happen and I'd have no choice but to deal with it!

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Old 01-05-2009, 09:52 AM
 
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The only planning I did for bfing twins was

A) ignore the advice from a close friend with twins who said that I'd have to supplement
B) buy no bottles (I have only 2 for catching pumped milk)... figured I could buy if needed
C) get the EZ2nurse pillow
D) a quick thought that if they were preemie I'd need other plans

After that quick think-through I decided I didn't even want to think about it as it was so overwhelming and figured that when they were born and I had to feed them it would happen and I'd have no choice but to deal with it!
Good to know I'm on track. That's my plan now. No bottes, ordered my EZ2Nurse and ignoring bad advice.

Fingers crossed it all goes smoothly!

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Old 01-05-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for your support! I get so sick of hearing that I cant possibly nurse twins (but of course they think im nuts for nursing any of my kids). :

I know it will be quite an adjustment, but we will make it through. I REFUSE to bottlefeed. Im just trying to figure out in my head 'how' to feed twins at night and together.

I guess my question is how do you nurse at night and still get sleep? Can you nurse 2 infants while laying down and not having to sit up? I was thinking of nursing seperatly at night, but I dont know how much sleep I would get. My husband is really nervous about sleeping with 2 babes, so we have a crib next to our bed. I thought I would sleep with one at a time and then switch them for feedings. Does that sound logical?? How did you feed them at night while in the hospital? I always slept with them, even though the nurses gave me a bit of a fuss.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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I guess my question is how do you nurse at night and still get sleep? Can you nurse 2 infants while laying down and not having to sit up? I was thinking of nursing seperatly at night, but I dont know how much sleep I would get. My husband is really nervous about sleeping with 2 babes, so we have a crib next to our bed. I thought I would sleep with one at a time and then switch them for feedings. Does that sound logical?? How did you feed them at night while in the hospital? I always slept with them, even though the nurses gave me a bit of a fuss.
When my twins were first born I remember that when they'd wake at night I'd sit up in bed, put on the ez-2-nurse (I really only used it much in the very, very beginning) and my dh would help me get them on the pillow to nurse. I did wake them to nurse if they didn't wake themselves back then (again, in the very, very beginning) to help establish my milk, their weight gain, and to flush the jaundice. I don't think everyone does that or necessarily needs to do that though but I followed my mw's advice on that one. Anyway, it wasn't too long before I was nursing them one at a time at night. They'd seem to time waking up in a way that allowed me to rotate back and forth btwn them. This was my sleeping setup so I'd simply switch sides of the bed with dh during the night as needed. Nursing *any* baby all through the night doesn't give you much sleep. It is difficult (on the lack of sleep front) but I think so much better having them right there with me. I think I would have died if I had to put much more effort into night feeding than that. I know plenty of women sidecar a crib and rotate babies in and out and it seems to work well for them. It just wasn't something I needed or wanted to do. Once they got bigger (around 9-10 months) I stopped swaddling them and then slept between them (to keep them from waking each other initially) and found I was eventually able to nurse them while lying flat on my back by cradling one in each arm. That's when we got back to tandem nursing (I really didn't tandem much prior to that aside from the first few weeks). I can't speak to your question about nursing at night in the hospital as mine were born at home but I'm guessing you could probably do what you've done before only rotate the awake baby in & out as needed. Will your partner be able to spend the night in the room with you to help?

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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You can definitely do this!

For nights in the beginning I did have to sit up and use the pillow. One twin would wake to nurse, and I would wake the other and nurse them together. This continued only until I was able to lie down and nurse (just one baby at a time), which took me 8 weeks to learn how to do (but you may be able to do it much sooner since you've already nursed before). Once I was able to nurse one baby lying down, I'd lie in between the babies and just roll back and forth between them all night (NOT waking up the sleeping twin). That was heaven. It wasn't until 7 months that I was able to tandem nurse lying down, but even then I still preferred to nurse the babies one at a time in the night since I could not sleep through tandem nursing as easily (so stimulating! And stuck on my back). But it was great for nursing them to sleep for naps and bedtime.

We had a king-sized mattress on the floor, and it worked out well for co-sleeping. We are still sleeping with our twins, and our two-year-old, but now we have a king, queen, and full-size mattress, all smooshed together. It's quite dreamy.

Good luck!

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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I guess my question is how do you nurse at night and still get sleep? Can you nurse 2 infants while laying down and not having to sit up? I was thinking of nursing seperatly at night, but I dont know how much sleep I would get. My husband is really nervous about sleeping with 2 babes, so we have a crib next to our bed. I thought I would sleep with one at a time and then switch them for feedings. Does that sound logical?? How did you feed them at night while in the hospital? I always slept with them, even though the nurses gave me a bit of a fuss.
In the hospital I nursed both babies together all the time. The nurses were very helpful in holding one baby until I was ready to get the other one latched on. I had an emergency c-section to birth my dd so had a lot more help from the nurses than I probably would have if the birth had been less traumatic. But I think you can still manage fine. I used the provided bassinet for sleeping. I don't think I would feel comfortable sleeping with both babies in that very high narrow hospital bed although I did one at a time.

Once home I nursed both babies in our bed at night. I think at first I kept them swaddled and on either side of me and just nursed whoever woke up. Baby ds woke multiple times and baby dd only a couple of times so I wasn't about to wake up baby dd unless I needed to . I quickly found a position that worked for me. I would lie on my one side and nurse baby ds in a side-lying position. Baby dd I would hold in a position above my body so she could access the top breast - kind of perpendicular across my chest area with a pillow alongside my back to help support my arm and her bottom. Kind of hard to describe. I kept this position all night so they could latch on whenever they wanted. Once they reached about 4-5 months baby dd became too heavy and I started to get sore from not changing positions at night so I switched to having them on either side of me and rolling back and forth between them. I don't wake one up if the other wakes up. I agree with 2+twins that it's going to be a little bit difficult on the sleep front anyways. I can't imagine having to do any more work than rolling back and forth let alone actually getting out of bed . But that's what works for us.

I will say that breastfeeding twins for me really has not been a whole lot more difficult than my singleton babies. I never really considered not nursing my twins (although I did briefly prepare myself in case I wasn't able to). It's just what I'm doing. Fortunately, I have never really had any nay sayers. Most people are pretty positive about it.

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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Old 01-06-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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We started out tandem at every feeding for the first three months day and night. Then I didn't tandem at night for a long time (3m to 16m), It was easier to just roll over and nurse them. If they both wanted it right then then I would get them on the ez-2 nurse and go to town. I just kept the attitude that it couldn't be harder then El (and it wasn't) and that formula was not an option. They have had 7ccs of formula each and only by syringe because they dropped past the 10% weight loss mark and I wanted to bring them home ASAP (took longer for my milk to come in because I had a section. With my son it was in in 2 days with the twins it was 4 days!).

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Old 01-06-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
I believe strongly that nursing is one of those things you just don't leave room for failure. If you let doubt hang around your mind then you're really increasing the chance that you'll feel like you *are* failing, whether or not that's even remotely the case.
I think this is great advice for any nursing mom.

nak - my sil didn't even attempt to pump or nurse for her trips. they said it was too much work, even when the babes were in the hospital and she was at home on leave. i don't have multiples, but i can't understand not even trying to get them some bm....
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:58 AM
 
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Ugh.

I know someone who just a few weeks ago had the MD in charge of our local NICU tell her that in his experience, it (exclusive breastmilk) just doesn't work for twins and that if she didn't supplement with formula, the babies wouldn't grow.
Luckily I had the exact opposite experience. The neonatologist for my triplets absolutely, positively insisted that I nurse my 34 week triplets exclusively. When I expressed concern - I got the hugest lecture from this 60+ year old man. Me - in my post-partum triplet emotional mess - and all I can ever say to that man is "thank you". I wish I could find him to thank him personally. And I'm really glad to say most of the moms in my triplet moms group nurse their triplets - very successfully too!

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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