The mechanics of breastfeeding twins whithout help? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 05-16-2009, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's my current 'how is that going to work?' question:

I'm home alone after dh has gone back to work, two babies are crying to be fed, I have to somehow pick them both up, get comfortable, get one latched on, then somehow pick up the other baby and get it to latch on.

How does this work?

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#2 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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I have mastered it. Partly because these are my 2nd and 3rd and partly with practice.

First and foremost, if your twins are your first give yourself some time to get the latching one on. Once you've mastered that (of course I'm assuming you will have someone home to help for a little bit), then work on both.

Typically I get everything set up...nursing pillow, extra pillows, water and snack. I'm on the couch or bed and once I have everything within reach I put each baby on either side of my body in position to pick up and attach. One may fall off, but I rarely and rarely both at the same time. I have an eager nurser and one who (from his NICU days would I would express initiallly for him) doesn't always "want" to latch on immediately. I do him second because I never know how he is going to work.

It is feasible it just takes practice.

Oh and one other thing...I thought I would love tandem nursing...and I don't. I've got the latch thing down, I can even burp them too. It's the changing, spit up, falling asleep baby that is no fun. I rarely end up nursing them at the same time. Maybe once a day when no one is home, maybe. I usually nurse them back to back.

Hope this helps.

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#3 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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Get yourself an "easy-2-nurse" twin nursing pillow!
here is an example: here

That was by far the most essential item for me. I always nursed my boys together, and in the early days I just grabbed everything I needed and settled in for a day of nursing. With the pillow you can read, eat, talk on the phone, watch movies, etc. It allows for you to place both babies on, assist one to attach, then the other. I usually did it on the couch.

It's intimidating at first, but you find your groove soon enough.

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#4 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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Yes, with no other monsters....I mean darling children () at home you can pretty much camp on the couch all day. Be sure you have some water, remote, snacks, and whatever else you think you might need close by. The EZ2Nurse pillow has nifty pockets! I would settle myself with pillows and lay a baby on each side of me. Up one would come and latch on. Then the other. Then when one was done we'd burp and relatch. Repeat with the other side. Eventually they'd fall asleep and I'd have to try and get them off without waking them up.

With practice, you will get this down.

And it's good to learn how to haul them around by their armpits. I still do, and mine are a year. I often am holding one on my hip and have to lean over, grab the other under the pit and swing them up and onto the other hip. It still makes me cringe sometimes but they're pretty used to it at this point.
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#5 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 02:42 AM
 
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I almost ALWAYS tandemed. It was easier for me. I would put all of the things that I needed on the couch beside me, put the babes on the couch beside me, situate the pillow, then put them both on the pillow one at a time. Once they were both situated, I would then latch on one, then the other. I found that if I latched one before they were both on the pillow then the first guy would just fall off. I don't have an EZ2, so I wasn't attached to the pillow, so when they were done and sleeping, I would just put them one at a time over the shoulder, burp them and then walk both of them to bed. They slept in the same space and I learned very quickly how to lower them both one handed very gently and without waking them up. It just takes practice. Good luck.

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#6 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 07:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post

And it's good to learn how to haul them around by their armpits.
I still do, and mine are a year. I often am holding one on my hip and have to lean over, grab the other under the pit and swing them up and onto the other hip. It still makes me cringe sometimes but they're pretty used to it at this point.

it's all about finding the midline balance, and then swooping them up!!!

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#7 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 08:18 AM
 
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it's all about finding the midline balance, and then swooping them up!!!
Ha! I never thought I would haul babies around like I do with twins...it doesn't seem to bother them at all though, and it makes me kind of glad they weren't 10 lbs each when they were born

I use the EZ2 Nurse pillow and tandemed for the first month or so but now (at 4 months) we very rarely tandem.

Mama, you will find your groove...and then it will all change every couple of weeks anyway

Tammy, Canadian Mama to 4 girls May-02...March-05 and...identical twin girls Jan-09
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#8 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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I scanned the other replies and I pretty much agree with everyone else but wanted to mention that I found it easier to handle both babies at the same time when they were swaddled. That way their heads were stable and their arms and legs weren't moving around much to throw them (and me) off balance. I did tandem a lot at the beginning. Now that they are bigger I tend to nurse one at a time unless we're lying in bed. I can see myself tandemning more once they can latch themselves on and keep themselves in position better. They're 11 months now and if I pick them up together I do the thing Intertwined mentioned .

The EZ2 Nurse pillow might be a good idea although for me it never worked that well. Having a slim frame and smaller breasts seemed to worked against me. I was always using small pillows and blankets to help lift the pillow up and to close the gaps so babies weren't falling into them. That said, it did help when I was parked on the couch.

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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#9 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies! This really does help!

Loving my twin boys! fencing.gif 11/03/2009 And my daughter 08/16/11 hearts.gif novaxnocirc.gif vbac.gifmomma  chicken3.gif Homesteader supermod.gif Doula

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#10 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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What a great question CarrieCo and what great advice ladies!!! Is there also something you can use to cover you up easily (instead of just a reg. blanket) while you are tandem nursing in case family or friends are in the room? Sorry to highjack CarrieCo.

After 5 failed IUI's & 6 failed IVF's we threw in the towel w/ ART and then got a NATURAL miracle BFP! Hoping and praying it is finally our take home baby!  Mother to our twins boys in heaven -lost at 22.5wks on 6/20/09 and 1 other little angel in heaven.

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#11 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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I tandemed on the floor, leaning up aginst the couch. I liked the floor because if someone fell of my double pillow, they didn't have far to fall. And they did roll off the double pillow on oocassion.

I used to get myself all set up - bathroom, drinks/snacks, phone, remote, book, diaps/wipes, 2 pillows, and baby blankets. The I would lay the babes on a blanket on the floor perpendicular to the couch, about 4 feet apart. I would sit down cross legged on the floor, in between them, back against the couch, pillow behind my head in case I wanted to snooze, put my double pillow in my lap (with a bed pillow underneath when they were small). I would reach to my side and grab a baby, put her in the football hold, then grab the other baby and out her the football hold, get them both latched on then -- I was hands free! I ate 100s of burritos that way and watched hours and hours of mindless TV.

That was the best thing about having newborn twins - burritos and TV!

We could sit that way for a long while. Once they were sleepy, I would just nudge them back onto the blankets on the floor. I often swaddled them before I nursed them so they would stay warm and sleepy on the floor.

I had a 2.5 y/o at the time as well. But she was content with me just reading and drawing with her for hours. So I had it pretty easy. Nursing twin newborns was pretty much all consuming for about 5 months. We did get out once a day though even if it was just to walk around the block.
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#12 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by seemfrog View Post
Get yourself an "easy-2-nurse" twin nursing pillow!
here is an example: here

That was by far the most essential item for me. I always nursed my boys together, and in the early days I just grabbed everything I needed and settled in for a day of nursing. With the pillow you can read, eat, talk on the phone, watch movies, etc. It allows for you to place both babies on, assist one to attach, then the other. I usually did it on the couch.

It's intimidating at first, but you find your groove soon enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post
Yes, with no other monsters....I mean darling children () at home you can pretty much camp on the couch all day. Be sure you have some water, remote, snacks, and whatever else you think you might need close by. The EZ2Nurse pillow has nifty pockets! I would settle myself with pillows and lay a baby on each side of me. Up one would come and latch on. Then the other. Then when one was done we'd burp and relatch. Repeat with the other side. Eventually they'd fall asleep and I'd have to try and get them off without waking them up.

With practice, you will get this down.

And it's good to learn how to haul them around by their armpits. I still do, and mine are a year. I often am holding one on my hip and have to lean over, grab the other under the pit and swing them up and onto the other hip. It still makes me cringe sometimes but they're pretty used to it at this point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuli View Post
I almost ALWAYS tandemed. It was easier for me. I would put all of the things that I needed on the couch beside me, put the babes on the couch beside me, situate the pillow, then put them both on the pillow one at a time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline529 View Post
I would reach to my side and grab a baby, put her in the football hold, then grab the other baby and out her the football hold, get them both latched on then -- I was hands free! I ate 100s of burritos that way and watched hours and hours of mindless TV.

That was the best thing about having newborn twins - burritos and TV!


. Nursing twin newborns was pretty much all consuming for about 5 months. We did get out once a day though even if it was just to walk around the block.



Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#13 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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We're back to almost exclusively tandeming, after not at ALL from like months 3-8. Now they are both mobile and when one is nursing the other must be as well. We call them "Monkey See, Monkey Do" and the older kids like to tell me which one is See and which one is Do. It changes and evolves as the time goes by!
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#14 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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I rarely tandem nursed the twins because I hated the way it felt. Usually I would bounce one in the bouncy seat with my foot while I nursed the other then I would switch. When I did have to tandem nurse I would tailor sit on the couch. Put a pillow over each thigh and going behind me. Then I would lie a baby on each pillow in the football position. Then I'd reach down and pull one up to latch then the other so I'd end up having them both in the football hold. When they got a bit older I would do cradle and just lay them over each other. It takes practice. You won't believe how creative you can be. The armpit swing was a specialty of mine too. All my singleton friends would watch in horror every time.
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#15 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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I didn't like tandem nursing them during the first year (but did do it the first month or two fairly regularly). What I remember doing is sitting on the floor with each of them lying right next to where I'd need them to be. I'd sit cross-legged with pillows on my lap (maybe my ez-2-nurse pillow but I never really loved it) and then I'd pick up one then the other. That way, IF they should fall, they wouldn't do more than roll several inches to the floor which I was already sitting on. I think I mostly just tried not to have to nurse them together when dh wasn't there to help me! Funny how hard it is to remember those days....

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#16 of 26 Old 05-17-2009, 11:27 PM
 
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Funny how hard it is to remember those days....
Exactly! I barely remember their 1st year and they're only 16 mos. old! Autopilot + Exhaustion, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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#17 of 26 Old 05-19-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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The armpit swing was a specialty of mine too. All my singleton friends would watch in horror every time.
Yep, me too! When they were tiny infants, I would grab them by the front of their jammies 1 handed and move them around. I never got the scoop thing (but my boys were too big for that very quickly anyhow).


I also nursed them just 1 at a time until they were able to latch themselves. With my larger size boobs, it takes 2 hands to nurse an infant .

You will figure out what works and what doesn't. And then it will all change and you will figure it out again. . . . and again . . . and again, .

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#18 of 26 Old 05-19-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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I'll tell you how I did it.

I swaddled each baby in a tight swaddle, put on my twin nursing pillow (ez2nurse) and placed one baby on the couch or bed where I'd be, then sit next to that baby while holding the other. Place one on nursing pillow, not latched on, lean over, pick up other while keeping one hand on first baby. This is why the swaddle is important -- the baby is a more "compact" package to pick up one handed. Once both babies are on the pillow, latch on.

Practice with someone there, doing it by yourself, and you'll figure out a method that works for you. Good luck!

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#19 of 26 Old 05-20-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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Good advice here.

I still tandem nurse at 14months. And I'm still using the EZ2Nurse pillow with a regular fat bed pillow behind me to bring my body to the front of the pillow. Mine will solo nurse but since I nurse before sleep time it's just easier to nurse simultaneously.

The only other thing to add....I always put receiving blankets down on either side of me. My newborns did a lot of spitting up and the blankets helped protect the couch from various newborn stains. And I kept a tray of "toys" nearby (book, remote, water...). Otherwise you get stuck sitting there "watching air move" as someone on here once stated.
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#20 of 26 Old 05-22-2009, 03:57 AM
 
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Yep, me too! When they were tiny infants, I would grab them by the front of their jammies 1 handed and move them around.
This, the armpit swing, etc. All very much to the of my friends with singletons.

We did a LOT of tandem nursing. Usually if I nursed them solo, it was in the sling because I had to be up and doing things in the house, or I was at the grocery store, etc. I was never really fond of the double-football hold, because I'm one of those people who always has to have something to do with my hands. We mainly used the cradle hold, and then when they were a little older, the cross-cradle hold.

Definitely make sure to have whatever you might need for the next little while in place before you latch them on: snacks & something to drink for you, remote, a book or magazine, etc. I got a LOT of crocheting done while I nursed my twins. At least while they were infants. By the time they were toddlers, their hands were all over the place so crocheting wasn't practical any more.
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#21 of 26 Old 05-22-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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Yep, me too! When they were tiny infants, I would grab them by the front of their jammies 1 handed and move them around. I never got the scoop thing (but my boys were too big for that very quickly anyhow).
So glad to read this. I've started to pick up my two this way at night when I'm trying to latch them on to tandem nurse. My dh was a little horrified at first until he realized that it wasn't hurting them. They're happy as long as the milk is coming at them .

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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#22 of 26 Old 05-22-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Yep, me too! When they were tiny infants, I would grab them by the front of their jammies 1 handed and move them around.
I did that too! I thought I was the only one!

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#23 of 26 Old 05-22-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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And it's good to learn how to haul them around by their armpits. I still do, and mine are a year. I often am holding one on my hip and have to lean over, grab the other under the pit and swing them up and onto the other hip. It still makes me cringe sometimes but they're pretty used to it at this point.
The older they get I feel like a mama kitty picking them up by the nape of their neck except it is their shirt I sometimes use. The second one to get picked up always get smushed until I can take a step and hoist them up on my hip.

You can also do the (terrible name) cow position. Lay them down next to each other, get on your knees over them and insert nipple. I'm not very busty so this didn't work well for me, but I think it would be a handy trick to have up your sleeve.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#24 of 26 Old 05-22-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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The older they get I feel like a mama kitty picking them up by the nape of their neck except it is their shirt I sometimes use.
We call our babies "The Kittens" because of how it reminds me of my cat having her litter! Also, when they attack me and are tandem nursing DH says they look like kittens nursing.
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#25 of 26 Old 05-27-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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We call our babies "The Kittens" because of how it reminds me of my cat having her litter! Also, when they attack me and are tandem nursing DH says they look like kittens nursing.
See, I always felt like a mother bear with the cubs attached. Now, with just a singleton, I've got a gymnast. One of these days she's going to succeed at standing on her head while nursing.

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#26 of 26 Old 05-27-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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I've got a gymnast. One of these days she's going to succeed at standing on her head while nursing.
Me too, and she just about has!

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