I used bottles extensively since I went back to work, 8 hour days, at 5.5 weeks postpartum. It was hard at first to see them with bottles, and little production when I pumped led to use of formula sometimes and earlier weaning (15 mo). But I have two happy, healthy almost 2 years old boys.
You do what is best for your family! If you put breastfeeding in high priority for a while, I don't see why not.
DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8 11/10 4/11
DD: 3 8/11
I find if I want to go out to do groceries, the park etc the babies will last for 1.5-2 hours if they are worn in the sling. They are about 8 wks old now. That take two people though since wearing them both is, I find, awkward.
Good luck finding a solution. One I started to be able to get out and do things I started to feel more normal again.
Montessori teacher working part time and trying to keep up with the kiddos. DD1 (June 08) DS1 (June 10) DD2 (June 10)
An idea for church: I learned to tandem nurse mine with one in the football hold laying 'on top' of the one in the cradle hold, under a nursing coverup, so I didn't need a nursing pillow. Our church has a mothers' room, so I'd take them both there. Someone would come by and say, "Are they BOTH under there???"
Me. With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.
Nursing twins ment sometimes having a bottle in my experience. At first, we had one baby with a bad latch, which took awhile (about a week) to remedy, and during that time there were some bottles. After that was sorted out, we were bottle free when at home, but we used them if we were out, mainly because I couldn't nurse two at the same time without exposing a whole bunch of skin, and needed my pillow, too. So I'd nurse one, and husband would use the bottle for the other. Once they were more moblie it was actually harder, because one would want to nurse if they saw the other one nursing.
Once my boys were 6 months, I was back to work and Husband stayed home, so they had bottles then, too. After that point, however, we didn't use them in public any more. I just nursed.
If you're at all concerned about nipple confusion, the lactation consultant I worked with recommended Haberman Feeders (made by medela), which require more effort in use and therefore reduce the chances of bottle preference. We had no trouble with babies preferring the bottle.
Using bottles may mean that you'll be pumping, too. I found that a pumping schedule of right after each nursing session gave me a decent sized freezer stash and increased my supply.
I left my husband alone with them a few times for a couple hours. One baby really hates the bottle. The other isn't excited about it either. It seemed that when they would get hungry, they would get fussy. The bottle would push them over the edge. They would be really mad when I got home. If he didn't push them to take the bottle, they were pretty okay.
It wasn't exactly my plan not to ever use a bottle. It just worked out that way.
Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to DD (9yr), DS (3yr), & UC twin DDs (5yr)
It was convenient to have one who would take a bottle and nice for my husband and Mom to be able to feed a baby from time to time, but it was do-able with one who wouldn't. I almost never gave a bottle to the one who would take once since it didn't help me any to get away, since the other would only take milk from me.
Anyway, i think your attitude about not having giving an occasional bottle making you a bad mama is a good one. If it works for your family, it's fine. You can do it without, but if it makes life as a pastor's wife and mama of 6 kids easier, it's okay.
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to DD (9yr), DS (3yr), & UC twin DDs (5yr)
It's true that it is hard to tandem nurse discreetly. If I had someone with me in public, I would usually nurse my twins one-at-a-time. I'm guessing that your older kids will be a big help to you in this regard. I'd also sometimes try switch nursing the babies: nurse one for a few minutes, then nurse the other for a few minutes, and so on and so forth. Once they were about 2.5 months old and became more efficient nursers, I stopped tandem nursing them all together (then started up again around 7 months when they became aware of each other nursing and would get jealous).
It's definitely possible to forgo bottles with twins (assuming they are able to nurse well at birth), and it sounds like the commitments that require you to take some space from your babies are so minimal that they shouldn't require your babies to be fed anything in your absence.
Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
1) can you nurse twins without pumping or supplementing
2) can you nurse twins in public
To question 1 -- yes undoubtedly you can exclusively nurse twins without pumping or giving formula.
To question 2 -- to me the answer is yes, if you can nurse a singleton in public you can nurse twins in public, just one at a time. (That's what I did.) But if the question is really can you *tandem* nurse in public... I see that at least one poster mastered that, so it seems quite possible! I never tried it--but I didn't like tandem nursing even at home.
To be honest, it's not a hill I'm going to die on. I mean, I definitely don't want to supplement with formula, but I'm really trying to let go of this idea that a good mommy doesn't use bottles. I never would judge another woman for pumping and feeding breastmilk, and I'm trying not to be hard on myself. I have no problem NIP, but prefer to do so as modestly as possible. I mean, I don't cover or anything, but I don't let it all hang out either. I'm not sure how I'll be able to do that with twins.
TOTALLY POSSIBLE to nurse twins with no bottles. I did it for 3 years (exempting a week of H@&(LL following an LC's instructions to try to force-feed them pumped milk w/ bottle or usually syringe, after each nursing b/c slow weight gain . . . didn't work anyway).
Your comment about being out with several older kids and the balance between no problem NIP, but not all hanging out reminded me of myself. I found it was easy to nurse comfortably in public without any sort of cover. I always could do this only with a parallel hold. But if I pulled the stroller near my chair, I could pick up one babe and latch on, then pick up other babe and latch on when they were only 1.5 weeks old. Later, I'd get both of them in my lap and then arrange one at a time. I'm sure you imagine it to be squirmy and crazy with two, but most of the time it was pretty orderly. Sometimes a home they were a little more "adventursome" during nursing!
Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
I have nursed the twins together away from home (friends' or family homes)but never in public. When we're at the zoo or a restaurant I just nurse them separately. I've found that I have to lift my shirt up too far to stay modest without a cover (and I dislike covers). I've also nursed in my car (minivan) multiple times and it's pretty easy to get them both together in there. It is amazing how strong my arms have gotten (and how skilled I've become) over these months- I can now lift my 16 lb boys up with one arm! Safely!
I detested the feeling of nursing both at once. Ugh, gave me the willies. So I didn't, modesty wasn't an issue. Occasionally I'd try it at home, but...*shudder*. I know other people that enjoy it, but not me. I learned how to nurse one and rock the other with my foot in their bouncy chair or bucket (in public) and switch off. They were both quick, efficient nursers so it wasn't a big deal.
Hard to say what it will be like until you actually meet your twins though. Some babies are easier than others, or if you've got two leisurely nursers that might be a problem. Or if you end up preferring to nurse both at the same time.
Good luck! There is a lovely feeling to nursing two at once. Your arms are just full of love, especially when your older is climbing on your back at the same time.
As far as nursing them at the breast w/o bottles, ITA that it is completely doable. That coincides completely with my experiences and the experiences of other friends who are also twin mothers.
Getting back to your commitments at 6-8w pp is NOT, ime.
With twins, not only are you doing everything twice, you're often having to do things twice SIMULTANEOUSLY. That's the rub. Not just doing it twice; but having to pick and choose which baby is more hysterical and needs to eat/cuddle more than the other baby who is crying but not hysterically. Not getting any consecutive sleep for the first couple months. One baby eats, the other is asleep, 45 min later the other wakes up, by the time you've nursed him the other is waking up, someone needs a change, someone needs to be burped, someone needs to be cuddled and won't sleep without a boob in mouth, or only with you holding him...
God, I'm totally having PTSD-like flashbacks of my twins first year.
mom of (8) (5) (3) and born at home on Christmas day!