I work with many ladies that have had twins. One lady told me the best thing she ever did was to bottlefeed them. That bottlefeeding 2 babies was easier and less stressful than nursing 1.
I am starting to notice a huge trend here. We all know that nursing is best but if no one enjoys twins b/c of the nursing, maybe in this circumstance nursing isn't best. I know it isn't going to be "easy" having 2 babies at once but I also want to be realistic about what is and isn't feasible when you have other kids to tend to and you work outside of the home. I would probably feel incredible guilt if I didn't nurse. however if 100% of people told me that if I walked into the woods I would get a poision ivy rash, I wouldn't want to walk into the woods.
Good luck to you either way mama!
I do have older kids, and I work, though from home, so that does make it a little easier. Even with that, it IS hard, much harder than with just one (but then bfing was never the easiest thing for me anwyay). But I don't know that, for me, formula would be any easier. As the pp said, you still have to prepare and clean bottles, get up in the middle of the night with a screaming baby, turn all the lights on, and come fully awake to feed them. At least with bfing I can snooze while I feed, even if I end up feeding all night long, which happens sometimes.
I am on antidepressants for ppd, but then I had ppd with my first two as well. I do believe it was caused by the hormones associated with bfing, as it did lift when they weaned. I don't believe, however, that it is any worse with the twins than it was with the first two. For me, the benefits of breastfeeding while medicated far outweigh the risks of the zoloft getting into the babies' systems. I believe, however, that is a personal choice.
I think ultimately you have to do what works best for your family, and what makes everyone as a whole happier.
I would, of course, encourage you to start with BFing, because you can always choose to switch to bottles later on if nursing drives you mad. It's a lot harder the other way around. Plus , of course, the first several weeks and months are the hardest until you get the hang of it, which I'm sure you have experience with since you have other kids.
i was still bf'ing my older dd when my boys were born. i tri-tandemed until the boys were about 7 months old and i weaned my dd. i didn't suffer from ppd.
now, at 12 months, bf'ing is actually harder than it was when they were tiny. when they were tiny, i just slept sitting up with them on the nursing pillow. i'd call dh to come help when they needed changed, etc., and i slept really well. now that they are older, i'm up and down all night with them. tandem nursing acrobatic toddlers is challenging too, lol. but it's so rewarding!
like the pp said, i would encourage you to plan on bf'ing. if it truly is terrible for you and you feel the need to supplement/switch to ff, then you can decide to do that.
And every time I have to run out to Target to buy ridiculously expensive formula... and when Similac got recalled...
Leah mom to Delilah 9/00, angel Stephen lost 5/25/09 at 40 weeks, and twins Gus and Cash 1/10
Expecting a miracle January 2012
I have to plan ahead every time i leave the house, and can't make unexpected stops or stay later than planned. If something happens like did to me a few weeks ago and i leave the house w the formula sitting on the counter and didnt realize it until i was an hour away w a hungry baby... You pay for that, one way or another.
I recently did a bulk formula purchase when my HFS had it on sale... I spent $1000 on just formula, and if i'm lucky, that will last me 6 months. That doesnt include the cost of bottles, nipples, cleaning brushes, dishwasher basket, bottle handles, bigger bottles now that he's eating more, replacement bottles when he throws it out of the stroller at WF and it shatters, etc. I'll also point out that he's eating solids, and i still don't expect it to last more than 6 mos.
And then of course there's the emotional cost, which is different for everyone.
I would never recommend ff for anyone that had another choice. It is a lot more work than the average person realizes. I couldn't imagine choosing to do it w twins, when i know how much work its been w my singleton.
Just thought you might like to hear about the other side.
Cristeen ~ Always remembering our warrior ~ Our is 3, how'd that happen?!?!
We welcomed another warrior in May 2012!!
2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012
dealing with the formula was such a pain. i hated it, and did everything i could to get them off of the supplements. reason being: washing all of those bottles is so time-consuming, and such a drag. mixing up the bottles, so annoying. and it just smells so disgusting. it made their spit-up so yucky.
nursing them was really hard in the very beginning, as my boys came 2 months early and spent a month in the nicu, but after their latches got good and everything got straightened out, it was such a great thing. being able to nurse them to sleep was an absolute, utter and complete godsend. and when everyone was cranky (me included), it was so great to be able to lay down in the nursing pillow, pop each baby on and doze off while they nursed.
just my 2 cents, whatever works for you is great!
After the 4th straight weight check losing weight, I moved to completely pumping. I got a lot of knowledge and support from the exclusively pumping board on ivillage. It was hard in a lot of ways, and I mourned my loss of a nursing relationship, But I did like the ability to let other people help me at times.
Honestly though, it was a small comfort in a much harder situation. Pumping was very hard, but I felt it was especially important to preemies to get breast milk. Washing and filling bottles took a lot of time. Botles for two were expensive, pumps are expensive... It certainly wasn't easier to bottle feed, for me.
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
That being said, I WISH I could have been able to nurse them in the night. At least I could have done that laying down. My pumping schedule the first 12 weeks was brutal (every 3 hours) so I would pump and feed the babies, 3x during the night. It was dumb. I wish I could have just nursed them to skip the pumping.
My advice would be to try out the breastfeeding first, if you want to do it. But don't stress over it. If it works, it works, if it doesn't, ok. You might find that you don't have the problems people talk about and that it comes easy for you and your babies. You might find that those minutes while you nurse them are the only time you really get to sit and be with them and it is actually a much needed break during the day. If you've been successful breastfeeding in the past then it might not be as difficult for you as it was for others. You don't want to deny yourself the opportunity to try, if it is important to you because I promise you, you will always feel that "what if...".
I'll be 100% honest when I say that breastfeeding/pumping for my babies did not make me a better mother. Hind sight is 20/20 but it was amazing what a weight was lifted off my shoulders when I stopped pumping. I felt like I could actually enjoy my kids and be with them. But on the other hand, as they are getting older I find myself really missing the opportunity to breastfeed them and wishing that I had tried harder to nurse them instead of pumping for them. As much as I can't stand breastfeeding (or pumping) there is something really quite special about it and my feelings of missing out on breastfeeding them surprised me. It was the right choice for us at the time, but I won't say that I don't secretly hope for just one more baby so I can finally learn from all of my trials and mistakes and finally "get it right".
I heard far more complaining (from the $$ of formula for twins, esp. if you're unlucky enough to need the special kind, to the pain in the rear of putting together bottles and hauling them around, ect.) from the bottle-only folks than I did the boob folks.
I suppose I would wonder if all these people who are discouraging you to nurse had good nursing experience with their other kids? Or did they have a disappointing experience full around (or the twins were their first)?
I just don't understand the mentality of planning to not nurse if you've been successful before, just because some people you know told you that not nursing was the "Best thing I've ever done for myself/the kids." I mean, people say that about Babywise CIO, spanking, ect.
I am glad I never had to deal with not being able to nurse my kids--it certainly made life a lot easier not racking up huge expenses for formula, and it was hard enough to get out the door with my freakin' huge diaper backpack without having to pack formula TOO. I really can't imagine. Plus, I was so sleep deprived I had a hard time even keeping up with regular dishes, much less having to clean a ton of bottles, nipples, rings, ect every day.
It's one thing if you MUST. But if you don't, then why not nurse? I will say that nursing two is definitely NOT as fun as nursing one (IMO) but...I'd rather park my butt in the la-z-boy for a little while longer and NOT have to clean up a sinkful and spend the money on a treat for me or some cute clothes for the babies or a toy (for me or the kids) than on something I can make for free, KWIM?
She says the bottles for two were a real pain- she was always prepping and washing and mixing etc.
There were times it was hard. The 9 month mark was difficult bc they were non stop nursing. It was hard for me to tandem them before six months. But we got in a rhythm. I would nurse one while soothing the other. Or nurse one before they were hungry then the other. You may experience being touched out. It sucks, but it passes. The only other time that was hard for me was when they were teething while I was having my period. My nipples were very sensitive before and during my period and it was uncomfortable.
We nightweaned at 14 months. For us, nightweaning did help a bit with sttn. I wonder if that is what people are referring to?
Things that made nursing easier for me with my twins:
The EZ 2 nurse pillow
Tandem nursing from the start
Swaddling the babies (made them easier to move around-- less floppiness)
comfy spot to be with something interesting on the TV
It may not be the same for you, but nursing my twins was something I was doggedly determined to do. I think I would have been devastated to lose that, considering the birth didn't 'go my way'.
I absolutely, positively felt that nursing was the best part of having infants, even two at a time. I loved every minute of it.
If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
We got Haberman feeders and I pumped so DH could get up in the middle of the night. I do have to say that pumping was a good idea if I had to leave the babies at home for an hour or so, and so that somebody else could feed sometimes, but we got rid of the bottles at about four months and EBF. When we had to go out I pumped for the babysitter, but all the washing and sterilizing was so much harder than whipping out the boob
I didn't have older kids, so my experience was a little different, but I wouldn't give up the experience for anything. I nursed them for 18 months.
: wife to James, MoM to R and D (Aug 2007) and E (Nov 2009) and Y (April 2012)
My guys were born @ 33 weeks and spent a month in the hospital. I would like to be an EBF but it doesn't seem to be in the cards for me but I am happier when BF.
I've had to really, really search for a lot of BF support. I started domperidone to help with supply, I wore a nipple shield for a long time. My guys do nurse but are reluctant about it. I love that time with them. I don't have other children so I had no nursing experience to draw from. I've never mastered the tandem feed. I also have one breast that produces significantly less than the other.
I am not a SAHM and am Active military. I wish I wasn't supplementing, it is a PIA but no matter what, I'd still end up washing bottles. (I HATE, HATE, HATE cleaning them). Our day care requires 5 bottles per child labeled daily. I resent this but I have no other choice, my job does not allow me to nurse them on demand all day so even if I was just sending pumped milk I'd still be washing and labeling. Also, because I work, it is better for our family to have DH help feed which is he is more than willing to do. Trust me at 2 am, it is nice to have the company when we both have to get up for work the next day at 4 am.
I think what worked for us is flexibility. I BF when I can, pump religiously and it is not a problem for me (I actually like the time to pump at work because I can relax and take a break) and I FF. I try not to beat myself up about what I can't do. At times, the formula is more convenient (I don't like BF in public) and it is quicker if time is an issue. The downsides are expense and bottles.
Bottom line is you have to do what works for you.
Mommy to Franklin & Callan
I did pump and bottle feed them for the first 5 months and supplemented with some donated milk but it got to be that I never even left my bedroom because I spent 45 min, 8x a day pumping and then several hours a day feeding them, changing them, getting them to sleep. I did have 5 other children and a husband that needed me also.
At 5 months we started them on raw cow's milk formula from our own cows and now at 10 months they are just on straight raw milk. They are very chunky 19 and 21lbs.
I do think that breast milk is best and I went into the whole pregnancy and postpardum period with and "ideal" of how I would like it to go but did prepare myself the whole time that it might now turn out exactly how I wanted.
BE FLEXIBLE...if something is not working, try something else. You need to do what works for you and your family and don't worry about what others say.
Mommy to DS13, DS12, DS7, DD5, DD3, and twin GIRLS : born at home in the water on 12/18/09
My children are very healthy, no ear infections, no asthma, no obesity, etc.
SAHM to twin kindergarteners
Anyway, my boys are healthy and smart.
So I say whatever keeps you sane and really enjoying your babies.
I had a bit of a struggle to get my oldest to latch probably -nothing major and so I figured I had a lot of nursing experience (he s/w at 2.5 yrs) and a bit of experience with a slow start.
However it took more than 2 months for my daughter to properly latch and my son couldn't move enough milk on his own. Add to that a case of thrush that we could not get rid of, a couple of supply crashes, some medical issues around my c/s and it was a struggle for the first 3 or 4 months in ways I just did not anticipate.
We hung in there and my twins nursed for 4+ years in the end but had they been my first babies I know I would have thrown in the towel and called the whole thing impossible by the end of the 5th week of struggling. The only reasons we kept going was that I knew that if I could just get them established it would so be worth it because it would make my life easier and it was definitely cheaper. But those were hard things to hold on to in the early days of sleep deprivation and almost everyone saying "oh just bottle feed" and I considered myself a commited pro-breast feeding lactivist wanna be.
Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha
I nursed my twins. I also nursed my singleton before I had my twins. We did have some really rough times (nipple preference-one of my boys refused to latch, exclusively pumped for almost 2 months) but once we got those issues worked out, I was actually surprised how easy it got. I guess I was lucky that I never had to be on antidepressents.
I nursed my boys til 3 1/2 and 4 (years). Did I enjoy it all the time? Absolutely not. Yes it was hard, yes at times it did suck. It was cheaper, we couldn't really afford formula (we don't qualify for WIC) and easier than dealing with all those bottles.
I don't know that I wouldn't nurse my twins because some moms hated it. I'd try it, and see how it works out.
ETA: I also wanted to add that I never regretted nursing my twins. In fact, in the toddler years, it was actually quite amusing!
My babies are 10 months. I still BF both. I constantly get comments from people that it is amazing that I have managed. Many people say that they would have never even tried. I'm not sure why. It is so handy to be fully equipped at all times and locations and not have to mess with bottle set-up and cleaning.
Actually, the hardest part of b'feeding is other people sticking their two pence in and querying if you have enough milk!! i've had a veeery slow to gain weight baby (both twins small for age) and the pressure has been immense to supplement. they were 32 weekers and that gave us a few hurdles to overcome too......
just make your intention and go with it to see where you get
i will say it's not been 'lovely' but it's definitely been worth it
spread a lot of love
I'm nursing my 4 month old twins. It's so easy now! It was really hard at first, they were small, and lost a lot of weight, so they were supplemented for a few days with formula. No big deal to me, I knew we would go on to nurse.
I'm looking forward to nursing them at least as long as I nursed my singleton, which was 22 months.
I had a lot of support from my DH while they were tiny, that helped immensely. I also saw a LC a million times those 1st few weeks.
It's definitely possible!
and the wondertwins 07.07.10
The 4 things I always recommend is
EZ 2 nurse pillow ( I used mine for 2 years. Order before you have the babies.. I didn't and really wish I had)
Always tandem (in the beginning i would wake up the 2nd baby to nurse if they happened not to wake up at the same time.)
and Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle! ( I did until 14 months)
Looking back it was a little difficult in the beginning. I was 18/19, I had very little support, and flat nipples. It hurt for the first 7 weeks But I never even thought about bottles. If I thought I had a choice between bottles and breastfeeding I probably would of given up at some point.