Pregnant w/ twins and still nursing - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-01-2005, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just found out today at my 14 week appointment that we are having twins. What shock! Also, my 2 year old is still nursing. Has anyone nursed throughout their twin pregnancy? Is it risky? Any info would be appreciated. I am off to browse the forum!!

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Old 07-02-2005, 12:50 PM
 
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Congrats on the twins! I was also 14 weeks when we found out and still nursing ds. I had planned on nursing through my pregnancy, but ended up weening. Everything that I read suggested weening & I just couldn't do it, nursing twins is going to be hard enough without nursing a toddler also. Ds was very demanding about nursing and nursed every 1-2 hours still. It took us awhile to quit, but it was actually easier than I thought it would be. He does still ask & I think that he is going to want to again when the babies are born. I will probably let him and see how it goes. I think the main reason that I remember reading that you should ween is that twin pregnancies are more likely to have complications and that you do not want to get in a possition where you have to ween suddenly. It is better to slowly ween at the begining of pregnancy than to have to cut off your child all of a sudden if something were to happen and you could not nurse. I was glad that I had weened ds because I did end up spending 2 days in the hospital and would not have been able to nurse him. I do miss that time with him, but it has been replaced with doing other things and he does still have his 'boobie time' where he lays on me and puts one hand on each. Good Luck with your decision & congrats again!
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Old 07-02-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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My boys are my first but I did want to tell you that weight gain early in a twin pregnancy (before 24 weeks) is really important for their final birth weight. The crowding makes it difficult later. So, no matter what you decide to do, make sure you are getting adequate fats and proteins! Bfing burns calories and all so the intake will need to be higher. Multiples are rough on a body! I also think that nursing a toddler and twin infants would be very, very difficult.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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Old 07-04-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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Carrying twins is hard work on your body. I lost my first set of twins at 20 wks they were my first babies my second pregnancy was twins again and I only got to 29 wks with them. My advice would be to wean ASAP to give those twins a good chance of getting so weight on before they are born. I don't mean to make you scared and I am sorry if I did I am just trying to let you know that twins are TOUGH to get to term even without the added stress of another nursing baby taking away your calories.
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Old 07-05-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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Hi Nancy! Congratulations on your twins!!!!

I found out my second preg was twins early on at 7w5days. My little boy was then 10 1/2 mos old and nursing lots. I didn't want to wean him, yet I didn't know if I could nurse 3 when the twins came along. I decided to just go with the flow and see what happened. I started to get very tired and had morning sickness early in the pregnancy. I also worked 3 days a week and found it impossible to make it through the day. I stopped pumping at work to make life a bit easier on my body. Ds still nursed when I wasn't working though.

At about 3-4 mos preg I think my milk was decreasing but ds was still happily nursing. When I was 4 1/2 mos preg my milk changed taste. Ds wanted to nurse but with each drink he'd look at me with this look on his face like 'what did you put in there mom!'. He stuck with it for a few more days but each time disliked it more and more and then he stopped. I was very sad and kept offering nursing to him but he was done. It was much harder for me to let go than it was for him. He just went about his life like nothing happened and I made sure to give him tons of rocking and holding to help the transition. Again I think this was more to help me with the transition than him. Although I was sad I was happy he weaned on his own. (Well sort of weaned on his own - I know my pregnancy causing my milk to change sped up the weaning) And I remember 1plus2 (Karen) reminded me that soon I'd have 2 new nurslings!

So he stopped nursing at 13 1/2 mos which is when I was 4 1/2 mos preg. And now my girls are 12 mos and nursing fools! I plan on nursing them as long as they want! When my girls were born I'd see ds 'nursing' his 2 twin baby dolls. That just brought tears to my eyes to see that! I'd ask if he wanted to nurse and he'd say no. One day he did want to but he didn't remember what to do and was just being silly and laughed. Now he signs 'milk' when my girls nurse. And when he's had it with his sissys he tells them 'You go nurse! Sissy go nurse now!'. :LOL
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:29 PM
 
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Hi, Nancy and congratulations on your twins!!! : I found out I was carrying twins at 9 weeks and my dd was 19-months and still nursing frequently. I had begun nightweaning her as soon as I found out I was pregnant again but had not planned on weaning her. When I did find out I was carrying twins it made me second guess my plan to let her continue to nurse. I slowly weaned her and she finally stopped at 25-months which was 2 months before her sisters were born. After they were born she did ask a few times to nurse again and I let her but she didn't really remember how. I'd like to add that my OB was aware of her still nursing and was 100% supportive of her continuing. Looking back I think that it would have been fine if she had still been nursing some when they were born. It may have made things a bit easier on her...although she did take having twin sisters right in stride.

There are a couple of books you should get. One is "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" by Hillary Flower. Another one is "When You're Expecting Twins...." by Dr. Barbara Luke. This one is full of wonderful nutritional advice and ways to help your babies get to term and at a good weight. The last one is "Mothering Multiples" which is published and sold at the LLL website.

If you are comfortable with not weaning then I think you should go ahead and continue for as long as you'd like. But don't feel guilty if you do decide to wean (which is where the "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" book would come in handy). Good luck and keep us posted!!

Oh...I want to add that even with my older dd nursing, my girls went to full term (38w3d) and weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 7 lbs. 1 oz.

Karen - Mama to Haven (9/00) , Lillie & Faith (MZ - 12/02) and my first homebirthed baby, Willa (3/08)
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Old 07-14-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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I was very privileged to not know I was carrying twins until I was 32 weeks along.
I was planning on tandem nursing as my ds1 was only 7 months old when I got pg again.
When I found out I was pg with twins I figured I'd have to wean. And I spoke to my midwife and actually made up my mind to wean. For about 3 hours.
Then I just couldnt /wouldnt do it. NOt "just because". Dont get me wrong. If I was experiencing early labor or anything I would have. But I was only 3 weeks from what my midwife was calling "term". And I just couldnt see putting him through weaning just for 3 weeks. I asked myself and felt deep down that I was at no risk for preterm labor.
And so I continued to nurse Tristan through my entire pregnancy.
He weaned 14 months after they were born. They are now 21 months old and still nurse.
p.s. I was induced after 40 weeks. No premature labor here.
JOline
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Old 07-14-2005, 10:07 PM
 
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I'm 17 weeks with twins now and my DD, who's 15 months right now, has basically weaned over the last three weeks. We started night weaning soon after I got PG, as I wanted to try and get a little more sleep. She seemed ready and easily took to nightweaning.

Then, about three weeks ago, I started having excruciating nipple pain whenever she nursed. It was really like nursing a baby with a mouth full of razor blades, kinda like that initial toe-curling ouch you get when a newborn first latches, only it didn't go away or ease up as she nursed. It was really awful and had me in tears. In the end, I just couldn't nurse through it anymore. Luckily, my DD was also pretty ready to wean altogether, as evidenced by the gradual and virtually painless (for her) way we have tapered off over the last four weeks. We haven't nursed in about a week or so now and, while she does still ask maybe once or twice a day, she is easily distracted and satisfied by something else.

I am hoping that she will remain interested and will want to nurse again when the babies come, but I don't hold out much hope as we're still so far away (babies due in December).

Good luck to you!
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Old 09-05-2005, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone for all your replies! We were gone traveling for 2 months and I am just now getting back to check my post. Well here is our update: I decided to wean doing "don't offer, don't refuse." A week after I found out I was pregnant with twins, Gabe suddenly started sleeping through the night!! I was so shocked because he had been nursing around 6 times a night, and night weanig is what I was dreading most. Because I stopped offering he easily got distracted with other things during the day and only asked to nurse maybe 2-3 times. Then around my 4th month of pregnancy my milk totally dried up. He still asks to nurse everyday, but he really only latches on for a few seconds. It seems like he forgot how to nurse already, he doesn't do it right anymore. So I would say he is pretty much weaned, even though he does latch on everyday still. I think he just does it out of habit, but once he latches on it must not seem right to him, like something changed, so he stops. Occasionally I think he might be getting some colostrum but rarely. I am just over 23 weeks now and everything is going great with the babies.

I had a question about gaining 24 lbs by 24 weeks. I gained nothing my first trimester, I actually lost 6 lbs. Then between 14 and 22 weeks I gained 22 lbs!! I don't expect to continue gaining at that speed, I think it was just all the junk I was eating while we were traveling. Anyway, what is the significance of gaining 24 lbs by 24 weeks? Do you think it really makes a difference in their final weight? At my 22 week appt. they twins were both just over a 1lb and measuring a few days ahead even. Do you think over all weight gain (mine) makes the difference in the twins' weight or just quality of food? Thanks for all your help and congratulations to everyone!

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Old 09-06-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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I nursed through to my 35th week of pregnancy with my twin girls. DD was 3.5 years old and was only nursing at sleep times. I began to notice that i would have strong womb sensations after only a couple minutes, that and the actualy nursing was beconing irritating. I took my cue from that and told my dd that we had to stop for a while until the babies came, but we could do booby hugs. I explained that the nursing made the "baby house" squeeze and that it was too soon for the babies to be born. she was more than accomodating. We continued to family bed until the girls were born and she did help a couple of times to relieve the large milk supply if the girls slept longer than my boob was used to (I unilaterally fed the girls with no supplementation what so ever). She made the choice to not suckle ever again on her own though she knew she had the choice (which I'm glad she made the one she did).

I gained over 70 pounds with the pregnancy (started at 125 ended up near 200) I am pretty much back to where I was when I began (for the most part!) I do beleive that you can safely nurse when preggo with twins, but need to watch your body. My babies were born at 39+ weeks after a 40 minute labor (at home, not planned but glad of it). If you are prone to misscarraige then it might not be the best. Each person needs to assess their body and how it reacting to the situation. So to wean for safety might be good advice for one person, but not for everyone.

Patti B.
Alberta, Canada
Mom to 5 wonderful kids, 6 if you include dh, still nursing 2 year old twin girls
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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I think the reason for the early weight gain being important is because of the risk of premature labor. YOu want to get as much into those babies as possible early on because if they are born at 29 weeks, they will have a better chance.
I only gained 18 lbs for my entire twin pregnancy (but I didnt know it was twins till my 3rd trimester) and had 2 nearly 8 lb babies.
But if I had delivered at 32 weeks (before I knew they were twins, by which time I had only gained maybe 12 lbs) they might have had much less of a chance, than if I had gained more.

Joline
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Old 09-06-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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Hi and congrats on twins. I have been privileged to carry twins twice. My first time everything went well and I carried to term. No other babes to nurse. This time I had a nursing toddler and didn't know about the twins until I went into preterm labor at 28 weeks. I had to wean my 19 month old that day. Horrible for both of us. I wish I had known and could have gently weaned her. You don't want to have to suddenly take it away if you have PTL. Then I was on bedrest for 3 weeks. Had to give birth at 31 weeks when we couldn't stop it (I had planned a home birth again but obviously I didn't have that. The twins were born and one died three hours after birth. The other I just got home after 7 weeks of spending 12-16 hours a day at her isolette in the NICU. My twin that died would have died anyway (congenital birth defects), but perhaps I could have carried longer for the sake of her sister if I had not been nursing 8-12 times a day to that point and using up calories the twins needed for weight gain (the surviving twins was 2lbs 10oz) and stimulated oxytocin releases. Just my point of view. I am also a birth assistant and childbirth educator. I would err on the side of the pregnancy. By the way my toddler happily started nursing again after the twins birth and I am sure that is how I managed to keep a good milk supply during the NICU time where I had to pump for my preemie until I could teach her to nurse about four weeks later.
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:25 AM
 
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Helllo, I havent posted over here before, I recently started posting in these forums. Anyways I am Jessica and I found out very early at 5 wks that i was pregnant with twins. I was still nursing my then 27 month old. He was still nursing quite a bit. I have IC and am high risk- I was due to get a cerclage at 13 wks. I knew everyone would recommend that I wean, almost everything I read recommended it as well. At first the doctor said nursing until 20 wks would be fine then change suddenly one week before my cerclage and said he should be weaned before the surgery. OMG I was so sad, I knew he wasn't ready and I knew it would be so hard w/ such a short time. But i felt Like i had to do it for my babies safety. Well I nursed him up until the day of surgery (slowly trying to nurse less and less) and concentraited on helping him to sleep w/o nursing, the most important thing for him. and then after surgery we (my husband and I) were able to distract him when he asked for nursing. after about 10 days - 2 wks or so he was still asking and It jsut didn't feel right to not nurse him. I felt like it was the right thing to do and It never made me have contrax or anything. So i started to allow him to nurse again, I seemed to still have milk tho since then its changed alot but it doesn't bother him at all I know its comfort for him. We havent looked back since. I am 31 wks preggo and my doctor is unsupportive of his nursing so I didn't bother letting him know we started back up. It is a bit easier to get him to sleep w/o nursing now so I am confident that if something comes up and Im in hospital my husband will be able to help him off to sleep w/o them, but for us this is the best thing. It was a hard choice because no one supported me in it, tho I just followed my heart and body and my babies (all of them I realize nursing 3 will be hard but I know im up for the challenge. I wish you the best one way or the other
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:28 AM
 
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Oh I also wanted to mention i watch what I eat very closely so that I know I am getting all that the babies need, and so far their sizes are very good at 3lb and 3 lbs 6oz at 28 wks. I gained a decent amount of weight prior to 20 wks despite morning sickness, which I know is important.
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Old 09-11-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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I nursed my son Wolfie throughout the twins' pregnancy. He was not nursing too frequently when I got pregnant (he was about 13-14 months or so) and I figured he would lose interest in it, as I had read oh so many times. Not to happen! He became much more interested in it and started nursing a LOT. I was very thankful for it, actually, because it gave me ample opportunity to lay down with him and I also no longer minded nursing him to sleep at night, because it was easier than the alternatives, once I was the size of a small house.

All in all, I gained 80 pounds, had babies who weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces and 7 pounds 10 ounces, and carried to 40 weeks. I think the quality and quantity of food is vital during a twin pregnancy, but I don't think weight gain is the end-all indicator. My friend just had her twins at 39 weeks, both almost 7 pounds, and she gained about 55 pounds. Her daughter nursed throughout the pregnancy as well and she is now 16 months.

Anyway, once the twins were here, I nursed Wolfie for about a month and then decided to wean him. It was a very positive decision for us, as I needed to let go of the "baby" idea with him and let him become the big brother. I hated having to constantly set limits on him that weren't there before ("waiting his turn," etc.). He became a much different kid, actually, and I know it was the right time for him. Our relationship improved for the better.

He is still very fond of my breasts but does not nurse. Sometimes, he puts a hand on one and just rests it there for comfort.



~Mindyleigh
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