Anyone breastfeeding twins with one breast? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having to breastfeed my twins with one breast and am pretty challenged with keeping up now that they are almost 4 months (2 months adjusted). Is there anyone else out there having to do this also? If so how are you getting by? Any tricks?

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
Birthing/Postpartum RN on my "free time".
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#2 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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I'm not, but I do recall an article in an issue of Mothering a couple of years ago where one lady was. Will see if I can find out which one for you.

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#3 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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I know there is one mama here (MaryJaneLouise) who nurses her twins with one breast. Maybe you could PM her? I don't know how often she checks this forum.

Blessed mama of four
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#4 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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Hi! Yep I'm of the amazon tribe here. Was never able to exclusively BF, due to a low / normal side of supply. My biggest challenge was always supply, so anything you can do to increase supply helps:



Thread with carob:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ighlight=carob

Oh yeah the sore nipples too yuck, I had a bit of Raynaud's syndrome early on from overuse .

What specifically did you need help with?

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
Face the rear for MORE than a year! Toddlers' necks are safest in a rear facing carseat
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#5 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As a 14 year old girl I had a partial masectomy d/t a very large benign breast tumor and evidently what remaining breast tissue i have on that side isn't connected to my nipple cause i never was able to get out more than a few drops on that side. The body is amazing and I've fortunately been overcompensating on the other side, but ouch! my right nipple is always so tender.

What I need help with...
~timing (they both often need that one breast at the same time),
~supply (how much is one breast really capable of producing),
~emotionally (looking like a freak with one giant breast and one small one, coping with knowing that I'm not able to feed them 100% breastmilk and watching them throw up formula, giving my dd a bottle when I'm empty and she wants to nurse more--she gets so mad at the bottle when she wants to nurse)
~getting them to not throw up formula

Any feedback is appreciated. Glad to find out I'm not alone in this crazy venture of feeding twins with one breast!

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
Birthing/Postpartum RN on my "free time".
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#6 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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As far as timing and keeping up your supply go will either of them take a bottle? If they will have you tried expressing when they're not feeding so that you can feed one by bottle when they both want it at the same time so they're still getting breastmilk? Also with expressing (hire a breastpump, the medella one is awesome, but get a proper big one, those little do it at home one's are rubbish compared to the proper one's from the chemist!!) it helps to build up your supply.

Emotionally, have you thought about investing in those "chicken fillets". They're these rubbery things you can stick into your bra to make you bigger however you could maybe just use one of them to even you out so you feel a little better about yourself in public at least, you can usually get them from bra and undie shops.

Formula and throwing up. I had this problem with one of my twins. Turned out she had bad reflux but she never really threw up breast milk. We ended up having to give her special reflux formula and some medication so she wouldn't throw it up. Perhaps a visit to the peadiatrician (sp?) for a check up and voice your concerns about it?

Sorry I hope I've been at least a little helpful.

((hugs to you)) twins can certainly be a challenge at times. I had to give up b/feeding at 3 months because I just "dried up" I was devastated at the time.
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#7 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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Don't have any advice, just want to say WOW. I so admire your committment to your babes. To all MOMs who face this challenge-- not everyone would be so determined. Your babies are lucky little ones!
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#8 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildtigercubs View Post
As far as timing and keeping up your supply go will either of them take a bottle? If they will have you tried expressing when they're not feeding so that you can feed one by bottle when they both want it at the same time so they're still getting breastmilk? Also with expressing (hire a breastpump, the medella one is awesome, but get a proper big one, those little do it at home one's are rubbish compared to the proper one's from the chemist!!) it helps to build up your supply.

Emotionally, have you thought about investing in those "chicken fillets". They're these rubbery things you can stick into your bra to make you bigger however you could maybe just use one of them to even you out so you feel a little better about yourself in public at least, you can usually get them from bra and undie shops.

Formula and throwing up. I had this problem with one of my twins. Turned out she had bad reflux but she never really threw up breast milk. We ended up having to give her special reflux formula and some medication so she wouldn't throw it up. Perhaps a visit to the peadiatrician (sp?) for a check up and voice your concerns about it?.
Thanks for your ideas and support. My babes were born at 31 weeks and they got hooked on bottles because they were given them at night when I couldn't be there. I've spent the last few months working on getting them back to the breast (I'd been EPing) and have recently gotten her to fall in love with nursing! ...which has sort of backfired because now she often gets mad when we have to give her a bottle. He, on the other hand, screams when I put him to the breast and will only take a bottle. This is where I run into a problem with timing... She ends up having to get a bottle when I've just had to pump for him. There may be no way around this. : I try to nurse her before I pump, but again the timing just doesn't always work out.

BTW... I find that the Medela Pump-in-style ADVANCED (~$100 more) works just as well as the Lactina.

The 'chicken fillets' is a good idea. May feel a little wierd but at least I wouldn't have to hide under baggy tops.

As for formula: Actual reflux...hum? I guess I ruled that out since they tolerate BM just fine. Is there reflux formula made in organic? I feel pretty strong about not exposing my babes to all the junk 'conventional' cows are fed/given. I'll talk to my pedi who is also an advocate of organics.

Thanks again to all of you for your kind suggestions and support.

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
Birthing/Postpartum RN on my "free time".
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#9 of 27 Old 01-09-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildtigercubs View Post

Emotionally, have you thought about investing in those "chicken fillets". They're these rubbery things you can stick into your bra to make you bigger however you could maybe just use one of them to even you out so you feel a little better about yourself in public at least, you can usually get them from bra and undie shops.
: You Aussies have such a way with the English language! Yep, they make partial breast prostheses, lots of women with cancer have had lumpectomies (partial mastectomies) and use these to even things out. I wear a falsie too (never had reconstruction yet) and mine fits in a little sock, that I pin to the nursing bra so it won't fall out

More later, gotta run now

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
Face the rear for MORE than a year! Toddlers' necks are safest in a rear facing carseat
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#10 of 27 Old 01-10-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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Nipple soreness:

I have used these in the past to help with general chafing. You have to be careful not to press too hard or they might interefere with your supply. There are also "breast shields"

http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/breas...ml#Therashells

keeping them warm in winter also helps.

Have you looked into receiving donor milk, since your babes don't formula well? Here's a couple of sites:

Donations:

http://www.breastmilkdonations.com/index.html

http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/


Also you can post a request in your geographical find your tribe area, and in places like your local LL League, natural food store, birthing center, local midwives, Craig's list, etc.

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
Face the rear for MORE than a year! Toddlers' necks are safest in a rear facing carseat
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#11 of 27 Old 01-10-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MaryJaneLouise View Post
: You Aussies have such a way with the English language!
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#12 of 27 Old 01-10-2007, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MaryJaneLouise,
Thanks Did you coordinate nursing as well as pumping, or did you exclusively nurse or EP?

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
Birthing/Postpartum RN on my "free time".
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#13 of 27 Old 01-11-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cjcolorado View Post
I'm not, but I do recall an article in an issue of Mothering a couple of years ago where one lady was. Will see if I can find out which one for you.
The article was in the Mar/Apr 2005 issue (pp 58-61) and the author/mother is Patricia G. Blomme.

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#14 of 27 Old 01-12-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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Sorry I can't be more help on the timing / scheduling thing. We were pretty much chaos for the first 3 months. Then I went to WOHM and I pumped at work, directly bfed at home. It's very very hard especially when one of them doesn't nurse well directly. I felt like I had 4 balls in the air -- two babies, one boobie, and my sleep . Should I spend 45 minutes trying to nurse this one? Or that one? Or pump? Or sleep? Or fall asleep pumping? Oy.

Twin boys 04/2005 : Support breastfeeding rights at FirstRight.Org : warrior
Face the rear for MORE than a year! Toddlers' necks are safest in a rear facing carseat
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#15 of 27 Old 01-13-2007, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I can't be more help on the timing / scheduling thing. We were pretty much chaos for the first 3 months. Then I went to WOHM and I pumped at work, directly bfed at home. It's very very hard especially when one of them doesn't nurse well directly. I felt like I had 4 balls in the air -- two babies, one boobie, and my sleep . Should I spend 45 minutes trying to nurse this one? Or that one? Or pump? Or sleep? Or fall asleep pumping? Oy.
Oh thanks for writing back! Your words gave me a great laugh...I can SO relate! A little humor is exactly what I needed . I feel like all the energy flow in my entire body is focused in this one gi-normous boobie which is definately the main focus in our house!

I spoke with my pedi today and since I'm only supplementing with formula a few ounces a day at most and at least half the time it makes them projectile vomit, were going to try some local organic goats milk next time we need to supplement. I hope it goes down better. I'm also boosting up on herbs, water, and trying to pump even more: .

Interestingly, my DH has been out of town for two days so neither baby has left my side and my supply seems to have increased because I've been able to stay several ounces ahead the whole time. It's actually been even more fun than I'd imagined to be all alone with the babies. Oh, I just love them so much!

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
Birthing/Postpartum RN on my "free time".
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#16 of 27 Old 01-13-2007, 06:22 AM
 
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I don't have any experience with the issue but just had to post, wow you are amazing!! Your babies are so lucky to have you as a mommy.
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#17 of 27 Old 01-13-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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I just read through this thread and you ladies are making me feel all warm inside.
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#18 of 27 Old 01-13-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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doublelove - i am in awe of you. keep it up amazing mama! i have had supply issues since my twins were born and had to supplement even with both breasts working. i can only imagine the challenge of doing it with only one "milky" as we call them here.

i've heard good things about goat's milk for supplementing. we used a homemade formula recipe from the weston price foundation and there is another homemade formula recipe that my naturopath mentioned but i've forgotton the name. i just mention these because i wanted to support your efforts to avoid conventional cow's milk formula. hang in there!
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#19 of 27 Old 01-15-2007, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much everyone.: I really truly appreciate all of your support and kind words. This hasn't been easy, but it is still working. Infact, something I'm doing is working because I have 6 oz of BM in the freezer for the first time ever and I haven't had to supplement in almost a week! I can hardly express how thrilled I am!

I've had so many challenges with my pregnancy and birth and I feel like almost nothing has gone like my dreams wanted. I never had the strength to attend any of those nice prenatal exercise classes, I ended up in a wheelchair at 23 weeks with an overly loosened pelvis preventing me from walking, my water broke at 31 weeks, I was pumped up with antibiotics, IV fluids, and meds, I had to have a C/S due to baby A being transverse (but I did insist on laboring until I felt the urge to push and developed a fever), I had a severe hemorrhage, I nearly had a historectomy (after 2 hours of uncontrolable bleeding, they were preparing for a historectomy when my bleeding began to finally slow), my spinal anesthesia wore off and I felt every stich and staple at the end , I was told I shouldn't have any more babies due to my severe complications, I had to have 2 blood transfusion, I didn't get to see or touch my babies for 2 days (they were finally wheeled in incubators to my room), I discovered my left breast didn't work, my milk dried up completely for 3 days, my babies were given pacifiers & bottles and were in the NICU till 36 weeks, my DD came home on a apnea monitor and with a feeding tube, and my babies refused to nurse once the bottles were introduced. So to be finally nursing (even if it's only Kiana and I have to use a nipple shield) and not having to supplement is finally a dream come true!

If your still reading, thanks... I just needed to get it all out... :

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
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#20 of 27 Old 01-15-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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still reading and listening doublelove!
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#21 of 27 Old 01-15-2007, 07:02 PM
 
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My mom is super into the natural healing stuff and gets postings from a Dr. Mercola (I hope I'm spelling this right!) and he apparently has an amazing formula recipe that uses raw goat milk. It's supposed to be the next best thing to breast milk. You might want to try googling him to see. Hopefully you won't need it! Your story is inspirational. It sure is hard when things don't go the way we want them to with our births and all, but you are amazing for not giving up. I'm sending positive vibes your way!
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#22 of 27 Old 01-15-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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I am very sorry that your birth experience was so difficult. If you have a free moment (yeah, right) you might want to check out the birth & beyond forum here. I found it helpful after my less-than-ideal delivery of dd.

You are amazing, though, to persevere. : You have turned everything around so things are now going the way you'd like.
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#23 of 27 Old 01-15-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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Doublelove you ROCK!!!
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#24 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted this in 'breastfeeding challenges' and thought I'd post here too:

I just checked out the recipe for a raw goat's milk based formula (refered to in PP) but it looks like it makes about 4 1/2 cups worth. Does anyone know if it can be made and then frozen in small quantities to supplement with on occasion, or does freezing it destroy it? We can freeze our own milk and its still okay, so does the same apply?

Mama to DS & DD, 4 years old TWINS 
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#25 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 04:45 AM
 
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I just looked at Dr Mercola's website and there is a contact form... it might work to put that question on the form and maybe they'll get back to you, especially if they know your situation?

http://shop.mercola.com/customerservice.aspx

I'm really curious about this recipe so if you use it, give an update on what you think!
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#26 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 08:16 AM
 
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Doublelove you ROCK!!!
I know that my aunt tried bfing on 1 breast... I will seek some answers & pm u...

Mom to 7-year old DS1 carrot.gif, 2 year old DD joy.gifand DS2 surf.gif

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#27 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 08:48 AM
 
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I just read through this thread and you ladies are making me feel all warm inside.
: I just read this thread (saw it in new posts) and I have to say you are amazing! :
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