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#1 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
I am expecting twins this summer and I'm nervous as heck about nursing them. I've nursed two kiddos well past a year but I feel like twins will be a whole new experience.

A few things I've read said that you can't nurse twins on demand. And honestly, I'm not sure how NOT to nurse on demand.

Just looking for anyone who has nursed twins to share their experiences. TIA
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#2 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 01:58 PM
 
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I nursed on demand; in fact, I am nursing as I type. I had a bit of a rough start and had to pump for 2 1/2 months for DS, but even then I managed feeding on demand.

I think it is easier; who has the energy to maintain a schedule of when to eat those first, exhausting months. Helpers would ask if it was "time" to feed a baby and I'd say, "Is he hungry? Then he gets food."

This is the diary of my nursing twins thus far. If you read it chronologically it goes from shell-shocked to cheerful.

Mostly sane mother to twins.
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#3 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info!
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#4 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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NAK too
I am also nursing on demand and have since birth. It is wonderful and I too couldn't imagine any other way, actually. Haven't tried bottles but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't take them anyways. We were lucky in that they were born term (on their due date!) and never had any nursing problems, nursed right away despite a c-section(breech-breech) and about 2 hours separation after the birth. I tandem nursed them from the start and suggest you try it if you can, it gives you some time to do other things in between feedings. I know different moms try different things regarding which side to feed on... I feed the babies on a different side each time to keep things switched up. I have had mastitis twice, never went on antibiotics and got rid of it each time. I was overproducing at the start and any little stress guaranteed a plugged duct. That was the hardest part, otherwise yes I am sort of tied down to the babies but we also just nurse whenever and wherever which helps. I invested in some nursing tops which I never did with ds and also I have lots of different baby carriers which I can nurse them in while on the go... Sorry so long!!! Best wishes on a healthy pregnancy!
Paige
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#5 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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Almost every nurse told me I couldn't nurse my twins on demand! Guess what, I proved them all wrong. I nursed them on demand in the NICU w/ dh's help and they were speachless. Some of the younger nurses couldn't take they eyes off me in astonishment. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, you know what you can do, go with your intuition.
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#6 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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I'm sure you don't have a lot of time on your hands, but start going through old threads here on the Parenting Multiples board; there are tons about nursing twins from newborns thru older.

You can absolutely nurse twins on demand - and exclusively nurse twins (everyone told me I would need to supplment with formula). I think most moms here did nurse on demand, in fact. Mine would never take a bottle (I didn't have enough extra to pump early on, so I might have missed the window of opportunity since I didn't try till about 3 months), so there wasn't much of a choice

In general, I would say that medical professionals are not the best source of info about nursing in general, and they know next to NOTHING about nursing twins.

Even though you've nursed before, I would get yourself a copy of the Mothering Multiples book, look at Karen Gromeda's website (google it) and start calling around to find a LLL meeting that has a leader with experience with twins. I found a leader who had nursed twins herself, and she was invaluable to me.

Good luck, you CAN do it!
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#7 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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I am nursing my twin girls & have since day 1. Like many of the pps, my girls will not take a bottle, but now they do drink from sippies. Anyway, let me recommend the EZ 2 Nurse pillow. I could not live with out it! We love it- in fact, I have 2: one for home only & one for "travel" that stays in the car.
With your nursing experience, you'll do a great job!
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#8 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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I had a hard time making sure they both got enough in the beginning because I just didnt have a very good system- dd was a sleeper and ds was an eater. So he'd eat all the milk and then dd would wake up hungry. Until FINALLY I figured out to assign each baby a breast. He could have as much as he wanted from the left side, and her side would still be nice and full when she woke up. I also gave myself permission to supplement with formula, just to give me a break and reserve some sanity. My twins are now 17 months old and they still nurse about 1 or 2x a day.
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#9 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, so how did you get them to your due date!?? That's my other obsession. With two other kids to care for, I'm going to HAVE to learn to tandem!


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Originally Posted by maxymum View Post
NAK too
I am also nursing on demand and have since birth. It is wonderful and I too couldn't imagine any other way, actually. Haven't tried bottles but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't take them anyways. We were lucky in that they were born term (on their due date!) and never had any nursing problems, nursed right away despite a c-section(breech-breech) and about 2 hours separation after the birth. I tandem nursed them from the start and suggest you try it if you can, it gives you some time to do other things in between feedings. I know different moms try different things regarding which side to feed on... I feed the babies on a different side each time to keep things switched up. I have had mastitis twice, never went on antibiotics and got rid of it each time. I was overproducing at the start and any little stress guaranteed a plugged duct. That was the hardest part, otherwise yes I am sort of tied down to the babies but we also just nurse whenever and wherever which helps. I invested in some nursing tops which I never did with ds and also I have lots of different baby carriers which I can nurse them in while on the go... Sorry so long!!! Best wishes on a healthy pregnancy!
Paige
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#10 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mamas! This is exactly the kind of reassurance I need!
Thanks for all the ideas. I promised myself each child would get at least a year of nursing on demand and I mean to keep that promise...I just wasn't imagining twins when I made the promise, but that is OK.

I'll try and look through the old posts here for more inspiration. I didn't even know this section existed until today!!
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#11 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 07:30 PM
 
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NAK's too!!

I actually found it easier to nurse them separately for the first few months, but still on demand. I figured out how to tandem at night first (out of desparation!!), then figured out daytime tandem (when the babies demanded to be fed at the same time). I would nurse them in the big recliner chair and had a table next to me holding my radio remote, several books, water, and food. I would nurse and read novels to my hearts content!! I have never had a chance to read so many great books in my life!!

I pumped and bottled them for a few weeks until everything got worked out, they haven't had a bottle since and are still nursing maniacs. Now, most of the time, I just lean over and they stand and nurse!!

I forgot, they are 20 months now.

Courtney wife to geek.gif and mom to 4 boys: chicken3.gif   . I need caffix.gif !
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
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#12 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4daughters View Post
Almost every nurse told me I couldn't nurse my twins on demand! Guess what, I proved them all wrong. I nursed them on demand in the NICU w/ dh's help and they were speachless. Some of the younger nurses couldn't take they eyes off me in astonishment. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, you know what you can do, go with your intuition.
I think it's great you were able to nurse on demand while the babes were in the NICU... everything I've heard is how much they push for the 'every 3 hours' nursing schedule while in the NICU. Good for you for standing up to that and doing what you thought was best for your babies!
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#13 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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Oh yeah, : that reminds me about the chair! I love my big recliner/rocker. We bought it when I was pregnant and it is awesome and a lifesaver. Extra wide padded arms and it vibrates and has heat too! The girls sleep there alot, recling in the corners. Now that they are rolling I'm rethinking this, but anyways, great for tandem nursing and they loved just hanging out there and facing each other/playing footsie together. It is some kind of faux suede-y stuff that cleans up wicked easy.
Paige
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#14 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 08:01 PM
 
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the scehdule is for nursing every three hours in the NICU?!? That is awful, I don't think I have yet to go three hours without nursing, so sad:
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#15 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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The xchedule in the nicu where we were was FOUR hours!!!! I , in no uncertain terms, told them that they were nuts. They told me that preemies ave dif needs and need to rest to have strength to suck. No one believed that it was possible to tandem nurse exclusively. Our ped is still pretty shocked that i nurse exclusively.

I totally nurse on demand either one at a time or tandeming as the situation warrants. In the beginning i coslept with both as needed - now one sleeps better in her own bed.

You can do it -- positive thinking and visualization makes all the difference.

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#16 of 27 Old 01-16-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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My babies are three weeks old and we are nursing on demand. I can't imagine not nursing them on cue. That being said, they have pretty much put themselves on a schedule and nurse about every three hours. Except today, they rotated nursing non-stop from 12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Must be a growth spurt. Thank heavens for MDC! I could nak all afternoon!

My dd was/is a sleepy nurser and I had to wake her up for feedings. She seems to be coming out of that. Yay! I prefer to nurse them more often than not so that I know I have a good supply. Plus, when they cluster-feed like they did today, I knew they were getting plenty of high-calorie hindmilk which helps them grow.
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#17 of 27 Old 01-17-2007, 01:02 AM
 
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My twins just turned 4 months old and are exclusively breast-fed. I did have to supplement a bit for the first week or so (with my sister's milk) as my milk didnt fully come in until almost a week after birth. Now I assign each baby a side for the day and switch the next day. The first 2-3 weeks I fed them on a schedule (every 2hrs in the day and every 3 at night) to increase my supply but have been feeding them on demand since then. I nursed them separately at the hospital but as soon as I got home, I put my EZ 2 Nurse pillow to good use (still cant live without it and I HIGHLY recommend that you get one). Tandem nursing has definitely kept me sane. For the first several weeks, if one baby woke up to eat, I would wake up the other as well. Now if only one is awake and is hungry, I'll feed him/her separately, but if both are awake and one asks to eat, I feed them both.
Like PPs, I also HIGHLY recommend getting Keren Gromada's Mothering Multiples book. It will give you alot of great ideas on how to avoid and overcome BFing problems.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and hope you have a wonderful birthing experience
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#18 of 27 Old 01-17-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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Yes, I forgot - I LOVED my EZ2 Nurse pillow!. It was basically attached to me for the first 6 months (After that, they could sit and position themselves better, so I didn't really need it anymore). It was especially helpful since I had a c-section it helped me keep their weight off of my incision in the beginning.

I tandem nursed mine from the first time at the hospital . . . Karen Gromeda's website has lots of ideas for positions (though I admit I wasn't that experimental, just kinda found something that worked and stuck with it)
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#19 of 27 Old 01-17-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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I've only ever nursed on demand. Sometimes I note how long its been since one of them last nursed if we're busy running around just so I'm sure I don't forget to nurse them, but nursing twins has actually been pretty easy for me, and it certainly has gotten even easier the older they get b/c now it's very simple for me to tandem nurse them whereas before it wasn't something too easy for me to do (and I didn't enjoy it back then either). You'll find your way - don't worry!

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#20 of 27 Old 01-18-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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I nursed my twins for 15 and 19 months. They never took a bottle, so it was all on me. I would feed them together, so if one wanted to eat, then the other one did too. I started this bc one of my twins had a weak suck...by nursing them together he took advantage of his brother getting the milk to let down for him. It also made those first few months managable....I also had a two year old so I had to be awake during the day. By feeding them together I got a little more sleep. By three months I began to nurse them one at a time just bc I wanted some time w just one of them.
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#21 of 27 Old 01-19-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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I think it's great you were able to nurse on demand while the babes were in the NICU... everything I've heard is how much they push for the 'every 3 hours' nursing schedule while in the NICU. Good for you for standing up to that and doing what you thought was best for your babies!
Thanks for that. If they'd only let us moms do what our instict and intuition told us to do.. The doc was was in shock when one of my twins gained 6 oz in one day. And they are suposed to be "experts." I ended up signing them out of the NICU, without Drs. permission. I couldn't deal with the insanity.
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#22 of 27 Old 01-19-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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I've only ever nursed on demand. Sometimes I note how long its been since one of them last nursed if we're busy running around just so I'm sure I don't forget to nurse them, but nursing twins has actually been pretty easy for me, and it certainly has gotten even easier the older they get b/c now it's very simple for me to tandem nurse them whereas before it wasn't something too easy for me to do (and I didn't enjoy it back then either). You'll find your way - don't worry!
You are right, somehow it all falls into place and you find a way to do it!!
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#23 of 27 Old 01-19-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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For me nursing twins has been pretty easy. I know some mamas have a hard time in the early months but my boys latched on just fine from the 1st time and have ever since. They never got bottles, I never scheduled them in any way and if I could help it at all they never waited if they were wanting to nurse. I rarely tandem nursed them when they were little because they did not like it but now they are 16 months and always tandem because they can not stand to see the other one nursing and them not I did have my babies just past their due date and at home and they were both about 8lb so all that helps too.
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#24 of 27 Old 01-20-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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I'm still nursing my 19 month olds (although they are down to just 3 times a day or so most days). Talking to other mamas IRL helped (and seeing another mama nurse twins helped) as did reading this board and the APMultiples Yahoo groups, and I couldn't have done it without the EZ2nurse pillow, and a sense that nursing would pretty much be all I did those first months (along with making sure my then 3yo didn't feel too lost in the chaos).

Through no doing of my own, my girls had no trouble latching, and so I was able to tandem pretty much from the beginning (which makes it feeling like you are only nursing 90 percent of the time, instead of all the time!). I was not opposed to supplementing if needed -- in fact, I slowly introducing bottles -- both with pumped milk and formula -- at around 6 weeks, and kept trying once a week, but they never liked them, so I just kept nursing.

Get lots of help -- people to bring you food, clean your house, take your dog for a walk, whatever -- and spend those firstweeks figuring the nursing out. It is wonderful, and really helped me to connect to my babes (I still worry that each gets short-shrifted because of being a twin, but at least nursing gives them that contact, skin to skin, and slows you down long enough to marvel at the miracle of multiples.)

Good luck!
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#25 of 27 Old 01-20-2007, 02:44 AM
 
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I EBF twins and never scheduled. That would have been harder! Sometimes we nursed tandem, sometimes not, and both times would have their advantages.

At times I would just take turns. I would often use my foot to soothe one in the bouncy chair while nursing the other--this allowed me to do things like eat. Nursing tandem would often settle them in for a simultaneous nap and that was precious.

We already had an older dd who was 5yo when they were born. Hmmm. Somehow we all survived. It was I admit one of the more difficult times of my entire life--though I am very proud to have been through it and to feel I "succeeded." It made me believe in my great strength. It has been seven years now though so the sense of supermom invinvcibility has faded somewhat

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#26 of 27 Old 01-20-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Quote:
OK, so how did you get them to your due date!??
I'm not sure. I made it 39w2d. I ate to hunger, aiming for healthy but if I wanted chocolate pudding then that's what I ate. I ate a LOT of protein. I went down to part time work at about 24 weeks, then gave up work altogether at about 36 weeks. I napped a lot. I gave myself permission to do nothing but gestate, which as a type-A work-a-holic was hard.

Mostly sane mother to twins.
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#27 of 27 Old 01-20-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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I am nursing both my twins who are now 9.5 months old. I never had any problems trying to keep up with both of them. Once they started sleeping through the night I've had to get up to pump in the middle of the night to keep my supply going and can pump up to 22 oz in one pumping. Yes, definitely invest in a double boppy......I can still feed them both at the same time which saves a lot of time.....yeah, mine were in the NICU for a week and I had to feed them every 3 hrs, at different times which was very tiring and difficult. Once they are born just start pumping after they eat and that will increase your supply also. Good luck.......its easier than you might think
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