Breastfeeding twins - supply and weight gain issues - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-25-2006, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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My twins went in for a weight check last week. One weighed 5 lbs. 9 oz, and the other weighed 5 lbs. 12 oz. (Pretty good considering they were born 8 wks. premature). I thought that sounded good, but the nurse said it averages out to a weight gain of about 1/2 oz. per day, and that they prefer that babies gain 1 oz. per day. I have been scheduled for another weight check two weeks from the last one. I am afraid they are going to suggest supplementing with formula. I figured that I could supply enough milk for twins, but a NICU nurse got me all freaked out about not having enough for them. I feed them on demand, and they nurse from 10-30 minutes each time, depending on how hungry they are. Is there something else I should be doing? I'm not pumping anymore - do I need to? They seem to be going through the right number of diapers. I really don't want to have to give them formula, but I understand that their health is the #1 priority. Has anyone else been through this? What did you do? I'm starting to feel like I'm inadequate ...
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#2 of 8 Old 02-25-2006, 10:02 PM
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I'm currently going through this, as well. My Ped wants me to come back in 2 weeks for a weight check too.

My plan is to feed as often as I can- and build up my supply with oatmeal and Mother's Milk Tea. I think they are gong through a growth spurt beccause they have been eating constantly for the last 24 hours. We moved from the 10th%ile to the 3rd. I'm totally not concerned, but the Ped is. I don't know if I should start pumping to build up my supply or not.

I hate those blasted growth charts :

ETA Don't feel inadequate. It isn't easy to EBF twins, especially since they were premies. You are doing a great job, mama. You are giving your babies the best nature can provide. Keep it up.

So I'm afraid I don't have any constructive advice. Sorry for the rambling- sleep deprivation can do amazing things to the brain
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#3 of 8 Old 02-25-2006, 11:26 PM
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I don't have twins,

but have had preemies

Is this your first weight check out of the hospital?

If so, I think that its very likely you will find the babies have gained the "required" 1oz a day by the next weight check.

I wouldn't be too ready to jump to formula as long as they are peeing and pooping, and are not too sedate.

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#4 of 8 Old 02-25-2006, 11:36 PM
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I wanted to add, that the dr shouldn't be stressing you out about weight gain, as I understand it your babies are barely full term! If you want to "help" them gain weight to make the dr happy, I would give them an extra 10 mls of breastmilk in a syringe or dropper after every feed (during the day) at the small size they are that is about 1/5 th a feed so If you top them up with that much for say 5 days, they will have definately gained a chunk of weight.
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#5 of 8 Old 02-26-2006, 12:13 AM
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Yes, I've been through it. My twins were born 2 months (to the day) premature. I have to say you are doing AMAZING well if you are exclusively BFing your babies. I had to work with an LC (who specialized in getting preemies to nurse) daily for about 2 weeks to get them to a point where they could get enough from me so they were gaining well (at least 6 oz./week) so that I could wean them off of the Medela SNS and bottles of EBM. I highly recommend working with an IBCLC or at the very least get in touch with your local LLL leader right away.

For me, it was a two-prong approach. The first was about teaching the babies to latch properly and doing manual compression toward the end of a feeding to keep them nursing longer on the hindmilk. This ensured they were getting as much from me as they could. The second part was boosting my supply. Here's what I did:

* Rented a hospital grade breastpump and pumped both sides 15 min. after a feeding. This way, there was milk for the next feeding but my breasts got the benefit of two "emptyings"

* All the oatmeal I could eat. Bowlsful. (Note: I still eat a bowl every day to keep my supply up for my third baby who is 1. The stuff does wonders.)

* Drink lots of water. For me, it was important to drink 8-10 glasses a day, not just "to thirst" like some people say.

* MotherLove herbals More Milk Plus tincture - follow dosing recommendations for your weight. The tincture works better than the fenugree (and blessed thistle etc.) pills and MUCH MUCH better than the teas.

* Buy "Mother Food for Breastfeeding Mothers" and eat the foods that are lactogenic and avoid the foods that aren't. It is a wonderful book I refer to all the time still.

Best of luck to you and your babies!
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#6 of 8 Old 02-26-2006, 09:10 PM
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I have b/g twins (now 2 and still nursing strong) and I just wanted to say it sounds like you are doing an AMAZING job. I don't think you are anywhere near needing to consider supplementing given the information you provided.

periwinkle had good ideas for boosting supply if you want to try them it can't hurt, but I'm not sure you even have a bona-fide problem. If the babies are having good diaper counts, seem satisfied and alert, I don't think there's any problem.

Also, just because they suggest you supplement doesn't mean you have to. As long as they are gaining something and are otherwise healthy, you have time to get additional support from an LC or LLL before jumping to formula.

I had one month where my daughter gained nothing (she was older, around 5 or 6 months), and my normally b-feeding friendly doc suggested a bottle. I didn't do it, and the next month she was right back on track. Babies don't always follow charts.

Breastfeeding twins is exceptionally challenging and it sounds like you are off to a fabulous start - congrats and stick with it!
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#7 of 8 Old 02-27-2006, 01:11 AM
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i hate when nurses and doctors say things like, "WE like them to gain an 1oz a day" i just want to say, "oh you do do you? and who are you to say!"

i mean really, they are gaining. you seam to have a good supply and they are healthy can go back in for the next weight check and if they say anything about suppliment formula just say no thanks we are doing just fine and walk out!!! or just dont go. nothing is law, your babies are fine.

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#8 of 8 Old 02-27-2006, 04:18 PM
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1 ounce a day seems like a high goal to me. . . I just looked it up in my Breastfeeding Answer Book (I'm *almost* a LLL leader!), and it says that premature babies should gain 4 to 5 ounces a week. So a 1/2 ounce a day isn't much below that goal. During the times when your babies only nurse for 10 minutes, I would try waking them up (changing a diaper, taking clothes off), and trying to get them to nurse a little longer. Avoid letting them suck on fingers or pacifiers. If they want to suck, make sure they're sucking on your breasts. Are you tandem nursing? I found that when I nursed my guys together it helped my milk supply. I would also make sure that you are drinking lots and lots and lots of water. It is hard to find the time when you are taking care of two newborns, but it has a huge affect on your milk supply. I would make sure that I drank two large glasses of water every time I nursed my babies. Also, I found that taking a nap in the afternoon really boosted my supply for the evening. I could never nap when I was alone with the babies (they rarely slept at the same time), but as soon as my partner would get home from work, I'd hand off one (or both) baby, and go sleep for an hour or so.

It sounds like you are doing really great for having had preemie twins, and I'm confident that you'll be able to continue ebfing them.

Good luck!!


Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 & 12) in a small house with a lot of love.
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