I just gave birth to twins a few weeks ago, and was nursing fine, until they hit their growth spurt. The dr. told me to pump to see how much they are eating and how much I am making, but now I am not making anywhere near enough, maybe 10ml, 20 at most. I have 2 older kids (22 months and 5 yrs) that at home with me, so relaxing isnt really an option. I have tried fenugreek, power pumping, a bunch, but I dont think I am getting enough to eat, drink, or enough rest. With all the I have to do I am having a hard time finding the space and time to eat, drink, and sleep (which I know are key to producing enough milk) and keeping my stress level down is extra hard. I dont have any family or friends around to help out, and my husband has to be working, and with this exhaustion I am having a difficult time figuring out a solution to my problem.... i know this question has been asked a million times and I could do a search and some research, but I only get 10 minutes maximum to myself a day if I want to get any sleep. I am only able to sleep 1-2 hours at a time, and that only happens once or twice a day (last night I was having a waking dream about the cartoon layers of scooby doo waving a credit card while feeding one of the boys while burping the other one, the lack of sleep has been really crazy).. i thought maybe someone has some miracle answer for me maybe? I dont want to use formula, but have been the past week, but the boys are having really bad reactions to it causing me to have even less sleep and stress more. Sorry if there are any typos or something that doesnt make sense, Im really really tired......
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The amount pumped is not indicative of your production. A better indicator is wet and soiled diapers, and weight gain. Breasts respond to infant suckling, mouth to nipple, and hand expression has been shown to increase production more than pumping. It may be the skin to skin contact.
Keeping babies close to your breast will also encourage latching. The more milk suckled from your breast, the more you will produce.
Are you familiar with baby wearing twins?
I wouldn't trust your doc on this one - like the PP said, check diapers first. Them nursing will take milk from the breast, leaving little to pump afterward. Plus pumping output doesn't necessarily tell you the truth about your supply, esp if you are stressed about output while you pump! Sounds like you need help making easy food to eat and stashing it around the house (like smoothies/juice and bars of some kind). You are probably not going to get much sleep, but at least you could be eating more. And get in touch with someone with the La Leche League or have a lactation consultant visit you in your home to get a second opinion about the nursing situation.
Congratulations and wow! What a life change all at once for you. It can be difficult in those early days with just one nursling but to have two, you are doing an amazing job - period! You probably only need to tweak a few things in your day to day life to bump up your supply and take care of yourself. Just have to think outside the box a bit and figure out how to help yourself little step by little step. Some suggestions that you could adapt to your values/lifestyle:
1 - take a nursing 'weekend.' This is a two or three day period where you do pretty much nothing else but nurse the babies. This should help increase your supply as well as let you track their output to see if babies are getting enough or not. It may be time to break out a movie marathon or a book-reading marathon or games that you can play one handed or at least have your 5 yr. old help you with any 'hands-necessary' actions. Something that will keep the older two occupied long enough for most of the day so that you can sit on your butt and nurse constantly.
2 - keeping 'handy' snacks and drinks around the house. A cup of water in the kitchen that you drink and refill every time you walk in there, a cup in the bathroom, a cup on the mantle in the living room, etc. Granola bars, bags of trail mix, lactation cookies, bowls of cereal, pieces of fruit - all easily ready to go foods that you can make a point of eating a serving after every nursing session. Make it a part of the routine - babies get fed, so do you.
3 - co-sleeping with babies for naps and/or nights. Can you snuggle down in such a way as to have one babe level with each breast so they can tandem nurse as often as possible while all three of you sleep? Is there a safe way to secure the older kids in the house so they are occupied (movie, special 'quiet time' activity, etc.) while you lightly nap with babies once or twice a day?
4 - learning to babywear twins. I would check out www.thebabywearer.com for a forum specifically on wearing two babies at once. There are a variety of carriers and methods used, plus you could learn to nurse in the carrier, so later on you can be more mobile and available for the older kids.
Just some ideas to hopefully jump start your thinking process. I'm sure you can find ways to adapt to life with twins that allows you to take care of yourself and your older kids at the level you both need and want to. You will figure it out!
I agree with making sure you are getting plenty to drink. Just keep a water bottle handy. It won't spill so it's easy to transport. Nursing newborn twins is tough! You are already doing a great job!
Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!
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sorry for not replying sooner, the boys are very demanding! I didnt want another day to go by without me saying thank you to everyone for their help, I cant write much as I am typing one handed.. always seem to be feeding someone! I will write more when and if I ever get another minute!!! I really appreciate all the advice and am giving it my best shot, with difficulty, but I am trying =) I am determined to give my boys what they deserve... gotta run, someone is crying!
Be Good Family =)