my twins born at 34 weeks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-31-2007, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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were in the NICU for a night. I still tried to "breastfeed" for 3-4 hours that very night. I remained in the hospital for a week with them because they were needing bili lights and wanted to continue to breastfeed (in the hospital).

it's been an absolute nightmare. They sleep all the time so I have to wake them to breastfeed every 3 hours MAX and they will breastfeed but it takes 45 minutes each and one will take in like 4ml and the other 20-ish mls (they want me to supply them with 30ml+ each to total 240ml a day per twin)

so I've had to pump and bottlefeed after the nursing sessions which has devastated me. I am constantly in tears. I am afraid my supply will dwindle because I can't keep up. I am pumping after every nursing session with them to keep my breasts going.

basically they being really small and preterm (one twin was 4 pounds 12 ounces and the other 5 pounds 7 & 1/2 ounces) and they've both lost more than 10% their birthweight.

I never imagined I would be using a bottle.

it crashes my soul they take 45 minutes to take in hardly anything and then with the bottle will take over half a feeding (30ml+) in no time at all.

will they get strong enough (eventually) to latch on and just GO with the breastfeeds?

I continue to wake them up every 3 hours to breastfeed but usually it takes 3 hours to do ALL the breastfeeding (with 2 I want to tandem nurse and I've tried but the stamina to tend and stimulate one twin to STAY latched on is tremendous so I now prefer to focus on one at a time) THEN I pump for 15 minutes and before I know it it's time for the next round of feeding

they were born Dec. 21st and I feel so DEVASTATED. Please tell me what you would do. This is the most stressful time of my life.

at the peds appt. today the twin who did "well" and passed is the one who gets most from bottle. The other twin who I've only breastfed for the last 4 days (since we've left the hospital) has worse weight gain and is still jaundiced. It was such a blow to me to have heard that. Like I failed because I breastfed and did not give her my breastmilk in a bottle

Melanie, vegan mommy to twin girls born Dec. 2007, and another little girl born Sept. 25th, 2009!
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#2 of 11 Old 01-01-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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Oh hon! First, you're doing a great job! A new mom, babies in the hospital for a week, learning how to breastfeed, dealing with sleepy babes...you're understandably exhausted!!!!!

First, do you have help? Your only responsibility right now should be feeding those babies and resting. No cooking, dishes, or laundry.

Are you drinking enough water? Have you tried any supplements? (mother's milk tea?) Are you renting a hospital grade pump?

Have you called your local LLL?

Don't fret too much about expressed breastmilk, at least it's still breastmilk! When they get stronger you can switch to a SNS to get them back on the breast.

Watch their output (wet diapers) more than the scale. Drs tend to get worked up with numbers when overall health is more important. And remember that their jaundice will slow their growth a bit...their bodies are having to work on more than just growing.

Hang in there! Keep us posted! This WILL pass

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#3 of 11 Old 01-01-2008, 04:54 AM
 
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.

My twins were 35 weeks, I had a lot of the same issues for the first few weeks. They were smaller than your guys (4lbs 1oz & 4lbs 8oz). I was told they could sleep one five hour stretch, but they never did.

Which hold(s) are you using? I had luck with the double football pretty early on. I owuld get one set on the boppy (you might have to prop the boppy to get the baby high enough, then once one is latched, get the second latched (put both on the boppy first and just latch one at a time). You have to move kind of carefully to not delatch #1, but you will get the hang of it. Another thing that worked was one int he cradle & one in the football. So I would put #1 on the left breast, feet facing right, and then football #2 on the right breast legs to my back in teh football.

The third way I used to do it was with no top (for me) put on the wrap. First get teh first one nursing cradle style in teh wrap, then just sit with the second, move the wrap out of the way to get the free breast out and latch #2 and sit and feed.

As for one at a time, what I ususally did was feed whoever woke up first (do NOT wake the second if they aren't already awake). After I fed her, I would put her down usually in the bouncy seat or the swing or something I could keep her sleeping or happy for a while so I could look at her / talk / etc. THen I would got get #2 and sit oppisite #1 and talk to her while in the chair, and nurse #2. They DO get more efficiant as they get older. When they got a bit bigger I don't remember sitting and feeding for hours and hours. I pretty much fed them on demand and didn't tandem much after the first 6 weeks or so, they had very differnet schedules (some twins do and some don't).

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One little boy ROTFLMAO.gif(6) and a full on toddler diaper.gif  (8/12) born with TAPVR heartbeat.gif (repaired at 6 days old).

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#4 of 11 Old 01-01-2008, 10:02 AM
 
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You've had some great advice here. I just wanted to say that you are amazing! You have twins who came early and you are breastfeeding them and pumping for them! That's hard work and you are doing it!

You can do this, PurpleMonkey!

Make sure you call in your entire support network for this - LLL, a good LC, all your friends and family. Babies learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding - which is exactly what you are doing. I hope that each week it becomes easier and soon you will be able to breastfeed both at the breast.
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#5 of 11 Old 01-01-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post


Oh hon! First, you're doing a great job! A new mom, babies in the hospital for a week, learning how to breastfeed, dealing with sleepy babes...you're understandably exhausted!!!!!

First, do you have help? Your only responsibility right now should be feeding those babies and resting. No cooking, dishes, or laundry.

Are you drinking enough water? Have you tried any supplements? (mother's milk tea?) Are you renting a hospital grade pump?

Have you called your local LLL?

Don't fret too much about expressed breastmilk, at least it's still breastmilk! When they get stronger you can switch to a SNS to get them back on the breast.

Watch their output (wet diapers) more than the scale. Drs tend to get worked up with numbers when overall health is more important. And remember that their jaundice will slow their growth a bit...their bodies are having to work on more than just growing.

Hang in there! Keep us posted! This WILL pass
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#6 of 11 Old 01-01-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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Oh, hang in there mama. These early days are so so hard. My twins were further along than yours but we had many of the same issues. Firstly, the PP is right-- your only job right now is to make milk for those babies. Make sure somebody else is doing EVERYTHING else right now for you! Secondly, I can say for sure that a good lactation consultant or LLL leader can make all the difference; ours was a godsend, especially when the peds were getting on my case about supplementing. They can teach you how to use a supplemental nurser or alternate methods to get the supplements into the babies, so that you can avoid the hazards of bottles. And they can back you up when the peds challenge your decisions.

And yeah, they WILL get there. My LC kept telling me that if I could just hang in there and get them gaining long enough to reach their original due date, it would all fall into place, and she was right-- it did. Two weeks past their due date, they were off supplements and gaining nicely and latching well and starting to take less time to feed and waking up a bit.

In the meantime, you just take one minute at a time and get through the day however you can.

Here's what I'd do-- find somebody who can help you learn how to use an SNS. YOu can call your local la leche league, or the medela website has a referral service that can help you find an LC in your area. Or you can call your midwife or OB and ask for a recommendation, if you trust that person. That way you can supplement right at the breast. You save time because you don't have to bottle feed after already breastfeeding, and you avoid the hazards of nipple preference (nearly destroyed DS's breastfeeding relationship, so I know it's a real danger). The SNS saved us.

Tandem nursing will come. For me, it was about two months when we really made it work. They needed a bit of head control to be able to maintain the latch; before that I sort of needed four hands to keep everybody positioned and latched properly.

And if you have any questions or need to vent at all, feel free to PM (making a mental note to empty out my personal messages so there's room!!!) me. I know how hard it is and I'd love to help if I can.

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#7 of 11 Old 01-01-2008, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your responses. This board is such a godsend.

I do have a hospital-grade electric pump (Medela Symphony) I'm renting. As far as SNS in the hospital we saw about 5 different LCs and it was a nightmare. The babes being so small could barely even latch on and so with the SNS device it seemed the tubing just made them delatch and cry more and fight the breast. Tomorrow another (different) LC is coming to make a home visit and maybe we'll try it again.

again I can't thank you enough for your advice. This is one of the most important things to me in the universe (to be close with my babies and breastfeed) so much appreciation to everyone of you. I cried reading these responses cause I've been feeling in the twilight zone negative messages I can't breastfeed why am I trying (some of the staff in the hospital). I just need to be thinking this one minute at a time and will somehow come out of it head over water.

Melanie, vegan mommy to twin girls born Dec. 2007, and another little girl born Sept. 25th, 2009!
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#8 of 11 Old 01-02-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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I agree with the op's just focus on getting to their due date and maybe even longer if you have boys. It can take full-term babies 6 weeks to learn to breastfeed so don't get too stressed out and it seems like all preemies have jaundice issues. You might want to try the smallest tube and slide it into the corner of their mouths rather than over your nipple like the directions say. It seems to me that they would gag on the tube if you followed the directions when they have such tiny mouths.

Also I feel like a broken record because I tell this to everyone but try breast compressions because it helps sleepy babies stay interested in eating AND it helps get the fatty hindmilk into your baby.

You are doing a wonderful job, don't give up!!
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#9 of 11 Old 01-02-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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You can do this.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

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#10 of 11 Old 01-02-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Purplemonkey, you are doing a great job! It WILL get better! Our boys were born at 35 weeks, and are now 3.5 months old. We had all the same issues, and our babies were 3 lbs 15oz and 4 lbs 5 oz. They spent weeks in the nicu on ventilators, with chest tubes, etc. They were so sick and so skinny and wrinkly, and couldn't latch on at all. We gave them EBM in bottles while they were in the hospital, and were only allowed to try nursing once they were almost ready to go home.

I remember what it was like to try and nurse them, and then bottle them and then pump, all of whick took about 2 hours. And by the time you're done, it's just about time to start all over again.

But now, they are chubby and happy and nursing like champs. They had a hard time gaining weight at first, but it's very common for preemies to start gaining weight like crazy around their due date, and our guys did just that. That's also about the time that they really started to nurse better, too. Just hang in there, and don't listen to people who give you unhelpful advice. Nursing preemies is so so so hard, but you can do it.

Our guys are, finally, ebf and thrilled about it. They always nurse together (sometimes they even hold hands!), and we couldn't do it without our ez-2-nurse twins pillow. I totally recommend getting one if you plan to nurse them together.

Keep on truckin'!
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#11 of 11 Old 01-02-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post


Oh hon! First, you're doing a great job! A new mom, babies in the hospital for a week, learning how to breastfeed, dealing with sleepy babes...you're understandably exhausted!!!!!

First, do you have help? Your only responsibility right now should be feeding those babies and resting. No cooking, dishes, or laundry.

Are you drinking enough water? Have you tried any supplements? (mother's milk tea?) Are you renting a hospital grade pump?

Have you called your local LLL?

Don't fret too much about expressed breastmilk, at least it's still breastmilk! When they get stronger you can switch to a SNS to get them back on the breast.

Watch their output (wet diapers) more than the scale. Drs tend to get worked up with numbers when overall health is more important. And remember that their jaundice will slow their growth a bit...their bodies are having to work on more than just growing.

Hang in there! Keep us posted! This WILL pass
:


You can do this mama!
Can you call LLL to find some support? You need to be around mamas who have been through this and dealing with NICU! They will get strong enough to nurse! You are such a strong mama!!!
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