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Is it possible to get them on the breast at this late date? (long)

434 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  twinsarefun
My twin girls were born in January, 11 weeks early. One of them was intubated for 2 weeks, the other was on CPAP, and both of them were unable to even be tube fed for the first week because I had high levels of magnesium sulfate when they were born (from them trying to stop the labor and failing). I got them on the breast around 4 weeks old, but they were so tiny and weak they didn't last very long - they'd suck a little, sleep a little, etc. In the meantime, I pumped like a pumping fool.

When they came home, one was on supplemental oxygen for 2 months. And both of them had become so accustomed to the bottle that getting them to latch, even with the shield and an LC, was painful, to say the least. Between the pain, thrush, pump-irritated nipples, oxygen maintenance, pumping, 2-hour bottle feedings, and sheer exhaustion of caring for my tiny twins, I sort of let BFing fall by the wayside. It just got to be too difficult to try and fit the pumping (because if I didn't, I would've lost my supply) and the BFing "practice" in all the time.

They are almost 7 months old now and I am still EPing. My originaly BFing goal was 1 year, and I plan to stick with that for pumping. But my heart hurts when I think about all we have missed out on by not feeding directly at the breast. Everyone says to me "look what a wonderful thing you have done by giving them your milk no matter how they get it" but I am still sad about it. I especially feel sad when we are out in public and I imagine I am being judged because people think I am FF when in reality it is the breastmilk I have worked so damn hard to provide. My girls have never gotten formula, other than about 2 ounces in the NICU when they ran out of milk and didn't call me one night.

Anyway, I stopped trying to BF probably in early May. But lately, occasionally I've tried to offer the breast, usually at night because they will start rooting around and trying to suck on my arm, and I figure why not. I'll get a few seconds of sucking and it's not too terribly painful, but that's it.

So what do you think? Is this possible at this point, with all these months of bottlefeeding? They are suddenly very "chew-y" and I'm a little nervous they will try and gnaw my nipples off. No teeth yet, but they act like they are teething.

If you think this is not insane, how would you go about it? I worked with an LC back in the Spring and have just been procrastinating calling her because I will have to admit I gave up back then, and it's easier to admit it to a bunch of stranger, somehow.

Thanks in advance for your helpful advice.
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Yes! It is possible! It took me almost 6 months to get my dd completely on the breast. Then it took an additional 3 months of having to have me lieing down in order for her to be latched on. She never had a bottle - just finger feeding when she wouldn't latch. It was hard and frustrating at times...and SO worth it! She will be 2 yrs. next week and is still nursing. I'm a low supply mom, so I have to supplement with Lact-Aids. Our nursing relationship is so important to us. I was told of a woman who took 9 months to get her adopted baby on the breast and she said it was worth it.

Feel free to e-mail me. I may also be able to give you a contact phone number of someone who may be able to help you. I spoke with her and she was very syupportive. She normally works with women who have adopted, but that may be just what you need.
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My baby is almost six months, and I still offer her my bresat often. She latches occasionally (perfectly), but doesn't seem to think of my breast as meal - merely a snack or novelty. I yearn for us to have a Bf relationship. If I could get her on the breast full time I would be so happy.

If anyone has tips on how to convert her, I want to hear them.
It is possible and I'd do it if I were you. Never hurts to try.
You said that you are expressing? You have a milk supply? Baby is sucking on your arm? These are all good signs! I would nurse the babies first with the EZ Twin pillow or individually if possible (that would help with working with latching, ect). Let the babies nurse for as long as they can without any lactation aid. Then, if they get fussy and seem to need more, then slip in the lactation tube (SNS). Put into the container however much expressed milk that you can put in. This will help with babies learning the breast and stimulating your supply at the same time. I would use the SNS since it has different tube sizes. Start with the smallest if possible. If babies are frustrated with that, then use the medium tube. Don't follow Madela's instructions of using the tube throughout the whole feed. At this age, they might get hooked on it. Use Dr. Newman's technique of using it at the end if babies seem still hungry. You can google to find his web-site and videos demonstrating that. I am pumping and writing this at the same time. It is hard for me to go look it up. I like the Lact-Aid, but that is best for women that are not lactating already and need to start from scratch. Since you have a supply, it is good to use the SNS. I would buy two containers. One with the attachments and the second just a container with a lid and neck tie. With twins, you will probably have to fill two containers (unless the twins take more from you from the breast). I nurse the twins together and when they are done with the container, I slip off the neck tie and unscrew and attach the next container. You can call Madela's 800 and order these supplies. My twins have been using the lactation aid since week 1. I got bad advice and they are hooked on it. I am in the process of really trying to get them off. Pumping, going to the smallest tube. I think we will hopefully get there. I met a gal who did it with her twins at 9 months! Let me know if you need anything. My twins are also 7 months. As long as you do what I mentioned, your twins will probably not get hooked like mine. You can e-mail me if you like: [email protected]. You can do it! It is wonderful nursing my babies. Even with the laction gadgets. I would love to get rid of them though. I nursed two others up to three years. So this was rough for me in the beginning. I am used to it now. I have more tips if you need them. If you contact a lactation consultant, be sure that they are IBCLC certified. Even with lactation consultants, there is different advice out there. A IBCLC is usually trained in using the lactation aid. You will probably want to use the medium tube of the SNS (I was looking over your post again). You really can do this. You just need the right guidance. I think it is wonderful that you were able to keep your supply up. That is a BIG plus! I think within time, you will be able to get the babies back to the breast. They just need to get interested again. You might even want to consider bf longer. My girls are so healthy being breastfed so long. It is the best thing for building the immune system. As the babies get older, the breastmilk gets more concentrated at smaller amounts. It is powerful stuff! Just 1 tsp has over 3 million germ fighting cells! ( I wish you well! For those other trying to bf again, consider the laction aid. It is wonderful. Take a look at Dr. Newman's book "The Ultimate Breastfeeding book of Answers". It is the best and most inspiring book that I have ever read in encouraging ANY woman to breastfeed!
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