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Thread: Breastfeeding Twins

  1. #19

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    Hi,

    Most mothers with PCOS are able to feed their babies just fine. More often than not, it is the usual stuff ups surrounding birth and early feeding that result in problems, rather than the PCOS. Some mothers with PCOS actually find it causes oversupply.
    Preparation is you best ally. Go to an ABA breastfeeding class. In some areas they have special twin ones, - but otherwise the normal ones are great.
    Keep your babies with you skin to skin as much as possible. Twin babies can also have the problem of being premature. If your babies are born prem, or near term (but not term) and are unable to effectively suckle, stimulate your milk supply as early as possible with a good electric breastpump (your hospital should have one, and you can hire them from ABA)
    Get your support networks sorted out. Having twins is a lot of work - however you feed them.
    Let us know how you go, and if you want to know anything else, just ask.


  2. #20

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    Thanks Barb, I am only expecting the one but appreciate the advice all the same. I have contacted my local ABA and am going to a meeting soon and my membership is being submitted soon

    Good to know that PCOS shouldn't hinder anything else!!

  3. #21

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    Hi there

    I'm not sure if this thread is still active, but I'll give it a go!

    I am 26 weeks pregnant with twins, and am expecting them to make their appearance in about 10-11 weeks. I am really committed to the idea of breastfeeding, and have been doing lots of reading. However, as these are my first babies, I have no idea how it will actually work in real life.

    I know I need to get a double electric pump. Can anyone recommend which sort to get? I am planning to hire I think.

    Also, does anyone know of any twin breastfeeding classes in Brisbane? I called ABA, and they don't seem to have any. I am sure the normal class would still be useful, but I'd really love to see how someone actually breastfeeds twins. I wonder if there is an option to arrange a special twin class via the ABA if there is enough interest? Any other brisbane based twin mums-to-be out there?

    Jen

  4. #22

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    HI Jen - which hospital are you delivering at? I went to Mater Brisbane and they had a special ante-natal class for parents expecting multiples. It wasn't just about breastfeeding but breastfeeding was covered a little bit. I would highly recommend the class - or check out if they offer something similar at your hospital.
    Otherwise, I'd say just talk to other mums. I really don't think a class can prepare you for the reality.
    A couple of things from my experience of breastfeeding my two:
    -the biggest difference feeding twins compared to feeding 1 for me was that when I was feeding 1, I could alternate breasts each feed so that each side got a 'rest'. I had plenty of milk and at one stage was even feeding my singleton solely from 1 side because the other side was so painful. You can't do this with twins (obviously!) your breasts don't get a break because you're feeding from each side at every feed. Be prepared that it might hurt a LOT in those early days. Breastfeeding was more painful than labour in my opinion! And remember to ask ask ask for help from the lactation consultants in the hospital. If they don't give you the help you need, ask again, insist, get angry, cry, whatever it takes. make sure you get the help you want so you can leave the hospital feeling confident in the breastfeeding you have established.
    -they say it shouldn't hurt if you're doing it right. I say bollocks. Everyone I have ever spoken to has at least a little bit of pain in the first few days. However, if the pain is getting worse, or your nipples are visibly damaged, ask for help. Get a lactation consultant to sit with you for a couple of feeds.
    -start feeding them individually. once you feel confident, then try feeding together.
    - it is hard work. But if you can stick it out till 3 months, it gets much, much easier. after 3 months, it is so rewarding and so worth while.

    HTH!

  5. #23

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    Congratulations Jenc. What an exciting time you have ahead!

    The ABA's Breastfeeding Education Classes are absolutely fantastic, and while they do not cover twins specifically I think you would still get a lot of benefit out of one. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions, and to meet some local counsellors who can help you out with information and support once the babies are born.

    I also recommend joining the ABA - apart from the fantastic support you get from the local groups and the magazine, you also get a 50% discount on pump hire with counselling thrown in! Plus the Breastfeeding..Naturally book you get for free when you subscribe is excellent. The ABA store, Mothers Direct also sells a booklet about Breastfeeding Twins for just $5. It has lots of fantastic information on pros and cons of feeding separately, or both babies together, and suggestions for positioning.

    I am sure that the thought of feeding twins is a bit daunting right now, and I am sure it will take some getting used to. But many mums do successfully breastfeed twins so it is certainly possible, and it will get easier with time. The ABA helpline is 24 hours toll free - 1800 mum 2 mum - so you can call that anytime you have questions or need support.

    All the best hun. I'd love to hear how you are going.

  6. #24

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    Hi Jenc, I just asked my SIL this same question, she is actually from the US and her company deals with breast milk banks etc so she is in the know. She was in Australia for the last 9 months and recently had her second child here, this is what she replied:

    "I bought the Avent Handpump - it was around $80 or so at Target. But pumping for twins you will be much better off with an electric pump. You can either rent a hospital grade electric (they are about $100/month), if you don't want to fork out all the cash right now. And that way you can try before you buy. Otherwise some of the electrics cost up to $400.

    I have used both the Ameda pump as well as the Medela pump. I personally prefer Medela but everyone is a little different. The electric pumps will be good if you can afford it because you will be able to do the double pump - it looks crazy but it saves a heck of alot of time.

    Just to throw it in while I'm at it even though I am sure the lactation consultant will tell you -

    1. It is always best to pump in the morning this is when you get the most milk

    2. Don't be disappointed if you are producing very little when you first pump, it will take some time to get used to pumping. You can expect only a few ounces at first each time you pump. This will increase week by week as long as you make pumping part of your regular routine.

    3. Drink ALOT of water - if you are properly hydrated you will make more milk. Dehydration puts you at risk for mastitis and low milk supply.

    4. Relax while you pump - make it daddy's time with the boys, watch something funny on TV. It is proved that you actually make more milk when you are laughing. And it's good for your sanity.

    5. Change positions when you feed and don't wear a restrictive bra, if you get plugged ducts (hard lumps in your breasts) do a gravity feed or pump (sounds crazy, works like magic) As you might have guessed you lean forward and allow your breast with the blockage hang and pump or feed with it hanging. You always want to aim the baby's nose in the direction of the blocked ducts - same with a pump. Gently massage the lumps and feed/pump frequently until they are gone. NO HOT SHOWERS when this happens it will get worse."

    I hope this helps some, I found it great initial advice. If you organise for breast feeding classes, I would be interested, and don't mind travelling to Brisbane, I also have another friend who is 13 weeks pregnant with twins who may be interested also. Let me know, xx

  7. #25

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    Thank you so much for your advice. I called the ABA again and talked through the breastfeeding class, and will be going to one of those in a couple of weeks. As the lovely woman on the phone said, it covers all the stuff you need to know whether you're feeding one or two - like attachment, nipple care, expressing, etc. And many twin mums feed one at a time anyhow.
    BDT - I'll let you know how it goes.
    Jen

  8. #26

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    just one point on the pumping - lots of people talk a lot about pumping when you have twins. I didn't use my pump once. Not once. I bought an Avent pump when I had my first DD and never even got it out of the cupboard for the twins. You might be wanting to express so that DH can bottlefeed or you can go back to work or because you want a brreak from feeding or something but don't be fooled into thinking that you will HAVE to express in order to have enough milk to feed 2. If you are feeding them both, that should be more than enough stimulation for your breasts to produce the milk you need. There are always exceptions of course, and some people do need to express but remember your breasts will work on 'supply and demand' and produce the milk your babies need.

    I mention this becuase OVER supply of breastmilk can cause problems just as undersupply can. Things like recurring mastitis because you're producing far more milk than your babies can drain or overactive letdown.

    I highly recommend the book 'Mothering Multiples' as a fabulous breastfeeding resource for twins or more. it answers every question you would ever think of asking and then some. It is endorsed by LLL in America and is very good.

    Hope the ABA class is helpful. Good luck!

  9. #27
    rhyb Guest

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    Hmmm does anyone know anyone who was BF triplets? I didnt BF DS and I really wanna do it for the triplets cz theyll be premmie babies

  10. #28

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    Hi,

    head straight for ABA. Get a copy of their book "Breastfeeding twins, triplets and more" Go to a class - as some-one else said, you will learn the basics of understanding how breastfeeding works - and that is important. Breastmilk will be vital for your precious, prem little babies. Unfortunately it is likely you wwill get a lot of negativity from some people- people who don't believe breastfeeding *works* let along breastfeeding 3! Let us know what we can do to help and support you.
    Join ABA - they are vital support for any new mothers. They will put you in touch with other mums who have been there, done that

  11. #29

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    I just wanted to add my bit. I have been breastfeeding my twin sons for almost 4 yrs (yes I am crazy) the last year and half it has only been twice a day or when sick or after being hurt etc.
    I am very ready to wean them but they aren't so keen lol. One twin didn't start BF till he was 5 months old so I pumped for him for those 5 months.
    Once they came home at 20 days old I was fortunate I had a good supply so I never had to give them formula.
    I endorse all the advice as previous people said.

    I was a bit disappointed at first that so many people give negative advice regarding how difficult they think BF twins will be.
    Even the Dr's and some midwives were pushing 'formula' via bottle because it would be much easier to get them into a routine and help them grow quicker .

    I had to struggle to get alternate tube/breastfeeds happening ...they kept saying BFing was tiring my DS1 2.9kg , though he was 1 month premmie boy .DS2, his brother 2.1kg ...incidently refused to BF because they kept shoving a bottle (with EBM) in his mouth !
    DS1 kept refusing the EBM via bottle overnight so they said he was having feeding problems, put feeding tube back in and made us stay longer grrrr. I was there from about 7am to 11pm and he was he BFing fine.

    In the end I agreed to give offer them both a formula bottle after every BF ...just so we could go home from special care nursery. Of course we just never had time to go shopping for formula what being busy with twins & all.
    I knew they were fine lots of wees & poos (OMG double trouble)
    It isn't easy from the get-go having two tiny babies to care for let alone mastering BFing and if they are premmie even more so. But it is doable with the right support.

    A friend of mine was in a pre natal class and the instructor made a joke of holding both the dolls/baby dummies under her arms in a football hold and had the class laughing at how funny it would be...of course the friend (the only twin mum) decided then & there she wouldn't even bother trying. Maybe she had other reasons but it was unnecessary.

  12. #30

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    Well done Trish! I'm so pleased to see this update from you. I know how hard you worked to establish bfing with your boys and it really warms my heart to see that you've been able to continue for as long as you have.

    I bf DD until she self-weaned at four and I know I felt exactly the same way as you say you do, so just know it's probably normal to feel 'ready' to wean by now.

  13. #31

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    hi Jennifer - that is awesome news ...I am hoping they self wean soon lol !

  14. #32

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    Hi everyone,
    Baby-amore congrats on bf your twins for so long what an amazing feat you should be so proud.

    I am just after some advice. I am starting to wean my girls somewhat reluctantly as I am wanting to try for another baby and there is no sign of af returning. I am slowly cutting down on feeds or just feeding one and bottle feeding the other frozen ebm on some feeds. I guess I am hopping by some miracle af might return before I have totally weaned, what are the chances of that or am I dreaming? I know af returning is a very individual thing however would love to hear if anyone has managed this. TIA xx

  15. #33

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    Baby dreamtime - like you say, everyone is different and you don't know what your body is going to be like.
    My experience was that it took longer for AF to return when I was BF twins than when i was BF a single baby. I didn't have AF return after my twins were born until they were 12 months old and by that stage I was only feeding them 1xmorning feed and 1xbedtime feed. My experience both times has been that I can't start TTC until I have weaned completely. I did wean my twins in order to TTC and here I am, 15 months on still TTC, so if I had my time again, I would probably just have kept BFing since I am no closer to another baby now than I was over a year ago. I just think you should ask yourself, if it takes a long time for you to get another BFP, will you wish you had just held off on the weaning? and then you will know what you should do.

    good luck, I hope you get BFP very fast this time around.

  16. #34

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    Baby dreamtime, if someone knew how to to work out when AF would return they'd make a lot of money!! But there are some things that we know can make a difference. It is less likely for AF to return during the first 6 months when babies are exclusively breastfed. From 6 months, when solids are introduced, any solids will replace breastmilk, so the amount of milk the girls need will be reduced. This will increase the chances of AF returning. Not feeding at night is also another thing that increases the chances of AF returning, so once the girl's start sleeping through this will give you a better chance, if AF hasn't already returned after the 6 month mark. The girls might be a little young for night weaning yet, but it might not be too far off for you. Of course none of this is a guarantee - AF returned for me after 7 months with DS1 who didn't feed in the night, and at 6 months with DS2 who did!!

    All the best hun.

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