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I read the books and knew it was better for the babies and me if they got their nutrition from my breast milk by breastfeeding. I had every intention of breastfeeding our twins, but no one told me how hard it would be. I have had a few obstacles with breastfeeding. First off, I need to breastfeed two babies not just one. Secondly, I’m an older Mom who should be going through menopause and not breastfeeding babies right now. I know, crazy, right!?! It still boggles my mind that I’m a mom at 50!
Luckily, we have been able to successfully trick my body and I am producing breast milk so that I’m able to breastfeed our twins. It’s just not as much milk or as often as I’d like. And…I’m not able to solely feed them from my breasts. We do supplement their feedings with formula to be sure that they get all of their nutritional needs. Don’t get me wrong, they do both love to nuzzle on my breast, but now, we only do it a few times a day. Pumping every three hours is a thing of the past…Halleluiah!
In the beginning, instead of breastfeeding, I was pumping every three hours. While the twins were in the NICU, we used a combination of my milk (even though I only got between 10 and 20 ml’s each pump), donor breast milk and formula. I continued to pump every three hours once the twins came home from the NICU. That’s right, every three hours! It was exhausting and so taxing on me physically and emotionally. My husband encouraged me to keep at it and all I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep when it was his turn to feed the twins. I wasn’t producing enough milk to make pumping every three hours worth my time and I decided after a couple of weeks of pure exhaustion, frustration and feeling super deflated, that my rest was more important than pumping every three hours. I continued to pump as much as I could, but stopped pumping in the middle of the night. I only ever got about 10 ml’s during a 20 minute middle of the night pump anyway.
It also took both of our twins quite a while to get the hang of how to breast feed. They would try and get so frustrated because it was really hard for them. Their mouths were too small and they had trouble latching. It took them about 2 months (our twins were 6 weeks premature, so this isn’t surprising) to figure out how to actually breastfeed effectively.
Now they are four months old and they both have the whole breastfeeding thing down pat. They each have their own technique and I love the one on one time with each of them when I am breastfeeding them. I don’t use the breast as food but rather to comfort them. I basically pull the boob out when I need to soothe them or get them to want to nap or sleep for the night. They get their food/nutrition from the formula we feed them and then their comfort from mom!
I have four Boppy pillow’s for the twins and two that I used while I was pregnant. The Bobby Classic pillow we use to bottle feed the twins, we also use for tummy time. They have covers and come in all different patterns. We went with a whale and nautical theme, so these are the ones I’m showing here. I’m in the process of setting up their nursery, so you will see how well the Boppys go with their nursery theme in a future post (I hope to finish the nursery soon!).
We have two Bobby Classic Pillow with slipcovers and then two Boppy Newborn Loungers that we use all of the time!
I also use a hands-free breast feeding bra when I’m pumping. That frees my hands up to read or type on my computer for at least 20 minutes. If you are pumping more than a couple of times a day and don’t want to sit there holding on to the phalanges, this is a must have. They come in all different colors. I was boring and went with the beige one. I thought (sensibly) so that if I needed to wear it under my clothes to go out and had to use my pump while I was out this one would be more discreet looking. It’s comfortable and works great to still have time to get a few things done. As any new mom knows all to well, time is a commodity not to be taken for granted. You have to sneak in the time to do some things for yourself (read a chapter of your book club pick, reply to a few texts or emails or post some adorable photos of your bundle of joy to social media). Whatever you need those valuable 20 minutes of pumping time for, use this hands free breast feeding bra so you spend your pumping time productively. It works great for me!
I’ve only breastfed them both at the same time a few times and when I have done this, I’ve used this great twin breastfeeding pillow. My Brest friend twin breastfeeding pillow. It supports both babies, while keeping them close to me so that I can manage both babies and both breasts at the same time. I have a couple of other “Twin Mom” friends who also use this pillow and love it. Like I said, I have only had to breast feed our twins at the same time a few times so far. I’ve gotten them on a schedule where I can feed one and then do the other one next. This way, I feel I have more quality time with each of them. It takes me longer to feed them, but the time I get to spend with each of them is precious and I just love it.
I wonder how other twin mom’s handle breastfeeding both babies at the same time? Any tips or tricks, you have, please leave in the comments below. If you are new at breast feeding and are finding it a challenge, there are tons of resources out there. Don’t suffer in silence, call a lactation consultant (the hospital you deliver at probably has one they can recommend or your health insurance may be able to help too), a postpartum doula or midwife, ask other breastfeeding moms who have been in our shoes, search for online support groups, or post a comment below and I will do my best to point you in the right direction to get any help you may need. Breastfeeding isn’t easy at all and especially if you have twins, it is even more of a challenge. It can be a beautiful thing though. You just have to keep at it and set yourself up for success and comfort with the right products for you and your baby/babies. Their boosted immune systems and good health will thank you for it later!