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  • "Moonshine" started this thread

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Monday, February 8th 2010, 12:39pm

Mixed feeding - advice (help!) needed

Hi All,

Sorry I think I may be starting this thread in the wrong section having come across a twins feeding section the other day - but I can't seem to find it now and I need to type this before the munchkins wake again!

I am totally ashamed and embarassed to admit I am in a bit of a pickle with regards to feeding and have reached the end of my rope. I'm sleep deprived, guilt-ridden and a bit of an emotional wreck at the moment and am finding the feeding situation all a bit confusing.

Basically, in hospital I started tandem breast feeding - Molly couldn't suck at first so was being topped up with formula until she cottoned on. Then on leaving hospital both twins had lost a lot of weight and we were advised by the paediatrician to give 30ml of formula top-up as well as a good 20-30minute breast feed.

The formula top-ups we have continued with as both twins weight gain was very slow to start with and it hasn't been until last week that they finally re-gained their birth weights. The problem is that although they both still breast feed well they are still really hungry afterwards and are now taking 60ml of formula after every main feed. An hour or two later, one or the other is usually really hungry again and requiring more food - sometimes given by breast feeding but usually formula as I am worried about my breast milk supply.

They are having their main feeds every 4 hourly and requiring top-ups inbetween - again being given about 60ml. Due to this frequency I am not managing to express my breast milk to use as top-ups. Feeding them both takes about an hour and a half to two hours (including nappy changing and winding) and of course an hour later I'm starting all over again.

I really don't know what to do for the best. I like the fact that they are having breast milk because of the antibodies etc, but this alone just doesn't seem to satisfy them (even though I have a very good supply). I am also finding the whole process of getting them feeding both together a real logistical challenge (not too bad during the day, but I really struggle to cope at night).

They obviously need the bottle feeds to satisfy them, and part of me thinks it would be so much easier just to bottle feed them all the time. That way so much time could be saved and I may be able to sleep/eat/drink/wee/shower etc in between times! However, the thought of switching soley to formula makes me feel guilty for putting my own needs first and lazy for not wanting to spend the additional time with them.

I would like ideally to be able to express breast milk at certain points in the day and use this to bottle feed them (with formula if required). But - I have read that the stimulation of the milk is not the same and my milk supply may be affected.

Does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?!


Thank you in advance :xxx3:


Moonshine



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Monday, February 8th 2010, 4:14pm

Hey Moonshine

Firstly well done for getting this far, breast feeding one baby is difficult breast feeding two is doubly hard! Do not for one minute feel ashamed or embarrassed, believe me I have been where you are right now but I did pull through and managed to successfully BF my two!

I am by no means an expert but I can share my experiences.

In the first instance I tandem fed the boys but when we got back home from hospital they were slipping and sliding and it was getting to be a nightmare and so I fed them seperatley, at 12 weeks they were more sturdy and I was more confident and tandem feeding resumed and life was a whole lot easier! I know it will take loads longer but would you consider feeding them seperatley for a few weeks?

Also at the age your little ladies are mine were still feeding every 2 and a half to three hours, as you can imagine as I was feeding them seperatley I was constantly on my arse feeding one or the other. Is there a possibility o feeding them more often (I'm sure you probably want to slap me or that suggestion!)

As or expressing I couldn't have done this before 6 + weeks simply because I didn't have any time.

The first few months are exhausting but they do get more efficient at feeding and get more satisfied. I know it takes a long time now but by 12 weeks my two were done and dusted in 10 mins.

I know how difficult it can be with finding time to fit in a loo break, food, shower etc but from what I see from friends this is also the case with singleton who are fed formula. Bells is prob the best person to advice on milk supply etc but you could consider giving the girls a whole formula feed perhaps in the evening and this would give you a chance to get up and walk around without one of them attatched to you!!!

I remember the days of them constantly being hungry and feeling really low and like I couldn't continue as they never seemed satisfied but by 8 weeks this started to improve. There is nothing worse than spending a good hour and a half feeding your darlings only to hear them screaming in hunger within the next hour but this stage doesn't last long I promise.

I decided early on to view breastfeeding as a life style choice and put things on hold to be able to do it. We hardly went any where for the first 12 weeks and I had to resign myself to cold meals and 2 second showers but by 12 weeks all of that was a distant dream.

I know 12 weeks will sound like an eternity away for you but believe me in the grand scheme of things it's gone in a flash!

I hope I have helped in some way but please feel free to fire away if need be!

Big hugs to you and those girlies!

x


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  • "Moonshine" started this thread

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Monday, February 8th 2010, 5:45pm

Thank you Indie Chick for your pearls of wisdom, it is so good to hear your experience and nice to know that things do improve! Things always seem a whole lot worse when sleep deprivation comes into play!

It is the slipping and sliding off the feeding pillows that really is frustrating and makes the feeding so much harder. I have fed them seperately at times but it's so hard when I'm on my own as when I'm halfway through feeding one, the other is screaming and wanting theirs which I find more difficult. I've also tried bottle feeding one while breast feeding the other, then swapping over, but that wasn't too successful so I abandoned that idea!!

Thanks again for your help, it's so much appreciated. I may well borrow your experiences again soon!

:xxx3:


Moonshine



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Monday, February 8th 2010, 6:00pm

Hey again

Have you tried one of the EZ2 twin feeding pillows, I had one that I thought was great and then DH pumped it up to much and it exploded!!!

Unfortunatly you soon get used to one twin crying while you deal with the other, it's not nice I know but you only have one pair of hands. I used to do split feeds and so feed one for a bit, feed the other and then go back to the one I started with etc, inbetween I'd put them in a bouncy chair with vibrate on and work out those burps. I'm sure at times my neighbours must have thought I was beating them but unfortunatley one would just have to wait - I got great advice from one of the MW's who said, 'one will cry while you deal with the other one but lets face no baby has ever died of crying!' and although it's true it doesn't make it any easier for you their mum, I used to find it incredibly stressful hearing one cry while I tried to feed the other but it really doesn't last long I promise! x


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Monday, February 8th 2010, 9:26pm

Indiechicks experience is inspirational & i would also applaud you for doing so well. My experiences were similar to yours regarding anxieties & pressures over early weight loss, my difference is that I never got them on the boob so they had expressed milk exclusively at first then topped up with formula. Your supply is likely to go down without breast feeding . By two months my 2 were on 50% breast milk and 50% formula. Feeding and expressing could take up to 2 hours and feeds were every 3 hours so i generally had 1 – 1 ½ hours between feeds (day & night).
I think it’s normal for breastfed babies to need feeding every 2-3 hours so unfortunately would echo Indies suggestion of feeding more frequently – I’d offer the boob every three hours followed by formula if needed..
I know a dozen or more twin mums well now and only one of those managed to establish breast feeding . I was a mess by 2 months and it was a huge relief to me to give up expressing then & switch to 100% formula. You have nothing to feel guilty or lazy about, it’s hard enough to keep your sanity with two little ones to look after without putting unnecessary pressures on yourself.
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pamelag088

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Monday, February 8th 2010, 9:50pm

Hey moonshine I have no words of wisdom but wanted to say your doing a fab job. I couldnt even manage one and TJ now pretty much 100% formula fed and still feeds every 3 hours so like the others have said perhaps going down to every 3 might help although I realise I ont know what Im talking about as I coulnt imagine having 2 and how its probably treble the work.

Also if you feel you have gave it your all and do decide to do more formula feeding please dont beat yourself up. I cried and cried feeding TJ formula first few time but he is honestly happier and so am I and I never thought I would hear mysefl saying that but its true. He has had no colds, never needed calpol at all and is gaining the right amout of weight. I have to admit bottle feeding has saved my sanity even though I miss BF so so so much its 100 times more easier which makes me more relaxed and enjoy my son more

Not for one minute am I telling you to stop, I truly wish you all the best and really hope you suceed just if you do decide its too much not to feel guilty.

All the best

  • "Moonshine" started this thread

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Monday, February 8th 2010, 9:57pm

Thank you Suzy, it's such a relief to know others have been through the same and come out the other side. It's interesting to know about your expressing too.

Indie - I wanted an EZ2 but I ended up buying another similar brand also for twins. However, I am not impressed with it at all - but am unsure if it's because of the pillow itself or the fact that I have to use a bean bag pillow under the inflatable pillow as my (.)(.) don't hang very low :snigger: Even with both pillows I still have to bolster up the sides as the twins just slide off. A number of times they have face-planted on the sofa! I am looking out for a cheap-ish EZ2 one on ebay at the mo.

Pammy thank you so much for sharing your experience too. I am pleased that you've found your feet with feeding TJ and that you have time to enjoy him. That's what I am really missing at the moment!

I've been thinking today about missing a couple of breast feeds. The killer for me is the 2am one so I plan to bottle feed that one and share with DH. I had a nap this afternoon while my SIL looked after M&G and she formula fed them - I was able to express after that so I will use that for tonight.

Hopefully we can work out a slightly better routine and I can regain some sort of sanity!! I am really keen to get out and about a bit and want to go to the twins group on a Weds and the baby bounce and rhyme on a Thursday - but maybe I am expecting a bit much too soon.

Thanks again all of you for your advice :xxx3:


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Monday, February 8th 2010, 10:24pm

Hi Moonshine!

Massive congratulations! You are doing brilliantly. To be breastfeeding 2 babies is a tremendous achievement. I hope you have room in your brain for a few moments of self backing slapping and pride! I remember how tired I was with my brain constantly trying to calculate the time for the next feed for each baby and forgetting which one I was working it out for and starting again and again...nothing stayed in my mind so I couldn't make a straight forward clear plan.

I met a new mother of twins last week. Hers were 8 weeks old and she was asking me for advice. I really had to think hard about how I coped because HONESTLY, it doesn't last as long as it probably feels to you now and I had forgotten so much of it. To put it in perspective what is 12 weeks of your babies life? It's a tiny proportion.

To be frank. I bf one baby and bottle fed the other as I only had one working boob. I was lopsided for 6 months but thats another story! :O I have to admit I was glad the choice was taken away from me as it meant DH and family could help with feeding. Even so, I cried a lot over it at the time as I felt like I had failed Harry somehow (he was the bigger baby so felt Hannah would benefit more from the milk at 4lb 4). It's absolute rubbish though. He's not neglected or starved. He's a cheeky chappy with the happiest giggle ever!

The mother I was speaking to the other day tandem feeds them during the day and bottle feeds them during the night. You have to do what is right for you. I could have breast fed them both a little bit and topped them up with bottles but that would have created double the work in time I didn't have. I think you have to be practical about what YOU can cope with Making yourself ill in an attempt to be a perfect textbook mother means you're not a perfect textbook mother, you're a nutcase! (8 o)

Don't get me wrong. I would always recommend breast feeding everytime. But factors change and decisions should be reviewed on a regular basis. I've always shopped at tescos but they insist on leaving the trolleys with harnesses in the rain etc so I've changed to sainsburys cos they didn't respond to my complaint. Ideally I want to stay with tescos as they have more choice and are cheaper but it's in my babies best interest to go else where. Hark at me!

Perhaps another option would be to alternate feeds.Have your large breastfeeds every 4 hours and top up with just bottles in between. It would give you chance to rest. That may be best after 6 weeks though as they say you are established at that point and it shouldn't interfere with your supply.

One last thought...when someone is there to help you. Could you feed them soley on bottles for one feed whilst you express at the same time? This would have two benefits. You could check to see how much milk you are producing and would be getting yourself a head with a feed. They could be bottlefed it later by DH perhaps while you get some solid sleep time in.

You are doing so well. And if I hear anymore of that 'Lazy' word I'm gonna come round there and give you what for! :cross: Something tells me we're not going to do 'lazy' again until they move out! :snigger:

Keep asking though and let us know how you get on. Clear thoughts are rare in those first few hormonal, sleep deprived months. To be truthful, I don't think I'm having them now as I'm making a right meal over the decision of going back to work full or part time! Can't get my head around the facts and figures 8| .

Take care!
Sue xxx



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Indiechick

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Tuesday, February 9th 2010, 10:35am

Hey Moonshine

How did last night go?

Personally I would really recommend the EZ2 pillow, especially as you can inflate it more or less depending on the size and dangle of your hooters :snigger: just don't let your DH loose with the pump!!!

Sounds like a great idea about a giving a full formula feed and expressing that feed, means other people can take turns and you can have a rest/change of scenery/ shower and dare I say something to eat!

Going out is definatley do able but will probably take a bit of co ordination ie sorting out change bag/bottles etc night before. like I said I didn't go to groups etc until 12 weeks ish because I just didn't feel confident. Having said that if you can manage it I would really recommend getting yourself down to the Twins Club, it will be a huge relief to meet with other twin mummies. The great thing about twin mums is that they don't think twice about helping out without being asked, After all we've all been there!

x


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Scan 09/09/08 - 2 [zx076] [zx076] TWINS!
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Tuesday, February 9th 2010, 3:23pm

Hi Sueshe and IndieChick thank you for your replies!

Sueshe - thank you! I have really been mulling over all the advice and suggestions and putting it into perspective yo are right -I do have to do what's best for me, either way the girls will grow up happy and healthy as long as they have food in some form or another!

IndieChick, we had a great night. Feed1 was 10pm - 11.30pm breast and bottle, Feed 2 2.15am - 3.30am bottle fed with DH, Topped up Georgie quickly at 5.30am, got up at 6.30 to express my very uncomfortable boobs and Feed 3 wasn't until 7.30! It's amazing what talking (virtually) can do and you have all helped me put the situation into perspective. I have also had a visit from my health visitor today and she has been wonderful. I will definately try to get an EZ2 pillow (and keep it away from DH!!).

So, plan of action for now is to continue as normal but skipping a breast feed in the afternoon and another at night. I may have to try to express at night as by 6am I was very uncomfortable! If I am out and about during the day, it is simply not practical for me to breast feed so I will bottle feed then too. The health visitor did say realistically I will probably find as our lives get more active I will find myself bottle feeding more often anyway and perhaps only doing a couple of breast feeds a day. I have to say, I totally agree as that is where I thought I'd end up eventually anyway. She reassured me that my milk supply may not be quite as plentiful but even if I vary the times that I breast feed I will have milk. So I am very pleased with that. She also reassured me that feeding top-ups inbetween feeds was quite normal for this stage in development and they still have tiny stomachs. They are likely to be needing more calories than they can take in one single feed, hence the hunger between feeds. Makes sense!

Also my wonderful sister and SIL have had a conflab behind my back (obviously both twigging I was a little stressed) and have offered to take the twins to my in-laws for the day on Sunday and next Thursday so I can catch up on some sleep, relaxation and have some time to myself. 50% of me is crying out YES YES YES!!! The other 50% feels guilty that I have even considered the offer! However, they could not be more loved by their aunties and spend quite a lot of time being with them anyway - and the aunties love having them... and DH and I could use some sleep... and the health visitor thought it was a wonderful idea and a win-win situation... and I have to learn to live with guilt now I'm a parent... so I will kindly take them up on the offer and look forward to some solid z's knowing I will be able to spend more quality time with them afterwards.

So all in all a plan of sorts and a happier Moony today! Also very pleased that the twins have gained a good amount of weight and are now registering on a centile line on the growth chart!

Thank you again everyone for your kind words and taking the time to share your experiences, it has been a massive help.

:xxx3:


Moonshine



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Tuesday, February 9th 2010, 3:43pm

Moonshine you are 100% right, to be honest it doesn't matter how they get fed . . .just as long as they do get fed!!!! As for the mummy guilt, unfortunatly that goes hand in hand with being a mum and being a twin mum it's x 2. This is a post from Mrs Jasper the other day that summed it up . .. .

'Oh I recognise that , all mums do it. You explain why breastfeeding didn't work, you explain why today your baby is having a jar of food, not something homemade, you explain why today you are letting your child watch more TV than usual, you explain why they have nintendo DS, why you are not at the park or you needed to stay at home and tackle some of the washing/ironing mountain rather than take your child out somewhere interesting.... I do all of the above and yet my children are great, well rounded, happy, affectionate, mostly well behaved... I must be doing something right but I still feel guilty. I think its just what mums do, I resolved at New Year to stop it but I am not very good at it. Maybe we should start a support group Guilty Mummies Anonymous!'

Great news on the weight gain, you must be doing something very very right clap

Take up that fab offer from your Sis and SIL and don't feel guilty for one second! People love to feel needed and so think how happy your making them and the fact that your are trusting them with your most precious possesions will mean even more to them!


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Thursday, February 11th 2010, 11:09am

Moonshine, I'm going to move this over to Breastfeeding. I think you will get more help there.

You're doing a fab job BTW.





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Thursday, February 11th 2010, 11:29am

Moonshine, I had exactly the same situation and I have to say in spite of ALL my efforts I stoped to give my milk to DD when she was 4months and 1wks (I had only 10ml and was constantly bleeding), I had similar thread in bf section - cry for help. It was worse with me ad DD wouldn't take a breast at all so I had to express and I always had to give your additionally formula. Yes I am sad about it, yes I cried day and nights about it but it's getting better, she is very happy healthy (thanks to God) baby, yes it's formula and she likes it and takes it very well and she HAD my milk and until recent time decent amount. So I guess this is most important. I am not telling you to give up, no no no but don't beat yourself about it, especially you have twins... it's not end of the world and my theory: I am very lucky to have a child to feed at all, if you know what I mean.
Best of luck, if you need advice on pupm just shout, mine saved me and give me a chance to give my milk to DD for more at least 3months.
Love, you are doing great!

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Thursday, February 11th 2010, 11:33am

Me again and it was gyn who told me when I was crying and telling him about my torture bfing situation: if your DD wouldn't start to gain a weight I will be first who would advise you to do formula! (grammar, hehe English is a second language).... so mostly important they are growing and putting weight even if with some formula help!

Feb 09 God's Miracle - Natural BFP.
Sept 09 Thanks to God - Scrumptious baby girl is here. Please grow healthy and happy.

  • "Moonshine" started this thread

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Monday, February 15th 2010, 10:41pm

Thank you for moving the thread over Mrs Jasper! I'm a bad Mod, should've figured it out myself really but I'll blame it on the sleep deprivation and the hormones :snigger:

Ginger, thank you so much for your reassurance, it's always so lovely to hear other people's experiences. I am sorry you had so much diffculty in the beginning, but am really pleased your little bambina is well and happy.

Feeding now is SO much better. I think I may have relaxed about it after reading all of your posts and realising that I am not alone! The formula feeding at night is going really well, we can get the job done in 45 minutes - that is including me expressing ready for the next day. I breast and formula feeding throughout the day, and use the expressed milk as their afternoon feed as a relative is there to do that feed for me while I nap.

All in all, a much better experience. Most of my difficulty has been psychological and I just needed someone to tell me it was ok to formula feed when needs be if it keeps me sane! So, thank you all for doing that - mission accomplished!


Speaking of feeding, the time is upon us again!

Thank you all :xxx3:


Moonshine



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Monday, February 15th 2010, 11:23pm

Great to hear its going so well.
I agree once you relax everything becomes so much easier and if your happy with the way things are then excellent. I was so upset at stopping but once I let go life became so so much easier just because I relaxed and started enjoying things instead of worrying all the time.

Your doing a excellet job, Well done

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Tuesday, February 16th 2010, 9:28am

Excellent, really pleased to hear all is going well and the pressure is off!

Well done girlie!
x


3rd IUI - 08/08/08 - tested 22/08/08 BFP :D
Scan 09/09/08 - 2 [zx076] [zx076] TWINS!
2 beautiful boys born 16/04/09

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