This is what I have learned so far in the twins’ short 11 days of life.
Breastfeeding twins is hard.
I felt like a superchamp at first when the lactation consultant brought the babes in about an hour and a half after birth declaring they were hungry and helped me latch them both on successfully – warning me that even though we were starting in tandem, I should probably aim to feed them individually. Stubbornly, I refused. I mean it just wasn’t practical. And actually the tandem thing worked for awhile until they started to get frustrated that not enough was coming out, causing some interesting abuse to my nipples that didn’t require any calls to the police but made me feed them individually until we could get the latch thing straight. I’m sure the LC is siting at a desk somewhere, writing out paperwork and thinking to herself ” I told you so”.
Things really started to get interesting when my milk came in. Everyone said “oh, you’ll know”. But in my case right away I didn’t- other than I watched my boobs grow from large to epic over the course of about 12 hours. I remember looking down at them on the night of Day 2 and thinking “I think my boobs are bigger”, and then the morning of Day 3 – when they had grown to Dolly Parton like proportions, I declared that they were definitely bigger. In fact, this was brought to my attention awkwardly by many, and acknowledged awkwardly by me in response. Or vice versa- I’m also pretty sure I brought attention to my boobs that now look like I underwent a breast enhancement surgery on top of a c section to some of my friends – which is ironic because it isn’t like you could miss it.
But I digress.
After being home for a couple of days I committed a cardinal sin of breastfeeding – letting Bryan give them some pumped milk in a bottle. The aim is to feed a newborn 8-12x a day. Except I have two that I’m feeding separately meaning I’m shooting for 16-24 feedings a day. It didn’t take long for me to become exhausted and have since let him feed them 1-2 bottles a day so my body can have a break – luckily with no major worry about nipple confusion so far.
After worrying for months about whether I’d be able to supply enough milk for both babies I’m now “suffering” from a case of “be careful what you wish for” because I’m actually producing enough milk for about 3 babies – but this is where the interesting (and funny) part comes in.
Theresa’s list of 5 early breastfeeding tips:
- I got out of the shower one day at the hospital. I’m walking around the room getting ready and suddenly notice that there is not just excess water dripping off my body but also……milk? I’m dripping milk. Wait, how am I dripping milk? Oh, that. Since then I’ve walked around the bedroom searching for a nursing bra dripping milk onto the carpet. Tip one: make sure you have your nursing bra and pads on hand after showering unless you feel like sharing your milk with random bathroom and bedroom surfaces.
- A tip given to me by the LC to help the babies latch was to express a bit of milk onto the nipple while trying to stimulate the lip. A couple times I’ve done this and sprayed myself in the face. Tip two: when trying to express a bit of milk – remember the word “a bit”. Don’t squeeze too hard.
- A few times while switching sides I decided to let righty/lefty hang free until I at least got the baby on the other side – failing to notice righty leaking all over my clean bra. Tip three: always keep a burp cloth tucked between your boob and your bra to avoid smelling like rotten sour milk by 2am.
- Then there was the time that Mr Miles had a great latch but for some reason decided to let go – shortly after milk had let down. This resulted in his spraying himself directly in the eye. Tip four: always keep an extra burp cloth handy to wipe away random eye sprays. He looked a little dumbfounded.
- Finally, Tip five: be aware of what it feels like when your milk lets down. Until I had a grasp of the interesting pins and needles feeling I’d almost involuntarily grab or put pressure on both boobs in response – yes, even in public. And yes, I did look like I was groping myself (and my newly look like they’ve been surgically enhanced breasts).
Stay Tuned for further tips as we navigate this journey through parenthood.