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.
May 25, 2013 at 10:56 am
This is great. Keep the tips coming.
May 25, 2013 at 11:54 am
LOL Im glad things started off well for you! Hopefully it continues. Dont feel bad about the bottles. BFing is definitely time consuming in the beginning and you deserve a break. Espscially if there is no nipple confusion. You may have struck gold.
Also…..just because I have to say it….LCs are awesome and use them as much as you need. But NEVER EVER let them make you feek like poo. While they are experts, you know your body and your babies best. Just dont forget that.
The shower part is definitely true.Moist heat is your new BFF. It helps relieve clogs and other various boob pains and also triggers let down 🙂 now you know! Sometimes I purposely plan showers right before pumping and instead of bringing in the nursing bra with pads to the shower (good idea btw) I bring my pump bra and gear and put it on right away.
Oh, and look into milkies! They are way cool.
Cant wait to hear more!
May 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm
I see frustration periodically when my nipples aren’t squirting milk but they always end up latching and most of the time nurse well. I keep an eye on it just in case.
Uh, what are milkies? And I need to get one of those bras!
May 26, 2013 at 4:57 am
Yes, the handsfree bra is a must if you plan on pumping for any extended amount of time. A lot of women swear by the Simple Wishes bra
You can get it on Amazon. I bought a similar style bra made by Medela that was sold at the baby store and it’s definitely a life saver. But what has been even more of a lifesaver lately is this bra I discovered on BabyCenter called the Arden bra because you can breastfeed AND pump with it AND you can wear it all day! It’s amazeballs.
And Milkies are little plastic thingies you can put in your bra when you nurse. The side not being used always starts to leak a little because let-down happens on both sides at the same time. Milkies allow you to save the milk you leak so you can still use it. Don’t wanna waste the liquid gold!
I never got around to getting these since nursing didn’t work out for me and I just pump exclusively these days. But there are times I wished I had them…
May 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm
LOL! I’m glad you’re doing well and that an abundant supply of milk has graced the boobs. 😉 The “sprayed-myself-in-the-eye” visual is crazy. I’m sure I’ll deal with that more than thrice……. Sending hugs!
May 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm
hows it going over there? Still avoiding the hospital? Big day is soon right??
May 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm
Yep! Alls well here. June 13th!!! 🙂
May 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm
Don’t feel bad about having Daddy help out! I was back in the hospital for a few days after the boys had been released so they had to take BM from a bottle. At first it was hard for me to do pumping instead of BFing because I felt like I was missing out on something… that is until those late night feedings when Daddy was able to help out because I had milk ready in a bottle! Do what works best for you and good luck with everything, you are in for a wonderfully crazy ride!
May 28, 2013 at 10:06 am
Wow! I cannot imagine what a challenge it must be with twins. With one little lady over here it’s still a struggle at day 4, but we’ll get there. Excess is good too! And I feel ya on the milk dripping. Keep up the good work mama!
May 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm
Thanks! Taking it one week at a time. How are you feeling?
June 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm
I’m feeling good! It definitely gets a little bit easier every day.