A MoM-to-be recently asked:
I am currently 35 weeks with my boy/girl twins. I have a 3 year old who I nursed until I conceived the twins. I am trying to prepare for the possibility of need to supplement with formula. I know the bottle is not my enemy. I have every intention of nursing exclusively again and long term at that. Its just that the idea of purchasing formula triggers some deep rooted failure. I already feel like I am giving up on my goal to nurse them. Does anyone have some positive experiences with nursing twins or supplementing nursing that I can draw upon? We are preparing for me to nurse but have the open mind that the time may come where I need help feeding them beyond my body.
Here’s what our Twiniversity fans had to say:
– My twins are 6 months old and are exclusively breastfed. They each were given 1 ounce of formula while waiting for my milk to come in, as they were lazy nursers. We did have to nurse, pump, and supplement with formula for weight gain for about 6 weeks. It’s not easy but you can do it!
– I exclusively breastfed my older daughter until 2 1/2 and have been exclusively breastfeeding my twins (now 9 months). I’m glad I got the “learning curve” of nursing done with my singleton because nursing twins is hard, but do-able!
– I assumed that I would be able to exclusively breastfeed as I had with my singleton. We struggled with latching, my supply was weak and it was emotionally exhausting. I didn’t sleep and was crying all the time. More importantly, my babies were hungry. I realized that the MOST IMPORTANT part of feeding is to make sure your babies are eating. I made the choice to use formula at 4 weeks, and while I continue to struggle with guilt for my inability to breastfeed, FED is best and my babies are thriving and healthy. Try not to overthink it, and make the best decision for your family when the time comes.
– If you nursed one, you can most likely nurse two. It is harder at first, but I think it is easier to nurse them than bottle feed them. You don’t have to prep the bottles for one. When they are both screaming you can feed them both immediately. I used the Twin Z nursing pillow. I swear by it! Also, I watched some really good YouTube videos teaching how to nurse twins. I found that to be very helpful. I nursed and pumped for the first 2 weeks. It was a lot of work, because they nursed a lot too. If latching is an issue for them you can always use a nipple shield. If you put your mind to it you will do it!
– I nursed my girls exclusively for 12 months and never had to supplement at all. The greatest thing I did was start seeing a dietician monthly, which was “prescribed” by my pediatrician so was covered by insurance. She made sure I was getting enough fluids and calories for all three of us.
– Preparing yourself mentally ahead of time is such a gift to yourself. Be flexible. Recognize your feelings, make peace with them, use the help you have around you to get through those first months, you’ll do great!
– I only had to supplement the first few weeks. One of my girls had a latch problem. It was resolved with the help of a lactation consultant in the hospital. I exclusively breastfed until 2 1/2. Some days it was hard to get the caloric count in necessary to keep my supply up. It’s a lot of work but honestly so much easier than formula for me at least.
– I successfully nursed my oldest for 9 months and tried with my twins. I found it so overwhelming that I was in tears fairly constantly. My son lost enough weight in the hospital that I had to supplement right off the bat with formula. I used that time to reset myself and I decided to pump exclusively. It worked so much better for my family and allowed my husband to help more. I was happy to have been able to keep my supply up just by pumping for 9 months. My babies are happy and healthy, and whatever keeps you less stressed is what’s best for them!
– I am a Momma of 4 under 5. I nursed my first two to about 15 months. My twins just turned 1 and we are still going strong with nursing! Was it easy at the very beginning? No. But day by day it got easier and became a breeze. There are few things in life more precious than 2 sets of eyes looking up at you with smiles as they nurse.
– Don’t forget that every child is different and one may not want to nurse. My girl weaned herself at 3 months. My son went 7 months. At the end of the day, do whatever feels good so long as you are enjoying your days and not stressing about their next meal. That’s the biggest reason I support formula.
– My twins spent 6 weeks in the NICU so I pumped and then continued to pump after they got home. I found exclusively pumping to be easier and less stressful than tandem feeding. However renting a hospital grade pump, being extremely dedicated to pumping and a ton of water was essential to my success. My girls are now 6 months old and I’ve managed to keep them on 99% breast milk since birth. I have a can of formula in my cupboard that I use if I’m an ounce or two short on expressed milk.
– My were born at 36 weeks 5 days and had no problems latching or nursing. We are at 13 months and still nursing! My girls did need a combination of nursing and some supplementing at the hospital, but we didn’t need to use formula once we got home. It can take the body time for milk to come in, and you are trying to feed two babies. They might just need some extra volume from the formula. Plus if they are a bit early they need the blood sugar help. Formula doesn’t cancel out what breast milk you are able to give. Try not to feel bad if you do need to supplement. Try not to let yourself think you failed if you can’t or just don’t want to nurse twins. Fed is best, and a happy non-stressed mama is best.
– I feed my twins formula exclusively! I feel no failure i feel no regrets I’m a happy mommy who maintained her mental health. Twins are no joke.
– I had my boy/girl twins at 37 weeks. I started pumping and was able to nurse them to 11 months and had enough pumped milk frozen that we were able to use it for 6 more months. Having breastfed before, I bet you will be totally fine! If you have to supplement, no biggie! You’re obviously committed to your babies.
– I attempted to nurse my twins and had a 3-year old boy at home. It was going fine, but the amount of time and effort that went into it took a major amount of time and effort away from my 3-year-old. I supplemented with formula and then went exclusively to formula. I never felt guilty about it. It was a decision made in the best interest of my family.
– I exclusively breastfed my twin girls up until they turned 1. Definitely try tandem feeding from the get-go. Get a good nursing pillow. I recommend the My Brest Friend pillow, it is flat on top and so you spend less time trying to balance and hold babies on top of a curved pillow. I used the Total Baby app to keep up with feedings as it would run two timers at once. It kept track of sides. I didn’t switch sides during a feeding, but at each feeding switched from the side they were on at the feeding before.
– Although my story ended with formula for one twin, I nursed both up until 4 months old, when I then started exclusively pumping for my boy twin. He was exclusively express fed for 2 months until it just wasn’t working for him. I still had the supply for him, it just wasn’t working. I continued to nurse my girl, and they’re now 7 months and she’s still going. I’ve even donated some of my milk because I have such a good supply. You can do it!
– I have boy/girl twins who are now 3 months. I nursed my 4 older singletons for a year each. I always knew I would supplement just because of the demand. Twins are a lot of work, much more demanding than a single. I hated tandem feeding. Its feels overwhelming, too much stimulation for my liking. I don’t mind the back to back feedings and I notice they will eat anything but still prefer me so I have very little emotional issues with supplementing.
– I tried my hardest to exclusively pump and bottle feed my twins. I had to give up the fight at 6 weeks. I had clogged ducts that just coming back. It hurt to the point of me bawling my eyes out. At about 4 weeks my supply started to drop and no matter what I did I wasn’t producing enough to feed them. At 6 weeks we decided we would have to use formula exclusively. I have to say it hurt my pride a little. But the whole family were a lot happier once we started formula. It was such an emotional and physical struggle! My girls are happy and healthy 15 month olds! And that’s all that matters!
– I nursed my twins exclusively for 10 months. They self weaned at that point, but I had enough frozen breastmilk from pumping to make it almost to their birthday! It’s an amazing experience to nurse twins. My advice would be tandem nurse for every feeding, invest in a good twin nursing pillow like My Brest Friend, and pump right from the start to keep supply up and start a freezer stash! You got this!
– I just assumed I’d breastfeed, but my body was not having it. I felt awful about formula, like I’d failed them. Breastfeeding twins is that it’s really hard! It was hard to even bottle feed. You’ll do what’s best for the kids and they will be fine.
– It is totally possible. I was determined to breastfeed and began tandem feeding from day one. They were lazy nursers at first, but stripping their clothes and tickling their back while nursing helps keep them awake and eating. I also began pumping after a day or two to get my milk in faster and stimulate more supply. I wanted to quit almost every day, but 6 months in I’m so glad we pushed through! Whatever happens, try not to feel bad. I kept a stash of formula in the pantry for months just in case I had had enough, and that would’ve been okay too. As long as babies are fed and you are happy that’s what matters.
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