View Full Version : Breastfeeding Questions
05-07-2004, 10:19 AM
I'm still trying to learn how to breastfeed 2 little babies and am concerned if they are getting enough to eat. They only weigh 5bls3oz and 5lbs5oz and will get weighed again next Monday. I just started feeding them both at the same time and they latch and suck for about 20-25 minutes though sometimes as little as 10 minutes. They were 2 weeks old this past Wednesday. My milk hasn't come in completely yet due to a delayed start in pumping (bad info from nurse and feeling awful) but I do notice an increase in my breast size. I know the literature says to count wet and soiled diapers. We do keep a chart and today, Ben is definitely behind in his wet diapers-only 2 after 14 hours. Yesterday he was fine though. They seem to cry after each feeding so I offer them the breast again but they're not interested.
So for all those mothers who are veteran breastfeeders, am I worrying too much? Does it just take time for me and the babies to get acclimated to breastfeeding? Should I be supplementing with (blech) soy formula?
05-07-2004, 06:46 PM
Well, I never nursed 2 infants at once, so I can't give you any info on the twin thing, but I did successfully bf 2 at different times! I had a lot of trouble with my older dd (the first time is always harder!). Angelina seemed to get a bit dehydrated early on, but my milk came in full force within a few days, so it didn't last too long.
When she didn't seem to be getting enough hydration, I just gave her some water from an eyedropper. My understanding from a good lactation educator was that supplementing with a bottle early on could lead to nipple confusion & further undermine breastfeeding. If you are concerned about Ben getting enough nutrition & not just hydration, you could try pumping a little & using a dropper to give him some extra milk.
Bf is a supply & demand issue, so the more stimulation your breasts get, the more milk that they usually make. Pumping can help build up your milk supply if it doesn't seem to be enough yet. Make sure that you are getting plenty of food & liquids, too so your body has something to draw on.
One of my friends used a supplemental nursing system to bf her adopted daughter - if you get desperate something like that might help. Basically it is a little tube taped to the side of your breast. One end has a bag of milk & the other end is the end of the tube by your nipple. When the baby nurses, s/he gets milk from both your breast & the little tube. You could use expressed breast milk or formula in the supplemental bag.
It's hard to say for sure if you are worrying too much w/out knowing if they are gaining weight, but keeping an eye on the diapers is always good. Let us know where they're at on Monday. As for the crying after nursing, they could have air in their little tummies or a myriad of other things that are making them cry other than hunger.
Are you nursing them in the football hold? Both at once? Also, try switching breasts so that one baby isn't always getting the same breast. Good luck.
05-07-2004, 06:58 PM
I don't know what to add that Christa hasn't - just want to offer encouragement! It took my little guy 3 weeks to get back up to his birth weight and at week 2 the doc "threatened" us with formula, so we nursed like crazy the next week and got back on track. It gets easier, I promise! But again, I can only speak from experience with one. Good luck:)
05-07-2004, 07:05 PM
One other thing that just occured to me - how has the weather been out on your edge of the country? Angelina was born in late August & it was miserably hot. Part of the reason that she got dehydrated was due to heat & not just lack of fluids. If it has been really hot, Ben may just be sweating out the fluids rather than peeing them out.
05-07-2004, 10:37 PM
I can't give expert advice on twins either, but from my breast feeding experiece, I never thought my dd was getting enough milk, I even took her to the ER before because I was concerned, they told me there that a way to check for dehydration was to press on babys arm and if it take a while to turn from white to babies normal color then they are dehydrated. My dd was fine when I took her to the ER, like most first time mom's I just worried too much.
I don't think any first time mom thinks breastfeeding is going great and they are getting enough milk from start, but they usually do. You can always take your babies into the doctors office just to have them weigh them if you are extra worried or buy a scale. Also I know its hard to tell if a 2 week old has not much energy since they mostly sleep and don't really move too much, but if one of them is a wake and doesn't really kick or grip your fingure that would be a sign of dehydration. When my dd was first born I really had a hard time telling if poppy diapers had pee pee, maybe he does them usually at the same time and its hard to tell?
05-08-2004, 04:59 AM
The weather here has been fine, in the 60's or 70's but we've been keeping their room (our bedroom) at around 80F because one of the pediatricians we spoke to said it was important for newborns to be in warmth. Plus we kept them swaddled so it is possible that they were hot and sweating out liquid. They seem to suck pretty well, latching on is either right away or takes about 10 minutes or so. I'm just worried about everything I guess and stressed due to lack of sleep and that my milk hasn't come in yet. I'm wondering if it's possible that it won't come in, I started exclusively breastfeeding (no supplement) as of May 4th. I started drinking Mother's Milk Tea 3 times a day as well to help stimulate the milk supply. I'm wondering if I should be pumping between feedings since they feed every 2 hours and it takes around 45 minutes to feed both even with the tandem feeding.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks to everyone so far.
05-08-2004, 05:32 AM
You must be a constant milk machine already:p . For me it was obvious that my milk was in b/c my breasts became super hard & since I was only nursing one on one side, the side that she wasn't nursing on poured milk all over me while she nursed.
I don't know that it is so obvious for everyone, though! And, my milk didn't leak all over the place & spray with #2 as it did w/ #1. My breasts probably had better control by then;) .
Our local hospital has a new mom's bf support group where you can weigh your baby, nurse him/her & then re-weigh him/her. Thus the amount of weight "gain" is how much the baby ate. You probably live in a bigger city than I do, so there may be something like that there if we've got it here. When you take them in to be weighed at the dr on Monday, maybe ask him whether he is aware of anything. It might put your mind at ease if you know for sure how much they are getting in each feeding.
It certainly does sound like they are nursing enough that they should be getting enough to eat, though. Jewels' comment about checking the arm for dehydration also reminded me that you can check the "soft spot" on the baby's head, too. If his/her soft spot is really sunken, that would be a sign of dehydration. Also, if the urine is dark. If they have fairly clear urine, they are probably good.
Also, check your phone book for a listing for La Leche League. They usually have a local leader who can give you advice over the phone & meetings.
Lastly, I know this is easier than it sounds, try to get some rest & relax. Stress & fatigue aren't going to help your milk supply. I never slept when my older dd was a baby. She screamed non-stop & didn't sleep for more than a 1/2 hour straight for 18+ months, so I know that rest is hard to come by, but try. You're doing great. It is wonderful that you are nursing twins - not everybody is that dedicated & you are doing a wonderful thing for your babies.
05-08-2004, 06:10 AM
I agree with everything everyone has said, and I'll add that you should stay in bed and just nurse for a couple of weeks. If you are running around trying to do anything except sleep, eat, and feed the babies, you may be overdoing it. Your body needs rest to product milk.
Be sure you're drinking a lot of water. I had a problem for a few days with my milk and my LLL leader told me to drink a full glass of water before feeding the baby, and lo and behold, lots of milk!
I don't think I would pump in between feedings.
When I was pumping because I needed to store milk for a trip I noticed that if I pumped less than an hour before he needed to eat then I couldn't squeeze even a drop out of the breast I pumped.
05-08-2004, 08:15 AM
I was noticing that you said that you had been exclusively bf since 5/4, but that they were born at the end of April. I know that you said that you got some bad advice early on & was wondering if you were bf at all at the beginning. You might be a bit slower to establish a milk supply if your milk dried up a bit due to minimal bf at the start.
05-09-2004, 05:32 AM
Thanks everyone. Yes, Christa, I had horrible advice from the nurse plus I was on medication after the c-section that made me feel awful and I couldn't nurse them until it left my sytem so in the beginning, I'd nurse and give them supplemental formula which I think confused them. Not nipple confusion though. Last night I tried to pump because each had only nursed for 10 minutes on each breast but nothing came out anyway so I guess they got their fill, I hope they did. I do have a lactation consultant and have left a message for her but she's really busy and hasn't called back yet. Speaking of nursing, it's that time again.....
Happy Mother's Day to everyone!!!!
05-10-2004, 05:23 AM
This is based on fuzzy 25-year old memories, but my mom breastfed twins back when no one was breastfeeding! The one thing my dad remembers clearly was that my mom was eating about 6 large meals a day just to keep up with the twins.
Some things my mom did:
-sometimes fed both at once. I can't remember if she had them switch sides half-way through or not. I remember her sitting on the couch with two pillows to help prop up the twins. I think she would do this maybe twice a day (??).
-sometimes fed them one at a time. She would switch sides, then, and would feed the less-greedy twin first just to make sure she got enough to eat. (This also gives you more one-on-one time.) She did start out with rotating the first nurser before realizing that one twin would gobble up more milk more quickly than the other.
My mom often refers new moms to LLL, too. They might be able to help. If you're still frustrated and want to hear from another mom who breast-fed twins, PM me with your email message or questions and I'll ask my mom to reply.
05-16-2004, 10:47 AM
I agree with Colleen on the LLL recommendation. They are a wonderful source of information and inspiration!
I am currently nursing two, although not twins, so my toddler does not nurse as much as an exclusively breastfed infant. However, Sarah had the stomach flu last week and would not eat or drink anything--just nursed. So for a few days I was exclusively breastfeeding two. Your body learns to adjust and make milk based on the demand for it, which is determined by the frequency in sucking. When Sarah was sick, I could tell my supply went up, and then when she started eating again, it took a few days for my supply to drop back down to normal, and so I spent a couple of days engorged. But I guess my point is that your body can do amazing things and it can do way more than our brains give it credit for. For instance, in the first month of Ashley's life, she and Sarah both gained over 2lbs--so my body knew to make enough milk for both. Nurse as often as your babies want and you should be fine. Even with a rough beginning, your body can "catch up."
But reassurance from groups like LLL can be priceless. LLL groups also have a lending library of books, and I'm pretty sure most LLL groups' libraries include at least one book on mursing multiples.
Oh, and I want to echo what Colleen said about eating lots of meals. Eat and drink as often as possible--you need 500-650 extra calories per exclusively breastfed infant, so you should be eating 1,000 more calories than you did pre-pregnancy. I eat way more than my husband, and I'm still managing to lose my "baby weight." And I found if I didn't drink enough I would become constipated. I guess I should clarify, too, that you need the extra food and water mainly for you. It takes a lot of energy to lactate, and your body will provide for your babies first, so you need food and drink to replenish yourself. HTH
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