Monday, August 23, 2010

Breastfeeding Twins

The most challenging thing with the twins, besides the sleep deprivation, is breastfeeding.  In the beginning, this was fairly difficult, because I have twice the number of mouths to feed as a typical mom, and I was very, very sore from the babies' tongue tie.  I noticed that I get a lot of questions about breastfeeding them, so I thought I would write more about it.

Our babies are virtually solely breastfed.  We have given them bottles on rare occasions (like when Jason and my mom gave them bottles for four nights during the second week to allow me to sleep for an entire 4-hour stretch).  Besides those four nights, we have only give each of them a bottle three or four times for various reasons.  Other than that, they are fed straight from the source.

I usually feed them at the same time.  I have two EZ 2 Nurse pillows that I use (one upstairs and one downstairs).  I have a friend who is giving us a My Brest Friend twin pillow, and I'm looking forward to trying that out.  It has an extra pocket on the front that seems really handy.

In the morning, I bring the babies downstairs.  I have an entire couch basically devoted to feeding.  In the middle, I have a regular bed pillow for back support and my EZ 2 Nurse pillow.  On the left and right cushions, I have a Boppy pillow.  The Boppies serve as my staging areas for the babies.  I usually have a burp cloth laid in the hole of the Boppy to catch any leaky diapers or spit-up.

When the babies are ready to eat, I will put one in each Boppy.  Then I sit down and put on the nursing pillow.  Then I scoop one baby up with both hands and place them on one side.  Then I scoop the other baby up (usually with one hand because I'm holding the other baby from falling with the other hand now) and place them on the other side.  Using a football position, I feed both babies at the same time.  I usually don't latch them until they are both up on the pillow.  Otherwise, I will accidentally unlatch the first one while I'm trying to get the second one up on the pillow.  That's somewhat painful, and may upset the baby that is unexpectedly unlatched.  When they are done eating, I put each one back in their Boppy and usually move on to change their diapers.  (Vivienne nearly always uses the bathroom while she's eating.  I'm sure it will completely embarrass her when she's a high schooler that I share such private details about her infant life and goings on.)

At the end of the day, we move the babies upstairs.  I usually go through the same routine up there on the bed.  Jason stays in the room with me until around 1 am.  For the feedings before 1 am, he brings the babies to me and changes their diapers.  This is a huge help.  After 1 am, he goes into the guest bedroom to try to get some uninterrupted sleep before work the next day.  We figure that I have to wake up every time anyway, because I have to actually feed the babies.  There is really no point in us both being completely exhausted (though we still are both usually pretty exhausted).

Right now, the babies eat every 2-3 hours during the day, and they often want to eat every 2 hours at night.  This is extremely tiring.  I'm hoping that they will go for longer stretches at night some time soon.  Breast milk digests in about 2 hours, so breastfed babies tend to get hungrier faster and wake more frequently.  With Miles getting close to 9 pounds and Vivienne getting close to 8 pounds, we're hoping that they start increasing their sleeping longevity so that Mom can get some sleep soon, too.

1 comment:

  1. You're doing awesome! Maybe more sleep is coming soon...ours are getting about one four hour stretch between feedings overnight now, which is helpful.