Thursday, April 7, 2011

Breastfeeding 8-Month-Old Twins

I've gotten a lot more questions about breastfeeding lately.  One of the most frequent ones is,"Are you still able to breastfeed your babies?"  Miles and Vivienne are over 8 months old now, and they are still breastfed.

I'm still using the twin nursing pillow, and it's a complete lifesaver for me.  It basically looks like an enormous boppy pillow that goes around my waist and clips behind me.  I use the same setup that I described in a previous post here.

Though Miles and Vivienne are certainly much larger than they used to be, I still feed them at the same time.  I have tried feeding them separately, but I think that they are used to nursing together now.  Also, if I try to feed them separately, the baby who is not eating usually gets fussy because they are missing "mommy time."  So, I'll keep feeding them together for as long as I can.

However, I have other friends with twins who say that they feed their babies separately now because it's too complicated to feed them simultaneously.  Miles and Vivienne can reach across to their sibling's face now, so I have to keep their nails trimmed so that they don't scratch each other on accident.  Sometimes they get irritated because their sibling is touching them, but they usually seem to love looking at each other and sometimes they will even have a little "conversation" with each other or laugh at each other while they are nursing.  It's really sweet.

Because they are so long, their little feet have to go up the back of the sofa or wrap behind my back.  I remember when they were newborns and their little toes didn't even reach the back of the sofa.  Goodness, they have grown so much!

They eat much more quickly than they did long ago.  As newborns, they would often nurse for up to 30 minutes and sometimes even longer.  Now, they usually only breastfeed for maybe 7 or 8 minutes and they are ready to go on with their day.  I try to alternate which side they are both on (Miles on the right for the first feeding, then Vivienne on the right for the second feeding, and so on).

Miles and Vivienne are eating solid foods now - breakfast, lunch and dinner.  While they are getting some calories from their solid meals, they still get the bulk of their calories and nutrition from me.  They still nurse every 3 hours, though they can go for longer stretches now on occasion. 

My twins have only had bottles a handful of times.  They took a few bottles in their first couple weeks of life, and haven't had any since then.  I don't think that bottles are evil, but I just enjoy nursing my babies and never really felt a need to give them expressed milk.  Just this past week, we tried giving them a bottle, just to see if they would take breast milk from it (because they had completely rejected bottles when they were in their first month).  Miles and Vivienne both seemed to take it fairly well, so this may be an alternative if I need to be away from home for more than 3 hours (but somehow I've managed to not do that for the last 8+ months!).

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