Monday, December 27, 2010

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Can You Really Keep Up? BreastFeeding Twins Part 2


This post is a continuation of "Can You Really Keep Up? BreastFeeding Twins" which originally posted on 12/20.

Month #4-6
Life went on around our house. The twins started to get their personalities and learn to roll, sit up, and even begin to crawl. I had at times attempted tandem feedings. I could occasionally get them both latched on to eat at the same time. I did find in the beginning that Ellie nursed better if she ate at the same time as Eli. It was just difficult for me. I pretty much just stuck to nursing each baby one at a time. It gave me one on one time with them and also gave me the ability to chase after one of my older children, who were 6,5, and 3 years old at the time, while nursing one of the babies. It is amazing how quickly you learn how to do many tasks while nursing a baby. It often comes out of necessity. I had to remind myself to drink water daily. I had to drink insane amounts of water to keep up my supply. I could tell by the amount I could pump before bed if I had drank enough water that day. Get the biggest glass in the house and call it yours! I would walk up to the sink and drink an entire glass because with twins life is busy and it was the only way to drink enough water. I had to do it in bulk several times a day!

Month #7-11
It was during this time that I had the urge to wean the babies. I tried at 7 months giving them an extra month due to them coming 4 weeks early. My heart wasn’t really into it as it was a fight to get them to take the bottle from me. So I said “Oh, well it is just easier this way then fighting with them.” They were eating more and more solid food so their demand on my body had lessened some and they were blessing me with random full nights of sleep, it was becoming a cake walk. At times I really wanted to wean as I felt like I had just had enough and wanted to have my body back but I could never bring myself to actually wean them so onward we went. I had stopped pumping before bed every night and was only doing so randomly or if I knew I would be gone for a while the next day. Weaning from the pump alone gave me relief. It was one less thing I had to do in the day and those 15 min were welcomed down time or extra sleep!

Month #12
Eli and Ellie were closing in on their first birthday. I was ready to be done nursing. I was also beginning to loose more weight then I thought was healthy so, I began to wean them. Slowly I was replacing a feeding here and there with a bottle. Oh, yes I know many of you are thinking, “Why didn’t she just go to a cup?” Well my babies were not doing well with a cup yet and accepted the bottle better so I went with what was easiest for me. I am just fine with having to wean from the bottle to a cup when they are ready. It wont hurt them. The week of their birthday came and my supply was diminishing. Every time I let them nurse I took in the moment not knowing when the last feeding would be. It was bittersweet in the end. I was ready to wean but the twins are also my last babies and I was sad that I wouldn’t nurse another baby so I took let things slide and let myself be completely in the moment that last week. I am glad that I did so. I can still visualize running my fingers through my babies’ hair while they nursed. It is a simple memory, but it is one that I will always cherish.

So there you have it, you can nurse two babies for a year successfully! Yes, I am a stay at home mom, which helped make breastfeeding a success. Remember my friend who is still nursing her twins at 13 months of age? Well, she works a very time demanding job and she has also completed a year successfully! 

Remember when nursing multiples you have to also take in more fluids and be sure to give each breast the same amount of stimulation to help keep your supply strong. I strongly encourage you to find another mom who is nursing multiples to compare notes and be there to support each other. There are times when you may feel like throwing in the towel but once you get past the tough spot things get easier and it is good to have another mom to help support you through those times. 

Good luck and remember YES you can keep up!

By: Alyssa N.
29 year old SAHM to 5 children ages 7, 5,3, and 1 year old twins.

6 comments:

Beccalynn said...

They are too precious!
My friend nursed twins (I don't know when she weaned them) but she always nursed them at the same time when they were newborns just to keep her sanity :-D

Dreaming Mama said...

This is so wonderful to read! I am glad you took the time to write it.

Kristen said...

I too am nursing my boy/girl twins! They are almost 13 months old now and we are still going strong.

Like you I have often had the urge to wean, mostly just to have MY body back, but I can't bring myself to do it and I just love the bonding time with them. We nurse single and tandem, about 50/50.

So many people are doubtful that you CAN nurse twins exclusively. I wish more of us would come out and talk openly so that other know that it can be done and isn't nearly as difficult as some would have you think.

Congrats on a full year. You gave your babes such a great gift!

Green Lifestyle Consulting said...

Haven't read the whole article, but just wanted to chime in that I breastfed my twins exclusively until I weaned them to milk at 11 months. I worked full time and pumped at work when they were fed at home. It was exhausting, but totally doable.

M said...

Congrats to you and hats off for a great job! They are very cute!

N. Nicholes said...

Before I even read this post, I'm going to post how grateful I am that someone else has posted something about breastfeeding twins. I'm a new mom to twins just born on the 17th of December (last year ha ha!) and I was beginning to get a little bit exhausted! I breastfed my other two children - now 10 and 2 for a nice amount of time, but I find myself wondering if I can go that long with the twins. The longest that I went with nursing was 18 months - and in my head the first week back at home, I kept thinking that I wouldn't be able to last that long. Now I have hope! Thanks so much!