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EBF Twins!?!?!

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 1:38 AM
  • 23 Replies

 So I know it can be done.  Infact many people do.  However, how in the world is it possible when you have 5 older children that need you too?

Brief backstory:  I've Breastfed all of my living children.  The first 3 only for 4-6 months due to lack of understanding the whole supply and demand thing.  My 4th I went to 14 months.  My 5th had anatomical issues in her mouth.  We saw many doctors and IBCLC's (no TT) and ended up stopping at 2 months.  My 6th was a 38 week stillborn last July due to a knot in her cord.  I am now 11 weeks pregnant with my twin rainbow babies and my heart wants to EBF but reality tells me it's just not going to be possible.  I'm not completely opposed to supplementing with formula, but I'd rather not if I can swing EBFing twins.  My girls will be 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 when these blessings join us, Lord willing.  I realize they all had "their" turn but honestly, they had to pitch in and help during the end of my last pregnancy, go through several months of their mom grieving and will likely need to help at the end of this pregnancy as well.  There is only so much I can expect from them.  They are children and while they certainly should have responsibilities and even pitch in extra when needed, they need to be kids and they need their mom. It may sound like I'm making excuses.  That is not the point of this post.  I guess I'm looking to get tips, especially from mom's who've been in similar circumstances.  Another related thing is, how do you cosleep/nightnurse laying down with twins?

Pregnancy%20ticker

by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 1:38 AM
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justone_jen
by Jen on Jan. 3, 2013 at 1:44 AM
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No advice here, just know we'll support your goals and offer encouragement. Congrats!

The only thing I would say is to breathe and take it day by day. I know that's easier said than done.
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gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Jan. 3, 2013 at 2:20 AM
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Quoting sarasquiverfull:

 So I know it can be done.  Infact many people do.  However, how in the world is it possible when you have 5 older children that need you too?

Brief backstory:  I've Breastfed all of my living children.  The first 3 only for 4-6 months due to lack of understanding the whole supply and demand thing.  My 4th I went to 14 months.  My 5th had anatomical issues in her mouth.  We saw many doctors and IBCLC's (no TT) and ended up stopping at 2 months.  My 6th was a 38 week stillborn last July due to a knot in her cord.  I am now 11 weeks pregnant with my twin rainbow babies and my heart wants to EBF but reality tells me it's just not going to be possible.  I'm not completely opposed to supplementing with formula, but I'd rather not if I can swing EBFing twins.  My girls will be 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 when these blessings join us, Lord willing.  I realize they all had "their" turn but honestly, they had to pitch in and help during the end of my last pregnancy, go through several months of their mom grieving and will likely need to help at the end of this pregnancy as well.  There is only so much I can expect from them. 

Well, sure. And only so much you can expect from yourself as well. It means prioritizing. Formula feeding won't relieve you of the need to prioritize.

Priority one is that which is needed to keep everyone breathing. Everything below priority one is not your concern once the twins arrive. Really! Let things go. It's OK. No one worth being had "World's Greatest Housekeeper" on her tombstone.

They are children and while they certainly should have responsibilities and even pitch in extra when needed, they need to be kids and they need their mom. It may sound like I'm making excuses.  That is not the point of this post.  I guess I'm looking to get tips, especially from mom's who've been in similar circumstances.  Another related thing is, how do you cosleep/nightnurse laying down with twins?

Kellymom has posted a bunch of stuff which should be helpful:  

Breastfeeding Multiples (Resources)

© vitalinko - Fotolia.com

Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting Twins. A wonderful site for moms who have (or are expecting) twins.

Breastfeeding Twins: Educating Yourself (a five-part series) by Melissa Clark Vickers, IBCLC

Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, IBCLC is the author of Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More!!! In particular, check out the FAQ, articles & photos.

Two Pairs and a Trio: Breastfeeding Twins by Allison Berryhill, Tips For Breastfeeding Twins, from Mothering

Breastfeeding Triplets: Advice from Successful Moms by Ellen Zagorsky-Goldberg, fromMothering

Triple Time! Nursing mother’s story at Breastfeeding.com

APMultiples email list – This list is for parents who are interested in Attachment Parenting and their twins, triplets, quads or more!

Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada


mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:47 AM
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Don't beat yourself up because you ask your kids to pitch in and help. It's a great lesson in helping others, mutual respect and responsibility. I have 4 kids and wish I had thrown a little more responsibility on them a little earlier. Sometimes kids act spoiled and entitled and that doesn't do anything to prepare them for life in the real world. They can help. In the end, they should be proud of all they can successfully do on their own.

I had a friend who successfully Breastfed twins to 18 months without a single supplement. Read the twin links g posted. I cosleep, but that's an interesting question, cosleeping with twins. I know we have some twin moms here. Hopefully they can chime in on that part.
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audmom1218
by Silver Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:58 AM
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Congrats mama. Sounds like your kids are old enough to pitch in. I'm assuming you already have a wrap/sling for hands free nursing time. (If not you'll need it!). I think with support from your family, once you're over the initial struggles of all newborns and in "auto pilot mode" (for me that was 4+ mo) it should be much easier for YOU and the family without the added stress of paying for formula for 2 mouths, , washing bottle, etc.

Maybe to incentivize the experience for your older kiddos you could set aside the money you WOULD be spending on formula in a jar and let them all decide what to spend it on. (Something fun for the whole family). It doesn't have to be EXACT but $10 a week would add up fast!
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Emadele
by Bronze Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:58 AM
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I don't have much advice on this. I'm still trying to figure out how to handle a 2.5yr old and a 5mo old. But I wanted to say congrats on the twins! I believe we aren't given more than we can handle and if you are determined to ebf twins then it is possible. I'm a member of the July '12 ddg and was saddened by your loss when I read about it. I'm glad to see happy things are happening for you and your family.

Married to Russell (7/27/09), Momma to Haydn (5/27/10) and Donavyn (8/1/12).
AlexSosa
by Bronze Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Congratulations on the twins! Im sure you can EBF for as long as you want. Just do not supplement, and remember its gets much easier by the 4th month. Remember if you supplement your supply will have a much harder time catching up to the twins. I wish you a healthy pregnancy, and sticky baby dust. :)

JessicasMom123
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:45 AM
My twin girls are now 2 months (yesterday) and I started out ebf and we now supliment 1 bottle a day of formula b/c the girls were only sleeping 1-2hrs a time and at night that meant I wasn't getting sleep. Now we sleep 4-6hrs a night. I'm back to work so I pump ever 2-4hrs at work and nurse on demand when I'm at home. I also have a very demanding 5yr old DD. She is learning to adjust and wait for mommy to help her. Your kiddos will do the same thing. You can do it momma! And if you cant ebf well its not the end of the world either! You'll be fine, just remember slow down and take care of you too
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maggiemom2000
by Ruby Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:47 AM
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I have friends with older children who have EBF twins:

My first friend had 3 kids, 2, 4, and 6 yrs when her twins came. She co-slept (never owened crib) and homeschooled her older kids. When the babies were tiny she had some women from her church who volunteered to come hold babies for a couple of hours a few morning a week to help allow her to homeschool.

My other friend had a 4 yr old and a 20 month old when her twins were born, and she EBF as well.

There are going to be compromises. There is no "easy" way to care for twins. I feel like you really "pay it forward: with breastfeeding. You spend a lot more time in the first few weeks, but then it saves time in the long run.

Here's some food for thought:

I’ve often heard moms say that they don’t have time to breastfeed because they have older children to take care of. They don’t have time to “sit around nursing all day”. So what if you do stop breastfeeding so that you can have more time to spend with your older children? What does that teach the older children? That baby’s needs don’t matter? That if something is inconvenient then you just switch to something easier, even if the inconvenient thing was better? The truth is kids are really inconvenient (not to mention loud, messy, and demanding). Why is breastfeeding so often at the top of the list of things to be tossed? I love how this mom points out, “Some portion of ‘The Family Schedule’ belongs to you (the nursing baby).”

I was there once. I was surprised when I heard myself think it. I considered not breastfeeding because it would take too much of my time and energy to do it. How could I, of all people, consider that as an option? My situation was a little different than most because my baby was a bit of a surprise and came to us through adoption, so I had no milk. I was needing to induce lactation.

Baby came home to us in July 2009 at 18 days old. My older kids, two boys, "Scootch", 7, and "Curly", 9, were on summer break from school. However, we had decided that when school began again in August they would not be going back. From now on we would be homeschooling. Several people asked me when we got the baby, “You’re not still going to try to homeschool are you?” The truth is the thought never crossed my mind not to. We had taken a long time to make this decision to homeschool. We had decided that this was what was best for our two boys. Now that we had a new baby girl the needs of my boys did not suddenly change. It was still best for them to stay home. The reverse was true as well. This baby needed to be breastfed, regardless of the schedules and needs of other family members.

Baby sister meets big brother 
When my boys were babies I took all of the time I needed to make breastfeeding work. Why should it be any different for this baby?

I had about 6 weeks of summer left and I started the process of relactating. It was so frustrating to have this baby and no milk! It took a lot of time. A few weeks into the school year and I was beginning to doubt that I could do it all. To make things even harder she was premature weighing 3 lbs 2.8 ounces at birth, and only 4 lbs 0 ounces when she came home. She had a weak suck and she could not draw milk through an at breast supplementer meaning I needed to spend even more time pumping and bottle feeding while practicing at the breast.

I confided in my good friend, “I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t have the time. How can I do a good job homeschooling the boys when I’m spending so much time with her trying to bring in a milk supply? All the time at the breast, pumping, mixing formula and preparing the bags for the Lact-Aid. Maybe I should just give up on the whole breastfeeding thing.”

My friend could see the bigger picture when I could not. “It is important to the boys too. Their sister is important to them. Let some of the school work and other things go.” That was over 3 years ago and I still remember her words. She is important to them.


Scootch and Baby sister

She was right. This tiny baby girl meant everything to the boys. They loved their little sister. This was just as good for them as it was for her. I couldn’t see it then, but three years later I can see it.

Curly and Baby sister
What did they learn by watching me work so hard to breastfeed her? First, they learned an awful lot about inducing lactation! They would watch me pump. When I first started to get drops of milk Scootch (7) walked up and saw the little bit of milk in the bottle. He started jumping up and down and called for his brother to come see, “She’s getting milk, she’s getting milk!” I had no idea they’d be so excited.

They watched me spend countless hours nursing their little sister. They watched as the bottles were replaced by the Lact-Aid, and then the formula supplements gradually went away altogether.




They learned that their little sister was important. That babies are important and that they deserve to have their needs met. They learned that nursing was important, even if you don’t make enough milk. They learned that everyone in the family is important, and that we do what we need to do to take care of each other. They’ve learned that family is more than just DNA.

We did school work while I wore baby sister in the Moby wrap. When she got bigger, they wanted to wear her in the back pack. They were learning how to love and care for a baby.



They wanted her to have the best, just like I did.


The fact that she was important to them was reason enough to spend the time and work hard for breastfeeding to work, even if it meant I had less time to spend doing certain things with them.



Letting her play with their Legos is proof of how much they love her!

One homeschool project was building a sled for little sister.


Now that she is three, she knows how to pester her big brothers, and she does! She can be the annoying little sister, but these boys love this little girl. They would do anything for her. Taking the time to bring in a milk supply and breastfeed her did not take away from them, instead it gave them, and all of us so much!

boobear1985
by Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM
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I have twins that are five months old. I had then early at 34 weeks and we have had our fair share of problems with nursing but its working out. I will say I do have to use an sns which we are currently slowly taking down supplements. I use my own milk donor milk or formula if I don't have any breast milk. I also have a 3 year old dd. The beginning was the hardest just getting use to twins and trying to transition with my oldest but you find after a couple weeks it starts to get easier and even easier yet as more time passes. I didn't supplement in the beginning with the twins however even though they were healthy when born they still has problems nursing and getting enough. They were tiny when born so not a lot of room to loose a whole lot. We made the decision to supplement only afte going a couple weeks of loosing still then they gained but only a half ounce in two weeks. I made it a point though to get an sns to use and we are currently taking the supplements down. Good Luck to you momma with whatever you choose.
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tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Jan. 3, 2013 at 11:22 AM
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you can EBF twins, I know many moms who have.  Your body in the beginning makes way more than one baby can drink and if enough milk is removed then the body will know to continue making that amount.  There was a woman who had 6 babies and EBF them til 6 months, once they started solids she had issues but come on she had 6!!!

When feeding you will need to hold the twins anyways, why not do it at the breast.  Newborns tae time away from the other kids always no matter how you feed them.

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