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Thread: Quit or keep trying ?

  1. #1

    Default Quit or keep trying ?

    Any help would be most welcome.

    My wife gave birth to twins last week (our firsts), they were at week 36 (about 5lb each).

    One went into neo nate and TBH the mat hospital was extremely busy when we were in and the midwifes seemed to just give formula to both babies and did not have time to support the b/f learning curve for us. We are not big complainers.

    We had planned to breast feed as much as possible and make up the shortfall with formula, ante natal classes said that many multiple birth parents struggle to wholly b/f.

    After 4 days we got home and started b/f attempts as best as we could. Babies are struggling to latch (mouths are a little too small). We have bought a pump but my wife is struggling to express even 20ml every 3 hours so we are mostly feeding on formula.

    This is really upsetting my wife. We have made sure she is getting plenty rest, keeping hydrated, drinking milk (cows) and eating well.

    Should we keep drawing off those 20mls/hour or pack up ? The expressing is really frustrating my wife and the stress is doing more harm than than the 20mls is doing good.

    I noticed large expressing pumps in the mat hosp and I bought a smaller version (it was the same price as renting a big one/month). Would we have more luck with the bigger pump or is this not a 'size matters' type of thing ?

    How much of a disaster is this if we cannot b/f ? Are we 1% of the population here or are we one of many ? Our community health nurse has told us to perservere and that 75 % of people in the area are b/f'ing. We are very afraid of our attempts failing.

    Any thoughts would be most welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    hi there! congrats on the babies.

    i do not have twins but i just want to say that having a baby is always overwhelming. even with my second i felt like my world got turned upside down

    breastfeeding does take time to learn, for both mom and babies. take it one day at a time.

    hands on advice is going to be a great resource. i would highly recommend seeing a IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) ASAP.

    this is an older thread but it has some good info from other twin moms who bf here

    i would say that giving your little ones any breastmilk is good. your wife can work at getting them to the breast full time, it is absolutely possible.

    the book the womanly art of breastfeeding is great (8th edition)

    also kellymom hasa a great website.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,584

    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    You would do well to find a good IBCLC as previous poster mentioned. With twins or any difficult situation, a good IBCLC can really help you get on the right track and get your babies breast milk. Definitely see about renting a hospital grade pump as they are most useful for babies who aren't latching on well or are inefficient at milk removal. Don't give up, please tell your wife to hang in there and be as supportive as possible.

    Congratulations on your two new babies, I do hope things go well and that they can get the hang of nursing but they are small and sometimes it takes a little while and some growth to be really good and efficient at nursing. It is worth it, in my experience, to keep working hard to get a baby milk and breastfeeding is about nutrition and also about bonding and relationship.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    agree with pp

    made me think of something, my husband did everything and i fed the baby. if you can stay on top of everything else it would be a great way of giving her the support she needs to nurse them. good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,891

    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    Definitely see a LC, preferably an IBCLC. You want help with latching the babies on, and you want that hospital-grade rental pump that you passed up the first time. Producing more milk is generally a matter of increasing stimulation to the breast, in terms of both frequency and completeness of milk removal. In addition, your wife may want to see here midwife or her GP and ask for some tests to rule out conditions that can cause problems with supply- things like thyroid problems, retained placenta, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. She may also want to discuss prescription drugs that can increase supply. Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (EU and Canada) are prescription gastric emptying drugs which can increase serum Prolactin (the milk-producing hormone) as a side-effect. Both drugs have additional side-effects and are not right for all women, so no-one should take them without a consult with a health care professional. However, there are some non-prescription milk increasers out there: fenugreek, blessed thistle, and ordinary oatmeal are all good for supply. (The LC will be able to explain how much to use, but we can too if necessary). Your wife doesn't need to be drinking cow's milk at all- it's an old wives' tale that one must drink milk in order to make milk.

    Only your wife can decide whether or not it's time to give up on the breastfeeding journey. She needs to weigh her health and sanity against her desire to breastfeed. There's no one answer that's right for every woman.

    The one thing that is sure is that your wife is probably in the 99% or so of women who can make enough milk given proper conditions. It sounds like she was sabotaged in the maternity hospital and even before the babies were born- it is not true that most moms of multiples are unable to produce enough milk, at least when the multiples are twins. Moms of triplets or higher order multiples sometimes do struggle, though I personally know a mom of triplets who managed to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.

    We love it when dads find us here. A supportive husband can make all the difference for a nursing mom. I know it's probably frustrating seeing your wife struggle, and it can be really difficult to know what to do in this situation. Just listen patiently to your wife, even if she is crying on your shoulder again for the millionth time, tell her she is doing a wonderful job as a woman and a mom, and if she says "What should I do?" just turn it around and ask her what she thinks she should do.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    Mtmama, krystine & mommal...

    Many thanks for your constructive comments. This forum is much more helpful & supportive than the car maintenace forums where I can normally be found.

    We are in Ireland (Eire), the system here is pretty close to the NHS, almost as good (we lived in the UK for several years). Talk about bad luck, the lac consult. is on hols just now and dosent seem to have a backfill. Our public health nurse has been a big help and she suggested Motilium (Domperidone)(I thought that was posh champagne), I have bought that (over the counter) this morning and our GP is calling me back this afternoon.

    Could I just ask any of you that are online to advise if I should go rent the larger pump ? We had a good last night with the girls and my wife expressed ~ 50mls.

    I wonder if the large pump would be better at expressing than the small pump ? / OR are they the essentially the same device in a different package...

    I probably shouldnt mention brands on this forum (moderators please feel free to correct or edit), the pump we bought is a 'Medela Swing' (pump is about the size of a saucer) and the pumps in the Mat Hosp were 'Medela Symphonys' (pump is about the size of a shoebox).

    Will I go and rent the larger pump or would this just put more stress on us ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    Go out and rent the larger pump, Dad. The Swing is a decent pump for a working mom with an established supply. It is not the right tool for a mother who must EP, particularly for twins. The Symphony is a hospital-grade pump. The difference in retail price tells you most of what you need to know: you can get a Swing for about $160, whereas a Symphony sells for about $1500. There's a good reason for that.

    It will likely be much less frustrating for your wife to use a Symphony, because she'll get more milk in less time and with less effort.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Wiltshire, UK
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    7

    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    Hi, huge congrats on your new babies! Just a thought but i work in a mat hospital and i know there is a medela brand that has a 'premmi' setting, especially designed to achieve max milk expression for mummies of premmies - i used it myself and can highly recommend it!... now im home, im using tommie tippee closer to nature which is working well for me but medela brand is v good.

    Keep reassuring her and telling her she is doing a great job and how wonderful she is, it really means a lot when hubbies are supportive! Dont forget, lots and lots of skin to skin with the babes and she may obtain more when pumping if they are skin to skin with her at the time and really try to not stress (i know its easier said than done), this difficult bit doesnt last forever and before you know it you'll all be pro's

  9. #9
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    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    Yes I would definitely rent a hospital grade pump FOR NOW, I think she will eventually be able to use the pump you bought her, but it is not what is needed when she and your babies are working to get her supply established. Also although they have small mouths it is very important that the babies are allowed to TRY to latch on EVERYDAY. More than once. Because A. The only way they are ever going to learn to latch is to practice and B. Ulitmately THIS is what you want. You don't want the mother of twins to be pumping rather than feeding. And C. Nipp;e preference is real and your babies have already been exposed so it is very very important that they get a chance to practice and for their instinct to work every day so that they don't reject the breast entirely. Keep at it. There is something very very primal about being able to feed one's off spring. Often giving up is very very overwhelming and hugely depressing. I think that although I am SURE you are both super overwhelmed right now, NO ONE needs breastmilk MORE than preemies. SO Encourage your wife to keep fighting the good fight. KUP.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Quit or keep trying ?

    Yes, great advice about trying to get them to the breast several times a day, even if only for a little each time!

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