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Thread: Five-week-old twins never satisfied

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Salt Lake City
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    Default Five-week-old twins never satisfied

    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my five-week-old twins. It seemed like it was going really well. They managed to catch up on their weight gain after a slow start without any supplementing. But things are not making sense right now and it’s getting progressively worse. This morning’s experience is the perfect example:

    They woke up hungry at the same time and I put them in the tandem feeding position. They latched on quickly and appeared to be eating (movement in the jaw and around the ear, audible swallowing). I waited for them to take themselves off the breast, about an hour later. They seemed happy, but a few minutes after being set down, they were crying and showing signs of hunger, so I put them both back on. They seemed to be eating again and stayed on the breast for about 30 minutes each. Once again, I let them decide when they were done and they seemed content, but a few minutes later were screaming and showing signs of hunger. At this point I gave them a bottle and they ate as though they hadn’t eaten in days. Six ounces vanished in minutes.

    Is this a sign of low supply? Out of curiosity, I decided to try pumping right after their second feeding session this morning and got about 1/2 ounce out of each breast. When I pump in place of a feeding, I get between four and eight ounces, which seems like the right amount. Though they obviously take a lot of breaks, it looks as though they are eating for a decent portion of the time and they are always happy to be on the breast; they are clearly comforted by it.

    I’d like to keep offering the breast first every time, but this routine leaves them (and me, obviously) so exhausted that they have a hard time winding down and getting to sleep even after they are full. I know that babies go through growth spurts at this time and are inefficient eaters, but this doesn’t seem normal. I’m happy to put them on the breast for two hours at a time if it seems like it’s doing anything, but they are never satisfied until they’ve been given a bottle. This has been going on for about two weeks and when it first started they were still satisfied from breastfeeding most of the time, doing this once a day or less. Now it is nearly all of the time.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Five-week-old twins never satisfied

    It is normal behavior. It's hard, literally doubly so for you, but it's normal. That (nursing a long time, wanting to nurse again and again in quick succession) is entirely normal nursing behavior for babies this age.

    And of course you did not get much out via pumping right after your babies had nursed so long.

    Whether or not a baby this young takes a bottle and how much baby takes does not mean anything. It really really does not, and your experience proves it. There is no way in the world your 5 week old infants needed 3 ounces each in thier tummies to feel full, unless their tummies were entirely empty, which they were not, because they had just nursed for a long time. My guess is, they wanted to nurse to sleep, and instead, got put into a food coma.

    There is a theory that supplementing after feedings gets babies into a bottle habit -that is, they know the bottle is coming and so are not "done" until it comes. Also, mom is thinking about giving it and having to pump for it a bottle and so may have a hard time relaxing and just nursing again.

    I keep getting in trouble on here for being anti-bottle when I am nothing of the sort-so please let me assure you, I am not saying to not give a bottle.
    And of course if your babies require supplementation because they are not gaining weight and your doctor tells you it is needed and you agree it is needed, then give them supplemental feedings (it need not be via bottles, however, nor need it be at the end of feedings.)

    But please be aware that it is very possible neither bottles nor supplemental feedings are needed, because your baby's behavior as far as nursing frequency goes is totally normal and their weight gain (you suggest) is normal. And unneeded supplementation does cause all kinds of issues, and will often create a snowball effect, which is why once it starts it tends to ‘get worse.’

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,923

    Default Re: Five-week-old twins never satisfied

    with LLLMeg. At 5 weeks, I really do wonder if your LO's are hitting their 6 week growth spurt. Obviously the name is silly, since spurts can hit at any time, but many babies do hit a spurt in the 5-7 week range. During a spurt, a baby will nurse, nurse, nurse, for hours and hours on end- and a lot of moms will freak out because all of a sudden the demand is so intense.

    I am also that the bottles could be messing with the babies' ability to feel satisfied after nursing- if you expect every meal to conclude with dessert, you're unlikely to act satisfied with a normal meal. KWIM?
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: Five-week-old twins never satisfied

    Totally normal. You need to wrap your mind around the fact that YOU shouldn't be focusing on anything BUT nursing for another 2-4weeks. My cousin nursed her twins for 3.5 years. And the 1st 6 weeks she was like "I can't do anything but feed them." And I was like "Yeah. Welcome to the club. We ALL spend the 1st 6-12weeks in our PJs on the couch feeding." It doesn't matter if it's a singleton or twins. All they do when they are regulating your is eat. I got up to Pee, Change diaper and get more food. That's it. For weeks. At the 5 week point I started venturing out of the house once a week. That was it until he was like 4 months old. Once a week for a baby group. That was all I could manage. It's normal. And as long as you allow them full access to your breasts, you will continue to make them enough to eat.

    Way too lazy for formula

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