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Thread: Need help with supply and twins! Scared to supplement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Overland Park, KS
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    1

    Unhappy Need help with supply and twins! Scared to supplement

    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my 8m old twins since birth. I have never had to supplement with formula, and they only take a bottle for 2-4 feedings a week. My girls were born at 37w3d and were 5lb5.5oz and 5lb10oz at birth. One was in the NICU, but was able to nurse on day 2 and came home with us on day 5, the other was with me from the start and nursed as soon as i was able to hold her. they have never had problems latching and have always strongly preferred the breast to the infrequent bottle. They have always been slow growers, and have never been over the 10% in any category, and their doctor has not been concerned, but at 6m he strongly suggested that I add solids to their diet to increase growth, and I had no problem with that. They were developmentally ready for solids. In the last 3 weeks I have become increasingly concerned with the amount of breast milk they are getting. In the morning and through the afternoon I seem to be able to satisfy their needs, bu before dinner and before bed, they seem frustrated with the lack of letdown or amount of milk they are able to get. They generally will not nurse for more than 5-10min in the evening, then they just unlatch and get irritable. I never wanted to supplement with formula, but its getting to the point where I am afraid I am not join o have much choice. I have gone through most of my freezer supply just working 2 nights a week, and I am not seeing good results when I am able to pump (2-4 oz total). At this point I am only able to pump once a day (I do not work outside the home on a regular basis, so my girls only take a bottle for 2 maybe 4 feedings a week) at night when they go to bed, but I am always fraud to pump more than that because it seems like every time I do one of them wants to nurse and then they are even more frustrated because it takes forever for letdown. I just don't know what else to do to keep up with them, and I am scared at their 9 month check up they are going to be way too small on the charts. I am disappoint and feel like a failure because I really wanted to make it to a year with them. I don't want to lose the closeness and bonding of breast feeding, I love being the one that provides their nourishment, but I also couldn't stand it if my girls were hungry or not growing properly because I didn't want to supplement. FYI, I have tried fenugreek with little result, more milk plus which I actually felt decreased my supply, and I have tried eating oatmeal daily. Thank you in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,922

    Default Re: Need help with supply and twins! Scared to supplement

    Hi. So, I am not sure there even is a problem, because your babies were always a little small (although, certainly not bad at all for twins born a couple weeks 'early.') I mean, being in the 10% (or lower) is entirely normal, the issues may be if babies are dropping percentiles dramatically, or not gaining at all for a longish time, or losing weight (when not ill.) Normal growth rate slows considerably after 6 months, so it makes sense for your babies to be growing more slowly since their last checkup. This is why it is called a growth 'curve." because normal growth slows over time and that "line" looks like a curve on the chart. Other wise it would just go straight up at a slant.

    But let's say you have low milk production. There are many ways to increase milk production. There are other herbs to try besides fenugreek. Some moms decide to try a prescription galactagogue. If your babies will not nurse more often, then pumping can also help. I would suggest there is no need to be 'afraid' to pump. If baby wishes to nurse right after you pump, great! The more often milk is removed from the breasts the faster your milk production will increase. If baby is frustrated now and then, is that really the end of the world? You have two healthy 8 month olds. A 'poor' feeding where they do not get much here and there is not going to hurt them one bit!

    and I am not seeing good results when I am able to pump (2-4 oz total).
    How much are you expecting to pump? That is normal pump output for a single session. Slightly better than normal actually.

    I am disappoint and feel like a failure because I really wanted to make it to a year with them. I don't want to lose the closeness and bonding of breast feeding, I love being the one that provides their nourishment, but I also couldn't stand it if my girls were hungry or not growing properly because I didn't want to supplement.
    I think you are being way to hard on yourself! You have nursed twins for 8 months! The first 6 months exclusively! Do you know how rare that is? You are awesome!

    Also, IF and it's a very big if, you do need to supplement with formula -why would you lose the closeness? Wouldn't you still nurse?

    You mention you started solids at 6 months. How is that going? Are your babies nursing more often, less, the same as before solids? I find it can help to offer to nurse not only before but after solid 'meals.' Before so they fill up more on breastmilk than solids, (as breastmilk usually has many more calories) and after so they nurse due to being thirsty.

    I am going to suggest a book to you. I am hoping it will help you understand charting and normal eating habits and growth in children so you can make the most informed decisions. It is NOT about making kids eat more, it's about what is normal. It is called "My Child Won't Eat." It is by Carlos Gonzalez. It was originally written in Spanish and the translation was done in England, so some of the language is different than what you might be used to, but it is a very 'readable' (and pretty short) book. It is about $10 at amazon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Need help with supply and twins! Scared to supplement

    I just want to add that I think moms who nurse twins (exclusively or otherwise) are superstars!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,628

    Default Re: Need help with supply and twins! Scared to supplement

    My twins are 8 mos and yeah you're doing awesome! I had to supplement with donor milk from the start in NICU and still worry about supply. Anyway, I don't know if it sounds like you have a huge supply issue but if you do there are ways to increase or increase solids so it makes up for whatever bit they're not getting at breast.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Need help with supply and twins! Scared to supplement

    Babies being fussy in the evening is really common, I don't think it says anything about your supply whatsoever. I've always had OVERsupply and plenty of evening fussiness! Also, if they've been on track with their growth for 8 months (which indicates adequate supply), it doesn't make sense that your supply would suddenly drop, unless there is something hormonal going on (pregnancy, birth control) or that you've drastically decreased the amount you're nursing (babies sleeping a very long stretch at night, for example). Sounds like you have done a wonderful job nursing your twins for the last 8 months!

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