When I found out that I was having twins the thought of breastfeeding terrified me. I knew how exhausting it would be, but I did not understand, until it was over, just how rewarding it would be! I spent hours and HOURS watching YouTube videos, and reading articles about tandem feeding, increasing your supply, etc. I spent most of my time researching various questions that I had, but I was never able to find one source to answer all of my questions, so that is why I am creating this blog post for you!!!
I reached out to my community on Instagram to ask me any specific breastfeeding questions that they had, so I will be answering those throughout this post, with help from my sweet friend @mama.bird.lactaion.servies, as well as sharing a little bit of my own breastfeeding experience!
One of my most frequently asked questions is how often I had to pump, so the first section will be all about
On the day of the babies birth I started pumping. For the first 4 days I pumped 30 minutes after every nursing session. When we were sent home from the hospital, and for the first 3 months I continued to pump 30 minutes after every feeding. I wanted to trick my body into producing more milk than the babies were drinking! (supply & demand) The first 3 months is the most important time to increase your supply before it is established around 12 weeks. The continuous pumping helped me to create a large milk supply, so we could have extra milk in the freezer!
Around 8 weeks when the babies were sleeping through the night I started pumping before I went to sleep, and then right away after their first morning feed. My breasts were so full those first few times they slept through the night that I would pump a little bit off before feeding them!
After the 3 months of continuous pumping after each feeding I went to pumping only before I went to sleep, and then after their first feeding in the morning.
LACTATION COOKIE RECIPE & other foods proven to help your supply :
This recipe is from @lynzyandco and they were so easy to make! I made lots of extras to freeze for later!
Other foods proven to help your milk supply:
- Lean Meats
- Blue Gatorade
Around 6 months I noticed the first big drop in my supply. Luckily at this point I was able to navigate what was causing the decrease and for me it was my calorie intake. Besides continuing to drink LOTS of water, eating oats, and lactation cookies the one thing that made the biggest difference for my milk supply was power pumping, and it doesn’t require the use of medications, or supplements.
Here is a diagram to understand how to power pump:
DEALING WITH MASTITIS
If you find yourself with mastitis, make sure you see your MD or midwife to see if medications are necessary. I would recommend seeing an IBCLC to see why you developed it. Are there possible latch issues? Are the babies not draining the breast fully? Do we need to come up with a new pumping schedule? An IBCLC will get a full history on you and the babies to see what might be going on.
The biggest tip is to not stop nursing or pumping. It is safe to continue to nurse and give the babies the milk. If you stop, it will not resolve and could cause things to get worse. Use a lot of breast massage while nursing or pumping. Heat, massage, and the warm shower will help with the pain.
Remember if you need antibiotics, always add a probiotic. Antibiotics can put you and the babies at risk for thrush.
Tandem feeding and posture can be tricky. Making sure you are comfortable before latching your babies. Grab your remote, phone, water, and snacks. Keep them close by, eventually you will be able to do extra things on top of feed two babies at the same time! I promise. Have your nursing pillow, or several pillows around you. Put your feet up, ask for help until you can get them latched alone. When you get the babies latched, watch how you are holding your shoulders. Are they tense? Take a deep breath and let the tension out of them. Bring the babies to the breast and not breast to baby or you will find yourself hunched over with a sore neck and back.
BENEFITS OF TANDEM FEEDING VS. ONE AT A TIME
The benefits of tandem feeding vs one at a time is time! I recommend latching “the more difficult to latch” baby first, and then the other. That way you have both hands to comfortably position baby. If you decide to feed one baby at a time, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Especially if the babies feed for long periods or during times when they cluster feed. If twin mamas can figure out tandem feeding, it will make life just a little simpler!!!!
Harlow & Myles tandem fed until 9 months old. Harlow weaned herself, and took a bottle so I continued to nurse Myles, and exclusively pump until 12 months for Harlow.
TIPS FOR NURSING AN OLDER BABY (how to avoid distractions) :
- Wear a nursing necklace they can play with
- Nurse in a quiet, dark area (use a noise machine)
- Feed baby in a baby carrier to help them with distractions and keeping them contained
The ONLY bottles we could get our babies to take! Comotomo
- Twin-Z Feeding Pillow– Not only is The Twin Z used for tandem ways, but it can be used in multiple ways! I used this to feed the twins a bottle at the same time, and learning how to sit up. Once they learned how to sit up we used this during snack/playtime for extra support!
- Boppy Nursing Pillow – The well known and most popular nursing pillow. It is the perfect size to take with you too!
- Nipple Cream – I tried so many different nipple creams, and this one was BY FAR my favorite. Of course, it is the most expensive, but one jar lasted me throughout my entire year of breast-feeding. What I like the most about it is that it is food based, so the baby will enjoy it more, and the anti-microbial properties found in the cream can soothe baby acne.
- Breast Pump – SO MANY HOURS of pumping went on this machine through one year of breastfeeding. I bought a back up battery just in case it wouldn’t pull through, but it definitely proved me wrong, and was still going strong at the very end!
- Haakaa – I never tried this when I was nursing, but I have been hearing so much about the new and improved design! This is a breast pump making it easy for on the go because it doesn’t have wires, or batteries. It can also be used for the breast you are not feeding on to catch a let down. I will definitely be trying this next time!
- Breastmilk Collector – This is a breastmilk collector with a similar idea to the Haakaa, but this is specifically only for catching extra milk from the breast that you are not feeding on. *This is not a breast pump*
- Silverette – No more cabbage on your boobies, these are amazing!
- Bamboobies – I went through so many disposable breast pads, and got sick of all of the waste! I found Bamboobies, and they were amazing, and very absorbent!
- Nursing Bra – This was my #1 pick out of all of the nursing bras I have worn. It is perfect for during the day, and nighttime. It was the softest one, and SO comfortable!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our breastfeeding blog post! ❤️ We look forward to hearing from you! A special thank you to (@mama.bird.lactaion.serivices) for answering a few questions! xoxo