Monday, December 17, 2007

breastfeeding the twins

Catching up today on a lot of posts, sorry I've been away for a while.

An update on the breastfeeding - it's going pretty good now. I feel like I've finally found a really nice balance. I stopped guilting myself into thinking I should be breastfeeding every feeding, and I've stopped resenting my pump. We have a nice balance now between breastfeeding vs. pumping + bottles. My babies are getting only breast milk, and I feel really proud of that. I have an excellent milk supply.

In a typical day, I pump twice - once when I get up in the morning and once before I go to bed at night. The babies always get at least one bottle in the morning while I sleep a little. Jim takes them both for the morning feeding so I can get a little sleep. By the time I wake up I'm very full, and usually pump 12 - 16 ounces, sometimes more (19 is my record!). And in the evening before bed time (or before we think they're ready to go down for the night) they also get a bottle. This lets Jim share in the feeding, and gives me a bit of a break. If we're home I breast feed all the day time feedings, and when they wake up in the night. Sometimes I tandem feed if they are both hungry at the same time, and sometimes it's individual feedings. If we are going out for the evening I will pump before we go and we'll take bottles with us.

Usually when we are out they get bottles. I don't generally feel the need to breast feed in public. I'm not opposed to it, but sometimes a bottle is easier. But I have nursed them in the parking lot at Costco and the mall a few times - when they were hungry and I was full.

We've got a nice balance where they get about 50% bottles and 50% breast. I feel like this works really well for our lives, we have a lot of flexibility.


Jaimie said...

It is interesting to me the issues that go along with BF. Jake won't take a bottle from me. I suppose if he got hungry enough he would eventually, but at best I have been able to get 1 ounce in him and then he wants to nurse. If I am home and someone else gives him a bottle he will eat 3 or so ounces but then wants to nurse fifteen minutes later. We are struggling right now because I really enjoy nursing him. I love that time with him, but he has started biting, badly.

I have been having trouble pumping at work (I'm there nine hours and I get to pump once and a couple of times not at all!). The great thing is I can use the hospital pump and they have a room that was built just for pumping. I keep getting plugged ducts and then experience a decrease in milk production for about a week. The first week I was back to work I was able to pump twice a day most days. But the very first time I went on my first day back I got 21oz! I was in PAIN before that!

Stephanie said...

Glad you have been able to figure the whole BF thing out. It is one of the things I worry about after baby comes. Hopefully I will be one of the lucky ones. :)

Karen said...

I'm just catching up with your posts and I'm so jealous of all the posting you've managed to do. I just can't seem to find the time between feedings anymore. Le Sigh.

I'm also incredibly jealous of your milk supply! I definitely am able to feed all three of my babies with only my milk, but I get nowhere near what you get when pumping. I get 4-6 ounces each time I pump (I pump 5-6 times per day and end up with about 25-27 ounces each day...sometimes less). Abby takes all of her feedings by bottle (though I offer her the breast first, she's never gotten the hang of latching, and when she does latch, it's not for long enough to get a reasonable feed), but Ellie and Sam get 95% of their feedings directly from the breast. If they were getting more bottles, I would worry that it would cut into Abby's supply, since the only way she can get my milk is from my pumped milk in a bottle. I'm especially worried because I'm going back to work in 4 1/2 weeks and I fear that I won't be able to pump enough to keep them all on 100% breast milk. I'll obviously cross that bridge when I come to it, though. I've got 96 ounces in the freezer as of last night, but considering that if I gave them all of their feedings by bottle, they'd eat about 75 ounces in a day, that's not nearly enough leeway to make me feel comfortable. Hopefully I'll be able to increase that stash in the next month.

I think you're doing a great job, and I wouldn't worry at all about your balance between breast and bottle... you sound like you're doing great, and as long as both babies are WILLING to go between breast and bottle, there's no real problem there. The problem is when you've got a baby that won't go back from the bottle (like Abby...though it was unavoidable with her... she was less than three pounds when she was born and her mouth was so tiny it couldn't fit around my nipple!)