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Twins & Breastfeeding
Update 2/5/13

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#1 cHoCoLaTe*MuNcHkIn

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:27 PM

Hi all,

My twins are due in late April and I plan to bf them.  I bf DS for 2.5 years, never used a pump or bottles and I always had ample supply for him so hopefully I have a similar experience this time.  My question is, with the twins, should I invest in a pump & bottles?  Will I need it?

Suggestions from mothers of twins would be fantastic original.gif

Edited by cHoCoLaTe*MuNcHkIn, 02 May 2013 - 09:55 AM.

#2 domestically~challenged

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

My twins were 35 weekers so were born without a suck reflex and tube fed. Having my own pump was priceless.

#3 fibilly

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

I fed my twins for 12 months. It probably depends on the gestation of your babies - mine were 37.5 weeks so attached ok but I used a pump to build supply. I didn't buy a pump but I did rent one for about 4 months, so I probably should have!

If you get a pump, id recommend a double pump, cause the last thing you want to do after feeding newborn twins is to sit around pumping for longer than you need to. I didn't have bottles when I left hospital but I had to comp feed in the beginning so had to rush out the day we came home from hospital and buy bottles. If I were you I'd have some just in case.

Good luck with your pregnancy and birth of your twins!

#4 Threelittleducks

Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I joined my local AMBA group and hired from them a hospital grade breast pump and twin BFing pillow at a nominal cost. It was a life saver.

Our twins were born at 34+6, without a suck reflex. They were tube fed for the first 2.5 weeks and taught to suck. To do this, we used a dummy while the expressed breast milk was put through the nasal tube. This taught them that their tummies would fill up when sucking. We also placed them at the breast whenever I was there while they were tub fed. After awhile they were able to latch. We weren't able to take them home until they could both do four full breast feeds in a row and take four full bottles overnight. Hopefully you will be lucky and your babies will go close to term and only have a short hospital stay, but it's a good idea to prepare for an early arrival.

The reason the pump was so useful was that I needed to pump overnight while the twins were still in hospital to bank the milk for them. When they got home, prem babies in our experience are very sleepy. Ours had to be woken to be fed and due to the small weights of our two, we were on a strict feeding schedule. We tandem fed (I wouldn't have survived otherwise) and had to pump regularly in the early days to keep boosting my supply. Especially important if you want to avoid bottle top ups, which we still had to do.

You can demand feed twins, but it is exceptionally hard work, even more so with an older child.

It is possible to have a long BFing relationship with twins. But it's good to be realistic too. I would look into hiring a pump from your local association. If you don't end up needing it, you can return it no dramas.

Best wishes.

#5 lucky 2

Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

Hi there,

I have moved your topic to the Twins forum as I suspect you may receive more responses to your questions.
The link remains in the Breastfeeding forum.

Kind regards,

lucky 2

#6 LeggyBlonde

Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:42 PM

I second the recommendation to join the ABA for the discounts.  I hired a hospital grade pump from them for 6 weeks I think (Medele Symphony) then bought a Medela Freestyle.

I think your need to pump with twins, but that is just my experience obviously.
I both pumped and breastfed for 13 months.

They were breastfed all day long, and had EBM in a bottle overnight courtesy of a stellar DH.  He needed less sleep than me, I am grateful for that.

MY EXPERIENCE ONLY, but regular and frequent expressing in the early days (double pump essential therefore) was so beneficial to supply.  I always had a supply in the fridge and freezer, and got to sneak out for little outings in the first few months occasionally, which was lovely for me and DH.  I was certainly lucky in that I could express 200 mls or so a side, in 10 minutes.  I will admit expressing was more time efficient than breastfeeding, but I loved breastfeeding and I am certain the fact that we did so much enabled everything else to happen (ie the supply continuity and the length of the BF relationship).

Also, as we settled into the evening routine of breastfeed, bath, bed, we always topped them up after the bath with as big a bottle of EBM as they could handle and that worked a treat in extending that first big sleep block at night.  From a fairly early age, 10-12 weeks maybe, they were only demanding one feed overnight, then 6 or 7 am...

#7 cHoCoLaTe*MuNcHkIn

Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Thanks lucky2 i wasnt sure which forum would be best  original.gif

Thank for your responses ladies.  Pumping, storing etc is all new to me so your stories are helping me to get my head around the whole thing.  I'd rather be prepared and have some idea than having no clue at all.  

Getting up and feeding one baby during the night was ok and DS was regular with his feeds at 3 to 4 hour intervals but this time the EBM in a bottle concept sounds good original.gif

I'll check out the Medela website too.  That seems to be the brand that everyone recommends.

Ill also chat to a midwife at my next hospital appt too.

#8 LeggyBlonde

Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

I will also add, read and note the ABA's brochure/guidelines for expressing and storing milk.


Particularly the fact that disinfection (sterilisation) isn't necessary for full term healthy babies.

I did exactly what they suggested with my pump gear, rinsed it and put it in the fridge in a ziplock bag, washed it once a day.

Even bottles need only be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed. You can save yourself a LOT of time doing this and time saving is what twin mums need!

#9 Sally08

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

My twins had a similar gestation and start as Twolittleducks's twins and had a nasal gastric tubes for feeding. They were in hospital for 3 weeks and so I had to express to maintain supply. DH and I went in to the hospital every day with my bottles of EBM.

        I used the Medela Symphony for expressing which was the same brand that was used at the hospital. I think it is best to hire it as it is very expensive to buy. I would pump 3 hourly for between 15 to 20 min. It was suggested that to maintain and increase supply the most important expression was the one between 1 am and 5 am as that was when Prolactin (lactating hormone) was at its peak.

Edited by Sally08, 09 February 2013 - 11:03 AM.

#10 *mylittleprince*

Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:17 PM


I'm currently exclusively breastfeeding my 4 month old twins and I fed by DS till 17.5 months until he self-weaned. I've only pumped about 5 times since they were born and more for comfort and just to have some milk frozen on hand.

I wouldn't go buying a pump or bottles until you are sure you need them. Our local multiple birth association hires the pumps for really cheap!

Good luck.

#11 kabailz13

Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:07 AM

I am still feeding my almost 25mth old twins.

My advice is simply to wait and see how you go. If you need a pump, the hospital will have one that you can use and you'll be able to hire one for going home as well.

I fed my twins exclusively until they began solids at 8mths. I did express occasionally but simply used my manual avent pump that I had used for my two elder kids. I have always had a good supply so I decided not to invest in an electric pump and I'm glad I didn't.

ETA: didn't help that even when I did express, the twins refused bottles anyway!

ETA 2: mine were born at 38+2 weighing 2960g and 3535g with good sucking original.gif

Edited by kabailz13, 09 February 2013 - 02:20 PM.

#12 Becs

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:43 AM

My 2 were born at 38 weeks. The midwives had me on a double pump pretty quickly during our week long stay in hospital to encourage supply.

I fed the girls till 9 months (twin 1) and 12 months (twin 2). I did use a pump for the 1st few months. I just used an avent hand pump to increase my supply. I never had to comp feed with formula etc.

I  kept EBM in the freezer BUT my two would NOT take bottles for a VERY long time. So for me the pump was more for supply than storing milk.

I had imagined that I would be able to express then hand off one baby for a bottle but this just didn't eventuate. The girls didn't take a bottle till around 9 months and then when twin 1 did take the bottle she weaned herself within the week and wouldn't take breast after that.

I tandem fed till around 4 to 5 months until the girls were a little big and mobile for me to handle together. In the early days they used to take forever to feed. Very sleepy feeders. By 6 months they were done in 10 minutes. I just alternated boobs and babies each feed as one fed more.

So long ago now!

Good luck with your twins.

#13 dragonchild

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:19 PM

I fed my twins until they were about 3 1/2 years old; we started out in hospital needing top-ups to keep their blood sugar levels stable but it was always direct feeding choice one, then EBM as choice two and then offering formula. They had their last formula on day 8 I think, and their last EBM about day 12. I did keep pumping but a few weeks later when I tried some EBM in a bottle they refused it so I shrugged and kept breastfeeding - I was just too busy/lazy to bother with anything else since the BF was working. They would have happily stayed attached semi-permanently and I did draw the line at that but I did let them comfort suck quite a bit to help my supply stay good. For reference, they are about to turn 4; they are my first and thus far only children. If I hadn't insisted, I'm sure one at least would still be nursing. She still tells me most days how much she loved it. Tounge1.gif

#14 Clorox_Girl

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:47 AM

A pump was the best thing to build supply and keep it going, I found. I BFed DS1 until 11 months, and DS2 only recently weaned at about 22 months. I used a Medela Symphony which I rented from the hospital (Miracle Babeis foundation) for about three months, then I bought a Medela Swing. The Swing wasn't anywhere near as good as the Symphony, but it did the job adequately.

#15 regandrog

Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:54 AM

I was in a similar situation to you in that I had BF my first singleton DD, without ever pumping or storing any breast milk. I used to feed her everywhere, shopping centres, cafes etc.

In hospital the paediatritian recommended comp feeding with formula for energy (sugar) each feed as they were 36 wkers.

I didn't like having to BF and then Bottle every feed, so after they got to 40 wks equivalent, I went to BF demand fed only, but despite constant feeding I never really got my supply up enough to have contented babies. They would be grouchy all afternoon and evening despite constant BF.

I replaced one feed a day with formula. WHich worked well for all of us.  I usually did the formula feed around lunch, they slept well for the afternoon and it also made it easier for me to go out during the day and take bottles rather than have to set up somewhere for twin BF.  It also allowed me to go out without them occasionally.

ETA - and big sister DD could help feed them too, which she loved.

WHen they got older, started solids etc the formula feed went to evening before bed.  

After we were through the newborn phase, it was much better and easier to BF in the middle of the night, I could do it without getting fully awake and it was usually only one baby at a time at that stage as I didn't wake them both, just fed whoever cried.

Edited by regandrog, 20 February 2013 - 07:57 AM.

#16 tranquilla

Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:52 PM

A double pump made the difference between building supply and formula feeds here. Earlyish babies can be sleepy (and twins are often physically smaller ... Which in our case affected latch etc). Joining the ABA is worthwhile as they can drop off a rental pump at short notice.. A couple of bottles for ebm won't go astray either. The slowest flow teats will help ensure they don't expect a faster flow than your breasts provide too.

#17 cHoCoLaTe*MuNcHkIn

Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

Hi all :-)

Just an update...the girls were born prem at 34 wks. They spent 17 days in NICU. They had quite a bit of tube feeding though towards the end I pretty much camped in NICU to get as mush breastfeeding as possible so we could go home.

The girls are 4 weeks old so not even full term yet. I'm breastfeeding 24/7 and early on I was topping up with ebm...habit from hospital.  I ended up borrowing a friend's double electric pump and was also given a manual pump. Now I think I need ti start expressing slowly to build a bank of ebm for when im out or just to make life easy occasionally :-)

#18 Mariamsmum

Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:49 PM

Congratulations on the safe arrival of your twin girls!
You are doing a wonderful job in establishing breastfeeding. My boys were born at 36 weeks exactly, spent 10 days in SCN and we went home breastfeeding. I also did a lot of expressing and would have to top up my little one with a bottle of EBM or formula if I could not express enough.
Feel free to ask any questions or join in on the newborn chat thread original.gif

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