Thursday, August 18, 2011

breastfeeding update

So, I figure that as my girls grow and they start eating more, I'll continue to update on how the breastfeeding is going; since it has changed so much already- it's bound to keep changing.

As of right now, things are going really well. (knock on wood.) When I first started breastfeeding they were still really little, and since they were premature, the pediatrician didn't want them to breastfeed for longer than 10 minutes at a time, since it was so much work for them. Basically, it was so hard for them that they'd be burning all the calories they ate if they breastfed longer; so it would be counter productive.

So, in those first few weeks, they breastfed for no more than 10 minutes, and then we'd give them a bottle of either pumped breast milk, or formula (if we were out of pumped breast milk). I HATED giving them formula. I know that there's nothing wrong with it- because the first rule is feed your babies- but there's such PRESSURE out there to only feed babies breast milk.

I pumped after every feeding. It sucked and was exhausting and painful, but I was trying to do everything I could to increase my milk supply. Usually I pumped just enough to give them their bottles for the next feeding. However, if they ever wanted more, that was when we had to supplement with formula.

I started reading everything I could online about increasing milk production. I bought a book on increasing milk supply and a book about breastfeeding twins. I started taking Fenugreek (an herbal supplement that is supposed to increase milk supply) and eating oatmeal almost every day (which is also, strangely, supposed to increase your supply). I tried to eat plenty and drink a lot of water.

Fast forward to today. The girls are 9 weeks, 1 day old. It has now been over a week since they have had any formula. I have a stockpile of about 10 ounces in the fridge. It seems as though I'm finally keeping up with them, and have a little extra to boot! I still pump after ALMOST every feeding (I occasionally give myself a break when it's 2am and I'm just TIRED), still take Fenugreek, still eat a big 'ol bowl of oatmeal almost every day. Who knows which things are helping? It also could be that the girls just breastfeed a lot more now that they're bigger. Or, it could be a little bit of each thing.

I'm just hoping my body continues to keep up with them. Since we're moving, I can't really keep a stockpile of milk in the freezer, because it won't obviously stay frozen on the airplane. I think we might use up a lot of the stockpile though (wow. I'm saying "stockpile" a lot) next week, as I'm going in to work for two half days to train my replacement. I plan on bringing my pump so that I can pump a few times while I'm there, and Ian is going to stay home with them. I'm hoping that even if we use up all the extra, we'll still be able to avoid formula; but who knows.

At this point, I'm pretty proud of the progress (whoa. alliteration alert.) I've made. I'm hoping my body can keep up with the growing girls, but if I still have to occasionally supplement with formula from time to time, that's ok. Right now though, breastfeeding them is pretty much my number one priority ( it seems I have about fourteen days until I'm moving, I probably should start focusing on that a little more...).

Did anyone else out there breastfeed twins and have some tips for me? Or anyone at all have particular success about increasing and maintaining your supply? Any tips welcome! I'll keep updating on how it's going as time goes on.

For now, it's time for another feeding!


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1 comment:

  1. It sounds like your supply is great but my best trick for that (which I wish I had discovered earlier!!) is malt flavor Ovaltine. That combined with homemade steel-cut oatmeal gave me a HUGE supply boost.

    It's so so tough to have a new baby, I can't imagine 2. It makes it kind of necessary to focus just on the baby/ies so I can see how hard packing and moving might be. Hope everything can settle down and start looking up for you soon, good luck!!