Nursing success stories!

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by aimee316cat, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. aimee316cat

    aimee316cat Well-Known Member

    Breastfeeding can be a very difficult, trying but wonderful experience. Nursing twins, moreso. Nursing NICU babies even more! There are benefits to nursing that for some, far outweigh any of the struggles that may occur in the beginning. And for those that are successful, whether that be for their planned 6 weeks, 6 months a year or even more(!), their stories are a true testament to determination and an incredible inspiration to us all. Below are nursing success stories from mom's who've been through it all. Select a name, a super-brief synopsis is included if you think your story mirrors theirs or your situation is like it. No matter what, you will be inspired!

    aimee316cat
    - had nursed before, born at 35w2d, via c-section, 19 days in the NICU, majory surgery for one twin at 25 days old, back to work at 10 weeks, pumped and nursed for 12 months, mother-led weaning at 14+ months
    Ellen Barr
    - first babies, born at 37w4d, no NICU time, began nursing 48 hours later, used nipple shields, exclusively nursed until self-weaned at 11 months
    rosebury
    - had nursed before, born at 30 weeks, via emergency c-section, 7 weeks in the NICU, began nursing 6 weeks after birth, used nipple shields, going strong at 16+ months
    debid
    - first pregnancy, born at 39 weeks via c-section, demand fed from the start, fought off uneducated nurses.
    mxmomof4
    - had nursed before, born at 35w via c-section, 8 days later for daughter to start nursing, nursed separately.
    AMDJ-4
    - first babies, born at 37 weeks via c-section, one baby with cleft lip, EZ2 Nurse pillow user weaned at 13 months
    twolittlegirls
    - first babies, born 32w5 days due to PROM, 17 days in the NICU, pumped for first 2 months and supplemented with EBM, "Got it!" at the 40 week gestation mark.
    CCJN
    - born at 29 weeks, pumped for 8 weeks in NICU, endless supply, nursed separately, self weaned at 2 and 2.5 years old respectively!
    Sharon with J & N
    - born at 33 weeks, in NICU 3 weeks, tube-fed first 6 days, pumped and dumped due to antibiotics, giant nursing pillow was life saver, nursed over 7 months
    mrw472
    - nursed before, born at 33w2d one vaginal and one c-section, began nusring on day 3 in hospital, 4 weeks of NICU time, nurses separately, 9+ months and going strong!
    mehera
    - first babies, born at 35w vaginally, fought uneducated nurses AND Pediatricians!, got into a nurse/supplement "rut", nursing marathon worked wonders!
    ljcrochet
    - first babies, born 33w6 days, pumped in the hospital, returned the pump when babies were 3 months old, weaned at 15 months!
    chanimal
    - born at 32w with TTTS, waited 2 weeks to nurse!, pumped, "Got it!" at 3 months old, mother lead weaning at 14 months.
    allgood2000
    - nursed before, born 35w via c-section, tandemed all the time after 4 months, self-weaned at 11 months
    Alisha-CO
    - nursed before, babies born 8.5 weeks early via c-section, had to stop nursing one baby due to problems, continued nursing the other to 15 months
    1+2mom
    - nursed before, NICU babies for 41 and 46 days respectively, pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped, no more bottles at 3.5 months old!, 18 months and still going strong.
    nursemom
    - nursed before, born at 36w6d, 2 days in NICU for one baby, jaundice problems, sleeping 12 hour straight at 7 months, still going strong at 15+ months!
    Chrissy Nelson
    - born at 34w, 10 days in NICU, exclusively nursed one to 2.5 years!
    cellomom
    - nursed before, born at 37w4d, but mom had complications; began nursing when babies were ~12 weeks old! Weaned at 6½ months.
    Cowboys
    - First children, born 34w2d. 10 days in NICU. Major supply issues first three weeks. Required extra pumping and supplementation with formula/expressed breast milk. By 3 weeks, nursing exclusively. Still nursing at 19 months.
    MeldieB
    - born at 36w due to severe preeclampsia, began pumping 48 hrs after delivery, her Mom was inspirational support!, four rounds of thrush , has surprised the hospital, nurses and Pediatrician with her success!
    KristineM+Twins
    - nursed before, one to NICU, one to room in, fought to nurse DS, got into a supplementation cycle and "broke" the habit, still going strong at 8+ months!
    twinletsmom
    - born 33w5d, nursed before, finger fed ABM, major nursing marathon at 6 MONTHS(!) and THEN nursed to 2 years!
    KimC
    - born 37w5d, weaned at 13/14 months, LOVED her EZ2 nurse pillow!
    JicJac
    - born 37w5d, first time mom, 7#7 & 7#11, C-section. One inefficient nurser. Still nursing strong... weaned at 25½ months while pregnant with set number 2!
    tulip1981
    - 34 weeks, 5 weeks in the NICU, no encouragement from hospital staff, exclusively nursing at 12 weeks! Going strong!
    Starr Danielle
    -born 36w5d, 2nd & 3rd breastfed children, used regular pillows, Weaned at over 2½ years!!
    flannelphilly
    -previously had breastfed, knowledge is key, weaned at 14 months.
    Silvarra
    -born at 39w6d, had breastfed before, over 7lbs each, skeptical LC, issues at work.
    mnj
    -born at 38w1d, nursed 6 months, multi-tasker.
    p31heather
    -born 38w3d, first children, implemented a 3 hr schedule and tada!, mastitis, never planned to nurse longer than 6 months, posted at 1 year!
    melissao
    -born 34w2d, c-section. pumped every 2 hours while they were in NICU. 3 months of pumping & giving EBM then nursed exclusively. Used LC from hospital. Tandem fed & nursed until twins were 1 year.
    twinsagainx4
    -did not BF first set of twins due to latching issues & no desire, new dh insisted she nurse second set. Jumped in envisioning issues, but babies were agreeable. Still nursing at 3 months! Very Pro-breastfeeding mom now!
    Amanda Jane
    -born 36w,5d via c-section, used EZ2Nurse pillow and tandem fed, never pumped, had latching issues and mastitis 9 times! Not much support from family made for a lot of determination & success.
    LeslieT
    -took breastfeeding class, some sore nipples, latched well from get-go. Very successful - "You can do it!"
    Her Royal Jennyness
    -born 36weeks, vaginal & emergency c-section, uses EZ2Nurse pillow. Has FF (due to poor advice from LC) & breastfed before.
    naomi02
    -born 38w,3d, 1st children, did not want to latch, used nursing system, nipple shields gone by 3½ months! Help from LC & lots of support. Still nursing strong!
    excitedk
    -born 37w,5d after difficult labor, educated about nursing twins before their birth, used/s nipple shields and tandem nurses. 10 weeks and going strong.
    ali k
    -born 37w,5d. Great help after issues from ped. & LC. Pumped & fed EBM. Used nursing marathon to get them to nurse exclusively. Had thrush. 10 weeks now of breastfeeding exclusively & going strong!
    greymom
    -born 36w via c-section. Battled reflux at 1 month. Returned to work full time at 8 months and pumped for 4 months. 16 months old and still nursing!
    Tiffany S
    -fought thrush with all four kids & had tongue-tied issues. Breastfeeding has helped through tough times.
    Emerald
    -breastfed twins & singleton for 7 months & then pumped 2-3 months after that. Told by ped. that feeding on demand was impossible. Proved him wrong dispite lack of support from dh's family.
    kcprochazka
    -born 29w4d, fed 100% breastmilk in NICU, started nursing at 4 weeks old, dealt with Group B Strep Meningitis, mastitis & clogged ducts. Weaned at 13 months!
    bridget nanette
    -born 38w3d, goal of 1 year, dd fingerfed initially, ds strong nurser, dealt with nursing strikes & no support, dd weaned at 12 months, ds weaned at 15 months. Inspiration to her workplace!
    txtwinmom2b
    -born 34w2d, lost weight in hospital, no support from pediatrician, pumped and added fortifier (in hosp), help from LC with lots of skin to skin contact, at 3 months both were nursing strong. Still nursing...
     
  2. aimee316cat

    aimee316cat Well-Known Member

    Now, of course, all this is coming from memory... which given the very nature of the first 6 weeks of twin-mommy-hood ... is a bit foggy. [​IMG]

    My girls were born at 35w2d gestation and were just not ready. They spent 19 days in the NICU (Special Care Nursery really) and during those days, I barely had enough milk to feed one baby, let alone two.

    The first day I didn't even attempt to nurse... just pumped maybe 2-3 times. On the 2nd day I didn't try to nurse, but again, pumped, but not got onto a cycle of every 3 hours. I used my trusty Medela PIS as I tried the hospital grade pump and it sucked! [​IMG]

    On day three, I got to try with the girls and it was rough! They didn't want to latch. They were sleepy and it seemed I had no milk yet! I wasn't discouraged by the staff in the NICU though. They said we'd just try again and we did. Every 3 hours, except at night, I'd try again.

    I came to call it "practice nursing" and I was my attitude of "practice" that kept me sane. On day 4, my OB suggested we try Fenugreek because my milk still wasn't coming in... or it was but just in drips and drabs.

    By day 5, no more milk, but I was still pumping (maybe 10ccs total) and practice nursing. By now, both girls were bottle feeding at least 5ccs per feeding. It seemed like a losing battle. By around day 10, Emily was getting at least one feeding, straight from me a day. From a bottle she was maxing out at around 1 ounce of a combo of formula and whatever breastmilk I could get out. Abby still hadn't succeeded. She would take 20 minutes just to latch and my "practice" time would be over. [​IMG]

    By this time too, my OB put me on Reglan because my milk *still* wasn't really *in*. It was there now, just not in the quantities it was expected to be.

    Fast forward... day 19 and rooming in and taking my girls home. The Reglan has worked! My milk went from the 10-20cc total per pumping session to over 1ounce and sometimes more! I was pumping after every nursing session and had been practicing with both girls (both of whom could now latch effectively). Emi was becoming a great nurser, but Abby was still incredibly slow and slow to latch.

    I tandem fed for the first time while rooming in. My LC was amazed and surprised because I did it with DH's help and not hers.

    Five (ish) days after we got out of the NICU, Abby had to go back due to Pyloric Stenosis. It had originally been thought to be reflux, but turned out not to be. Everything she was eating, was coming back up. [​IMG] She had surgery at just under 4 weeks old. During this time, I continued to pump after every feeding and nursed Emily exclusively. Abby was on IVs for a few days.

    Got Abby out of the hospital and she was a new baby! She began to nurse really well! However, the nighttime was the biggest struggle ever! I wasn't getting any sleep... seemed to be doing nothing but nursing; was exhausted, stressed, frustrated, didn't know why they couldn't sleep longer. ugh! Of course throughout this process, who is my saving grace? My DH and TS of course!! [​IMG]

    So I began to skip the nighttime pumping and nurse in a side-lying position, with baby in bed and only one at a time. DH would bring me a baby and then swap them when the other woke. What a miracle!

    I continued to feed individually and worked toward tandem feeding -- I was heading back to work at 10 weeks, so I knew I need good supply established. Once we'd gotten Abby out of the hospital (for the 2nd time) I continued to pump after each feeding and finished out the course of Reglan. At 6 weeks though, I stopped the pumping -- my supplly was finally meeting their demands and they were finally becoming more efficient nursers.

    So, no more supplementation was needed, they were gettin' all the good stuff straight from the source! [​IMG]

    Now, of course, that backfired just a bit. At 10 weeks, when I went back, Abby refused the bottle. [​IMG] Emi was a bit better at it than Abby, but not by much. DH is a SAHD, so he struggled with getting them to use the bottle again (neither would take a paci -- ever -- so that didn't help). In any case, he managed to get them to use the bottle again and I pumped 3x a day at work.

    My 3x pumping was repeated for the rest of the entire 1st year! [​IMG] Even through a job change, I made it a part of the deal that I'd get a private office and not be disturbed a few times a day until the first year was up. They agreed wholeheartedly!

    The girls nursed when I was home and at night. They did not sleep through the night until they were 10 months old -- and only then for 4-5 hours stretches. So, through all this, I continued to nurse them exclusively at night.

    We went through the 4 month "ooh... life is neat" distraction phase. We went through the 6 month "Ooh... food is good, feed me more of this stuff" phase. We went through the 10 month "ooh... give me more breastmilk only" stage. Through each one, my experience only got better and the support from TS even more important to me.

    At 14 months... 14 wonderful months of nursing my girls, they had weaned down to 2 nighttime feeds which were nothing more than "comfort me because I woke up" feeds and I weaned them. [​IMG] It was sad, but so invigorating to know that I had nursed all three of my kids... my DS for 18 months and the girls for 14 months and that without TS I never would have made it with the girls.

    It's tough in the beginning, but the long term rewards and personal satisfaction are amazing.
     
  3. Ellen Barr

    Ellen Barr Well-Known Member

    I wasn't determined to breastfeed my boys, but I was determined to at least try. I wasn't sure if I could do it, and sought out as much help as I could find those first few weeks (books, lactation consultants, friends -- alas, I didn't discover Twinstuff for 8 months). Looking back, those first few weeks were very, very hard. I was exhausted from the birth, lack of sleep, and the tsunami of hormones raging through me. But, I kept at it, and nursing my boys just got easier and easier and easier.

    I had my boys at 37 weeks 4 days, and they had no NICU time. But, because I lost so much blood during the delivery, and had to go back in to the OR for a D&C, I wasn't able to begin nursing for nearly 48 hours after they were born. While I was unconcious, the nurses and my husband gave the boys formula (fine with me). When I woke up a lactation consultant helped me get the babies latched on and showed us how to "finger feed" them to encourage/teach them to latch, as well as rented me a pump and showed me how to use it. We finger-fed them once we were home, but the boys just didn't ever latch well consistently. After a day or two we went back to the hospital to see the lactation consultant. She gave us nipple shields and also weighed the babies before and after nursing to ease my mind that they were indeed getting plenty to eat (I was sure they were getting nothing).

    The nipple shields were a miracle! The boys latched right on to them and I never pumped again (except when I had mastitis a couple times). After a week or two, I took the nipple shields off mid-nurse and my boys didn't bat an eye. They latched right on without the shield and we never used them again.

    My husband was an invaluable help and support with nursing. At first he helped me position the boys for tandem feeds. Then he'd take the first one finished and burp and change him. This included the night-time feedings [​IMG] I imagine I could have done it without his help, but it would have been very hard!

    My boys nursed exclusively for 11 months. They were walking by then and self-weaned because they just couldn't be bothered to lie still for any amount of time. I had hoped to nurse longer, but on the other hand, I was glad it was their decision to end the nursing [​IMG]
     
  4. rosebury

    rosebury Well-Known Member

    From the day I discovered I was having twins I thought my hopes of breastfeeding again were over until I discovered that people actually 'could' breastfeed twins. Once I knew it was possible I was determined to do so and started informing myself through reading and research.
    All my plans were shattered when my water broke at 28 weeks and the girls were born at 30 weeks. I was forced into the world of the NICU and pumping that I had NO experience with at all.
    After my emergency c-section I didn't stop bugging the nurse about getting a pump for me. She brought me one 12 hours after they were born. I was glad she waited as it took about that long for the epi-morph to leave my system. Before this I was very dizzy and sick.
    I got 40 cc's total after my very first pump session which the nurse said was really good and I was encouraged. I used the hospital double electric Medela pump. However, the next couple days I got almost no milk (very little anyway). Thankfully the girls didn't eat anything the first couple days and then took very little by gavage when they started so I had time to catch up my supply.
    My twins stayed in the NICU for 7 weeks. When I was discharged I rented the Medela double electric hospital grade pump that I had used in the hospital from a medical supply company. I pumped every 2 hours at first until an NICU nurse told me to cut down to every 3 hours in the day and skip one session at night as I had a HUGE stash of milk. It was stressful and crazy recovering and going back and forth to the hospital to see the babies, pumping and taking care of my other 3 kids, DH and home.
    Giving my girls my milk was a big deal as they could not tolerate formula or fortifiers as it would cause them reflux or their stomach just would not digest it. I know it was a huge part in their growth, health and well being.
    When the twins were 36 weeks we started seriously trying to get them to breastfeed. They just couldn't latch properly. When they seemed to finally latch well they weren't getting out any milk just sucking. Or they would get some but be on/off every couple seconds which was frustating for both of us. In that last week of the NICU the nurses started giving them some bottles of EBM at some of their feed times to get them used to taking milk via mouth so they could get discharged.
    It was only 2 days before discharge and I was terrified to take the girls home breastfeeding as I knew they weren't doing well and it was going to be very, very stressful for me. I begged them to let me take home a scale for reassurence but they said I'd be okay. Anyway, it was this time that a LC came to see me and introduced me to Nipple Shields. I had never seen them before. They were the Medela Contact Silicone Nipple Shields and I couldn't believe how well they worked. It's like the baby is drinking a bottle, but it's 'you' underneath the nipple instead of a bottle. After the before/after weigh ins with the shields everyone was shocked. The girls were supposed to be getting 45 ccs every 4 hours. With bottles they did amazing and took up to 75 cc's and with the shields they took 120 cc's!! The LC even told me to time them and never let them go over 15 minutes as they were such little gluttons. This gave me the confidence to go home and exclusivly breastfeed (with the shields) and not worry if they were getting enough milk.
    I returned the pump the day we came home. Luckily in my months of pumping though I had already experienced all the nasty early breast issues such as vasospasms, blanching and clogged duct (ouch) so it was smooth sailing in that department. I did need my Lanolin cream for sore nipples occasionally early on, but otherwise things were fine.
    I used my wonderful EZ Nurse pillow with the double football hold for the first 9 months to save time and sanity. I needed the shields for several months and then weaned from them which was nice.
    Every doctor visit was positive. The girls have always been over the 75th percentile and are now over the 75th percentile for their 'normal' age, not even adjusted!! I blame my milk! They've come a long way from their lowest weight of less than 3 pounds.
    I did need to eat a ton as I kept losing weight nursing the twins especially after the 6 month mark. It is very demanding on the body.
    My girls are now 16 months and still nursing strong and have never had a bottle or supplement to date. Nursing them has been such a blessing and I would do it all over again. It is so good for them and so easy (compared with buying/preparing bottles, transporting supplies, etc.)
    Good luck to you,
    Stacey
     
  5. debid

    debid Well-Known Member

    The twins are my first pregnancy so I had no experience with breastfeeding but I knew it was what I wanted and that I would do whatever it took to make it happen. I had no fear or doubts about my ability to succeed. I read a book on the subject and a friend who was comfortable with such things allowed me to watch her feed her baby.

    I was one of the lucky ones. I held onto my babies until the doctor pushed for induction at 39 weeks. The boys were born loud and lively at 9AM by c-section.

    They brought Trevor as soon as I was wheeled into my recovery room and the nurse asked if I was breastfeeding. I said that I was and she lifted my gown, put the baby to my breast and said, "Let's see how he does." To my surprise, he latched right on and started suckling. About 10 minutes later, they brought Trent in and we repeated the process on the other side. He knew what to do as well. The lactation consultant showed up for her first visit and praised our efforts.

    The next 48 hours were spent "practice nursing" every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. I told the nurses that I did not want the babies supplemented or given pacifiers and had them put it in writing on the bassinette. I kept the babies with me during the day but let the nursery staff take them at night. The lactation consultant checked on me daily and made sure I understood that I could call if I needed help.

    I then encountered my first challenge -- a nurse who wanted to supplement the babies with formula because my milk had not come in yet and they seemed "too awake" to her. With my DH's assistance, we refused. I demand fed frequently, sometimes every hour, throughout day 3. My milk came in that evening and we settled into a pattern of demand feeding approximately every 2 hours during the day and at night I gave instruction that I wanted the babies brought to me whenever they fussed or every 2.5 hours, whichever came sooner. They complied with my request.

    I had the typical soreness and used Lansinoh lanolin the first 3 weeks. I never encountered any of the really bad stuff people tell stories about -- no bleeding or cracking, no infections, no crazy engorgement. I clenched my jaw a bit during latching knowing the pain was brief and concentrated on making sure the babies were on far enough and that their jaws moved like the lactation consultant said they should.

    Update:
    We're nearing 11 months now. We had a few weeks where the boys were easily distracted during nursings and they spaced their feedings out more. If I didn't have so many BTDT moms to lean on, I might have confused this behavior with the beginnings of weaning. I'm happy to report that they are past that phase and back to loving their nursing sessions. No signs of weaning here!
     
  6. mxmomof4

    mxmomof4 Well-Known Member

    My twins were my third pregnancy. I nursed my first child for 12 months and my second for 8 months. I was determined to nurse the twins, but was realistic enought to know that it would be difficult. My twins were born at 35 weeks via c-section. My son was healthy and roomed-in with me, while my daughter inhaled fluid during the delivery, and had to go to the NICU. I was able to nurse my son within 4 hours, but my daughter was put on a ventilator, so she was being fed by tube. I pumped using the hospital's equipment and took bottles of colostrum (and later milk) to the NICU to be stored for my daugher. As soon as she came off the vent, they began bottle feeding her my milk. They would not let me nurse her until they were satified in measuring her intake. She was 8 days old the first time she nursed. The pumping made me fairly sore, but that got better as time progressed.

    My son had trouble latching on, so I found it difficult to nurse both babies at once. I also found myself feeling too "exposed" when nursing them both at once (the new additions brought lots of visitors that I felt uncomfortable nursing around, including in-laws that were hard to dismiss). I nursed them one at a time, which led to lots of sleep depravation. At eight weeks, I began supplementing soy formula. My method was to nurse one baby while bottle feeding the other. The next feeding, the baby that got the bottle earlier was given the breast and vice-versa. This allowed me some rest, and both babies adapted well. I continued along that path until 6 months. They then went to exclusive formula along with solids. I changed to whole milk at one year.

    Lisa
     
  7. AMDJ-04

    AMDJ-04 Well-Known Member

    The boys are my first (and probably last) children. My SIL extended nursed with her boys, and I had never really given too much thought about formula. I read a couple of books while pregnant. I think the book was called Mothering Multiples. Other than that not too much was thought about beforehand (such as pillow, pump, etc...)
    The boys were born at 37 weeks and delivered by C-section. David was born with a cleft lip. They were both able to nurse succesfully while in the hospital and neither spent time in the NICU. The only problem I had was that due to David's cleft, he could really only nurse (and be satisfied) when on my right side. I didn't discover this until about 5 days after he was born, after he lost too much weight and the pediatrician recommended switching sides. From that point on Alex on the left and David on the right. Even after his corrective surgery, they rarely switched sides.


    I used the EZ 2 nurse pillow - it was great. I used it up until I stopped nursing at 13 months. The first 3 months when 1 awoke at night we'd wake the other. Supply was never a problem, though when I went back to work I couldn't really pump as much as they ate away from me. Therefore they got about 1 bottle of formula/day until they turned 1. We also got very familiar with nursing in our minivan. The pillow went everywhere we did and the boys ate when they were hungry. Having twins and breastfeeding did not keep us from doing the things that we enjoyed doing.
    I look back lovingly on those nursing days. Weaning was very smooth for us as well. I wouldn't change a thing.
     
  8. twolittlegirls

    twolittlegirls Well-Known Member

    Samantha and Maxine were born at 32 weeks 5 days due to PROM. They were in the NICU for 17 days. We were very lucky, the girls were perfect except for the need to learn to feed. The day they were born I started pumping...and pumping and pumping! I pumped and bottle fed the girls for almost two months while they learned to nurse. We started BFing using nipple shields...which I HATED but it definetly made it easier for the babies. For the first 2 months I pumped for 20 minutes around the clock (8-10 times a day), I would feed them, then pump. I was doing 1 1/2 hours of work, between feeding and pumping, every 3 hours! I was SO tired! We would practice breast feeding, starting in the NICU, once a day and increasing to every other feeding and then every feed. We supplemented with EBM each feeding until they got it. This happened almost exactly on their estimated due date. One day they just got it! We dropped the nipple shields and they latched very well. We have been nursing ever since. Now they won't even take a bottle...we are going to have to go straight to sippy cups. I will continue to nurse them until they don't want to anymore. It is so easy for all of us now that I forget how hard it was in the beginning. For me there was never any question about whether or not to BF. I just assumed I would and I did [​IMG]

    Eileen
     
  9. CCJN

    CCJN Well-Known Member

    wow I impressed with you ladies being able to remember soooooooo much in detail. I would consider ours a nursing success story. My boys were born at 29 weeks I pumped for 8 weeks while they were in the NICU I started pumping the day after they were born. I was fortunate to have an endless supply and the nicu nurses used to joke about me selling it on ebay to the body builders that drink breast milk (I was not aware of this but apparently [​IMG])They began by gavage feeding the EBM or bottle feeding until they were able to nurse. I pumped after discharge with a hospital rental pump which was awesome insurance did pay rental fee because boys were in hospital. I would bring in supply when I visited and stored the extra in home freezer-neighbors freezer, grandparents freezer they all teased me about baking cookies for them [​IMG] Upon their discharge they were able to nurse full feeds, but remained on monitors related to brady episodes during feeds. I usually fed one at a time with occasional tandem feeds. Both boys nursed until self weaning. Nathan self weaned at two and Jacob was 2 1/2.(at the end they were just down to before nap and bedtime feeds)I know I am leaving out a ton, and could probably answer more specific questions if any one has any.
     
  10. sharon_with_j_and_n

    sharon_with_j_and_n Well-Known Member

    My girls were born at 33 weeks gestation and were in the NICU for 3 weeks. They were tube-fed for the first 6 days and just as they were almost ready to nurse, I came down with a blood infection. I'm allergic to penicillin, and the antibiotics prescribed just weren't doing the trick so I had to go on a form that was dangerous to nursing babies. Determined to nurse, I pumped milk 6 times daily and threw it down the drain. The nurses were sKeptical that I could nurse them even after all this effort, but as soon as the antibiotics cleared my system, I gave it a try. Even Nicole, who was barely 4 pounds latched well immediately. They started gaining at a rapid rate and after 2 days of nursing, they were able to come home.

    It was a pretty rough go for a while. The girls were feeding almost every 2 hours because they were so small. When I hit the 2 month mark it got a lot easier and I could easily feed them both at once. My life saver was a giant nursing pillow made my my sister. I would "wear" it pretty much all day with them sleeping on it, nursing on it, and just being near me on it. I found nursing EASIER, CHEAPER, and a real time - saver (No bottles to wash or make). I nursed for almost 7 months, but had to stop (and was ready to) because I was exhausted and couldn't eat enough to keep up with their demand. I had lost an incredible amount of weight and just couldn't get enough calories in to keep up my energy and keep nursing them. I feel like it was well worth it, and although I'm sure that it can't be completely attributed to nursing, my girls are very healthy and have never had anything more serious than a head cold.

    Sharon and Mike's little sweeties, Jamie and Nicole are
     
  11. mrw472

    mrw472 Well-Known Member

    I knew I would bf my twins from the beginning, I Bf’ed my first with great success. He was good at it right off the bat and we had a long easy Bf’ing experience. I was realistic that it would be tougher at first and I tried to prepare myself (unfortunately I didn’t find TS until after they were born)

    My ID boys were born at 33 weeks 2 days one vaginally and one C-section. I began pumping about 6 hours after they were born. I pumped every three hours while I was in the hospital for five days (and until they could nurse more often). They were being gavage fed with one bottle (EBM) a day at first. I was able to nurse them for the first time on day three. They both latched really well, but only lasted a couple of minutes. I nursed them once a day for a while, then twice a day (once per shift). They graduated from gavage to bottles / nursing in about a week. I tandem fed them a few times in the hospital, but found it easier to feed them separate. They came home on the same day after 4 weeks each in the NICU. No restrictions on types of feedings, but I continued giving them 1-2 bottles of EBM a day as I felt the nursing really wiped them out. After about two weeks home they were nursing only.

    I continued to pump after they were exclusively nursing, to have some storage. I am pumping less and less now (I really don’t like pumping too much), even though my storage is almost gone. Now I only pump if I give them an EBM bottle or if I am feeling full before I go to bed.

    Now almost nine months later we are still nursing, I give EBM here and there, if I need to go out or just if I feel like it!! We’ve been through growth spurts, teeth ..ouch, lots of distraction, colds (me and them) and supply issues. I didn’t tandem feed them very often; I never found a comfortable way for me. Now that they are bigger I do it more often, but not all the time. I plan to nurse for an indefinite amount of time, I think we will all just know when it is time. I was nursing DS # 1 shortly after I got preg with the twins ( he had just turned one) and I weaned him too quickly (I was sick, tired and just couldn’t do it anymore), and I regretted it later. I must admit considering I’ve been preg and/or nursing for almost three years now, there are days that I look forward to having my body back, but I won’t rush it this time.

    Overall nursing has been a great experience for me, I have had great support from DH and most of our family. The “tough times†are really hard and there were times when I thought I would quit! I set short-term goals and got through each one!! TS has been a great support nework and I will try to “give back†that support whenever I c
     
  12. mehera

    mehera Well-Known Member

    (This is super long and I should edit, but I wanted to post while I have it fresh!) I was determined to breastfeed my girls. I knew it was the best thing for them. In the breastfeeding class I took ahead of time, the nurse claimed we were designed to breastfeed twins (two breasts, two babes), but I think she was really trying to encourage all the other moms (pregnant with singletons). She mentioned how important it was to get the babies immediately to the breast because if not, she said, you might not make enough milk and trying to build up a supply after a certain point is a “Herculean effort." Let me just say that the phrase “Herculean effort" described the first ten weeks of my life with my girls. I had pre-eclampsia, so I was induced at 35 weeks. I had a vaginal delivery, and the girls were miraculously fine, no NICU time, no other issues. But I didn't get to hold them right away. I kept saying I need to nurse them, but no one did anything. I realize now no one at the hospital expected me to breastfeed them. (They also really threatened me that I needed a C-section. Grr.) About five hours after they were born, a nurse finally brought me the babies and ripped open a nipple with her fingernail shoving it into the baby's mouth. I had enough sense to ask for a lactation consultant. (The nurse was giving me horrible advice, never feed for more than ten minutes; don't ever let the baby fall asleep at the breast, ugh, there's a reason breastfeeding induces sleep and soothes a baby. Embrace it!) The lactation consultant brought me a hospital grade pump. (I wish I'd known my insurance would pay for it for eight months; a breast pump was the first baby item I'd bought.) She also brought me formula, tubing for finger feeding, and information on which bottles I'd need to use. She was the lactation consultant. So I didn't question her. I was to try to breastfeed at every feed but then finger feed or give a bottle. I was not to worry. I shouldn't expect my babies to know how to nurse until a couple weeks after their due date. Well her prediction came true, the girls didn't nurse exclusively until 9.5 after they were born, a full month after their due date. And the fact that they did was truly the result of some Herculean effort. I'm still not sure whether it was a self-fulfilling prophecy or whether there were thing I could have done to get them on the boob faster. Here's how we did it: My first pediatrician was obsessed with weight and had us formula feed every two hours, a high calorie mix. I also used the little breast milk I produced. I would try to nurse, but the attempt would take nearly two hours, so my attempts quickly dwindled as I focused on pumping. I pumped ten times a day, using all types of combinations of settings (a lower suction worked best for me), and power pumping (ten minutes on, ten off, ten on, until a baby needed me again). Milk production is determined by how much milk is removed from the breast. I was not even producing enough to feed one baby, not even 10 ounces a day. I became obsessed with all things breastfeeding. I took fenugreek, 3 pills 3 times a day. That increased me to about 12 ounces. Clearly not enough. And while I was pumping, I was researching breastfeeding and learning a lot about formula. I did not want to give it to my babies anymore. I started taking Reglan to increase my milk supply (up to 14 - 16 ounces now, which I split between the babies). I would have occasional successes. Sometimes a baby would actually latch! But two minutes of nursing was a fabulous success. I called my fourth lactation consultant who informed me that giving a bottle was the wrong thing to have done, babies love to suck and will quickly come to prefer a bottle when it's easier to get nutrition there. (If I'd been able to fill each bottle with breast milk, I would not have been so obsessed about getting rid of the bottles, and I really enjoy and appreciate the emotional benefits of being able to breastfeed these girls. I am so thankful I stuck it out.) This LC had me use cups and a Supplemental Nursing System. The cups were basically unmanageable, as you can imagine. SNS took a lot of work, but I tried to do at least two feedings a day this way. When the babies wouldn't go for it or I just couldn't manage it, I cried and cried and felt so guilty. I cried every day and felt like I was failing my girls. My husband kept saying to just give them a bottle, I thought he was being unsupportive, but he really just wanted me to go easy on myself. Didn' he know I was fighting a Herculean battle? I subscribed to http://groups.google.com/group/misc.kids.breastfeeding where I've learned a lot about breastfeeding. I posted a long plea for help, but I didn't get much of a response. One poster said she knew of someone who didn't breastfeed exclusively until 11 weeks! And one woman thought she knew of someone whose baby got it at 14 weeks. This gave me so much hope! (These forums http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=27 and http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=310 also have a great deal of information about breastfeeding. They are so supportive of extended breastfeeding as well. In fact, breastfeeding is the norm on this site!) Kellymom.com is also a wealth of information. But the Breastfeeding Forum here had the people who gave me the specifics and shared their experiences so generously. I followed Aimee's directions for a nursing marathon after I'd had two nights successfully nursing Nico for 12 hours (I was still supplementing her during the day). Lena would nurse occasionally, but she preferred the bottle. But I knew she could nurse. I was also taking prescription Domperidone, and while it had only increased my pump output by two more ounces, I felt like it was “backup to the knowledge I had that my body would keep producing milk for as long as a baby tried to remove it. So at 9.5 weeks, my husband went out and got DVDs and food, and we set ourselves up on the fold-out couch in the TV room. We just had the goal of trying to get through the afternoon. Then evening came and we hadn't used a bottle and we decided to push on through the evening hours. Colic was just beginning, so I knew there'd be some fussiness. But Nico was definitely happier at the breast. Lena, however, wanted her bottle. When she cried, Chris took Nico so that I could soothe Lena and try again. It was a long evening, but we made it. I was up most of the night because nursing still took longer than bottles at that point (though that changed quickly). We did it. And we did it again the next day. And the next. And while I basically just sat in a chair until they were four months old (and spent the majority of time there) well, here, because I'm sitting where I nursed them), there was only one more attempt at formula. I went against my instinct and listened to the pediatrician and supplemented Nico with a bottle one night. She threw up the contents of that bottle across three rooms and the hallway. And that was the end of that. No more bottles, even with breast milk. And I'm thinking we're going to go with child-led weaning. I don't want to deny these girls something that gives so much comfort and nutrition. (Of course, they're only a year old, but now that I know how beneficial it is, I just may be nursing a preschooler!) I didn't like breastfeeding at first; I just knew it was best. I went through so much with infertility and in vitro; I demanded that these girls come into the world; I have to raise them with all the love and wisdom I have to give. The effort was Herculean, but it was so incredibly worth it. I do love breastfeeding now. I am a staunch supporter. And I will talk to anybody anytime about it. Please PM me for support.
     
  13. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I wrote this when my girls were 4 months old.
    quote:
    I can’t believe I’ve been nursing for 4 months as of tomorrow. What a great experience it has been so far.
    I had my girls at 33 weeks and 6 days, 27 hours after my water broke. I started pumping about 14 hours after I had them. I practiced nursing them the next morning. Its funny how much of it is a blur even though it was only 4 months ago. The girls were given an IV with nutrition, and bottle feed starting with 5-10 cc of my colostrums or formula. That when I went to pump, I got next to nothing. I didn’t realize that I could pump directly into the little bottles so I was pumping into the 4 oz amedela bottles that came with the horns for the pump. When you are barely getting anything, pouring from one bottle to another does not work.
    The next morning, Friday, I pumped and got nothing. Of course being a Friday the lactation consultant was not in. I was also coming home from the hospital with out the girls. I had a borrowed Medela pump in style but still needed to get the horns. I decided to rent a pump. I rented a hospital grade Amedela pump that was the same as I using in the hospital. That afternoon at home I pumped and got very little. I had to combine multiple pumping sessions to have any milk to bring to the hospital.
    At this point I kept on pumping every 3 hours during then day if I was home. I didn’t pump overnight because I figured this was my last chance for sleep. The NICU nurses didn’t let me nurse during part of the time because they wanted to track what the girls ate.
    Dani came home when she was 6 days old. She was back at her birth weight. This was a Tuesday, on Sunday when we took her to the pediatrician for a weight check she was less than 4 pounds. I had been nursing her exclusively since she left the hospital. The doctor wanted me to give her 1-2 bottles of neosure a day. The doctor was also worried about the quality of my milk, wanted to know if the NICU was supplementing Sydney. I actually asked at the hospital if Sydney was only getting my milk, and she was. Sydney was coming home the next day. My DH suggested to me that we give Dani pumped milk so we know exactly what she was getting. Turns out she was not a good nurser.
    The next day at the hospital, I spoke to the lactation consultant. I explained what was going on with Dani. Her response was to keep on giving doing what I was doing, that they were premature.
    I pumped and bottle feed for the first 2 months or so. I was trying to get them to nurse every day. I started to nurse them overnight instead of getting them bottles of expressed breast milk for downstairs, or remembering to bring up bottles in a cooler.
    I returned the hospital pump when the girls were 3 months old. I had not used it for about 2 months. I was only pumping in the morning with the PIS. I even have a little freezer stash.
    My girls went for getting bottles at every feeding to only getting bottles when I need a break, or I want to make my mom or MIL happy.
    My girls are now over 10 pounds. We go back to the doctor in 3 weeks, I post the new weights.
    They did get some formula in the hospital. I used 1 ½ cans of neosure in May and June but all the rest was my milk.
    I have been taking it day by day. Now I know I want to nurse till their either 6 months or a year.

    I wanted to thank this forum for all the help, suggestions so far.


    Now it is close to 8 months, and I'm still nursing. Sydney is 13 pounds 6 ounces. Dani is 15 pounds. They have only had EMB in a bottle once in the last 2 months and that was because my MIL babysat so we could get out to DH's holiday party.

    UPDATED: My girls are now 13 1/2 months old. We have weaned to just nursing first thing in the morning. For the last month, we nursed in the morning and at night. They self weaned from the nightime nursing. But we are going strong with the morning feeding.
    Here is my final update: My girls self weaned from the morning nursing session this week. They nursed for 1 year 2 months 3 weeks, or almost 15 months.

    If you are reading this, know that you can do it if you want to.
     
  14. chanimal

    chanimal New Member

    Hi, I have 6 year old twins so I will do my best to remember as much as I can. They are identical and were born at 32 weeks. They had twin to twin transfusion. I was unable to even try to nurse them for over two weeks. I started pumping 2 hours after they were born and for the first three days until my milk came in I pumped every two hours. When my milk came in I was pumping about 8oz per breast and sometimes would have to change the bag and could get up to 10 or 12 oz. Unfortunately the girls were only drinking about 2oz per feeding. Boy did I get a huge stock pile! The hospital was not that supportive of me trying to breast feed them while they were in the hospital. I even had one doctor tell me that I would never have enough milk for two before they were born. Well that definatly was not the problem. They were too tiny and weak and couldn't suck very well. I couldnt even get them to latch on for more than a few seconds. They were gavage fed up until the week before they went home. They were released after one month exactly. They made me give them a bottle or they wouldnt be able to go home. I figured it is better that they go home with a bottle of breast milk than not. We still pumped and bottle fed with many breast feeding attempts until they were 3 months old and then one day Payton just got it. I had finally got a good lactation consultant to come to our home and stay for most of the afternoon to help in desperation. I didnt want to have to pump for the whole first year but would have if it came down to it. She discoved that I had a yeast infection on my breasts and the girls had it in their mouth and that is why it was so painful to nurse not that they were latching on wrong. When we got that cleared up it was no more bottles! We used a cup feeder or a nipple sheild, if they just refused to latch on or they wouldnt do it right. Two weeks of that, and they were nursing like pros. They nursed exclusively until 14 months when I decided it was time to wean. The girls were not ready to wean, in fact they had gone to nursing every two hours around the clock again. Which is when I got worn out and tired and decided it was time for me. I think it was more the comfort aspect than the nutritional need that made them want to nurse around the clock again. But I feel satisfied with the time we did have and it remains to be a positive experience even with our rough begining. Nursing twins is tough and tougher yet if they are premature. But it is also very rewarding and worth the hard work.
     
  15. allgood2000

    allgood2000 Well-Known Member

    I breastfed my older two sons, so when I found out twins were on the way I was looking forward to the twin nursing experience. I was not diappointed!

    My guys arrived at 35ish weeks and had to go to the level 2 nursery to be monitored for a few days. They had been born via C-Section so I had a few extra days in the hospital with them. I practice nursed them individually the day they were born. It was so odd nursing these tiny little bundles with wires and tubes everywhere!

    I was a little bit suprised at the nurses lack of conviction about breastfeeding my twins! Although they provided me with space to nurse and help if I needed it, I didn't feel like they really 'believed' in me. They encouraged me because it was the hospitals official policy to encourage nursing, but they hadn't nursed their own children and looked at me like I was crazy to try. They very seldom saw preemies who were successfully breastfed - and didn't hesitate to tell me that 'most preemies need supplemental formula'.

    On day 3 or 4 in the hospital I met the most wonderful lactation consultant! She was a NICU nurse at one hospital and a LC at my hospital - so she knew her stuff! She was the only person who gave me honest feedback, and truly helpful information. She gave me a huge packet with tandem nursing positions, breastfeeding resources, and other suggestions. She also helped me to tandem feed for the first time. She rolled and tucked so many blankets into so many spaces I just KNEW I would never be able to tandem feed all by myself!! [​IMG] She helped me get a breastpump through my insurance and her confidence that I would be a twin-mom breastfeeding success rubbed off on me. I knew at that point that I could do it!

    On day 4ish (days at the hospital all blur together!) both babies were nursing well, but were still in the special care nursery. They had stopped giving syringes full of milk to the babies and were weighing the babies after I had nursed them. I was so thrilled when I walked into the nursery for the next feeding and they told me that both Nate and Drew could spend the night with me and didn't need to be in the nursery anymore. They were finally convinced that I could nurse them!!

    Once we got home, this nursing business just took off. I was fortunate enough to have help for 6 weeks after my twins were born (MIL for 2 weeks, Mother for 2 weeks, and DH for 2 weeks). I needed that time to get breastfeeding well established. I really didn't need help with the babies, but it was a full-time around the clock job and I needed the help for my older boys.

    I remember having a melt-down during the 2nd or 3rd week. It was 11:00 pm and I was so tired. I hadn't slept in what felt like days. I was crying and exhausted and frusterated - not at nursing, really, just at the insanity of my life. DH was really tuned into what I needed at that moment and started a routine that saved me and allowed me to breastfeed my twins for almost a full year. He told me to go to bed and that he would take care of the babies. He gave them a bottle, changed them, and put them back to bed. From then on, I would be on baby/nursing duty all day until 8 or 9 pm, at which point I would go to bed and DH would stay up. He would give the next feeding (11 or 12) and then I would be back on again at the 3 or 4 am feeding. Having that block of sleep saved me! I was getting 6-7 hours of sleep at a stretch each night. Since I had older children, this level of functioning was vital to my success. I think it's important to do what *you* need to do to make your experience successful. Don't worry too much about what others would or wouldn't do.

    Nursing my twins just got easier and easier for me. After the 6 week point, I knew we had made it! After the 4month mark, when both babies had better head/neck control, I found myself tandem nursing all of the time - with no help! It was so far from that first tandem nursing experience when I just looked up at the LC in wonder, certain that I would never be able to do that! The 4 month mark also started my fondest nursing twin moments. There is nothing quite like looking down at two sweet faces and having two milky toothless smiles in return! Both of my guys just loved nursing. One or the other would frequently put a hand on my face, or gently rub my hair with their fingers. They also loved to look at each other when they nursed. They would often hold hands, or touch one another while we nursed. It was so sweet my heart would melt! We usually nursed in the 'double V' hold, so they were facing one another.

    I loved every minute of nursing twins. I honestly feel that feeding bottles is much more difficult than nursing twins. You cannot physically hold two babies and two bottles at the same time. You have to take on the expense of formula/bottles/nipples, etc... as well as washing the bottles, sterilizing the bottles, boiling the water, preparing the formula and then starting all over again. Nursing is EASY. Find a comfortable chair, plop yourself down, latch your babies on, read a book. It was fabulous!

    My boys nursed for about 11 months, when they self-weaned. Life got too interesting at that point, and they loved their solid food. Sometimes I miss those nursing days!
     
  16. shutterbug

    shutterbug Well-Known Member

    From the time I found out I was having twins I planned on nursing both of them. I'd nursed our oldest until she was 13 months, after all, so I thought I could definitely nurse two babies.

    Then they came early, 8 1/2 weeks early, to be precise. I was a little worried because I'd had to have a c-section and there is such conflicting information about whether or not that affects things. Also, I was worried about nursing due to their size. They were both 3lbs 9oz at birth so real small and too weak to nurse for a while.

    So I started out by pumping. I pumped every 3-4 hours round the clock and delivered the milk to the NICU when I visited. We did practice latch-on a little in the NICU but didn't get real serious and I kinda thought I'd just end up pumping milk for them when they got home rather than actually nursing them.

    Well, 2 days before Andrew was to come home he had some blood in his stool so they immediately took him off breastmilk and put him on a special formula and started running tests. All the tests came back inconclusive but we were told to keep him on the special formula. There went my dreams of both babies having breastmilk.

    After several weeks of pumping and bottle-feeding Amelia with fortified breastmilk I was getting discouraged. My supply was diminishing and it was time consuming. I was tired. Plus, I was already feeding Andrew formula and I knew it was easier.

    Well, before I totally gave up, I got to thinking that maybe we could switch both over to the breast and my supply would increase (pumping is never as good as a baby actually nursing as far as supply is concerned). I'd give it a few weeks and if nothing happened I'd quit for good. We got the OK from Andrew's doctor to try breastmilk again and a friend of mine who's an LC came to the house to help us work on latching on.

    Things went okay for a few days but I was supplementing after nursing and Andrew just wasn't latching on well. He seems to prefer the taste of formula and Amelia seemed to spit up more with the supplemental formula. That's when I decided to formula-feed Andrew and breastfeed Amelia. I knew I didn't have the time or energy to pump for Andrew and since he preferred formula anyway I figured, why tire myself out more to do it?

    I've had some guilt over not trying harder with Andrew but it worked out really well since last year this time he had 2 seperate hospitalizations and if he'd been nursing we'd have had kind of a difficult time dealing with that. He's a strong, healthy boy and the formula did it's job-got him through the first year with proper nutrition.

    I nursed Amelia for 15 months. Just fully weaned her before the first of the year. I'm glad I stuck with it. She's the smaller of the two and may have had some special need for breastmilk that I just couldn't know about.

    I guess my advice is to get help from a good LC that you're comfortable with, do what you are capable of doing (your baby will be fine with some or all formula, it doesn't have to be all or nothing), and try and enjoy the experience.
     
  17. csmom

    csmom Well-Known Member

    Great stories!
    I feel that we are a success story also. I had always planned to BF. I did with our first son until he self weaned at 15 months.
    The twins were in the NICU for 41 and 46 days. We did try nursing with a lactation consultant and a nipple shield in the NICU, but it didn't work very well. So I just pumped and pumped my little heart out every 3 hours.
    After they came home I found that it was too hard to pump, I had no time. And I quickly went through my freezer full of EBM. So my mission was to get them to nurse. It took a lot of patience, but by the time they were 3 1/2 months old they would not even take a bottle and never did again. At 18 months they still nurse 2 times a day(since I went back to work at 14 months) and don't seem to want to wean at all.
     
  18. nursemom

    nursemom Well-Known Member

    I was determined to breastfeed no matter what, that said I didn't have too many challenges. My boys were born at 36 weeks and 6 days. But one of them was in the NICU for the 2 days we were at the hospital. So I had to walk down to the NICU and try to nurse him while trying to room-in with my other son. It was very stressful and I thought all would be well when we returned home. We were not so lucky. Both boys were jaundice, and one of them had to be on the lights at home. This made breastfeeding really hard because they were so sleepy. My home nurse even told me to breastfeed them EVERY HOUR. I did my best and they gained weight like champs. They had doubled their birth weight by 3 months and were exclusively breastfed until we started solids at 6.5 months.

    At almost 15 months they are still breastfeeding 3 times a day and have been sleeping 12 hours straight through the night since they were 7 months. Personally I can't imagine doing it any other way, breastfeeding has been great for all of us!
     
  19. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    My girls were born at 34 weeks. When I went to the NICU they had already been discussing feeding the girls bottles but I really wanted to give Breastfeeding a try. To be honest I think the nurse was a little shocked that I was going to give BF a shot with twins. The lactation consultant came once the girls were stable enough and started talking to me about BF the girls. For the 10 days the girls were in the NICU they got every little drop of colostrum and milk that came from me.

    It was always a struggle getting the girls to latch on in the NICU but I stuck with it when I got home and Allison took to BF like a champ about 2 months later. Zoe was prett much hit or miss with BF. Zoe also had reflux really bad so we ended up eventually swithcing her to Nutramigen to help with the reflux. I continued to pump for Allison but she decided she wanted to only exclusivly breastfeed.

    I was very timid about BF at first in public so I was the mom that would run to the bathroom everytime I had to feed Allison. Finally one day we were at the zoo and the restroom just smelled horrible and I could not sit in there. That is the first public place I BF at. My family cracked me up cause I made them make a wall around me so nobody saw. I slowly started to not care who knew I was breastfeeding and actually started feeding with pride.

    I started to realize that many dept stores have "mothers room" that are actually seperate from the restrooms and play relaxing music so you can BF.

    My plan was to BF till 18 months but Allison showed no signs of letting up. I heard so much trash from every one I knew about how she was still BF but as far as I was concerned me BF was between my baby and I. Allison dropped down to only 1 feeding a day at night time.

    I was actually starting to get to the point where I did not want to BF anymore. It was when Allison was just a couple months over 2 1/2. I had my GYN yearly appt and when I came home I just told Allison that the Dr. said she could not have boobie anymore. She said OK and has never looked back. It was actually alot less stressful than I thought it would be.

    I still feel horrible for not pushing to BF Zoe more but I know that all my decisions were made with a lot of thought to them.
     
  20. cellomom

    cellomom Well-Known Member

    I'm going to add mine in there as well, b/c I worked so d***ed hard at it!

    Cellomom: Nursed before. Babies born at 37 wks 4 days. Babies went home, mom spent the next 5 weeks in the hospital with internal bleeding, an intestinal hernia, an ilias, a hemopleural effusion and staph infection. I had three trips to intensive care and three surgeries, and pumped the whole time. When I got home, I still couldn't nurse for several more weeks due to medications, so I continued to pump and dump. When the girls were 9 weeks old, I was able to feed them expressed breast milk from a bottle. A few weeks after that, I tried nursing them, and lo and behold, they took to it.

    They are just now weaned, at 6 1/2 months.

    -Karen
     
  21. cowboys

    cowboys Well-Known Member

    First children, born 34w2d. 10 days in NICU. Major supply issues first three weeks. Required extra pumping and supplementation with formula/expressed breast milk. By 3 weeks, nursing exclusively. Still nursing at 19 months.

    Not much more to add except that Fenugreek, naps, water and Mothers Milk tea were key to increasing my supply (hard to say which was most important, I think it was combo). I also had negative comments from NICU nurses and NICU neonatoligist. Pooh to them! I was DETERMINED.

    One thing that really helped me was that I bought a baby scale so I could weight boys anytime I wanted so that I knew for SURE they were getting enough and gaining weight. No way I could weight one month in between appts!
     
  22. MeldieB

    MeldieB Well-Known Member

    I knew that I wanted to BF my girls. What I didn't know was how much trouble I would have getting started.

    My girls were born at 36 wks. Katy was 5lbs 7oz at birth, and my little Isabella was only 3lbs 14oz. They both went immediately to the NICU after birth. I had a lot of trouble with severe preeclampsia, and was confined to my bed for 48 hours after the girls were born. So I wasn't even able to see them for two whole days! It was heartbreaking, and I cried and cried those first two days... it just felt so unnatural to not be with them. I was so envious of the other new mothers who were allowed to have their babies with them in their rooms.

    Because I was so ill, I didn't even start pumping until 48 hours after delivery. Also, because the girls were so little (especially Isabella), they were being fed formula in the NICU. It took me 3 days of pumping for my milk to finally come in. In the mean time, the babies did get what little clostrum I was able to muster in addition to formula.

    Katy was having difficulty with apnea/brady spells, so I was allowed to try BFing her until day 5. Isabella was just so small, that I was strongly discouraged from trying to BF her. Luckily, my mom was with me, and was SUCH an inspiration and support. She encouraged me to insist that I be allowed to try BFing MY babies. So I did ... and finally on day 5 I tried with both girls.

    Katy was accustomed to the bottle, so she had difficulty figuring out how to latch. The LC at the hospital gave me a nipple shield, and fortunately, this worked wonderfully. Isabella is a fiesty one, and she figured out how to latch right away. [​IMG]

    On day 7, both girls were back to their birthweight. Katy had been apnea free for two days, and I begged to be allowed to take them home. The nurses really didnt' want me to do this, because Isabella was still under 4 lbs. But, she was out of her isolette and maintaining her temperature just fine, so I didn't see why I couldn't take them home. I begged my pedi, and he finally relented, so long as I agreed to have them checked by a visiting nurse in 2 days, and follow-up at the pedi office in 4 days.

    Once we were home, I was determined that my girls would get no formula and no BM until they were champion nursers. Of course I was very worried and nervous about them because they were so small. I religiously charted every BFing session, every poopy and wet diaper to make sure they were getting enough to eat.

    My mom stayed with me for the next week, helping me with various BFing positions, latching, and just learning to care for the babies. Plus she did all my cooking, cleaining! I felt so thankful to her for all of her support and assistance. I don't think I would have succeeded in BFing without her.

    I had to use the nipple shield with Katy at first, but was able to do away with it within 3 days. Isabella learned to BF without the shield and did wonderfully.

    From the time the girls came home, they have always only gained weight. At their pedi appt when they were 11 days old, they had each already gained nearly 1/2 lb from their discharge weights 4 days earlier. My pedi was surprised that they had done so well just BFing alone. At that appt, he told me that I would "probably have to start supplementing." He told me that by 4 months, he doubted I would have enough milk for both of them.

    Well, my girls have never needed anything but my BM since they've been home. They are now BIG girls too! At their 6 month appt last week, the pedi was shocked that Katy was in the 95% for weight and Isabella in the 75%. I was shocked too, considering how little they once were!

    Yes, BFing was REALLY hard in the beginning. And I have had trouble along the way ... what with FOUR rounds of thrush (yes four!!!!), a 36 hour nursing strike by Katy, and several blocked ducts. But now BFing is so easy. I still have plenty of milk and my girls can nurse in 5 minutes flat.

    So for all of you who are just starting out, or who are just considering BFing, YOU CAND DO IT!!!

    The support here at TS has been a godsend.
     
  23. KristineM+twins

    KristineM+twins Well-Known Member

    OK. I think I may have a few moments to post my breastfeeding success story...

    Well, I am Kristine, a mom of 4 wonderful kids. Monica (10), Connor (3), and the twins who are 8 months old. Joshua and Elena.

    I had nursed Monica for about 4 months, but I was young and no real idea of what to do. I had a lot of support, but not a lot of knowledge.
    Connor I nursed for 10 months, until he self-weaned. I was sad, but I was ready to have my body back to myself, and as long as it was HIS decision, then I felt OK with it. He was a very easy nurser, though I did have a few issues with thrush and mastitis. eek! But I was persistent, and things cleared up very well.

    As for the twins, this was a lot different. I knew right away that I had wanted to nurse them. I hated bottles, and knew what I had to do to get started. I was a little scared at first about making enough, and how badly it would hurt, and how to even HOLD the babies. It was rough at first, Josh went right to the NICU for breathing trouble, and Elena was given a bottle of formula in the delivery room. Her blood sugar was low, so they just gave it to her, and I guess since I was still pushing Josh out, they didnt ask me to nurse her. I was a little upset, but the room was so hectic and I was so excited that I thought nothing of it. I dont think it affected my milk supply or anything, but I had SO wanted my milk to be the only thing they tasted, at least for their first drink...but anyway...
    After I got to my recovery room, I was with Elena, and started nursing her, and she took right to it. It was great. I was so tired but I actually felt so at ease and relaxed while nursing, that it wasnt an issue. They took me through the NICU on the way to my room, and I just remember him being so tiny, and so sad with the IV's and leads and the nurses all around. Poor baby. I just wanted to hold him and nurse him and I could barely stand it. He was on formula, and he was spitting it all back up every time. His breathing was normal, but they had to keep him for the eating issues.
    Nursing Elena was bittersweet. I was enjoying the time spent with her, but felt like something, namely Joshua, was missing. I was pumping for Josh, but it was SUCH a small amount.
    On the day before my discharge, I remember visiting Josh, and just BEGGING them to let me nurse him. They said that he was too weak to nurse, and that it may not be a good idea. Well, I flipped. Dont tell me I cant nurse my son! So they finally agreed, and oh my, what a feeling! I got to hold him, and kiss him, and best of all....NURSE him!!
    He latched on great, and went to town. I came down to the NICU to nurse him a few times, and then the night before I was to leave, the nurse offered to walk him to my room when he was ready to eat. I was so excited! And it took so much energy to get down to the NICU, wash my hands and arms while in the wheelchair, and then go into such a depressing room, and having to leave Elena up in the nursery. This offer was such a relief to both me and DH. I remember when they first brought him up to me, and I had him and Elena on the bed next to each other, in the dark, just cuddling them. I had already fed Elena, so i just laid on my side and nursed Josh for a while. The nurse took him back down, but I felt so happy!
    On my discharge day, the nurse I had showed me how to tandem feed. She told me that since I basically knew what I was doing, and the babies' latches were so good, that I could certainly try tandem feeding. So we sat in the recliner and she surrounded me with bed pillows, and we laid the babies in a double football. They latched and then BAM! I was tandem feeding! I was so proud of myself! I have pictures, but they are pretty gruesome...LOL.

    So, I went home feeling pretty confident. I was nursing the babies, but mostly seperately. I did tandem a few times, but I think my nipples started getting sore, and I had to do one at a time just to keep the pain level down. I am not saying it was horrible pain (dont wanna scare anyone!) but in those first few weeks I just needed to get used to how tired I was, and how my body felt. Besides, I had all the time in the world to sit on the couch and nurse nurse nurse, since I had a lot of help, and I needed to recover. (I had been on bedrest, strict, for 16 weeks, so I was in BAD form).
    I remember having supply issues early on, and I remember being so tired and the babies seemed to be hungry ALL the time! I RELUCTANTLY gave the babies formula, just a few ounces after some nursing sessions, if they still seemed hungry. Soon those few ounces turned into a few MORE ounces, and my milk started to slow down. I was giving them a few bottles a day. And I dont think I was trying to build my milk up as much as I could have. I was so busy, and those bottles were SEEMINGLY easier...well. I finally got to a point where I stood back and said "wait a minute, what am I doing??". I had even started making bottles in the middle of the night, so that DH could feed them and give me a break. (I am NOT a good pumper....never have been). Well, that lasted about a week. It was HORRIBLE! Trying to keep warm water in our room, formula powder spilled all over. It was a nightmare. We ended that real quick. Plus, the smell of formula made my stomach turn. ick.

    Nursing was MUCH easier at night, and during the day...all the time! So I had to work hard to build my supply back up. I started eating oatmeal every day, and taking fenugreek. I remember posting about milk supply issues, and what I could do to build it back up. I got such great advice here (thanks girls!) and soon enough, I phased all formula out! No more bottles! I just started nursing every time they seemed hungry. There were times where I obviously still had to offer bottles, but I ALWAYS nursed first. After a few weeks the bottles were less and less, and by 6 months old we were all boob, no more bottles.
    I now tandem nurse EVERY time they eat. It is not only faster, but my milk has seemed to come in a LOT better when I tandem compared to single feeds. Night feeding was always so much easier when nursing as well, since I could lie down and sleep while the babies nursed. I have come up with a few great nursing positions, like lying on the floor or bed on my back, sitting the babies up and having them sit in my armpit area, and they are level with my chest...and it is SO relaxing. Nursing forces me to take a few minutes and sit and relax during the day, so it is SUCH a great bonding experience. They hold hands while they eat, and they are so sweet!
    I can tandem nurse anywhere, in the mall, at the gym daycare, in my car....it is just SO easy! And the spit up doesnt stain, and the diapers smell much better now. They also dont spit up as much. We havent had any thrush or mastitis as of yet (knock on wood!) and all in all things are great. The babies are gaining weight nicely, and they have started to eat cereal and other foods. They also eat finger foods.

    My advice to any new nursing moms...stick with it. Offer a bottle if you are having issues, but dont do what I did and basically give up. It is MUCH easier after that 6 week mark (I hit that wall and it wasnt pretty!). BUT, if for some reason it doesnt work, dont feel bad. All you can do is give it a good shot, but I DO suggest continuing nursing as long as possible, even if only once a day. That way you will always have the option to try to build your supply back up later, when it gets easier. I have now been nursing for 8 months, and the only formula the babies get now is with their cereal. I still dont pump, unless we go out and we have a sitter, but I am happy with the way I have been doing it.

    Dont push yourself! Relax, and just let your body do what it was made to do. It WILL come naturally....but not at first. Even a seasoned veteran (me?) can quickly go down in flames with too much pressure to succeed. Go with the flow (pun intended!) and eventually you will find your perfect niche. You just have to have the intention.

    It takes time...dont expect to jump right in and have happy satisfied babies! No matter what you feed them, they will be hungry all the time! Dont think you are "failing" your babies! The babies HAVE to nurse often in the beginning in order to get the milk flowing. If you mistake this for extreme hunger due to lack of milk, then you can scare yourself into offering bottles. Unless the dr tells you that your baby is not gaining AT ALL and/or losing weight, then dont give up. I had MANY a day/night where I swore all that was coming out of me was dust and fumes. I was so upset (hormones) and so tired (feeding feeding feeding) and felt that I HAD to be doing a bad job! Well, at all their weight checks, they were gaining (even if they were only in the 15th %ile) and mainly...they were HAPPY.

    Yes, there are some women who just make milk for the masses, and thats great for them! And their babies! But if you are like me, and a majority of moms out there, then dont have any expectations except that you want to try, and you want to give yourself the TIME you need. Expect sore nipples, but they go away. Expect supply issues (for the most part they come and go) and EXPECT growth spurts! Those darned growth spurts can make the sanest mom go cookoo~!~ Dont think you dried up, it's just part of the game. Remember this mantra...I am NOT insane, I DONT have to get dressed, and this too shall pass....

    Good luck out there moms! I am rooting for you! (pun intended...AGAIN!! )

    The bonding experience is just irreplaceable. I have NEVER felt that bottle feeding is "bad", I have bottle fed myself...but breast feeding...just cant be beat! I have such a STRONG feeling, such a strong sense of pride knowing that I have done and am doing all I can for my babies, and when they look up at me with milk dripping from the sides of their mouths, almost drunk, then I smile. It just doesnt get any better than this!
    Kristine
     
  24. twinletsmom

    twinletsmom Member

    This is only my second post on this site but I have to say I love this subject! I have done breastfeeding support for over 10 years abd have a real passon for it. I am also the mother of 5 children James is 12 and I was never able to nurse him but pumped til he was 6 months old and gave him bottles. Natasha is 10 and nursed exclusivly til she was 2 years old. Arianna and Brianna were born at 33 weeks 5 days (4lb 15oz and 4lb 11oz)and had to learn to suck. In the hospital we finger fed them ABM (artificial baby milk) and what I was able to pump mixed together. We went home with them still not nursing and drinking 27 cc (that's just over 5 teaspoons)I would pump and then feed them one atr a time. I tried to feed them together but they both needed too much help. I worked very hard to be able to breastfeed them. The pediatritian that they had at the time was conserned about their weight gain (at 4 months they only weighed 8 lb)and was really pushing ABM more and more and less breastmilk.... I think she was worried that it would take too much out of me considering I had a 4 yo and 2 yo in addition to the twins. It seemed to me that the more ABM they had the more sickly they were so one day when they were about 6 months old I told my husband that I was taking the babies to bed and I didn't want to be disturbed. I spent the whole weekend locked in my bedroom with the girls and by the end they were nursing exclusivly! They started gaining weight like mad and started looking better and better all the time. They nursed until they were 2 years old. Nursing them was such an amazing experience as was nursing all my kids but there is just something about seeing that you babies NEED YOUR milk! I also have Chiarra who will be 6 this month... she nursed the longest of all my kids she nursed til she was 3 years 3 months old. I had been determined to let her nurse until she was done since I had had to wean the others because of pregancy (and not wanting to tandem nurse) well at 3 years 3 months I had had enough! I figured out that from July 1992 intil June 2003 I had been pregnant, nursing or both non stop. Ya know looking back on it I kinda miss it though!
     
  25. KimC

    KimC Well-Known Member

    It is so great to see a thread like this. For all those expectant moms who are scared or don't think they can do it...look at all the success stories.

    I also nursed my twins (who were born at 37 1/2 weeks) until I weened them at around 13-14 months old. It was difficult in the beginning, but I stuck with it (with the help of my DH) and after a few months it was a breeze. I definately LOVED my EZ 2 nurse pillow! I couldn't have done it without it!
     
  26. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    Being a first time mom of twins was scary enough, but to know I wanted to breastfeed them successfully was daunting. I had never breastfed before, and I had heard of how difficult it can be with just one baby, let alone twins! Throughout my pregnancy though, I made no secret of my desire to breastfeed. I think I got a few odd looks. <BR><BR>After a very uneventful pregnancy, Clayton and Audrey came via scheduled c-section at 37 weeks, 5 days. Clayton was breech and he was baby A, so I could not attempt a vaginal delivery. I had been praying that he would turn, because I heard that nursing babies after a c-section was even tougher. The C-section went great. Clayton was born crying and Audrey was a bit quieter. They were a whopping 7lbs, 7oz and 7lbs, 11oz respectfully, 21 inches each! WOW! Neither needed any oxygen or any NICU time. They were cleaned up and brought back to me. <BR><BR>The nursing staff, at the hospital, was very supportive and helpful, as was my husband. Most of the nurses were patient with me as I tried to get the babies to latch on separately and then when I was finally ‘getting it,’ trying to do it together. If I had any modesty before my hospital stay, it disappeared real fast! The nurses and LC’s really helped me get them to latch on properly. I did have one nurse, when I asked for help, tell my husband over the phone: â€Å“You know, she’s going to go home one of these days and she’s going to have to do it all by herself.†I was just thankful I only had her one shift! The last morning in the hospital, the twins had lost enough weight that the pediatrician was concerned. My milk had come in but little Audrey was not starting to gain weight. My last nurse argued with the doctor, who wanted to hold them in the hospital because of this. So, we weighed them and then I nursed each one separately, to find out how much they had taken in. Clayton nursed for 15 minutes and got 30cc, Audrey nursed for 30 minutes and got 15cc. So, Audrey was my inefficient nurser. She would nurse for a long time, but not get enough milk. Clayton on the other hand was efficient. So, we were told we had to supplement her, or leave her behind in the hospital. So, we were sent home with a 6-pack of formula to supplement with if needed, if I didn’t pump enough. I am happy to say that we still have that formula. I pumped and Audrey maybe got about 10 ounces of EBM in a bottle that first week of being home. After that, it was obvious that she was getting enough milk from me. At their 2-week appt., the pediatrician told us to keep feeding them what we were feeding them. It’s working! Clayton was my ‘hoover.’ He loved nursing. He loved it so much, that he did not like anything artificial. He didn’t take to bottles until he was 6 months old. Audrey on the other hand loved bottles and pacifiers. I pumped after every nursing session for their first 3 weeks. After that I pumped once a day, when I could find the time. TS has helped me make it through growth spurts, my illness’ and nursing strikes. I used an EZ 2 Nurse Twin pillow with them. I feel that helped me be successful at breastfeeding! I still use it! Everyone has asked me how long I plan on nursing them. I don't know what answer they were expecting, but my answer has always been; As long as I can. I have had to deal with Audrey getting thrush & passing it on to me at 7 months. I have for the most part had a big supply of milk for them when nursing and when I pump, I pump a high quantity! Can twins be nursed? A huge YES they can! I have milk ready for them when they want it. (I nurse on demand.) I don't have to clean/sanitize any bottles or warm up milk in the middle of the night. I wouldn't have it any other way.
    I weaned at 25½ months while pregnant with my next set of twins!!
     
  27. twinletsmom

    twinletsmom Member

    I loved your story Jen! I also love that nursing ticker! Just so you know I nursed my twins til they were 2 years old and they were never sick after they started nursing exclusivly. I say any one who says nursing is harder has never tried it! (OF course there are problems... thrush, mastitus, etc but I have done it both ways and I would NEVER think of not nursing a baby!

    James was a poor nurses and never nursed excl;usivly but I pumped til he was 6 months and he got ABM after that

    Natasha wiggled up and latched on as soon as they laid her on me and nursed exclusivly for 2 years

    Arianna and Brianna couldn't suck at birth (33 weeks) and so were a challange and had either EBM, ABM or tried nursing w/ out much sucess until 6 months and then nursed exclusivly until 2 years

    Chiarra nursed exclusivly until she was 3 years 3 months and NEVER had an artifical nipple in her mouth.
     
  28. aimee316cat

    aimee316cat Well-Known Member

    tulip1981...

    My boys were born at 34 weeks exactly, although the doctors and nurses all are convinced that I had my dates wrong and they were no more than 33 weeks. I was induced due to progressing TTTS and pre-eclampsia.

    They spent their first night in a level 2 NICU and luckily were the healthies babies in there! I got to hold them finally about 24 hours after they were born and the good nurses there help me do what they call a "lick and sniff". We put both boys to the breast, but of course nothing happened... That afternoon, they were transferred to a special care nursury.

    At the SCN, no nurses even talked to me about breastfeeding so I just assumed they weren't in a good condition to do so. I was so wrong.

    We started having problems with Connor that delayed BF'ing both boys for 2.5 weeks. I was so concerned with him getting better, it didn't even occur to me to start with Caleb, and the nurses didn't mention it either.

    Finally, one nurse talked to me alone and told me that I had the right to tell the others that I wanted to start BF'ing. It didn't even occur to me to do that earlier. So when we finally started out, it was very slow very slow - Connor did good, but we had to use a nipple shield with Caleb. By the time they were ready to come home at 5 weeks, Connor was taking his full feed about 3x per day and Caleb was taking about 1/2 3x per day.

    The day after I brought them home, they refused the breast. For some strange reason, I didn't want to use the nipple shield with Caleb and that frustrated him even more. I was so stressed about it, I'm sure I made it a lot worse. I tried for 2 really long days and then I quit. My nipples were hurting too bad and they just weren't getting it. I told all my family and friends.

    When they were home for 5 days, my mom came and stayed with me for a week. It was terrible. She would make comments that made me feel really bad that I wasn't BF'ing especially since I really wanted too. She made it sound like it should be easy, and that's what I thought which made me quit.

    After she left, I decided to try again. They were now 7 weeks old.This time I tried a nursing marathon, but by the end of the day I was in tears. I felt like I was failing them because we couldn't get the hang of it. They were frustrated and crying. So I quit again.

    When they were 8 weeks, I was getting sick of pumping every 3 hours so I decided to give them formula at night to make it easier for me. When I made the first bottle, I couldn't get over the smell and just couldn't bring myself to feed it to them. I decided to take it slow and try them at least once a day. They still didn't get it.

    At 9 weeks, I read a post on here that really encouraged me. I decided that I would not be a quitter and I was going to make it work no matter what. I pulled out Caleb's nipple shield again and was determined not to fail. He took right to it - why wasn't I using it before?? Connor took some time, but got it as well.

    I slowly stopped giving them their bottles and am happy to say that we've been exclusively BF'ing since they were 11 weeks.

    I can't believe how hard this was. Not to mention my nipples being raw and very painful for about 12 weeks, but now that they've got it -it's amazing. They love it so much and I love it too!! Not to mention I feed them in half the time it takes with a bottle and I'm not constantly washing bottles.

    Thank you so much to everyone on this board who posted for me not to give up and was so encouraging. I definatly wouldn't have been able to do it if it wasn't for you.

    For those of you who are like me - Breastfeeding is so hard. Harder than anyone can describe, but its' so worth it. Just be determined not to give up and you'll be so rewarded in the end!
     
  29. Starr Danielle

    Starr Danielle Well-Known Member

    Well I had my babies at 36 weeks and 5 days. They took to nursing very easily. They were not my first. I have Colby who is now 4.5 and was nursed til 2.5. The first few weeks my mom was with me to help and I usually nursed them both with the football hold while sitting on the couch with them laying on pillows. It worked pretty well with extra hands to lay them down, but after the help left we layed on the couch to nurse with one of them laying on my side. I did have to supplement a little, but they wanted to nurse all day. [​IMG] It has now been almost 2 years and they have been pretty good with it. Can't say I am too sure whatelse to say so I guess I am gonna leave it at that, but if anyone wants to chat PM me. Or IM me Carebearhugs4colby is my Yahoo and Carebearhugs2u is my AIM.
     
  30. flannelphilly

    flannelphilly Well-Known Member

    I view my first childs nursing experience as a failure I barely made it 5 or 6 months. Why I didn't succeed I believe is lack of knowledge regarding nursing. I was told it was easy. I knew nothing of the pain and discomfort , no one told me that it would be difficult in the first few weeks to months.

    My second singleton was a breeze by then I had read up on breast-feeding and knew what to expect. Knowledge is your best tool for succeeding. I nursed her for a year.

    The twins came along and I knew I wanted to nurse them for a least a year. I read and researched nursing twins, I spoke with other mothers and set myself to just do it.

    In my recollection those first three months were the most difficult. I don't remember the day it finally fell into place, but I do remember sitting on the couch crying while they ate, and waking to find them nursing still, and I'd cry and cry. It was a feeding by feeding experience. I said I can do this.

    It got easy one day around three months, finally it was natural and loving, it was beautiful. I looked forward to those moments I sat and fed them, they were they only times I really sat down. When six months came I said this is going to well why would I quit now. At 14 months we weaned and I am four or five days into it and I was sad this morning. I wish I was still nursing, but then again I am glad to be done. These are bittersweet days, weaning. Best wishes to you if you are reading this and wondering if you can succeed. You can, and many women have. You may succeed for three months or three years we are all so different and circumstances are different, but I say just tell yourself everyday you can make it, and you will. Don't let the negative thoughts of I can't do it take root. Those thoughts once planted will take bloom and you will give up, but tell yourself you can do it and you will.
     
  31. Silvarra

    Silvarra Well-Known Member

    Hello...

    I had previously breastfed with my oldest, Candace, so I knew some of the challenges to expect, although she was a rather easy nurser. She was bf until 11 months when she self-weaned. I was able to stay home with her for the most part so it was very easy for me to be on demand.

    When my twins were born, they were born at 39 weeks 6 days, at well over 7 lbs each. I thank God for carrying me through my pregnancy with literally no complications, because by the end I could barely carry myself! The girls needed no nicu time, it was as though my body was made for carrying twins! The lactation consultant at the hospital didn't offer any bad advice, although she did seem rather skeptical that I would actually succeed with the choice I'd made. [​IMG]

    Amanda was a natural nurser, she latched on well. With Vicky it took a couple of weeks. It was trying, physically and emotionally, but I was determined to make things work. We saw the pedi often who said they were gaining well (almost daily in the first weeks) so I tried to rest my mind about that. I set aside plenty of extra time to work on Vicky's latch, and by the time they were a month old we were able to tandem nurse easily! I just made myself available whenever they seemed hungry in the beginning (not easy with a 3 y/o in the house but we managed) and let them take care of my supply.

    At 4 months I had to return to work for financial reasons. At first it worked out, my manager was very understanding and allowed me to use an empty office for pumping. A couple of months later, though, another program moved into our dep't and I was unable to continue using the office, I had nowhere to go! Occasionally they would have an interview office open, but otherwise they told me to use the bathroom. [​IMG] Would you eat food prepared in a bathroom!? Not to mention there were no power outlets in there, so I couldn't use my hospital-grade pump anyway. Now granted, I have the legal right to pump right at my desk, but I was not comfortable doing so in front of my close team of co-workers. There were some days where I just had to leave early.

    Because of these difficulties, my supply began to dwindle, and I began supplementing, but I was still able to continue nursing until they were 8 months old. I consider being able to nurse at all a success, and that's why I'm posting here today. I also want all working moms out there to be aware of the challenges that the corporate office environment poses to nursing moms! Most major companies don't even seem to realize that this is something women's bodies do... My company has been great to work for other than this, but believe me, HR felt my wrath on this one... But I'm still glad I was able to do it in the first place, and I'll forever cherish the special bonding time I had with them.

    [​IMG]
     
  32. mnj

    mnj Well-Known Member

    Nursed before, babies born 38wks 1 day. Nicole i nursed right away she was vaginal and jessica 4 hours later was c-section. Both took to it very well, i got so good at it i was able to nurse both babies AND change a diaper at the same time (dont ask me how). I was only able to nurse for 6 month's and i dried up.
     
  33. aimee316cat

    aimee316cat Well-Known Member

    p31heather:

    Our girls were born at 38 wks 3 days.
    Alexis weighed 6lb 8 oz, low weight was 6.0
    Rachel weighed 5 lb 4 oz and low weigt was 4-14.

    The first 2 months were hard. I was demand feeding and hardly sleeping and we had days/nights mixed up. I had mastitis twice. I had the wrong size bras ... crazy... Anyhow, I put the girls on a 3 hr feeding schedule at 8 wks and things settled down so much and they started sleeping longer stretches at night... Slept 12 hrs at 6 months but that's another story... To sum up the first year, I never planned on BF longer than 6 months. When 6 months came, I couldn't imagine stopping. Now it's been a year...

    12 month check up
    Alexis 19 lb 13 oz, Rachel 17 lb and something. They both more than tripled their birth weight! YAY for BF!
     
  34. melissao

    melissao Well-Known Member

    Catherine and Andrew were born at 34.2 weeks on October 16th weighing 5lbs 7oz and 4lbs 12 oz. They were born via c-section and immediately taken to the NICU (Catherine had a cord wrapped twice around her neck and Andrew both were having some breathing trouble. I got to see them a few hours later, but then I got an infection after their birth and couldn't see them for 3 days! I was pumping every 2 hours to build my supply and my milk came in after about 3 days. They were given some 22 calorie formula in the NICU while I was sick, but otherwise got BM in the hospital and here at home until their first birthday. They were on ng tubes in the hospital due to their inability to suck (probably from me being on mag for so long) and came home on a 3 hour NICU feeding schedule. They also came home on heart monitors, caffeine for their breathing, and reglan and zantac for their reflux.

    At Thanksgiving, Andrew started projectile vomiting and was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis. He had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital an hour away for surgery. I went with him and Catherine was home with my family. I pumped and sent milk home for her for about a week. Andrew didn't eat for 4 days and took about a week to recover from his surgery. After that he was a much better eater/nurser!

    I pumped for 3 months until I got them to successfully nurse around the clock. It was a VERY difficult 3 months. I got a yeast infection before they even left the hospital and it stuck around for the entire 3 months I was pumping. The babies got it, I got it, it was miserable! The only thing that finally got rid of it (after using diflucan, nystatin, etc.) was Gentian Violet - I LOVE that stuff! I highly recommend it for yeast!

    I had a fabulous LC at our hospital who helped me daily while they were in the hospital and who I visited weekly once I was out of the hospital. She would weigh them before and after feedings so that I could see how they were progressing. That really helped me gain the confidence to quit pumping! They went from only taking 12 ccs as NICU babies to taking 3 ounces. One day in January I was so upset because I was so tired of pumping, so I just sat on the floor in my sunroom and nursed them all day long. It was exhausting - but it worked!

    Getting them to tandem feed made a huge difference for me because it was so much faster! I tandem fed them during the day and nursed them individually at night (my EZ pillow was too big for my rocker!).

    BF was a wonderful experience for me, despite the difficulty, and I'm so proud of us for nursing for a full year [​IMG] My DH likes to tell people that I would have nursed them until kindergarten, but they wouldn't let me [​IMG] I really was sad the day we stopped!
     
  35. twinsagainx4

    twinsagainx4 Well-Known Member

    In two more days my girls will be three months old. I don't know where it went but it did. This also means I have been nursing for 3 months. I didn't nurse my first set of twins because I just really wasn't into it and they had trouble latching on. During my pregnancy I told DH I wasn't going to nurse these ones because of the trouble I had before. He really didn't like that. He's not the father of the first set so he wasn't around then. He in a very nice way told me I should nurse. I really really didn't want to at all. I kept an open mind and made a deal with him and said I'd try it out, if it wasn't too much trouble I'd do it. I think that I went into it thinking it would be no big deal if I didn't nurse so to make him happy I will attempt it.
    About an hour after the babies were born they brought them into nurse, I was so prepared for it to be a huge ordeal. It wasn't. They each latched on perfectly the very first time. It was like they had been doing it forever. The first week or two were kind of rough but I stuck it out. I never once have even thought about quitting. It's so weird since I didn't want to in the first place. I'm so glad he insisted on nursing, and has been so supportive of it. I just absolutely love it. I can't even explain the feeling or the wonderful closeness I feel that I never felt with my older set.
    I pump during the day while I'm at work and I nurse when I'm home. I think it really helps me not be so upset about being gone from them all day. And they're ready to have some mommy nursing time at the end of the work day.
    I told DH today that I felt very proud of myself for nursing. And I don't want to toot my own horn but I am proud of myself. I'm sure I will be very very sad when it's time for them to stop.
    I have to admit I am a changed woman. I was bothered by nursing when I'd see it in public and I just didn't understand why you'd want to be tied down to a baby or babies all day long. I was sure I'd never nurse, it was far to much work. I have realized it's actually easier than feeding formula and I'm not tied down to them all day, and if anyone want's to mess with someone nursing in public they should be shot hehe.
    Here I am now an EXTREMELY pro-nursing mother. Way to go to all of you who are nursing your babies.
     
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