Twins: one BFs well, the other is difficult...

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by Hannah C, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Hannah C

    Hannah C Well-Known Member

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    My twin boys are now 5 days old, and I have been exclusively breastfeeding. They are so different in the way they feed, though...

    While one baby (James) has been a really good latcher/feeder from the start, my other baby (Jonathan) is not so interested in feeding, latches on and off, and takes almost twice as long to feed.

    I have been giving them one breast each, and alternating which breast I offer at every feed. Is this right? I feel like I have to use this method to even things out because the breast I offer to James always feels more empty after feeding than the one Jonathan has been on, and Jonathan is far harder on the nipple.

    Both are alert when awake, and creating plenty of wet nappies, so they are getting enough milk, but I am always worried that Jonathan isn't getting enough, and feel a bit guilty about comparing them (James is much easier!)

    Has anyone had similar experiences with twins, or found that siblings can be completely different to breastfeed too?
     
  2. kmac625

    kmac625 Mom to baby Clara

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    Sorry I have no experience with this but I'm sure someone with twins will come along with some advice by tomorrow (it seems most of the members are in the uk and it's the middle of the night there now). Congrats on your boys though!
     
  3. OnErth&InHvn

    OnErth&InHvn Mom to 4

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    yes you can alternate breasts. Remember there is no "timeline" for how long they should BF- just until they are full/breast is empty. Could it possibly be the position? Have you tried the football hold or laying down? You could try a nipple shield to help him latch, but many are kind of iffy about it because there can be issues with using one (as far as weaning). Its good he is having enough wet dipes though and is getting milk. That would be a whole nother issue if he wasnt latching and not getting enough.

    can you see about a La Leche League meeting near you or calling a leader? They are free and can help and even watch him latch on. A Lactation Consultant may be good too only because they could see how much hes actually getting and if there may be a medical issue (tongue tie, etc)- but they cost money. If you go to LLLI.org you can see if they have a meeting near you.
     
  4. chan8180

    chan8180 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hannah, mine are 12 weeks and i had problems with one feeding, Lucas was so much easier to feed, more effective and still is. Isaac took a few weeks to latch but has always been a poor feeder, more lazy and gerneraly has to be more hungry to take a full feed than his brother. In the early days i found tandem feeding better as Lucas would start the let down reflex and keep the flow strong so Isaac did'nt have to work so hard. Do you feed yours togther at all? Takes a while to master but keep trying of not as it will help timewise and maybe if you have a weaker feeder.

    All my babies fed differently though, My DD latched on immediatly unlike both twins but Lucas is still my best feeder to date.

    I only made the decision yesterday to bottle feed Isaac permanetly he is getting fussy again and i know just does much better with a bottle as he has had a permanent cold from 3 weeks and its not helping keeping his breatsfeeding skills along with his tendancy to be lazy and a grazer . Im gutted as will continue to feed his brother and express for Isaac but 3 months in it should be getting better not worse but i was the one who had to accept this and treat them as individivals:cry:

    Yours are stil very early and im sure if Jonathan is latching and feeding with wet nappies now he will be fine with just some more practice. They do say 8 weeks is what it takes for you and babies to really get the hang of it and it becomes second nature to you and them, i agree with this timeline for some reason it really clicked around this timeline and you can cook dinner with a baby on he breast without a second thought lol!
     
  5. Hannah C

    Hannah C Well-Known Member

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    Chan, thank you so much for your input.

    I'll take your advice tomorrow and will try putting James on the breast for a couple of minutes before Jonathan, to help with let-down and flow.

    I had a consultation from the lactation nurse before we were discharged from hospital, and she taught me to tandem feed with them both in a "football hold", and made sure they were both latching and feeding. I guess that I usually feed them together 2/3 of the time, but just one at a time at night, when DH brings them to me in bed so I can rest while they feed.

    I stripped Jonathan down to his nappy for their last feed 20 minutes ago, while James was allowed to stay snuggled in his blanket, and I think the cool air did wake him up and encourage slightly better feeding. I felt so sorry for him, though!

    Sorry to hear that your wee boy Isaac has been having so much difficulty BFing, and good on you for persevering with Lucas while expressing for Isaac - not the easiest for you, but the best for them :)

    xoxox
     
  6. chan8180

    chan8180 Well-Known Member

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    sorry never finished the reply i sent to you, just did and realised you had already answered what else i meant to say also is yours are stil very early and im sure if Jonathan is latching and feeding with wet nappies now he will be fine with just some more practice. They do say 8 weeks is what it takes for you and babies to really get the hang of it and it becomes second nature to you and them, i agree with this timeline for some reason it really clicked around this timeline and you can cook dinner with a baby on he breast without a second thought lol!

    Also skin to skin is great to get a lazy feeder to look for it more, if you have the time (hard i know) stay in bed that little bit longer and before a feed get Jonathan on your chest skin to skin to encourage him to root for you. I did'nt really have the time to do much of this with a toddler at home too but i have been told it works wonders.

    5 days they are probably still very sleepy and tire easy on the breast, this will start to improve in another week or so, you have their weights on your side as as i can remember from your arrival post they were a good size. My Isaac was only 4.9 pounds and 4 weeks early so did'nt give us a good grounding.

    Good luck Pm me if you need any other advice x
     

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