Happy Thursday everyone. It is really starting to feel like fall around here and I am loving it. I love so many thing about this time of year. The chill in the air makes cuddling even more fun, wearing comfy sweatpants is well just comfy. Boots and cute jackets are the best. Something about Fall makes me want to relax and hug my girls even more then usual.
Before I get into today’s topic I have to tell you I went to the gym this morning with Sophia and Isabella and it felt so good. I did some resistance training yesterday so I decided to do a mix of different cardio machines. I did about 50 minutes of tough cardio and boy to I feel great. I know I am going to feel it tomorrow. I ended my workout with running intervals and I know my legs are going will be sore. I always love to end my cardio workouts with a bang.
I have been getting a lot of questions about my journey with breastfeeding twins.
Breastfeeding in the NICU
Within a few hours after the girls were born I started pumping every two hours for about 20 minutes during the day and everyone three hours for 20 minutes at night. This really helped get my milk supply going. By day 3 my milk came in and came in strong. My girls were only getting breast milk at this point.
As soon as I got the okay to go see my girls in the NICU I tried nursing them both. McKenzie nursed immediately and did a great job. It took McKayla a few tries but by 24 hours she nursed as well. After that they both became very tired and stopped nursing or taking the bottle and had to be put on a feeding tube. The nurses were giving my milk to the girls at each and every feeding. This continued for several days.
At about 7-10 days the girls were taking more and more feedings from bottle and breast. I would go up to the NICU for at least 2 feedings a day to give the girls practice nursing sessions. They were both doing great.
At Home After the NICU
The nurses recommended only nursing the girls as much as they seemed ready. Don’t push it too much, they can get very tired. Well we found out very quickly that they both preferred nursing over taking a bottle. Actually, from the first day they came home they only wanted to nurse and that is what we did. We simply followed their cues.
I fed the girls on demand which was about every 2-3 hours. I did my best to keep them on the same schedule, but found out very quickly that you can’t force a newborn to eat when they aren’t ready. With their size difference they weren’t hungry at the same time. McKayla needed to nurse more often. Whenever they were hungry at the same time I would tandem feed them and they did a wonderful job at that. When they were very small I fed them at the same time using a regular boppy once they got too big for that I used a double nursing pillow. Many people say to try to feed them at the same time as much as possible to keep them on the same schedule, however I like to have a few feedings one on one. I really like connecting with the girls by themselves every once in a while.
Until the girls were 4 weeks old I pumped after at least 1-2 feedings for 10 minutes or so. I wanted to have a nice reserve in the freeze so I could have a moments away once in a while. I was able to store quite a bit. After about 4 weeks I stopped pumping unless I needed to because of a skipped feeding or something.
During this month tandem feeding has become a little more difficult. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and get distracted by each other. So the feeding actually takes longer and they don’t feed as well. This month I have been feeding them separately for the most part. Most days their feeding times are about 15 minutes apart. So, they are still pretty much on the same schedule.
Now that the girls are so efficient their nursing sessions only last about 5-10 minutes. So, even when they nurse one after the other it is not too bad and besides this gives me so much one on one time and I love it. I can’t lie I have loved and continue to love nursing. I really felt it help me bond with all my girls more.
I plan to nurse McKenzie and McKayla for at least a year. Sophia nursed for about 13 months and Isabella nursed for about 16 months or so. I pretty much let them tell me when they were ready. I slowly dropped more and more feedings in the 12th month. So, they were only nursing a 1-2 times a day after turning one.
I am going to start researching and reading about baby led weaning. I really plan on using that this time around. I feel as though I pretty much did that with my two older girls, but never knew much about it. I do plan on introducing food around 6 months. I still have to check with our pediatrician if I use their adjusted age or real age for introducing solids. I am not sure on the one.
I will keep you updated with how breastfeeding is going from time to time. I also wanted to add that breastfeeding is not always easy. There have been plenty of times I wanted to quit, but I would tell myself how wonderful this is for the babies and me. I feel as though this is my time with my girls. I try to always look at the positive.
I hope all the information helps. Please feel free to ask me anything either in the comments below or send me an email me. I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding, but I do know it is not for everyone. We as mothers have to do what is best for our children, but also for us, as well.
In the Comments Below:
- Any tips on feeding infants. What worked for you?
- When did you introduce your baby(ies) to solids?