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February 3, 2010

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Show Me the Milk–My LC and Breast Feeding the Twins

My newborn twin boys are 2 weeks old tomorrow (born at 35 week, 5 days) and I was advised in the hospital to breast feed but to also supplement with formula.
It was not really pushed on me to be breast feeding exclusively nor pumping on a set schedule.
I was so out of it from the drugs/C-Section/gas pain, that I went along with it.
Once I was home I got more serious about breast feeding and pumping, but was doubting whether or not I had ‘missed’ the window of my milk coming in.
So, we continued to supplement with formula for the rest of the week.

I asked my pediatrician about it at the twins one week check up and she told me to STOP breast feeding except every 3-4 feedings and to pump every two hours around the clock.
I doubted this advice, but tried it out for 2 days. I still did not produce enough to feed them my breast milk and was starting to get really down on myself for not getting it right.

Finally, 9 days after they were born, I contacted LC, Sheri Bayles, who was horrified at my Ped’s advice. She had me start to exclusively breast feed that day and pump 10 minutes after each session from 6am-10pm. From 10pm-6am, just breast feed.
The goal was to get them eating every 2.5-3 hours from the breast. Max is a super sucker, so we put all hope on Max to ‘bring’ my milk in as his brother was not going to be our sucker champ.

I have been doing this schedule now for 5 days and it’s working! My tits have milk in them after all. I have them on the same schedule and do tandem breast feeding at every feeding. They are pretty good at letting us know when they are hungry and if they go past 3 hours, we wake them up.

If one wakes up but the other one is still asleep, we wake them both up–otherwise I would not get any sleep at all and everything I’ve read said I need to have rest to produce my milk.

I’m still not getting that much from pumping, sometimes 1-2 cc, sometimes up to 10cc’s, but either way, not very much. So we have ‘topped’ off with formula a couple of times in the middle of the night (2 nights), but that’s it.

Hopefully, if I keep this up, my milk supply will continue to increase and I can get enough from pumping we will have a bit of a back up supply to ‘top off’ with instead of the formula.

I’m also eating steel cut oatmeal every morning, drinking Mother’s Milk tea, taking Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle 3 x day and drinking about 1/2 gallon of water daily.

However, at their Pedi weigh in yesterday, she wanted to see more of a weight gain. They haven’t LOST any weight, but Max has only gained 1 ounce over his birth weight and Sebastian has gained two. Of course, she is a doctor and they seem to always seem to be hell bent on ‘fattening them up’, which of course, I want them to gain weight, but I also want them to be breast fed and not have to rely on formula if I can help it.

I also just found out that my thyroid levels are wacked out again. My TSH is 5.76, where it has been between 1-2 for the entire pregnancy. I have an appointment with the endocrinologist tomorrow to re-adjust my meds and see if this makes a difference in both my energy level (maybe it’s NOT all just sleep deprivation!) and my milk supply.

Any other advice would be very much appreciated.