close
SM-Stamp-Join-1
  • Selfish Mother is the most brilliant blogging platform. Join here for free & you can post a blog within minutes. We don't edit or approve your words before they go live - it's up to you. And, with our cool new 'squares' design - you can share your blog to Instagram, too. What are you waiting for? Come join in! We can't wait to read what YOU have to say...

  • Your basic information

  • Your account information

View as: GRID LIST

When breastfeeding doesn’t go to plan

1
They say breastfeeding is 10% milk production and 90% determination. I was pregnant with twins, and I was going to breastfeed. I was determined. I had a straightforward pregnancy, very little sickness, a neat bump, and no discomfort or heart burn. At 31 weeks I decided to have play with my breast pump and expressed 30ml of colostrum which I froze ready for their arrival – which happened to be just 5 days later.

My twins were born naturally in a very speedy labour lasting less than an hour. They both cried like kittens when they were born which I

SelfishMother.com
2
wasn’t expecting, they were shown to me briefly before being whisked away to NICU. I knew they would be too small to breastfeed for at least a couple of weeks so I asked for a pump as soon as I got to the postnatal ward and I expressed 50ml which was a huge amount of colostrum (apparently!). We took this liquid gold down to NICU and a few hours later my twins received their first drops of my milk down their nasogastric tubes.
3 hours later I hooked up to the pump again, but barely got a drop. This continued for 3 days. I signed a form to give my
SelfishMother.com
3
consent for my twins to receive donor milk. I will forever be grateful to the woman who fed my babies for those 3 days. My milk came in on day 4 and I was elated to see streams of milk flowing down the flanges and collecting in the bottles. I hired a hospital grade Medela Symphony and pumped every 2-3 hours round the clock getting up at least twice every night. By the third week, I was making over 2 litres (70 ounces) of milk a day. My Mum bought us a second freezer for the garage, just for the milk!

After a month in NICU, my twins were not latching

SelfishMother.com
4
but were taking a bottle of breast milk well and we were allowed home. In this chaotic, sleep deprived haze of new motherhood to multiple babies, I made my first mistake and didn’t offer them the breast enough, and it soon became apparent that they preferred bottles. I lacked confidence that when they latched, I doubted whether they fed efficiently to get ‘enough.’ I should have sought help and support with nursing, but instead I carried on expressing for them. My mum and my husband were a great support at this time, both practically and
SelfishMother.com
5
emotionally and I think they enjoyed helping to feed them too. The twins gained weight beautifully and whilst our situation was rather unique, it felt like everything was falling into place.

By 5 months old, they had forgotten how to latch and our fate was sealed, I was exclusively expressing for them. By 7 months I was expressing 5 times a day (morning, bedtime and during each of their naps, even when out and about!). When they dropped a nap, I dropped a pump, I didn’t want pumping to interfere with our awake time together.

During their first

SelfishMother.com
6
year I donated milk several times. I usually a large one off donation of a 1000-2000 ounces every couple of months. I donated to a lady with insufficient glandular tissue and a lady who had had a double mastectomy. It was very rewarding and made all those hours sat at the pump worthwhile. That, and watching my twins grow into strong and healthy toddlers, a far cry from the tiny 3lb babies I gave birth to.

The twins are now 18 months old and I express before they get up in the morning and before I go to bed at night (they still wake in the night for

SelfishMother.com
7
cuddles and milk though). This is providing enough milk for both babies to have milk feeds on demand in the day. I’m hoping to carry on until they are 2, then I will hang up my horns and enjoy some more time in bed and hopefully some more sleep!

It has taken me a long time to come to terms with how stopping breastfeeding is going to be my decision rather than theirs. I am slowly starting to feel ready to stop giving them breast milk and I hope that feeling is even more complete by their second birthday. This most definitely wasn’t how I planned to

SelfishMother.com
8
breast feed my babies but I am starting to accept I am doing just that. I breastfed them, via bottle, but still breastfed.

Exclusively expressing has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. With hindsight I can see the mistakes I made which prevented the twins becoming successful nursers. Many people told me I should stop pumping and sleep whilst they sleep. Many told me you cannot exclusive breastfeed via pumping, I would dry up. Many told me I cannot produce enough milk to feed twins. Everyone seems to ask when I am going to

SelfishMother.com
9
stop! It is no one’s business but mine, my babies’ and my husband’s – but everyone seems to have an opinion. Which means I have mostly stopped talking about it – until today. I refuse to feel guilty about what went wrong for us and focus on what went right – getting fresh breast milk for the first two years of their lives! They have had Daddy and Nanny feed and comfort them too and are always surrounded by love and encouragement. There is so much more to being a parent than how we feed our babies and we should feel proud of our choices every
SelfishMother.com
10
step of the way. After all, we make the right decisions for our own families and that should never be judged by someone who hasn’t walked in our shoes.
SelfishMother.com

By

This blog was originally posted on SelfishMother.com - why not sign up & share what's on your mind, too?

Why not write for Selfish Mother, too? You can sign up for free and post immediately.


We regularly share posts on @SelfishMother Instagram and Facebook :)

- 22 Dec 15

They say breastfeeding is 10% milk production and 90% determination. I was pregnant with twins, and I was going to breastfeed. I was determined. I had a straightforward pregnancy, very little sickness, a neat bump, and no discomfort or heart burn. At 31 weeks I decided to have play with my breast pump and expressed 30ml of colostrum which I froze ready for their arrival – which happened to be just 5 days later.

My twins were born naturally in a very speedy labour lasting less than an hour. They both cried like kittens when they were born which I wasn’t expecting, they were shown to me briefly before being whisked away to NICU. I knew they would be too small to breastfeed for at least a couple of weeks so I asked for a pump as soon as I got to the postnatal ward and I expressed 50ml which was a huge amount of colostrum (apparently!). We took this liquid gold down to NICU and a few hours later my twins received their first drops of my milk down their nasogastric tubes.
3 hours later I hooked up to the pump again, but barely got a drop. This continued for 3 days. I signed a form to give my consent for my twins to receive donor milk. I will forever be grateful to the woman who fed my babies for those 3 days. My milk came in on day 4 and I was elated to see streams of milk flowing down the flanges and collecting in the bottles. I hired a hospital grade Medela Symphony and pumped every 2-3 hours round the clock getting up at least twice every night. By the third week, I was making over 2 litres (70 ounces) of milk a day. My Mum bought us a second freezer for the garage, just for the milk!

After a month in NICU, my twins were not latching but were taking a bottle of breast milk well and we were allowed home. In this chaotic, sleep deprived haze of new motherhood to multiple babies, I made my first mistake and didn’t offer them the breast enough, and it soon became apparent that they preferred bottles. I lacked confidence that when they latched, I doubted whether they fed efficiently to get ‘enough.’ I should have sought help and support with nursing, but instead I carried on expressing for them. My mum and my husband were a great support at this time, both practically and emotionally and I think they enjoyed helping to feed them too. The twins gained weight beautifully and whilst our situation was rather unique, it felt like everything was falling into place.

By 5 months old, they had forgotten how to latch and our fate was sealed, I was exclusively expressing for them. By 7 months I was expressing 5 times a day (morning, bedtime and during each of their naps, even when out and about!). When they dropped a nap, I dropped a pump, I didn’t want pumping to interfere with our awake time together.

During their first year I donated milk several times. I usually a large one off donation of a 1000-2000 ounces every couple of months. I donated to a lady with insufficient glandular tissue and a lady who had had a double mastectomy. It was very rewarding and made all those hours sat at the pump worthwhile. That, and watching my twins grow into strong and healthy toddlers, a far cry from the tiny 3lb babies I gave birth to.

The twins are now 18 months old and I express before they get up in the morning and before I go to bed at night (they still wake in the night for cuddles and milk though). This is providing enough milk for both babies to have milk feeds on demand in the day. I’m hoping to carry on until they are 2, then I will hang up my horns and enjoy some more time in bed and hopefully some more sleep!

It has taken me a long time to come to terms with how stopping breastfeeding is going to be my decision rather than theirs. I am slowly starting to feel ready to stop giving them breast milk and I hope that feeling is even more complete by their second birthday. This most definitely wasn’t how I planned to breast feed my babies but I am starting to accept I am doing just that. I breastfed them, via bottle, but still breastfed.

Exclusively expressing has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. With hindsight I can see the mistakes I made which prevented the twins becoming successful nursers. Many people told me I should stop pumping and sleep whilst they sleep. Many told me you cannot exclusive breastfeed via pumping, I would dry up. Many told me I cannot produce enough milk to feed twins. Everyone seems to ask when I am going to stop! It is no one’s business but mine, my babies’ and my husband’s – but everyone seems to have an opinion. Which means I have mostly stopped talking about it – until today. I refuse to feel guilty about what went wrong for us and focus on what went right – getting fresh breast milk for the first two years of their lives! They have had Daddy and Nanny feed and comfort them too and are always surrounded by love and encouragement. There is so much more to being a parent than how we feed our babies and we should feel proud of our choices every step of the way. After all, we make the right decisions for our own families and that should never be judged by someone who hasn’t walked in our shoes.

Did you enjoy this post? If so please support the writer: like, share and comment!


Why not join the SM CLUB, too? You can share posts & events immediately. It's free!

Mum to sleep-stealing toddler twins who beat all the odds to be here. I am massively biased but they are massively awesome.

Post Tags


Keep up to date with Selfish Mother — Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media