I'm a mom of 10wk old twins that spent 4wks in the NICU and
Welcome to the board, and congratulations!
I'm sure you're very busy caring for twins, but pumping as often as possible will help you build and maintain your supply. The best time to build your supply is during the first 12 weeks, so you still have time to take advantage of your body being more responsive to increased pumps and herbs. A lot of the ladies on this board can attest to the fact that pumping with a good double electric pump can build your supply, and that your twins not latching does not mean that you are destined to have low supply.
It sounds like you are pumping often enough. It's recommended to pump 8-12 times per day for the first 12 weeks, with at least one of those pumps being a middle of the night pump. Are you pumping for 15-20 mins, or 5 mins past the last drop?
What kind of pump are you using? An Ameda Purely Yours (or Lansinoh double electric, as they are essentially the same pump, just different color), Medela Pump in Style Advanced, or Medela Freestyle (or a hospital grade rental pump) are the recommended pumps for increasing supply.
Mom to Ashley Elizabeth, born 11/3/09
When you say "pump 4 oz every 2 hours" is that around the clock - i.e. you are making 48 oz per day? If so, that is a very respectable supply. Most BF babies don't eat more than about 25 oz per day, which would mean you have very close to enough for twins, in theory. When you say your babies are eating 4 oz every 2 hours, is that also around the clock? I'm pretty amazed if each baby could actually eat 48 oz in a day! I've heard of babies going through growth spurts temporarily getting up to 35-40 oz in a day, but not close to 50!
Thank you so so much for replying. The relief is overwhelming.
Lets see, to answer your questions: the pump I was using was the Medela pump in style advanced. I set my milk supply in the NICU with the medela symphony(I just
Unfortunately, they do that almost around the clock. My one twin eats between 4 and 5oz every 2-4hrs. During the day he does 2-3, at night 3-4. The other twin eats EVERY two hours but he eats 2-3oz. They are also gaining massive amounts of weight for preemies-each gained 1lb
First, I want to say that because you're using a good pump and pumping so often, I really don't think you're likely to lose your supply. Lactation consultants told me the same thing when I was starting out, and I never knew anyone in real life who did this, so I was EXTREMELY stressed about losing my supply. As soon as I saw my supply start to increase, rather than dwindling like the LCs said would happen, I began to realize how little some LCs know about EPing. I am not sure why so many think you can't build and maintain supply without baby nursing, but from what I've been reading over the last year the vast majority of women can build or maintain their supply with the pump.
I know what you mean about never quite getting a last drop. I asked about that when I was a new EPer, because I was trying to wait until I literally had no more drops of milk. You can pump 5 mins past when the milk really starts to slow a lot, and when your breasts feel empty. Because you BFed your oldest, you probably know what that feels like, and with massage and compressions, you'll know that you have pushed out most of the milk and don't feel any denser areas in your breast. Try to pump 5 mins past that point every time. And I'd try to pump 8-12 times every day.
It sounds like you're doing great with the MOTN pumps. :)
Also, you won't suddenly lose your ability to build your supply as soon as you pass the 12 week window. I gradually built my supply little by little up to 6 months PP. I started taking domperidone at around 3 months PP (post partum), and continued doing a lot of extra pumping just because I was already used to it. I think both the drug and the extra pumps caused me to keep increasing.
Yes, 9 pills each of blessed thistle and fenugreek. It takes some ladies 12 pills of each per day (4 pills, 3x per day), especially for people like me who still had some extra baby weight to lose.
Finally, like adk_trekker mentioned, it does sound like your babies are drinking A LOT! Have they always consumed this much? I wonder whether they're going through a growth spurt right now, and might start drinking less. That would make it easier on you to keep up with them or get ahead.
My goodness, I am so impressed by your dedication, doing so much of the work and pumping so often for twins. I literally cannot imagine caring for my one baby without help from my DH and family. To care for twins and your older daughter without much help from your husband is amazing. Stress and sleep deprivation can definintely hurt your supply, so maybe your babies will start sleeping longer stretches and let you get more sleep. If there's any way you can get some help every now and then, to help relieve some of your stress, you'd probably see your supply go up. For me, relieving stress did a lot to improve my supply.
Also, I don't know whether I mentioned this before, but it can take a few weeks to start seeing results. I started increasing .5 ounces here and there, slowly increasing every week or half week. Some ladies respond to all the extra pumping and the herbs within a few days,but it can take up to a month to notice results.
Oh, and I completely understand not wanting to spend money on formula, and formula was harder on my baby's tummy when I had to supplement in the beginning, but if you DO have to supplement here and there, they're immune systems will still benefit from all the BM they are drinking. Especially if they're drinking 40+ ounces per day, a couple of ounces of formula won't undo all the good from all those ounces of BM they're drinking. I completely understand why you want them to drink BM exclusively, though. :)
That is the first positive thing I have heard about EP! *Phew* maybe now I can relax a bit.
I'm sure stress has to do with it and the fact that there are two and they dont latch.
Yes, they always drink that much. In the NICU, they calculated according to weight and fed every three hours and my one twin would wake at 1.5hrs screaming for food. Once they got out its like they are trying to make up. My one twin hovers around 2-3ounces and when he goes through a growth spurt will wake up like crazy to eat more. He cant handle the volume that his brother can, who eats 4-5 UGH!
Another question about pumping for you-in order to go to where I almost have nothing coming out takes about 45min. Is that too long? I read somwhere to not go past twenty. And I got terrible clogged ducts today. I was squeezing and squeezing to get it out of my right breast and consequently am WAAAAY behind with my supply today. I was only drawing off about 1/2ounce. I just picked
The weight calculation doesn`t really work when you are feeding breastmilk. Unless you have a really progressive MD, they really know very little about breastfeeding and even less about EPing.
Wanting to eat every 90 minutes is normal for breastmilk fed baby
I agree with the suggesstion to take a quick break halfway through the 45 minute pumping session. I find that stopping the pump for a couple minutes and then restarting it also helps me get another letdown more quickly.
The clogs could very well be from not draining your breasts because you stopped a pumping session too soon. Taking a quick break is probably a good idea, but overall your pumps probably will take quite a bit longer than "average." You are producing a lot of milk. I was thinking yesterday when it occurred to me how much milk you are really producing - you might need to drink more than the standard recommendations for water, and I'm sure you'd need to eat a lot more than the average pumping mom.
A lot of doctors and LCs will tell you that you shouldn't pump longer than 15-20 mins at most, but as you know, that often isn't really enough. Most EPers end up pumping a lot longer than the 20 mins at a time. Again, taking a break in between longer sessions is a great idea. You don't have to sit there for a full 45 mins+ uninterrupted.
I took 3 of the 10mg domperidone pills 3x per day, for a total of 90mg per day. I believe there's another thread under general faqs right now about how much other ladies on the board have taken.