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How Combination Feeding Helped Me Manage as a New Mom of Twins

INDONESIAKININEWS.COM -  My oldest daughter latched on without a problem and I produced more than enough milk to feed her.  As a first-time ...



INDONESIAKININEWS.COM - My oldest daughter latched on without a problem and I produced more than enough milk to feed her. 

As a first-time mom, I was initially nervous about breastfeeding, but it turned out to be the most beautiful thing I had ever done in my life. 

Providing my baby with food from my body was a heavenly experience.

I felt like my breast milk was liquid gold for my child, which made me feel like a warrior.

Eleven years later, I gave birth to twins via C-section at 38 weeks. I had just celebrated my 41st birthday two weeks earlier.

My plan was to breastfeed my son and daughter for as long as I could — after all, I had breastfed for almost a year with the oldest, who went from breast to cup, never using a bottle.

Is It Normal if My Newborn Baby's Toes and Feet Flare Out When I Touch Them?

But the experience of breastfeeding twins was drastically different from the start.

In the hospital, just learning how to properly hold them at the same time was a challenge. 

I finally got the hang of it after a kind nurse instructed me to hold each baby like a football tucked under my arms on both sides of my body. 

For a brief moment, when I saw both babies happily eating and I could feel the warmth of their little bodies, I was back in heaven! Until … ouch!

My baby girl wasn’t latching on correctly and I didn’t realize it until she was done feeding. 

The skin around my nipple was so raw, I cried out in pain. 

My son, on the other hand, never wanted to stop eating and I felt like he was an additional extension of my body that I carried around me almost all day.

Breastfeeding Positions to Try

This feeding routine quickly left me exhausted. I was up at all hours of the night feeding one twin or the other. They did not feed at the same time. 

Some nights, I’d sleep sitting up in a rocking chair in their bedroom because I knew that once I put one back to sleep, I’d only have about 45 minutes before the other baby wanted to eat.

Not only was I sleep deprived, but I was in pain. 

I was engorged and producing massive amounts of milk because feeding constantly stimulated the flow, which sometimes felt more like a milky waterfall. 

That made for fun times during in-person business meetings or video conferences when the dam would break, and no breast pad could stand the chance of stopping it.

As an entrepreneur, I didn’t have much maternity leave. So, I was often breastfeeding while on a business call.

I was mentally and physically depleted and feeling the pangs of depression creeping in.

Establishing a new combo feeding routine

I thought combo feeding might help give me a bit of a break, but I was uncertain about incorporating formula into our routine. 

Because I'd had such a good experience breastfeeding my older daughter, it was hard to admit to myself that I needed help this time around. 

I wanted to continue breastfeeding, but I had to figure out how to provide those nutrients to my babies in a way that was healthy for us all.

After doing a lot of research, I found organic formula brands that worked best for us and started supplementing. 

At first, I had no clue how to offer both formula and breast milk throughout the day, but I tried different strategies until a new routine clicked:

I’d pump two to three times a day (my milk was still flowing abundantly, and I was able to freeze some and keep a few pouches thawed in the refrigerator). 

I didn’t have a specific pumping schedule, but I listened to my body. When I felt my breasts were full, I’d pump and then go about my day.

This helped me maintain a good supply of breast milk to feed the twins a full bottle each before bedtime.

During the day, I’d switch between half breast milk-half formula bottles and full formula bottles. 

Around naptime, I’d breastfeed them because the warmth of our bodies would relax them until they fell asleep. 

Overnight, I’d switch between breastfeeding and preparing bottles of formula. 

This helped when my partner would be the one to get up and feed them with a bottle so I could sleep.

It sounds like a lot, and that’s because it was. But once I got into the groove, the day-to-day feeding schedule became like a dance and I didn’t miss a step.

I was able to maintain this routine until the twins were about 14 months. 

At that point, they were eating solids and their daily feeding schedule was changing drastically. 

Milk was quickly taking a backseat to the new and interesting foods they were trying. 

Supplementing with formula was the right choice for us

When I was pregnant with my twins, I hadn't envisioned that I'd combo feed. 

Initially, I thought I could breastfeed them just like I did my first child, but I quickly discovered that each baby is unique.

I'll be honest: It took time to overcome the guilt I felt when I first fed my twins formula. 

But when I saw the shift combo feeding had on my physical and mental well-being, I knew it was the right decision for my family. 

And if I had to do it all over again, I would … raw nipples, sleepless nights and all.

I hope that my story will inspire other families to embrace exactly where they’re at in their baby feeding journeys.

Whether it's combination feeding, exclusively breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding breast milk, or exclusively offering formula, the most important thing is that your children are happy and fed — and the well-being of their parents matters, too.

Source: whattoexpect


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IndonesiaKiniNews.com: How Combination Feeding Helped Me Manage as a New Mom of Twins
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