Calm Your Tits! Some things just don’t go to plan! (My breastfeeding journey)

I always thought I would be this earth mama, picking daisies and frolicking in sunflower fields and if my babies were hungry then of course I’d just flop a boob out… right!? Thats how it works doesn’t it? Hmmmm well unfortunately that was so far from reality for me!

My boobs started leaking from 18 weeks pregnant! 18 WEEKS!!!! I was sure I would be the milkiest cow out there! They would leak when I would get emotional or have a shower… I was literally scared of my own boobs… You know the saying “calm your tits” I ACTUALLY WISHED I COULD!!! I didn’t know what they were capable of and the twins hadn’t even arrive yet!

Calm your tits

Having pre-eclampsia meant that my girls were delivered via c-section at 35 weeks. And I was pretty heavily medicated leading up to their birth (and after) to help control my blood pressure. This effected my milk supply. And apparently there are a few elements that can effect your milk supply. Medication, multiples, c-section, not having your baby/babies with you immediately, I even heard that IVF can be a causing factor for low or delayed milk supply… it seemed the odds were against me!

So as most new mothers do… I did anything! While the twins were in the special care nursery I was allowed to breastfeed them twice a day. So while for the 2.5 weeks they were in hospital, I would go in twice a day to breastfeed and cuddle, and just stare at them. For the other feeds they would be tube fed my expressed breast milk or formula (Nan1 Ha gold). My routine was breastfeed (with nipple shields cause my girls couldn’t latch properly) then pump. And then pump basically every 3 to 4 hours when the twins would have been feeding to help bring on my milk supply (including during the night). I was eating lactation cookies, taking Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle vitamins, drinking my body weight in water… and after about a week and a half of this I still never really had an abundance of milk so I was put on Motilium, a drug to help increase milk supply.

twin breastfeeding

At the end of their 2.5 weeks in special care, when the twins were able to take all suck feeds (breast or bottle) and no longer needed the feeding tubes, we ‘roomed in’ at the hospital for two nights basically as a practise run to make sure they thrived independently. So after my first night ever with the girls doing all breastfeeds, the next morning I woke up and finally my supply had kicked in! Even one of the nurses who had watched me breastfeed and obviously got to know my boobs pretty well for nearly 3 weeks walked in that morning and went “Woah!”. Its actually amazing how that constant contact with your baby and regular skin to skin can help your supply! I never imagined it would have that much on an impact!

twin breastfeeding

We finally got to take our girls home and it was all up to me! Although my supply had turned up a notch it was still never fully enough to feed both girls every feed. So a feed for me (every 3 to 4 hours) was a tandem breastfeed, a small bottle top up and a 20 minute pump… morning and night. I actually think back now and wonder how on earth I did it?!

breast pump expressing

Sometimes if we were out (or just to give myself a break) I would skip a breastfeed and just give them an expressed bottle. And at 6 weeks the girls decided the boob was way too much work and they would loose their shit every time I tried to feed them! So this was the beginning of the end! From then I only pumped and bottle fed them a combination of formula or expressed breastmilk. By 8 weeks I had had enough of hooking myself up to a powerpoint every 4 hours to milk myself and the girls were fully formula fed moving forward.

There is no denying that you feel mothers guilt. It’s a weird thing mothers guilt… because I would never judge another mother for making certain decisions but for some reason we are extra hard on ourselves! I think I felt more guilty that it hadn’t gone to plan! Even though it was just my own plan and mostly out of my control! We are told a million times “breast is best”… and don’t get me wrong, breast is bloody awesome, if you can do it! I watched my premmie babies flourish the more they received my breast milk, but you know what… ‘fed is best’. Because mums need to feel ok about things not going to plan or for making decisions that suit them and their family. We are so lucky we live in a country where we have options for safe, healthy formulas to feed our babies. My girls have absolutely thrived on formula. And as a twin mum I have to admit there is nothing more convenient than passing a baby and a bottle to another pair of helping hands or better yet… getting them to do it themselves! #mumoftheyear!
twin bottle feeding

7 Replies to “Calm Your Tits! Some things just don’t go to plan! (My breastfeeding journey)”

  1. I have loved reading your blogs. This one in particular as I sit and nurse my 9 week old bubba and top him up with formula, which I have struggled with since the nurse introduced it early on. My little man had a low birth weight and struggled to find the energy to breastfeed which lead to a drop in my supply that never quite came back despite the feed/ pump/ feed/ pump 2 hourly schedule. You are amazing doing it with twins for that amount of time! Your girls are just gorgeous and it’s so true when they say fed is best xx

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    1. Beautiful mama! Sounds like you have had your work cut out for you! 2 hourly pumping… oh my goodness! Well done for trying! You are a star and your little man is lucky to have such an awesome mama! Xxx

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  2. As I lay in a hospital bed with Mastitis next to my 14 day old it is so helpful and reassuring to read this and know there are options for every mum. Thank you for sharing.
    Fed is best. X

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    1. Oh hunny! So sorry to hear! Wishing you a speedy recovery! And absolutely fed is best! This stigma of not being able to breastfeed as ‘failing’ needs to stop! You’re a super Mum! Xxx Fed is best!

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  3. Hi there, love reading your insta & blog posts 🙂
    I had twins 8 weeks ago & everything you said above happened to me..
    Now I’m trying to feed one, then bottle & then do the same with the next one , then I express!! I’m exhausted.
    I’ve had slot if support but now I need to try & do the feeds by myself a bit more

    My question is what & how did you bottle feed both babies at the same time?
    Did you have them in your lap or in rockers?
    Or did you have help at the feeds?
    I’ve tried the rockers but my 2 are vomiters so they tend to vomit a lot & need a lot of burping.

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    1. Hi hunny congrats! You’ve made it 8 weeks which mean you have done a fabulous job! I don’t think there is much of a set way to bottle feed… you’ll find yourself improving and inventing ways that work for you! But I found the lounge/bed the easiest while they aren’t moving. Get them set up side-by-side laying down on their backs or a pillow and if you want your an put pillows on either side of them for support and sit at their feet holding both bottles. At 8 weeks its often very stoppy and starty for breaks and burping and spews! Bouncers are always a good one and if you’re feeling really lazy roll up a towel and place it under there neck like a bib and this can often support the bottle so you don’t have to hold both, but yep this is tricky if they need burping… Check out my instagram from when the girls were quite young… I did a time lapse of a solo bottle feed and the girls would have been around 8 weeks. Very burpy and windy! I found that sometimes popping them on their tummy for a minute or two would help with that during a feed too! Good Luck my love… and of course don’t forget to time people’s visits around feed time so they can take a bottle and a baby! haha that was my rule! hahaha xxx

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  4. Hi Tegan.
    Firstly, your girls are just gorgeous. And congratulations on your pregnancy!
    Thank you for your amazing and honest blogs! My husband and I have 7 week old identical twin girls, also conceived through IVF. I connect with so much of what you talk about, especially the feeding part. I’m struggling with tandem breastfeeding as logistically it’s just so hard. Feeding, nipple shields, expressing, EBM tops ups, formula as back up, burping. My amazing husband goes back to work in two weeks and I just don’t know if I can carry on with breastfeeding. But I do feel very guilty as, unlike others, I have a good supply. I feel like I’m giving up and letting my girls down. I completely agree that fed is best, but how did you handle going from breastfeeding to formula?
    Xx

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