View Full Version : Milk supply
I'm really hoping to tandem breastfeed my girls but I've been wondering about my supply.
Will I be able to produce enough for the two of them? What sort of things can I do to produce more?
I've been thinking about trying to express in a few weeks with a pump and try and get a frozen supply started.
Has anyone else had any issues similar? Or have any suggestions?
For the first 2-3 days after the birth, you'll only be producing colostrum which is really thick and bubs only needs a tiny amount to fill them up (1-5ml per feed) and your 'milk' won't come in until day 2 or 3. Apparently the presence of the placenta tells your body not to produce milk yet because the baby/s haven't yet arrived but once they're born and the placenta is birthed as well, the message is sent to start making milk.
For this reason, I don't really think expressing before the girls are born will work - although having said that, ANYONE can lactate so it might be possible. I hope someone else can answer that one for you.
Milk is generally produced on a 'supply and demand' basis - essentially, you'll produce as much milk as your babies will need.
I hope this helps a little bit and that someone else can give you some more tips.
If you express before they are born, you wll generally only get colostrum, not milk, which is in MUCH smaller quantities, but you can still freeze it.
After I had DS, I went to a talk by the LC in the hospy. She said that one of the biggest reasons women don't succeed in b/f is because of stress/worry and doubt. She said that almost every woman makes enough milk in those first few weeks for THREE babies! So long as they follow the supply/demand method then it will adjust according to their babies needs (so reduce for one baby, or even increase for more than 3 babies) But is you put your baby (or babies in our cases!!) to the breast/s when they ask for it, your body WILL make enough milk for them. Exressing isn't generally needed once bubbas are here, and can often interfere as it's different to your babies and doesn't always release the same 'happy hormones' that get released when your baby's skin is against yours.
I have organised doner milk from friends JIC bubs are born early and the stress of NICU bubbas means my supply is slow to start, as I want to make sure they only have b/m.
I would join the ABA now, and/or hire or speak to a lactation consultant now to help get into the right mindset. I am still worried about being able to b/f my bubbas too, but more the logistics of getting them both attached/feeding at the same time etc. I am confident that I will have enough milk.
When they are here too - the first 6weeks, is important for establishing good supply. You need as much rest and fluids as possible. Everytime they drink, had a big glass of water yourself, and another before their next feed. And eat well, and LOTS! I would sometimes have a sandwich at 2am when feeding DS, I might have to have a midnight AND 4am snack with twins!!
I was coming in here to say exactly what Tasma said :)
You can try expressing and freezing some colostrum before the birth - collect it in syringes and freeze it that way too, you only need the tiniest amounts. You can do this if you feel you might not have enough milk, but yes, the hormones that the placenta releases do inhibit milk production.
Milk supply, as Tasma suggested, is a supply and demand principle. The more you feed your babies, the more milk you'll produce. Put them to the breast as often as they need it, and unless you've got some rare underlying condition that means you can't produce breastmilk (only about 3% of women have such a condition - it really is VERY rare :)) you will produce enough for them. Milk supply adjusts constantly - basically, what is removed from your breasts is replaced by your breasts. The more you remove, the more they will replace. At the moment, in addition to feeding my 9 month old son, for example, I'm expressing at least 1 feed, and sometimes 2 or more for another baby. My milk supply has adjusted so that my baby never misses out :)
Of particular relevance to you, though, is going to be getting attachment right. When you first start breastfeeding a baby, you're both learning a new skill, and doing it together. Some babies just seem to know how to breastfeed - but they're few and far between. A lot of women find that the first 2 - 6 weeks are quite painful, but it DOES get better. Hang in there! It is so worthwhile! Having said that, if it hurts, seek help and do so early on. Also, when lactation consultants and midwives tell you that, if done right, breastfeeding shouldn't hurt - they're only partially right. For MOST women, even if their baby's latch is perfect, there is some pain associated with the first 30 seconds or so of each feed for a few weeks. This is just because your breasts have to get used to the new sensations. If it still hurts after about 20 or 30 seconds though, then you'll probably need to take your baby off the breast and try to reattach (or babIES as the case may be).
Good on you for thinking about these issues now and asking questions and educating yourself :)
Good luck - you'll do great, I'm sure :D
My kids were born at 32+5 weeks and I gave the breastfeeding a good go but didn't have the supply to fed one let alone 2, I tried all sorts of stuff, expressing after they feed, expressing a few hours before they feed, expressing regularly like every 3 hours, drinking heaps of water, resting as much as I could, relaxing as much as I could, but couldn't do it. I was at the point of trying cookies or milk shakes to help with my supply. I would massage my (.)(.) in the shower, put a warm cloth on my (.)(.) before expressing but I guess it didn't happen but I was happy my kids got a little, some is better then none, but they are now on formula and have been on it since 8 weeks, but give those things a go and you never know and I wish you all the very best. The best advice I can give is don't stress over it, if it happens great if not then that is great too
I was one of those that when my milk came in I could have fed 3 or 4 babies- don't worry about it- you will certainly have more than enough milk! :)
(Even now, 5 and a half months in, I reckon I could still take on a third baby if I so desired! :))
I had a really frustrating time in hospital and the first few weeks home but I did not give up on the BF. I was pretty determined, to say the least. :D
In the hospital it was difficult because I was induced (and when that didn't work I had a caesarean and lost a fair amount of blood). I know the nurses/midwives are supposed to be fairly like-minded with their advice, but I found so much info coming from all directions and it was completely overwhelming and I just wanted to go home and work it out myself!
My milk took almost a week to come in - but when it came in, it came in! The first few weeks at home were crazy but I persisted and it paid off well. I recommend a twin feeding pillow so you can feed them at the same time.
At first I was expressing between feeds - now I just give them formula at night before bed - they're 3mths old now -(although they barely drink any of that last feed) and express then and save up that milk. I think the fact that my boys are drinking so well during the day means they sleep better at nights.
Also, it took me almost 2 hours to feed in the early days and it was completely draining and exhausting. I couldn't imagine a time when they would feed more efficiently, but they do eventually! Good luck!
Am so excited! Today was my first try at hand expressing. With the help of the Lactation Consultant I expressed 1mL :yelclap:.
I honestly thought she'd squeeze and nothing would come out :laughing: but it all happened straight away.
This has definitely made me more confident about my supply.:smiliedance:
You go girl!
I think i have a scan pic of one of your girls that got cought up with mine. Ill bring it with me next week.
Lol I wonder how that happened? But yeah that'd be great, I'll still be here lol.
I dunno, but its in my car. Lol. Ill ring you when i get there & bring it up
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