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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Hobart, Tasmania

    Default Drying milk up/emotions about it

    Ive got 5 day old twins and yesterday I made the decision to formula feed them. Ive tried breast feeding this week and I am getting good amounts but the babies are having trouble sucking so they are slso getting bottle and tube fed....meaning I am expressing alot to. I simply just can't handle it. My stress levels are through the roof and I've found the idea of breast feeding/mix feeding two babies at once quite scary! I do have great support from my ob and the twins pead.

    Anyway, my question is how do I seal with that guilty feeling of not breast feeding? I know it's the right decision for me but I think I feel a bit lazy and guilty that I didn't try harder.

    Also, how did you manage 'drying' your milk up? How long did it take. I lasted about 17 hours without expressing but was in agony so the nurses got me to express a tiny amount out for comfort!

    Im heading home tomorrow and the twins stay in special care for a week or so to get their feeding under control so Im very emotional and exhausted!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts

    It is bloody hard work BF twins! I managed 3 months but it was exhausting feeding, expressing and comping so I completely sympathise. Give yourself some credit for giving it a go.
    No advice on the guilt though sorry, am having to wean my 4 month old to take some medication and am feeling pretty awful about it. But if you feel this is less stressful for you then happy mum = happy babies.

    I was advised to only express enough for comfort and to try cabbage leaves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts

    I came across a Facebook group - Supportive community when breastfeeding doesn't work out. I'm not on Facebook myself, but in their publicly available info they had top ten thoughts mums need to hold onto when breastfeeding has not worked (written by Karen Holmes).
    1. It was my love for my baby that was the driving force in what I did around infant feeding.
    2. I am a great, loving, caring mum.
    3. I did the very best that I could in challenging circumstances.
    4. I know that I put so much effort in to make breastfeeding work.
    5. I can now put time and attention into enjoying and loving my baby.
    6. This has nothing to do with my quality as a person; there are many factors involved in how breastfeeding goes.
    7. My baby is happy, healthy, and bonded to me.
    8. I am not alone, so many other mums face similar things.
    9. I am valuable, I have somthing valuable to offer the world.
    10. I have learnt so much about myself and life; despite this experience being challenging.

    I have a copy to remind me stuck up on the fridge, on the outside of the shower screen, and on the front and back of the nursery door. I found it helps a little bit, but I'm still struggling with the guilt.

    As for milk drying up, sorry I can't help you there. I just stopped pumping, motillium and fenugreek. I'd stopped putting babies to the boob a month earlier, as in reponse to me being overwhelmed by the feeding, comping and pumping a LC and the ABA said I needed to get by on 0-2 hours sleep a day if I wanted to BF - not their actual words, just the result of demand feeding my twins, and something had to give so I dropped the breastfeeds rather than being so tired that I dropped the babies.
    I leaked a drop or two of milk a day or so later so I pumped the once then rather than waste that milk. But I guess ease of drying up is one of the "benefits" of low supply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 posts
    Great advice here already!

    I second the cabbage leaves and also cold compresses. It's unlikely you will be able to get medication - they generally only give this out now once bub is born to stop milk actually coming in. It took about 5 days for me to be pain free.

    My DS is 9 months old and only now can I say I have zero guilt. It's hard. And sadly it's mainly because of other mums making you feel like crap about it rather than anyone you really care about (in my experience anyway).

    Just remember that nobody has been through exactly what you have. And twins! Can only imagine how hard that must be.

    You are doing a great job! You are feeding your babies and keeping your sanity. Although perhaps controversial on here, I truly believe that the mum's mental well being is way more important than BFing. And don't think you are going to necessarily have a sickly baby because of it. DS was never ill a day in his life until he started daycare, compared to a lot of his BF peers. I'm not saying that BF isn't optimal if it works - I think it is. But not being able to doesn't mean your child will suffer.

    Not sure what formula you are using but Bellamy's worked well for us.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I can relate to the guilty feeling, I cried and cried about it (not helped by my crazy hormones at that time). There was a forum post that really helped me on babycenter.com http://www.babycenter.com/400_how-ca...ti_500346_0.bc It has 40 plus pages about women in the same predicament with all kinds of advice, it also helps to know you're not alone in your struggle.

    This article also helped me a lot - perhaps a little controversial, but like all mothers I wanted to be sure I wasn't depriving my baby of the 'best start in life', this eased my conscience a little: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...eeding/307311/

    My baby is now 3 months old and has been on formula exclusively since one month - healthy, happy baby - healthy, happy (and much less stressed out) mum

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 posts
    I don't know if there's a good way for overcoming those feelings of guilt that we sometimes feel, but I do know that time makes a massive difference.

    When I changed DD from BF to FF, I felt terribly guilty about it. BUT that guilt got better every day. Every day that she thrived, and we got happier and stronger as a family, and every day that it seemed less relevant to who she was and how she was.

    She's now 2.5, and a very happy healthy toddler, who has rarely been sick and has been ahead on all her developmental milestones. How I fed her in the early days now seems irrelevant, and I feel that I wasted precious time in those newborn days, being so upset and stressed about something that I now feel was not that important.

    In saying this, I'm sharing my experience, and not trying to undermine anyone else's, or tell them that how they feel isn't important. So I hope that comes across as intended!

    Give it time, OP. And try to look into the future a little, and imagine how you will feel when they are eating solids/ at school/ graduating (!!), and whether you will still feel this way then. It sounds as if you are already a great mum, and don't deserve to beat yourself up like this.


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