It occurs to me that I have left some information out of the prior post about breastfeeding twins.
For one thing, you may be wondering how you manage "sides" with twins. With a single baby, you're supposed to nurse the baby on both sides each feeding, alternating which side you start with. Twins are different. Each baby nurses on just one side per feeding. Some women assign each twin a side of its own, and always nurse the babies that way; other women switch the babies at each feeding; other women switch the babies every 12 or every 24 hours. The nurse at the hospital advised me to switch every 12 hours because it would be easier, but I found it easier to remember to switch at each feeding. I was keeping a log anyway, of what times they nursed and when their diapers were changed (more on this in a minute), and so I just added a notation about whether the baby nursed on the left or the right, and I switched it the next time.
The log was essential to me for a long time. I took a large pad of paper, drew a line down the middle, wrote "Edward" at the top of one column and "Elizabeth" at the top of the other, and every time any substance went in or out of a baby, I made a note of it. I can't believe how many times I had to check to see if it had been one hour or three since the babies last nursed. Same with diapers: I would feel as if I had just changed a baby's diaper a second ago, but look, it had been hours. And the pediatrician's office was calling me every day for the first week or two, "just checking in" but also asking me very specific questions about how many wet diapers each baby had had. Without my log, there is no way I would have had any idea how to answer that question.
There was one period when I assigned each twin a "side," and that was when I got a breast infection. It was so painful, and one baby was doing that thing where they latch on and off repeatedly just for fun, so I put that baby on the non-hurty side, and put the all-business baby on the hurty side. Even after the infection subsided, I kept doing it this way because it was so much easier to keep track of. But then after a few weeks, I noticed that one baby always seemed hungrier, and always nursed longer. I wondered if it was possible that one side was producing more milk than the other side, so I immediately went back to switching sides at each feeding, and the hungrier baby got less hungry.
You also might be wondering when I stopped breastfeeding the twins together. When the twins were 7 or 8 months old, they were nursing fewer times per day, and for less time at each feeding. They were more able to wait for a feeding, and more able to be distracted by toys while they waited. They were getting a little big for the tandem nursing pillow, and I was running into a problem with one twin being done long before the other twin was done, so that one twin was restless and squirmy and wanting to play and poke at the other twin, but I couldn't put that twin down because I was stuck under the nursing pillow. That's when I started nursing them consecutively instead of together. I would occasionally run into problems in the middle of the night, if both twins were screaming to be fed---but then Paul would just cuddle one baby while I nursed whichever baby was currently the faster eater, and before long everything would be back to sleep.
There. Is that everything?
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...