I want to mention that feeding your baby is a personal experience. A fed baby is a happy baby and however, you chose to feed them is the correct way for YOU. It may or may not be the way others chose to feed their babies, but I want to express MY OWN views and experience. Hopefully, this will open up a positive experience for all who come across my blog.
During the long and heavy time I was pregnant, I was asked millions of times if I would breastfeed. My answer was always the same; ‘I would like to, but I will see what happens.’ The goal for me was always to have a good go at it. I had been told it was hard and can lead to so many good and bad things, depending on your situation or circumstance. And alas, off I went to start my breastfeeding journey.
The reality is, breastfeeding is hard – It’s actually really hard. It takes a lot of patience, and hard work and also helps if you have two babies that are willing to play the game. It’s safe to say that everything needs to be right for you for it all to come into line. I was told many things about it by anyone who wanted to tell me their story or share their advice. I had bought my pumping machine in good faith and it certainly came in handy being a double pump and being portable (I used the Medela Double Swing – highly recommend). Even though I had no idea how to use it, or what part connected to what before I started!
My twins were born on a Monday, and it took about four days for my milk to come in. The wait was very frustrating, and I wasn’t producing milk right away like my naive self-thought would happen. Even though my body was working overtime creating two people at once, I was not patient enough for my milk to come in quickly either. It was all so crazy and overwhelming for me! Luckily, I was persistent and wanted to give it a good shot before giving up.
I quickly learnt to tandem feed, and I had my routine in full swing. It would take almost an hour to complete a full feeding session, which went something like this. Unwrap babies, nappy change, medical monitors foot swap, set up tandem feeding pillow, place each baby skin-to-skin, feed each baby for a minimum of 15 minutes, top up each baby with extra feeds, clean and re-wrap each baby, set up the pump, pump for 15 minutes, clean pump and organise milk, label milk supplies and leave in the fridge. Both babies were always attached to monitors in the hospital, to ensure their oxygen intake and heart rates were stable and consistent. This wasn’t the case at home however, we were less organised at home. This often delayed the process by at least 15 minutes.
Initially, the twins were on two-hourly feeds, which progressed to three days and then finally four once we left the hospital. Thankfully, they were able to be kept on four-hour feeds, feeding at 2, 6 and 10 am/pm every day. This continued for around a month, then we moved onto a routine called ‘Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall.
I shopped for all my baby essentials at Baby and Toddler Town and highly recommend their service and products. You can find their website here. Here are a few of my favourite and essential items. Side note, it might seem like I only used one particular brand – I have done this because of the cohesion between bottles and pump. The rest of these are coincidences or the items I liked the most.
Medela Freestyle Double Electric Breast Pump
This was the perfect pump for twins! It was portable and easy to use. I could use it anywhere and it was easy to take with me when I left the house.
Hydrogel Pads by Medela
Hydrogel pads are an absolute must-have item. Keep them in the fridge and use them after a feed and you will be thanking me later.
Medela Breastfeeding Starter Kit
This starter kit had all the essentials and really helped me understand what I needed and didn’t need. The Purelan ointment was a huge plus too – and you can use it for chapped lips after you are done feeding. There are also some extra bottles, freezer bags, microwave steam bags and extra breast pads. It really came in handy in the first week when I wasn’t too sure of what exactly I needed and didn’t need.
Medela Cooler Bag with 4 Bottles
This was SO convenient on the go! I could have bottles ready for feeding while on the run, as well as cooled expressed breast milk for when I needed to keep them in the fridge (think a long drive or plane trip..!).
My Breast Friend Twin Feeding Pillow (I also used the ‘Twin Z Feeding Pillow)
An essential if you want to tandem feed. The pocket at the front comes in more handy than you could have ever imagined!
Medela Quick-Clean Microwave Bags
These are so great when you are on holidays or away from home. They are so easy to use, quick and hold quite a few pieces per load.
Boon Lawn Drying Rack
I still use this 9 months for bottles and any feeding items. It is so cute and fresh in the kitchen to have by the sink too.