There is no denying it, feeding a baby, whether it is a singleton or twins is extremely demanding on so many levels and in some cases it can be too much and yes just too hard and I can fully appreciate that. In my case I was lucky enough to have a pretty good supply of milk and I think this coupled with having help, being organised, have a schedule and really good equipment made this a lot easier for me. I also had a permanent supply of Tanker Toppers! For the first 10 months or so, it only took me 15-20 minutes to express 150 or so mls from each breast. Because I had a double bra this meant I could collect 300ml at one time.
So, here are my tips:
- Begin expressing colostrum from 36 weeks. Simply hand express in to a specimen jar,with a syringe collect it (could be anything from 1-15ml) and then put in to a breast feeding freezer bag. Date and name it. Take this frozen milk in to hospital and have it for your babies if they need it. If you do not use it take it home and use it at home for topping up purposes and extra nutrition. Florence went in to special care on her first night so my frozen supply was put to good use on day one. Ed my husband gave her her first real feed (other than the drink she had on me straight after birth) with the colostrum I had expressed the weeks before. This was very special and I am so glad I expressed it. [Please note, prior to expressing colostrum we recommend you discuss this with your practitioner]
- Buy a quality pump, I do like the Medela brand and used their freestyle double pump daily for 14 months. For the first 10 months up to 6 times a day. I matched this pump with the their breastfeeding bustier. http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/579/easy-expression-bustier It was a lifesavor and enabled me to do other things whilst pumping! #multitasking
- Start pumping from day 1. As Florence was in special care and I had Charles she needed to take a bottle so I was on the pump within 2 hours of giving birth… The midwives thought I was hilarious! They were pretty stoked when I expressed 40mls on the spot. #thankstankertoppers
- Express every 3-4 hours during the night, even if your little one/s don’t wake. This is imperative in the first few months to really establish your supply.
- If you don’t seem to have enough milk and are giving formula but want to work on your milk then you try to express when they are having their formula, so every 3-4 hours.
- Buy some good gel pads. Both of your nipples will be getting a workout so be prepared with some nice cooling and healing pads. I loved these ones: http://www.riteaid.com.au/mother-and-baby-care/
- My favourite breast feeding teas – drink them like they are going out of fashion! https://mamabodytea.com.au/shop/tea/nursing-tea/ https://lovetea.com.au/shop/breast-feeding-tea/
- Eat well and hydrate yourself. If you are not nourishing yourself with quality food and in good amounts your body will not produce the required amount of milk. I know, I hear you, post baby overhang and extra weight is in the back of your mind but please try and let this go. Your body will crave food and so listen to it and feed yourself well. I was lucky enough to have a steady supply of Tanker Toppers and in fact, ate so many that I came up with the Fennel and Fenugreek Tanker Toppers as I wanted a savoury option. Diet is so important.
- Stress is your worst enemy. If the whole process of breastfeeding is causing you more angst than milk then maybe it is best for you to take a step back and reassess. Not every mum is built to feed their children and that is totally OK. Do what you can to help your situation but do not break down in the process. You are too valuable for that to happen. Let go and enjoy all the other amazing aspects of being a mother are. We are so lucky to have quality Australia formula.