My twins, born premature at 33 weeks, today at 5 months on exclusive breastfeed and almost caught up with the normal weight
I was expecting twins. I was asking twin moms whether they were able to breastfeed, if yes how much? Met 2 who had Exclusively breastfed for 6 months and continued till a year or more. I even consulted the lactation consultant, Dia whom I met at P101, during my pregnancy. She said I could. That boosted my determination to breastfeed my twins. I think that’s where the journey started, with the willingness and thought to do it. Many told me it was impossible to feed two. But I was determined. Little did I know what fate had in store, my girls were delivered early at 33 weeks due to my past history of stillbirth at around the same time. My first concern apart from their health was breastfeeding. By God’s grace even at 33 weeks their health was fine but had to stay in the NICU for a week due to prematurity and birth weight 1.7 and 1.8.
There they started feeding them with a tube directly in their stomach, then gradually vaati chamchi with donor breastmilk. I had started pumping and it took a while for my supply to catch up their demand. I was so overwhelmed when the first milk came in though it was with a pump. All the while I was waiting to breastfeed them. Some days in the NICU while giving them KMC I would ask the nurse if I could BF them.
The first time my 1 minute younger daughter Bfed it was magical. She was so tiny and even the tube in her mouth she knew how to latch. I had jumped the normal rule of NICU of stepwise vaati chamchi then BFing. I was so anxious if I would be able to BF at all.
Many people told me to give up the false hope, owing to their prematurity, doubting if they had the sucking reflex, plus being twins. But I was still determined, i called Dia for a visit, and for the first time I was able to tandem feed them. Looking at them way they latched and fed, Dia said my daughters were as determined as I was. I was tandem feeding 33-week old babies. That was a great boost.
By the time I left the hospital, I had given up vaati chamchi, was exclusively feeding them on demand. For more than a month they were still learning and I would sit for hours feeding them, surrounded by some 10 pillows to tandem feed. Getting to know about a twin feeding pillow from the breastfeeding support group for twins was a boon. They were so tiny but definitely know how to suckle and feed. Eventually, they took less time. Growth spurts were difficult, making both feeds every hour. Physically it was exhausting and demanding after the C sec.
Today they are almost 5 months old and on a normal growth curve. I can proudly say I exclusively Breast Fed 33-week premature twins till now amidst all doubts, suggestions, and advices to give formula.
Breastfeeding, as they say, is 90% determination and a 10% supply. I am very Grateful to P101 mentors Rita ma’am, Geeta di, Dia, Facebook Support groups, I wouldn’t have been able to give this Liquid gold to my Girls:) It’s difficult but definitely worth it.
Learn more about pregnancy, baby care & Breastfeed related information and pregnancy classes visit our website Rita’s Pregnancy 101.