Unable to Breastfeed
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Unable to Breastfeed
For a variety of reasons I have to exclusively bottle feed
(formula) my month-old twins. I hadn't expected to do this and
so hadn't done much research about it in advance of their
I'd appreciate hearing any tips, suggestions, etc. from other
parents of twins who have been or who are in this position.
Congratulations! I'm far from Berkeley (Jerusalem), but my sister passed this
on. I have twin boys who were born 10 weeks early. They came home from the
hospital at 6 weeks. I pumped and nursed and also used formula - and from
around 3 months they only got formula. Oy, I remember that time as being the
most intense, yet monotonous of my life - you're busy around the clock, but
every hour you're doing exactly what you did the hour before and the day
before. In terms of bottle feeding: we found it easiest to prepare a whole
day's worth of bottles and just add the formula at the last minute. We
sterilized all the bottles at once, and filled them with already boiled water.
Then at 3am we just add formula and it's ready to go. No need to warm the !
bottles - they can drink room temperature formula. Our doctor also said we can
refrigerate unused formula for 24 hours - and give them to drink right out of
the fridge. Try to keep them on the same schedule as much as possible - sleep
together, eat together. We had a chart up on the fridge to keep track of who
pooped, and how much everybody drank and who got their vitamin. It gets much
easier - my boys just turned one year old last month and those sleep-deprived
non-stop first months seem just a distant memory now - someone even told me
that by the time they're 2 years old, twins is easier than a singleton - but
that I have yet to see. Good luck and enjoy!
(posted by Jessica's sister)
[Editor] related page: Breastfeeding Twins
Hi, I am the
mother of a 5 yr. old, and a 2 month old. What I haven't seen was a
section on "When you can't breastfeed." I tried nursing with both my
children, and unfortunately, it didn't work either time. It was really
disappointing to me. My first child was fine with a milk based formula,
but my second has an allergy, and is taking a soy based. I was just
wondering, what parents who aren't nursing do to compensate for the
loss of closeness you get when nursing. I try cuddling when feeding,
but it just isn't the same. Any advice?
I would think that "wearing" the baby for several hours (or more)
every day would go a long way toward incorporating the physical closeness
that breastfeeding provides. Speaking as a breastfeeding mom of a toddler,
now that my daughter can talk a bit, she regularly delights in announcing
that she's very little and Mommy is very big when we're getting ready to
breastfeed. Possibly this is a recent part of her enjoyment, but I've
been theorizing that part of what she enjoys about breastfeeding is really
losting herself--"merging," to use psychological lingo--in the physical
I would think that wearing the baby would have the same features of
being able to lose oneself in mommy's "bigness." Bathing together might
provide opportunity for skin-to-skin contact that breastfeeding provides.
And, although I know it's an endless debate, sleeping together might tend
to incorporate a lot of closeness between you. Best wishes.
I've been breastfeeding my son (he's now 18 months), and your question
really got me thinking about how we are physically intimate. I love
nursing, and he does too, but to be honest, much of the time he's
actually latched on I'm kind of spaced out. It hurts my neck too much to
keep looking at him the whole time, and though I'm stroking him, really,
my mind is often elsewhere. The piece that really feels like closeness is
the cuddle/roughhouse/tickling/conversation that often comes before and
after. We nurse on the bed, and it seems like nursing is just the
excuse to get us rolling around on the bed together partially clothed. If I'm
not able to nurse with my next one for some reason, that's the piece I'll be
sure not to miss!
I was unable to breastfeed either of my two sons, now aged 3 and almost
almost 5 yrs. old, and have always had a very affectionate physical
relationship with them. What is important is the cudding and
attention, and there are many ways of achieving that. While
bottle-feeding, I often talked to the children and sang, making eye
contact & smiling. I wore the children in slings when young, carried
them around in my arms, sometimes slept with them, and tried to hug
them frequently. I'm sure you'll find others.
I've been mulling over this request durnig the past week and have come
up with a few more ideas. One thing about breastfeeding is that I and
many moms I know nurse "on demand," and I think that leads to a (positive)
sense of control for the child. In our case, which I think was typical in
this regard, the "demands" got a lot more subtle as baby got to be a few
months old and older--rarely did she have to resort to crying to express her
hunger or other-motivated desire for nursing, because I was usually
holding/wearing her and would respond quickly to a nuzzle or a pat on my
chest as a signal of wanting to nurse. I have a sense that bottle-feeding
might have a tendency to lend itself toward scheduled (i.e. parent-led)
feeding, perhaps because of not wanting to "waste" formula, and restrictions
on how long you can consider formula "still fresh" after the bottle has
touched baby's lips, etc. So I might advise trying to keep as much to baby's
demands, including subtle "requests," as you can to make the relationship as
close as possible to a breasfeeding one--even if it means that some formula
goes down the drain.
The other thought I had is that if you want to, you could still
breastfeed using formula and a "nursing supplementer" (I forget what it's
called). This is a bag of formula on a necklace with a slender bit of tubing
letting the formula flow out of it. You have baby "latch-on" to your nipple,
and insert the end of the tube into baby's mouth too, so baby is getting
nourishment while suckling at your breast. Writing about it may sound
a bit strange, but a friend of mine fed her child this way for well over a
year and was very satisfied with it. I don't know just where to get this
device, but I'm certain that La Leche League leader would know, and probably
a lactation consultant would know too. BTW, my friend who did this
arranged her own supply of donated breastmilk from literally dozens of
generous lactating moms, and her child actually never drank any formula.
Anyway, good luck again.
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