Parent Diaries

"I tried everything" Nikki Ryan reflects on her very own experience of breastfeeding twins in our Parent Room article.

Breastfeeding Twins

Nikki Ryan, UK

Do you breastfeed your twins? I was asked this a lot when the boys were born, I was even asked it last week by the checkout lady in Aldi! I still have so many mixed emotions about it. My babies were IVF miracles, one of the first things I worried about when I found out we were blessed with twins, was how could I breast feed two?! I REALLY wanted to, and I tried everything!!! I was ridiculously naive about it, I thought you had the baby and the baby would just almost know what to do, It’s natural right?

Wrong! It was one the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do.

First of all, both boys were 5 weeks premature weighing 5lbs, Grayson also had tongue tie and a high pallet. I managed to produce some golden colostrum, so I was thrilled about that, but then it all went downhill from there.

Neither baby would latch on, so I expressed. I had just had an emergency c section and now I felt like I was being milked like a cow! The double pump was so loud, that noise will haunt me forever!!

We got enough to feed them while they were so tiny, but I felt like I rubbish at it and needed to do better!

When I got out of hospital, I tried everything!!! Skin to skin, nipple shields, we got the tongue tie snipped, I bought a pump, I practiced with them constantly, I squeezed my nipples in to all sorts of weird shapes, I googled it until I could no longer see through my tears, I spoke to other twin mums and even had an expert come to the house, which I had to pay for and so on…

They were latching on a bit better, but I just couldn’t tandem feed, there just wasn’t enough being produced. I was devastated, frustrated, angry, I felt guilty, I also felt slightly jealous of other people who had done it and I felt like I’d failed them. It was awful!!!!!

So we both made the heart breaking decision to move to formula. They were really happy and gaining weight beautifully. I was also happier after the initial disappointment and it also meant Chris could help me with the night feeds, which was fantastic! 

If I could go back I would have done things a bit different. I would have researched more about how difficult it can be and educated myself on it more, I would have also asked for more help, as it wasn’t readily available and I would have also told myself if I couldn’t, not to beat myself up. It’s a personal choice, whatever you decide to do, just remember it’s true what they say, fed it best. Happy mum, happy baby.