My Decision to Stop Breastfeeding Twins

Prior to having Walt and Whitney, I made the decision that I was going to try my hardest to breastfeed. I struggled breastfeeding Turner and only lasted 5 weeks. You can read about it here.

Photo: Kayla Snell
A week before the twins were born, I had a lactation consultant come to my home for a consultation, and after she left I felt semi-confident. The twins were born vaginally at 36 weeks, and about 1-2 hours after they were born, I was able to breastfeed each one individually. Because they were premature their latch wasn't great, but thankfully I had a great lactation consultant in the hospital that helped me work on it.

I spent 2 days in the hospital and headed home.  My milk came in great because I started taking my placenta pills. I had two placentas thanks to the babes, and I loved using Hill Country Placentas to encapsulate them. Lisa, the owner, is seriously the sweetest and personally delivered them to me the day I came home.  I would highly recommend placenta encapsulation if you are pregnant. Thankfully, their latch was much better than Turner's so it wasn't as painful, BUT it took forever. I fed each one of them individually, and it would usually take an hour to an hour and a half to feed both.  I spent hours and hours in my nursery glider by myself. I constantly worried if they were getting enough to eat.

After a week of breastfeeding, I went for a long walk and sobbed. I was physically and mentally tired. I prayed and talked to God and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to stop breastfeeding, and instead I would try to pump exclusively. Thankfully I had rented the hospital pump the week prior, so I began to pump every 3 hours. I bought an awesome pumping bra that allowed me to have my hands free. Bottle feeding twins + a needy toddler + pumping = NO LIFE. Once again I went for another walk in my neighborhood and I decided I wanted to stop pumping. The only reason I lasted a week, was the thought of how buying formula for twins would kill our budget. I broke the news to Alex that I wanted to quit pumping. He replied that prior to having the babies, I told him I would want to give up, but to not let me. I replied....screw that, I'm done...and ultimately this is my decision. He supported my decision, because a crazy and unstable wife is not what he wanted.

I then began the process of weaning myself from pumping...OUCHHHH!!! It took about a week to wean myself, but still to this day I can express milk in the shower. It's crazy how a woman's body works.

I don't feel guilty of choosing to formula feed...not one bit. I am physically and mentally in such a better place. I don't dread the nights as much, and I have been able to get out of the house for more than a few hours and not worry about feedings. Thankfully we have gotten a ton of free formula samples from our pediatrician, so we haven't had to spend too much money on formula. We did have to buy our first box because the babies have been super gassy and needed a gentle formula. We are estimating our formula expense to be around $250 per month.

If you are a mom struggling with mommy guilt because you've given up breastfeeding....Please don't! You are doing the best you can do, and ultimately are making the best decision for your family. Your physical and mental state is important. Stand strong in your decision, and know that your baby will be just fine on formula.


Unknown said...

I wish I had done placenta pills. I had never even heard of it until recently.

kelsey williams said...

As you know, I'm currently breastfeeding Finch (almost 9 months!) but wasn't able to with Rooney. Honestly, it was a struggle with him for several months and I don't think I could breastfeed twins. There were times when my nipples hurt so bad that I was glad I had another one to use to let the other one rest...which I'm assuming you can't really do with twins?! You don't get any break! You're a great mom...I'm glad you don't feel guilty for stopping!

Amanda O. (@suburbanishmama) said...

Yes! So much of this!!! I just had twins 8 weeks ago and I'm still trying to pump. Not as much as I should, and we are going to run out of breastmilk VERY soon, but I am trying. And I have NO life. I am either pumping, feeding, or soothing a twin - while I have a five-year-old roaming around the house somewhere. So not healthy. I need to make it ok for me to stop - and not feel guilty about it.