Breastfeeding Part 9: Latching

My girls may be 3 months old, but in a way we’re still breastfeeding newborns. I’ve been bf them at the breast with a nipple shield for every feeding about 3 weeks now.  During that time I’ve been trying both girls without the shield one or two feedings a day.  To my surprise Aeralind is latching rather well.  My tiny girl who could barely manage to suck a feeding from a bottle on her 4th day of life is latching! She is patient and opens wide and can even deal rather well with the overactive letdown I have on the right side (I wonder if it’s common to have overactive letdown on just one side, but with all the plugged ducts/mastitis on the other side I guess it makes sense for me).

Bronwyn, the one who actually managed a feeding on that first night, is a latching mess. She has no patience and wants to clamp right down on the nipple.  Sometimes it’s all I can do not to scream before detaching her and re-latching her about five times each feeding.  But I’m being persistent and have managed to do two days worth of daytime feedings sans the nipple shields. The nighttime feedings I don’t even try yet… I’m too brainless and tired to help them latch.

After doing this for two days, I have a huge amount of respect for ladies who have taught/helped both twins to latch in those first few day postpartum. This is hard business, but I can already see the rewards.  Twice now I’ve been able to feed both girls separately in public with nothing but bibs and burp cloths. I find the latching much easier separately and in cradle or cross cradle holds, but I’m slowly figuring out both girls in the football hold on the pillow at home.

Oh and just for a good laugh, at the Breastfeeding Support Group feed and weigh, Bronwyn took 2.8 ounces which is about what she needs for her weight doing 8 feedings a day.  Aeralind on the other hand took an impressive 5.5 ounces. I’m still trying to figure out where she’s hiding it since both girls weighed in at 10lbs 5oz!