Discover how pumping for twins is made easier with one of the best breast pump for twins. This is a sponsored post in partnership with Medela and SHE Media.
As a first-time pregnant mom, I wanted to attend all the breastfeeding and mom classes offered to me. I wanted to be prepared for what lied ahead of me.
I wanted to be successful at nursing and being a mom!
But, I was a little frustrated by some advice I received in my breastfeeding class, especially when I asked about pumping.
I was expecting twins, and knew that I would likely have to use a breast pump during my future breastfeeding journey.
But, this lactation consultant at this breastfeeding class said I wouldn’t need to pump, as the body works on supply and demand, and pumping would mess with my production, and that I’d have to wake up at night to pump.
She didn’t give me any advice about pumping schedules, best practices for pumping, storing milk, or anything. How I wish I would have had something like The Moms’ Room back then, as it’s a free breastfeeding support and community!
Breastfeeding and Pumping Milk Twins
But, in case you weren’t aware, many newborn twins are born premature and cannot nurse at the breast for the first few days or weeks (or months).
One of my twins needed to be in the NICU for 2 days, and I couldn’t be with her all the time as I recovered from my C-Section and took care of her twin sister.
I pumped out tiny ounces of colostrum at the hospital for her, and, thankfully, we were able to give her some donated breast milk in a bottle once or twice too before officially starting our breastfeeding journey together.
But, if she would’ve been in the NICU longer, pumping would have been significant for her.
I had little advice about pumping from my prenatal class. Mixed information about pumping from the lactation consultants I saw while still in the hospital (mostly that pumping after sessions would help my supply come in sooner, and that it was vitally important for my NICU baby). I went home with newborn twins, my hand-me-down double electric Medela breast pump, and no idea how to balance out their feedings with pumpings.
I would pump, and then they’d want to be fed, but then I’d have nothing in my breasts.
I wouldn’t pump, fearing they’d wake up and want to nurse soon, only for them to sleep longer, and have my breasts get super engorged and painful.
I would nurse one baby on one side, and the other baby on the other, but then one or both might still be hungry for more milk than I had in my breasts.
Add in breastfeeding sleep deprivation, hormones, cracked, bleeding nipples, and major surgery recovery, and I was a painful, swollen mess, who hated breastfeeding and wanted to stop before the first 6 weeks were up.
I felt like a complete cow, who’s only purpose was to produce milk and feed babies, but it caused me so much pain (one twin didn’t open up her mouth wide so it caused pain at the breast) and agony, that I wanted to quit so bad!
But, then the nipples heal, your baby gets into a better sleep/wake/feed cycle, you get more sleep, and things get so much better.
How grateful I am that I stuck it out, stopped pumping so much, and eventually figured things out. We finally got in our rhythm, and the pain went away!
I am so glad I didn’t give up! I went on to nurse my twins for 13 months!
Having nursed other babies successfully (one at a time), I realize that breastfeeding kind of sucks for the first 6 weeks with every child!
So please, please keep that in mind when you start your breastfeeding journey!
Pumping for Twins
Having breastfed twins and three single babies, I’ve learned a lot about breastfeeding, and I learned that breast pumps are super valuable, but should be used sparingly.
Trying to pump and nurse made life harder for my new postpartum with twins self.
I realize now that I should have reserved pumping for twins to the following occasions:
- after nursing sessions, they fell asleep during and didn’t eat much
- when babies went on nursing strikes
- when babies refused to nurse for more than a couple seconds or minutes at a time, for whatever reason
- when the twins were sick and didn’t want to nurse much
- to build up a little breast milk stash for bottle feeding them later
- when I had clogged milk ducts
- when they started sleeping through the night
My twins eventually slept through the night (like 12 hours, no lie), so I pumped before I went to bed for the night so I would stop waking up with leaky, sore, engorged breasts, and have some breast milk to supplement whoever was still hungry after a feeding the next day or to mix in with their baby cereal.
Having engorged breasts is not fun, but super painful! Having a Medela breast pump meant I could find relief and have breastmilk saved for later.
And if for some reason I ran out of breast milk, and my twins needed more, than I choose to supplement while breastfeeding with formula if they were still hungry after a feeding, or as required, instead of going crazy with the stress of pumping regularly.
But, when you want to go out on a date, book club, or away for a few hours, sans breastfeeding baby, that’s when you are glad you have a breast pump and a stash of breast milk in the freezer.
Now, all that is me talking as a stay-at-home mom.
If you are a working mom, a breast pump can be extremely valuable for twin moms who want to give their child breast milk, even when they can’t be together physically.
Working moms usually pump on their breaks at work, and nurse on demand when at home. My sister has been doing for over a year now for her baby.
It’s incredible how working moms do it all, as returning to work can be stressful for multiple reasons! My sister, for example, works second-shift, goes to school part-time, and has three kids, including the baby who’s she’s dedicated to providing with breastmilk for over a year.
If you are returning to work after having twins, I highly recommend checking out New Moms’ Healthy Returns, where you can get support and resources for making this complicated juggling act work at work.
Medela Breast Pumps
But, most women I know, including myself, kinda hate pumping, even if we know the benefits.
It’s not that the pumps are the problem, usually, but the time it takes to pump plus clean your breast pump, store the milk appropriately, and so on, every single time!
I am still grateful that my sister-in-law had given me her old Medela Pump in Style double electric breast pump, something she used quite a bit with her set of twins, when I was expecting for the first time. We were so poor, and there was no way I was going to be able to afford this great of a pump (and this was before insurance covered pumps as universally as they do now).
We are expecting another set of twins (I know, crazy, right?), and I was NOT looking forward to pulling out my old Medela breast pump, that at this point, is 20 years old. While it still works, it has lost some of its power and in need of new tubes and breast shields and cleaning.
That’s why I was SO excited to receive the new Medela Freestyle Flex breast pump!
It’s a light, compact, and portable breast bump! It weighs less than 1 pound (it’s what in my hand in the picture above) and can easily fit into a pocket, purse, or baby bag (my old one was a baby bag pump in one – certainly not light or compact).
It has a lot of awesome features that I love and wish I would’ve had on my Medela pump the last 10 years!
First, it has a USB rechargeable battery! This means we wouldn’t have had to buy a car adapter for our old Medela pump when we moved with 6-week-old twins from Utah to Indiana and I needed to pump and feed the babies in the car so we could get there faster and make less stops.
It also means you can pump anywhere and everywhere you may be without having to be right next to an outlet!
The PersonalFit Flex breast shield is designed to be way more comfortable than the hard plastic shields I am used to, and as they adapt to mom’s natural shape better, thanks to their 4-way fit.
These flex breast shields also remove an average of 11% more milk per minute than traditional breast shields! Heck yes to all of that!
It syncs with the MyMedela App so you can easily track your pumping, breastfeeding, baby growth and diapers, and even have the option of 24/7 live video access to professional lactation consultants!
And it even has a closed system with Overflow Protection, that prevents milk from entering the tubing! This is really huge, as sometimes, I will admit, to dozing off a bit while pumping, or not paying attention to how full the bottles are getting, and then the milk goes everywhere, including into the tubing.
You want the tubing to stay clean and sterile so you don’t add bacteria into your milk! This also means you shouldn’t have to replace or clean tubing (which I have done as I began nursing each new child).
I could go on!
But, really, if you are looking for a double electric breast pump that is more comfortable, works faster and more naturally, is more portable, then look into the Medela Freestyle Flex.
I haven’t used it yet (obviously – babies aren’t here yet), but I have a feeling I will like it so much better than my old pump and hand pumps I have used over the last 10 years.
Pumping for twins is not uncomplicated, but it doesn’t have to be so hard either. I hope that you will find success meeting your own breastfeeding goals with your twins (or singleton babies) whether you stay at home, return to work, or supplement some too.
At the end of the day, I believe in fed babies and happy moms, so however that happens and works for you, I encourage you to pursue it!
I’d love to know about your experience using breast pumps! Do you like them? Did you exclusively breast pump for your twins or other babies? What routine or system for pumping did you have in place?
Please, tell me and others so we can all learn together!
For more posts about breastfeeding check out the following posts:
- Free Breastfeeding Supplies and Samples
- Pain-Free Way to Stop Breastfeeding an Infant or Toddler
- How to Stop Your Baby from Biting While Breastfeeding
- 4 Most Popular Nursing Covers
- Best Affordable Nursing Clothes Under $40
- When to Introduce Sippy Cups and How to Ease the Transition from Bottle or Breast
- Best Baby Carriers for Newborns
- 7 Top-Rated Postpartum Belly Wraps, Corsets, and Binders