Breast Milk Benefits
Just like all the baby milk formula companies will comment before you buy their product, I also will say that breast feeding is recommended at least up to the age of 6 months because breast milk benefits your babies by giving defence against infections, reduce hospitalisation by passing antibodies and other germ fighting factors through the breast milk. This strengthens your babies immune system and lowers the risk of ear infections, diarrhoea, respiratory infections, meningitis and protects against allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome. Im sure you have read this all before but I feel its important to mention here and I am sure you have considered the pros and cons of breast v bottle. But there are moms amongst us that cannot for various reasons manage breast feeding our twins or triplets, and baby bottle feeding is the only way forward.(This does not stop you bottle feeding with breast milk)
I couldn’t breast feed my triplets. There are many reasons why you may not be able to breast feed your twins or triplets, like me it may be that your babies are premature and because of the medical situation it was not possible. Or you were not well in the first weeks of their life. I did however express breast milk from the time they were born so they benefitted from the breast milk and this was given to them through a tube once they were advanced enough to be able to digest a feed.
It might be that your lifestyle simply makes it impossible or you have tried but could not achieve it successfully. To be honest, having twins or triplets is very stressful, some moms may manage to breast feed each baby at some point through the day, giving the baby and you the experience of breastfeeding, achieving the special bond that comes from the closeness of breast feeding. This is really for you to work out but I found as time went on with the tiredness that comes from triplets, my milk dried up anyway and they were going to have to be bottle fed. I didn’t worry about this, I still felt close to each of my babies, despite having to be ingenious about feeding, three into one doesn’t go!
Establishing breast feeding can be tricky with one baby, so with two or three it can be impossible. The struggles to establish breast feeding due to perhaps soreness, being overtired, poor attachment. I was pleased I could express breast milk, something I could give to my prem triplets but I did not feel inadequate or that I was missing out on something by not doing it. It also meant that by bottle feeding them I could have help at feeding times, which I really needed ! I also had a feeding routine, I couldn’t feed them on demand, completely impossible so when the first one woke for a feed, they were fed, then the other two were either woken at the same time if I had help or I fed one, hoping that the others would hang on until I’d at least finished the first one, but I would wake them to feed them and keep feed times together, I simply would not have coped if I hadn’t. Other parents will approach this in a different way, but for me this worked. I used an Avent Breast Pump but go have a look at my breast pump section, worth reading about them and deciding if you want to give it a try?
Breastfeeding twins simultaneously is very possible and I applaud any twins mom for managing this, but never feel a failure if you can’t do this. We all cope with things differently and tiredness, stress, worry all reduce the production of breast milk which is what happened to me. Don’t forget though that if you do breast feed you need to discuss the inclusion of vitamin D with your midwife or health visitor as this is the one vitamin that is not present in breast milk.
Baby Formula Milk
Babies who have baby formula milk do tend to have fewer feeds through the day as the formula takes longer for the baby to digest than breast milk so they tend to get into a routine sooner than breastfed babies.
Hmmmm……. a certain degree of advantage there for twins or triplet parents !
Commercial feeds are of a very high standard today, the formula is now so advanced there is very little nutritional difference between breast and formula.
The formulas are fortified with nutrients including vitamin D.
Formula is manufactured under sterile conditions and is modified from cows milk to suit the digestion of the newborn while maintaining the integrity of nutrition. However don’t be fooled by this, this does not mean that formula is sterile. It is not. This is why it is mixed with hot water – above 70degrees centigrade will kill the bacteria that could be in the powdered formula.
Don’t forget though, you can still express breast milk and bottle feed your babies or supplement with formula if you feel this is necessary. Take a look at the Best Breastfeeding Baby Bottles page if you plan to do this. There are reviews about which is the best bottle to use that will emulate the same features as the breast so reducing any confusion your babies may have between breast and bottle nipples.
Baby formula powder has come a long way in recent years, as I have said it is now so advanced and specialised, you can find various different baby milk formula, specifically for premature babies or hungry babies (with a greater degree of casein protein) or if you feel that your holistic dreams have been tossed away with the failure to breast feed your triplets, what about the best organic baby milk formula? There are so many baby formula brands, Im sure there will be one that will suit your twins or triplets!
The most commonly used infant formulas contains purified cows milk, whey and casein as a protein source, blended vegetable oils as a fat source, lactose as the carbohydrate source, vitamin and mineral mix, and other random ingredients depending on the manufacturer. There are of course various formulas that replace the cow’s milk as the source of protein, for babies who are allergic to the protein found in cow’s milk, using soybean as the protein source. My triplets had SMA baby formula, this was what they started on in hospital, the premature baby formula, so we continued once they came home and I even wrote to the company telling them about my triplets and they sent a huge case of SMA milk containing 24 tubs ! They offer a formula for hungrier babies but my three were satisfied with the regular version.
Go take a look at the ‘Which Baby Bottle’ page. There are so many different types to choose, all with their particular features, so I have made a comprehensive list on ‘Which Baby Bottle‘ You can check them all out there, the pros and cons for each one. The bottles themselves are featured in more detail in separate sections, so you can have a look over at them following the drop down Baby Bottle Feeding menu at the top of the page, choosing the type of bottle you are interested in.