Breast Manners

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Lin and Li are 2 and half months old now, starting their 11th week today. The changes that they go through are really amazing. It’s hard to put their birth size into perspective now since they have doubled their weight already, weighing 14lbs each since a few days ago. It is also a great thing that now theyhave their feeding routine of 7 times a day within 24 hours, they can hole their heads and feet up, sometimes they do their tummy on the floor (and tummy only) together, really fun to watch. They also start “talking”, making all kinds of new noises, crying for attention when they are bored, everyday there’s something new.

We’ve been feeding them, always, in the same time, so I don’t really know how to feed them one at a time, sometimes I lay down and feed one if Lin or Li is really fussy and there’s no way around it. Their feeding schedule now is 3am, 7am, 10am, 12:3opm, 5pm, 7:30pm, 9pm or 9:30pm. We have always believed in on-demanding feeding but somehow their biological clock sets off the alarm no more than 30 minutes away from the time so they established their own routine, which I am not complaining about. Between the feedings, usually Li sleeps more than Lin does, and he’s catching up on the weight, probably due to more sleep, more pooping.

I’ve been lucky to have no problem with my nipples, haven’t really used the nipple cream since we arrived in Shanghai, there’s no need. The milk supply is just right, I do pump 2~3 ounces to mix the probiotic in the bottle on a daily basis so they do get the bottle once a day, which according to the books is a good thing to have them used to the bottles. Lin and Li are awesome that they never ever had trouble using bottles and the breast from day one. I try to put them at the breasts as much as possible, since the composition of the milk changes according to babies’ needs, therefore freezing milk for later use may not achieve the goal of meeting their nutritional demands, plus expressed milk mix the fore milk and hind milk so they don’t know when to stop eating as well as being on the breasts. Compared to the initial hurdles that we had, breastfeeding now is a breeze. The biggest challenge now is the commitment of being with them a lot because of the frequent feedings, if we need to be out for a while, we will have to make sure there’s milk at home and we need to come back before certain time – quite different than the pre-baby time, when we could just stay out as long as we wanted but we are very fortunate that we have help that we can at least go out once everyday, either to the club house for a swim or a quick dinner somewhere.

The boys have okay breast manners, they are usually pretty happy and quiet while drinking, but anyone who has taken a baby off the breast shortly after the start of the feeding will know how loud a baby can scream. Li, however, will cry for no reason in the middle of the feeding, we still haven’t figured out why! Both of them sometimes would work on pooping 30 minutes or so into the feeding, which is really funny, because they would stop nursing, you see their faces turn red and then you hear an explosion on the other end, then they go back to eating happily again. The most precious moments though, are when they are alert, they smile with the nipple in their mouth when I talk to them, it’s the cutest!

Now it still takes about an hour to complete the nursing session, if I let them decide when to get off, sometimes they do after 30 minutes but usually it’s a pretty long process for all of us. They always stretch when they are picked up, and I need one too when I get up, the remedy for the back and shoulder aches is full body massage, we go twice a week for the one-hour session, best $10 you can spend even though sometimes it’s a lot of pain during the process. I also try to cover my shoulder to prevent any chronicle disease from exposing my body to air-conditioning.

In a few months, they boys will be more distracted and will start fiddling and playing at the breasts, maybe even bite the nipples with their brand new choppers so we will see how their breast manners evolve but hopefully we can stop their bad habits, if any, from the very beginning. In a way, I am very thankful that we have twins, not singleton or triplets, because there’s no issue with leaking while feeding and I change their position every feeding, 2 nipples are just right for them 🙂



Filed under 3rd Month

2 responses to “Breast Manners

  1. Kim

    Glad the nursing is much better now! Sounds like things are really going well for you guys.

    Fussing while nursing could be many things…gas bubble, fast/forceful let-down, uncomfortable position, he doesn’t like the flavor of something you ate….

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much, especially if he continues to nurse happily after that.

  2. Michele

    Cynthia, I’m curious. What are breast manners amongst the mothers in Shanghai? Have you ever had to feed Lin and Li in a restaurant or cafe? What do others do? In Europe, you know people are very open with it but in the U.S. bystanders can be very prude.

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