Author: Paige Bell-Male
I started expressing for my twins less than six hours after they were born.
Both were in the NICU at the time and neither were really up to nursing (although they could both suck feed). While I reduced output at work I didn’t take a break there and was back working two days after they were born while still in the hospital.
To hire or buy a breast pump for twins?
I purchased the Spectra S2 shortly before hospital discharge. It ended up arriving on the day I was discharged (with Twin A who was readmitted the next day) but I didn’t know that at the time. So I’d organized to hire a pump for a fortnight so I had time for my pump to arrive.
I’d held off on purchasing a pump before I gave birth because originally I was hoping to direct feed, but after I delivered it was pretty clear that that wouldn’t be a reality anytime soon (if ever) so I fully embraced the pumping life and stopped attempting to latch my girls around 6w corrected (10w actual).
Exclusively pumping for twins and working
I work from home doing online captioning and have done this even before I got pregnant with my twins. So fitting pumping into work thankfully hasn’t been an issue for me.
It obviously makes me a little bit less efficient than I otherwise would be but I’m able to pump while I work. I sit on a chair with my legs crossed and my pump bottles on top of my legs.
Full time work and exclusively pumping for twins
Around 9.5 months after I delivered I decided to try and get my earnings back to about where they were before I delivered and so far it’s been fairly successful so I consider myself back “full-time” now even though I don’t make what most people would at a full-time job.
However it’s work I like that I can do on a schedule that suits me and it’s also enough money for us to get by on.
Around the same time I also started fluctuating in my output so for the last month or so I’ve had to dig into my freezer stash occasionally.
I vary from just enough to a slight undersupply these days depending on where I am in my menstrual cycle. I actually have a pretty decent supply, even on my bad days I still make well over a litre but because I have twins it’s not enough but I’m thankful for what I am able to produce.
Bottles, Bottles and more Bottles!
Bottles are a pain to deal with and wash, we probably have about 40-50 bottles and 15 teats or so. Thankfully we acquired them all during our neonatal unit stay so we haven’t had to pay a lot for them (the Sepal bottles they use in hospital are reusable).
After pumping I put the milk into the bottles and stick them in the fridge, when it comes time to feed my girls I take the milk out of the fridge and slap a teat on. I’ve been blessed with girls who don’t care too much about the temperature on the milk so feeding straight from the fridge has never been an issue for us, I know not everybody is that lucky.
Benefits of exclusively pumping for twins
My main driver behind exclusively pumping for twins and sticking to it has been financial, even with the discounts available for multiple birth families formula is expensive and thinking about how I don’t have to buy a couple of tins a week keeps me going even on the days where I don’t really feel like having the mechanical baby suck on my breasts for two hours.
Overall expressing has been a great experience for me and I might actually choose to do this voluntarily if I have any more children. It has the same benefits as formula in regards to being able to have others help out with feeds, not having to expose myself in public to feed and with the financial savings of breastfeeding.
Due to working from home and being able to work while pumping it hasn’t really put a damper on my income earning ability because I can just have the Spectra going while I type away and providing I sit in a certain way it’s all good.
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