After 11.5 months of breastfeeding the twins, I have officially weaned the boys off!
Our breastfeeding story
Every person’s feeding journey is so different. I have talked to several moms who have exclusively breastfed to those who only formula feed.
For us, we were doing a combination. Because I went back to work, the boys were bottle fed 3 days a week. When I am home with the boys I would breastfeed all day for feedings with one formula bottle at night. When I am at work, the boys get bottle fed with pumped milk all day while I pump at work two times, and again, they are fed one formula bottle before bed.
It has been such a journey and such a hard one at that, because we had latch issues and were seeing a lactation consultant every week for the first 2 months. I struggled with milk supply. It was literally a cry session in the first couple months for each breastfeeding opportunity. We had insurance issue. The boys got their frenulum clipped for their tongue tie. Wyatt always struggled to get in enough milk each day. Both boys were underweight. They are always on the lower single digit percentiles, but we were consistent in working to get some weight gain in and they were healthy and had steady growth. Breastfeeding finally got easier with a sufficient milk supply. Plus the boys were sleeping through the night! We stopped night feedings and I kept up my supply with lactation supplements and pumping for 30 minutes before bed each night. I was also able to finally save time when my boys began to tandem feed (breastfeeding both babies at the same time on each boob). Previously, breastfeeding took forever, because I would have to do one at a time.
It was definitely hard work to get my boys breastfed. But I do feel like everything was worth it, because I was able to get my boys fed with their mama’s milk. It’s reportedly nutrient-rich and reduces risks of getting sick. My boys did get mildly sick at about 6 months, which lasted a month of runny noses, but overall, I’m really glad I got to breastfeed my boys. I know not everyone is lucky to be able to do this, due to their own reasons, but I feel so grateful that I was gifted this bonding experience with my boys.
I probably lost about 20 pounds the first couple months after delivering, but still have about 10 more pounds to shed to get to my pre-birth weight, but I’m thinking it might just stay with me (haha!)
How I weaned off the boys
Consider your babies’ current feeding type (exclusive versus part-time breastfed)
Like I previously mentioned, the boys were getting one formula bottle nightly, and they were getting fed pumped milk with a bottle when they were at grandma’s. I feel that exclusively breastfed babies will probably will have a harder or longer process to wean off just because they might have a stronger attachment to mama’s milk and might have a hard time taking a bottle. But who knows, your babies’ easy or difficult temperament and ability to adapt to changes in routine can play a part as well. A bottle can be reported to be similar to mom’s breast, but it isn’t the same thing. My boys, for sure, liked to be breastfed more than bottle fed. While at times they refused the bottle, the boys could immediately calm down and feel comforted when I would breastfeed them. I decided to slowly fade out the amount of breastfeeding sessions.
I think that each baby’s weaning off schedule should be considered depending on how successful they can be and how much progress they make in being able to tolerate the bottle and no longer having access to mom’s breasts. Again, for my boys, they already mastered the ability to drink from a bottle and not having 24/7 access to me. Due to this, our weaning off was easier, but the boys did still have an attachment for breastfeeding, so i slowly took them off.
At around 10 months 2 weeks, we replaced the late afternoon breastfeeding session with a bottle. The boys’ breastfeeding sessions were decreasing and my milk supply began to drop again. But because I knew that their first birthday was approaching, I decided to officially wean them off since the milk and interest in breastfeeding was lacking. When the boys are with me, they were getting fed 5 times throughout the day and I pumped for 30 minutes before going to bed. 4 breastfeeding sessions and 1 formula bottle at night time. However, as I mentioned the breastfeeding session duration was decreasing and milk supply was dropping so I was also supplementing with about 3-4 oz formula or pumped milk after breastfeeding them. At the 10.5 months mark, I dropped one of their afternoon feedings and gave them a 6-7 ounce bottle of formula or bottle of pumped milk instead.
At 10 months 3 weeks, I replaced another breastfeeding session with a bottle. At 11 months, I replaced another breastfeeding session with a bottle. Each week, I gave them less and less opportunity to breastfeed.
Weaning was really a successive process, where I would replace a breastfeeding session with a bottle every week. This would continue until they were only breastfeeding once in the morning as soon as they wake up, then that finally was gone too. I implemented this process slowly and it took 1 month to completely wean them off. I’m sure some babies will take longer or shorter, but it was my personal preference to take it slow and go week by week to eventually completely wean them off.
I truly miss breastfeeding, because it’s one of the few times where the boys and I get a peaceful bonding time together. We don’t cosleep with the boys since they just go to sleep on their own when we put them down in their cribs. When they’re a bit whiny or when it’s time to read bedtime stories, I would hold them. But breastfeeding was one of the few times we could get all snuggly and stuff.
Overall, I feel so lucky to be able to breastfeed TWINS! My boobs became a bit saggy and feel deflated but it was all worth it! I’m thankful for all the support my husband provided for me throughout, but I am SOOO glad to have my body back! I no longer have to worry about wearing some sort of nursing cover in public or pumping when I’m at work. I forgot how convenient it is to have your boobs back! Hope this blog post is helpful to you all! Good luck to you mamas getting ready to wean from the breast!