After reaching my goal of breastfeeding our twins for 12 months, I decided I was ready to start weaning them. In the lead up to weaning, I was concerned about how it would even be possible to stop breastfeeding two babies, how they would adjust, and of course, the threat of mastitis. I trusted my gut and took it slowly, taking 4 weeks to end our journey.
Cutting down feeds
As we approached our 12 month milestone, I was still breastfeeding the twins 3 times a day around meals. I had them in a routine, feeding them first thing in the morning, again when they woke from their afternoon nap, and then again before bedtime. After their 1st birthday, I decided I would start cutting down feeds, and approximately a week later, I dropped the middle feed of the day. Rather than giving a milk bottle, I chose to substitute this feed by offering the twins their water bottles and adding in extra dairy during the day. The twins took a couple of afternoons to adjust, needing a bit of encouragement to drink from their water bottles and some extra cuddles, but thankfully, it didn’t seem to worry them too much. I was also relieved not to notice any major changes or breast discomfort with cutting out this feed.
Three weeks after their birthday, and approximately 2 weeks after cutting down to the 2 feeds, I decided that I would wean the morning feed next. I gave the twins their first bottle of cow’s milk, and they loved it! I chose to drop this feed (instead of the evening feed), as I thought it would allow me to see how the twins reacted to the cow’s milk during the day, and I also wanted to get them used to the bottle before introducing it at bedtime. My breasts felt quite uncomfortable by the end of that first day, and I was cautious in protecting myself from any knocks, but that feeling eased after the evening feed, and thankfully didn’t return the next day. I was both surprised and relieved at how well my body adjusted and also how well the twins took to the change.
Reaching the end of our breastfeeding journey
Over the week that followed, I felt reluctant about cutting down the last feed (I know, I was surprised too!). Even having my very first weekend away from the kids coming up, still didn’t make me want to rush the process. Unfortunately on the Tuesday night (8 days after stopping the morning feed), sick kids meant that I needed to attend a family dinner celebration on my own, leaving hubby at home to look after them. He suggested that he give the twins a bottle of cow’s milk, as he would be doing that over the weekend and it would be good to trial it. I felt a little upset and I felt unprepared as I had wanted to capture the last feed (for my own memories and celebrations), and I hadn’t done that the night before. Despite this, I knew that it would be easiest for the night and for the weekend if they had a bottle, and so I accepted that we’d reached the end of our breastfeeding journey (at least I tried convincing myself of that).
The next day, I was still quite full, and so I decided I would feed the twins again that night and make that our last. I felt that I was more prepared, and I enjoyed their last feeds, and was able to capture the moment(s) how I’d planned. Although I had the occasional ‘leak’ over the following weeks, I didn’t get that full feeling again. This definitely helped put my mind at ease (that ‘mum guilt’) with the decision as I felt my body had been waiting for it.
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Everyone adjusted well
Overall, I was really happy with how our breastfeeding journey ended. I found that I was quite emotional, especially compared to weaning our firstborn, as it signified the end of something I was so incredibly proud of, and that the twins were growing up. I was relieved to have avoided the dreaded mastitis during weaning, and that the twins adjusted so well. I couldn’t have wished for things to go smoother, and for a more positive end to what was a very challenging, but rewarding experience.
*Please note that this is for informational purposes only. It was written by a Mother trusting her gut who is not a professional / medical expert.
About the Author
Parenting Joys is about sharing candid everyday experiences of parenthood, and providing a space for parents to connect, share, learn, and grow. Simone, the face behind Parenting Joys, is the proud mum of their 3 year old boy and 1 year old boy / girl twins. She started Parenting Joys to share an insight into their life with 3 children aged 2 and under, to present a realistic side to parenthood, and to support other parents by sharing their journey. You can connect with Parenting Joys on their website or via Instagram.