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As time went on 09:04 - Nov 12 with 1016 viewsNewcyBlue

The twins reflux worsened to the point that they were in pain more often than not. Neither one was keeping their milk down very easily without prolonged periods of being held upright and winding.

A lack of sleep became the downfall of MrsN. At 0200 one morning she handed me a baby and said “I can’t do this any more I am going downstairs to the sofa to sleep”.

I got through that morning. We muddled through a couple more days. We happened upon Carobel, which is a thickener. It sort of stopped the reflux. We got a 2 hour unbroken sleep for the first time in over a week.

Something still wasn’t right.

A couple of nights ago MrsN sat there sobbing. She told me she was frightened. Frightened of doing this all alone whilst I was at sea. Frightened that she couldn’t do it. Frightened that she’s not a good mum.

Seb was sleeping in his bedroom. Then it hit me. A couple of weeks ago I saw white seeds in a nappy. I have no idea whose nappy. But I saw them. Seb had that when he was a couple of weeks old. He ended up being lactose intolerant.

It was 2200hrs, I got in the car and went to Asda. I got a tub of Lactose Free formula. This was the moment our exclusively breastfed babies would get the dreaded formula that the midwife MrsN never wanted them to have.

The difference was almost instantaneous. Subsequent feeds through the night produced the same results. Happy, pain free, content babies. Babies that slept.

The relief that MrsN felt was clear. After so many people telling us “that’s life with premature twins” “it will get better” “sleep when the babies sleep” etc. We found the answer. MrsN called the GP. Who then confirmed that yes, this can be hereditary, and with the similarities between Seb and Michael (singular palmar crease on the left hand) this is highly likely.

A prescription for formula was given. The formula covers lactose intolerance and cows milk protein allergy. There isn’t a test to find out which it is, so there is a formula that covers both.

Last night the twins were adjusting to the formula. When breastfeeding they had been taking an incredible amount of milk. Breast milk is easily digestible, with a fairly sweet taste in case you’re wondering. Formula is harder to digest.

Whilst it was a fairly sleepless night, there were no babies in pain writhing around all night and making all sorts of noise.

Now we need to learn the skill of feeding two babies at the same time. MrsN needs to be able to do it on her own for obvious reasons. Michael is just really really small. 2.05kgs at the weigh in yesterday. His neck muscles are still developing.

As ever, we will find a solution. We’ve found solutions for every issue so far.

Seb loves life with his brother and sister. He loves his new bedroom with a TV in it. He loves that I have arranged the furniture as if he were in a cabin on one of my ships. He’s been wonderful.

Be good to each other TWTD.

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As time went on on 09:15 - Nov 12 with 970 viewsGuthrum

Great that you've got to the bottom (no pun intended) of this problem. Hopefully things go smoother from now on.

Good Lord! Whatever is it?
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As time went on on 09:32 - Nov 12 with 933 viewsEdwardStone

This sounds like your most gruelling journey ever

Your positivity in the face of such huge problems is an inspiration, your will to succeed is immense

Good Luck to all in your family and thanks for sharing
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As time went on on 09:42 - Nov 12 with 915 viewsNewcyBlue

Appreciate the kind words chaps. But it’s MrsN and the kids that keep me going. They make me a better man.

I can’t wait to be able to bring them for a BBQ with you guys.

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As time went on on 09:53 - Nov 12 with 896 viewsitfcjoe

Good to hear you are getting on with things, and finding solutiuons

We went formula quite early, and it was a massive help and release (had cows milk allergy as well), means you can actually share the load about now and be useful!

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As time went on on 10:03 - Nov 12 with 874 viewsBluefish

The most important thing is never beat yourselves up over what is the right way or the wrong way. Our first 2 were breast fed and my wife was determined to do the same with our 3rd but was prescribed some allergy medication and it affected her milk. She tried her best to carry on and it was destroying her trying to keep our baby happy, eventually I did similar to you and pushed the formula milk. Like you the difference was incredible straight away.

An important thing i have recently learned is that you need to fix your own mask first before you help others. Think of the aeroplane safety guides, you are much more effective as a support if you are in a good place to offer it. If you try and help others 1st it makes it harder.


Keep going mate, all babies are a test but you have quadruple the challenge. One day though you will look back on these tough times and smile

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As time went on on 10:28 - Nov 12 with 833 viewsEdwardStone

As time went on on 09:42 - Nov 12 by NewcyBlue

Appreciate the kind words chaps. But it’s MrsN and the kids that keep me going. They make me a better man.

I can’t wait to be able to bring them for a BBQ with you guys.


BBQ sounds good.....open invite for you and yours
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As time went on on 12:54 - Nov 12 with 777 viewscatch74

Well done Mr & Mrs Newcy, tough but rewarding time. Hope the sleep keeps improving.

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As time went on on 13:37 - Nov 12 with 745 viewsMattinLondon

Great news - hope everyone is getting a lot more sleep.

My girlfriend had trouble breastfeeding both of our boys who also had trouble feeding. What annoys me now (didn’t really compute at the time) was the anti-formula stance that the midwives and the support workers (the ones who come to the house - can’t recall their job titles) took despite my gf obvious mental state. It was always ‘preserver as breast is best’.

In the end we both decided enough-was-enough and brought formula.
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As time went on on 13:40 - Nov 12 with 737 viewsDyland


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As time went on on 13:54 - Nov 12 with 719 viewsitfcjoe

As time went on on 13:37 - Nov 12 by MattinLondon

Great news - hope everyone is getting a lot more sleep.

My girlfriend had trouble breastfeeding both of our boys who also had trouble feeding. What annoys me now (didn’t really compute at the time) was the anti-formula stance that the midwives and the support workers (the ones who come to the house - can’t recall their job titles) took despite my gf obvious mental state. It was always ‘preserver as breast is best’.

In the end we both decided enough-was-enough and brought formula.


The funny thing we found is that as soon as we told them we 100% weren't perservering any more they were really supportive of that stance, is very strange - like almost a weight lifted of them

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As time went on on 14:06 - Nov 12 with 703 viewsCBBlue

As time went on on 13:37 - Nov 12 by MattinLondon

Great news - hope everyone is getting a lot more sleep.

My girlfriend had trouble breastfeeding both of our boys who also had trouble feeding. What annoys me now (didn’t really compute at the time) was the anti-formula stance that the midwives and the support workers (the ones who come to the house - can’t recall their job titles) took despite my gf obvious mental state. It was always ‘preserver as breast is best’.

In the end we both decided enough-was-enough and brought formula.


Competely agree I was expressing as my son needed meds mixed in with his feed (for relux so Newcy's description of MrsN's exhaustion really hit home) and the Health Visitor was still anti formula even though between expressing, feeding and dealing with the reflux I was at the point of collapse. When my other half came home with some formula 'just in case' I really had to battle the failing mother thoughts but it was the best choice and made me feel like I could cope again.

Give MrsN my best Newcy, your post brought back those memories and to be coping with two babies makes her superhuman in my eyes x

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As time went on on 14:20 - Nov 12 with 682 viewsMattinLondon

As time went on on 13:54 - Nov 12 by itfcjoe

The funny thing we found is that as soon as we told them we 100% weren't perservering any more they were really supportive of that stance, is very strange - like almost a weight lifted of them


Sorry, didn’t clarify that point. Yes, as soon as we told them what we were going to do then yes, they were very supportive.

In fact so supportive that we were a tad annoyed that that was how they really felt.
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As time went on on 14:25 - Nov 12 with 674 viewsMattinLondon

As time went on on 14:06 - Nov 12 by CBBlue

Competely agree I was expressing as my son needed meds mixed in with his feed (for relux so Newcy's description of MrsN's exhaustion really hit home) and the Health Visitor was still anti formula even though between expressing, feeding and dealing with the reflux I was at the point of collapse. When my other half came home with some formula 'just in case' I really had to battle the failing mother thoughts but it was the best choice and made me feel like I could cope again.

Give MrsN my best Newcy, your post brought back those memories and to be coping with two babies makes her superhuman in my eyes x


Mums are put under so much pressure to breast feed that I was really surprised. In hospitals it was all ‘breast is best’ and that formula was bad.

Think all that pressure is unwarranted- especially as pregnancy is quite stressful in itself.

I understand their stance but just feel that it’s a bit too fervent.
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As time went on on 14:39 - Nov 12 with 648 viewseireblue

Sounds like you are doing a cracking job.

And congratulations on having vegan twins.

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As time went on on 14:57 - Nov 12 with 635 viewsBloomBlue

Glad everything is gradually working out. Parenthood is all about solutions, but if you think about it that is also what a lot of your work involves, you're an expert at solutions already, so not surprised you're finding the answers.

Delighted Seb loves life with his brother and sister, one less worry for you
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As time went on on 15:02 - Nov 12 with 631 viewsSouperJim

Until you've experienced a baby with reflux (let alone two), you have no idea what stress is. We went through a similar experience with breast feeding, then onto the anti reflux formula which just resulted in constipation which was even worse than the reflux. We got there in the end and glad you have too, but it's the most horribly stressful sleep devoid experience imaginable. You have my deepest sympathy.

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As time went on on 15:36 - Nov 12 with 598 viewsitfcjoe

As time went on on 14:20 - Nov 12 by MattinLondon

Sorry, didn’t clarify that point. Yes, as soon as we told them what we were going to do then yes, they were very supportive.

In fact so supportive that we were a tad annoyed that that was how they really felt.


Yep we were similar, I think us stopping earlier helped a couple of other girls in our NCT Group as almost relived the pressure for everyone

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As time went on on 20:10 - Nov 14 with 489 viewsNewcyBlue

Thought I would update this.

The formula given by the GP made the twins worse. After the second feed we stopped it and went back to the Aptamil Lactose Free. The GP then gave a prescription for the Lactose Free milk. The difference is incredible.

The twins are cluster feeding between 2100 and 0300 nightly at the moment. We've decided to sleep after the last cluster feed rather than trying to sleep in between as we were getting minimal sleep.

MrsN went upstairs for a sleep earlier, she'll come down at the start of the next feed.

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As time went on on 20:12 - Nov 14 with 484 viewsNewcyBlue

As time went on on 14:39 - Nov 12 by eireblue

Sounds like you are doing a cracking job.

And congratulations on having vegan twins.



MrsN considered that we should go vegan diet so she could keep breastfeeding, but it takes 6 weeks for lactose to disappear from her milk!

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As time went on on 20:16 - Nov 14 with 460 viewsNewcyBlue

As time went on on 15:36 - Nov 12 by itfcjoe

Yep we were similar, I think us stopping earlier helped a couple of other girls in our NCT Group as almost relived the pressure for everyone


The discussion about breastfeeding was interesting, I read it out to MrsN.

She's an experienced midwife at the regions busiest unit.

She says she will still say breast is best. But, she will say breast milk is best, not necessarily breastfeeding. She also said she'll be more aware of how allergies can affect breastfed babies.

Most of her friends are midwives that she works with, all have been very supportive. MrsN is absolutely gutted to not be breastfeeding any more. She's having to express until her milk supply dries up. It's a shame as she had just cracked it, she had gotten really good at breastfeeding!

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As time went on on 21:38 - Nov 14 with 414 viewsBanksterDebtSlave

As time went on on 20:12 - Nov 14 by NewcyBlue

MrsN considered that we should go vegan diet so she could keep breastfeeding, but it takes 6 weeks for lactose to disappear from her milk!


Lucky you Newcy...consider it your duty!

Edit...*he typed as Miss and Junior Slave shouted "noooooo".*

...We persevered through 'collic' when Junior was little, gluten has since been eliminated due to never ending digestion and refux issues!
[Post edited 14 Nov 2020 21:42]

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As time went on on 22:12 - Nov 14 with 385 viewsm14_blue

As time went on on 20:16 - Nov 14 by NewcyBlue

The discussion about breastfeeding was interesting, I read it out to MrsN.

She's an experienced midwife at the regions busiest unit.

She says she will still say breast is best. But, she will say breast milk is best, not necessarily breastfeeding. She also said she'll be more aware of how allergies can affect breastfed babies.

Most of her friends are midwives that she works with, all have been very supportive. MrsN is absolutely gutted to not be breastfeeding any more. She's having to express until her milk supply dries up. It's a shame as she had just cracked it, she had gotten really good at breastfeeding!


The support and help we received throughout pregnancy, labour and postpartum was incredible. However, I do think some of the emphasis and pressure put on breastfeeding is unhelpful.

Similarly to your situation, my wife was unable to and was devastated, I think it’s difficult to overstate the emotional impact, they feel as though they’ve let the baby down and aren’t a good mum.

The struggle to keep going had been tearing her apart though and switching to a combination of expressed breast milk and formula was the best thing we ever did. When the dust settled we had a healthy, happy mother and that’s the most important thing for any baby.

Plus, from a selfish point of view it means us dads can be far more involved and of far more use when the going gets tough.

Our daughter has just turned 2 and couldn’t be healthier.

This is the most mumsnet thing I’ve ever posted or intend to post.

I’m off to watch some porn and drink some beer.
[Post edited 14 Nov 2020 22:13]
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As time went on on 22:24 - Nov 14 with 364 viewsNthsuffolkblue

As time went on on 13:37 - Nov 12 by MattinLondon

Great news - hope everyone is getting a lot more sleep.

My girlfriend had trouble breastfeeding both of our boys who also had trouble feeding. What annoys me now (didn’t really compute at the time) was the anti-formula stance that the midwives and the support workers (the ones who come to the house - can’t recall their job titles) took despite my gf obvious mental state. It was always ‘preserver as breast is best’.

In the end we both decided enough-was-enough and brought formula.


Our experience too. An undiagnosed tongue tie didn't help but the feelings that the stance they take give and the utter exhaustion and helplessness are hard to imagine for anyone who hasn't experienced it.

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