Expecting twins? Got twins and struggling to breastfeed?
Some people wonder whether it is possible to have enough
breast milk for twin babies, and yes it is. It is possible to have
enough milk for both your babies and extra for freezing. Not only will
your baby twins receive all the benefits of breastfeeding, but you will
also reap the rewards.
You don’t need to worry about not having enough milk. The more your
babies suck and empty your breasts, the more milk your breasts will
produce. You might need to do some breastfeeding and pumping for the
first couple of weeks, just to get your milk supply up.
Breast feeding saves time. No cleaning and sterilizing of bottles, or preparing and heating of formula. According to La Leche League International, breastfeeding your twins during the first year saves a mother about 300 hours and more than $1,200.
Tips for Breastfeeding Twins
Relax. Make sure you have somebody else to do the dirty work, or at least most of it! Focus on feeding your babies and forget about everything else. Accept all the help you can get.
Bottle feeding breast milk. Get yourself a good nursing pump, so that you can store milk for times when you need to bottle feed your twins. A heavy-duty, electric double pump action breast pump is the best to use.
Drink enough water. Your body will need the fluid, to keep up with milk production. Keep a glass of water nearby, especially during feedings. Also, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, keep snacks handy during breastfeeding.
Sleep when your babies sleep. This will help you cope with their eating times. Whatever you do, try to get eight hours sleep every day.
Offer your breasts to your babies when they wake up, do not leave it too long, as they might become fussy and miserable.
Breastfeeding twins together will leave you with more time for yourself! A baby feeding schedule isn’t always possible.
Get yourself a comfortable twin nursing pillow before the birth, to take to the hospital with you. A good breastfeeding pillow can ease a lot of the stress.
Be prepared to breastfeed often! Keep in mind that it gets easier as time goes by.
Get together with other women who have successfully breastfed twins. Pick up some hints, ideas and advice.
Try to breastfeed your babies immediately after birth, if this is not possible, then start to pump until you can breastfeed them.
Do not assign your babies to their own breasts; instead keep putting them on the opposite breast, every time you feed. If you do this, you won’t have one breast getting fuller than the other, due to them having their own sucking patterns.
Your babies should feed for at least 10 min at a time, and at least eight
times during a 24 hour period. They should be gaining an ounce a day, by
the fifth day after birth until at least three months of age. More info
on how to know if your baby is getting in enough breastmilk…
Positions for Breastfeeding Twins
You could breastfeed them separately and use any normal breast feeding position.
Football hold – Babies are breastfed facing each other in
opposite directions with their heads at the front of the mother's chest and
bodies tucked under the mother's arms.
Parallel - Babies lie in the same direction, one baby's head will rest on the other baby's tummy.
Cross-cradle - Each baby is held in the cradle position. One baby's feet will rest on the other baby.
You need patience and willpower when nursing twins; it’s sometimes
helpful to make yourself the target of breastfeeding for three months.
Some days you might feel like all you do is breastfeed. But it will be
worth it in the end!