Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a woman can do with a newborn. Did you know it can also be one of the most difficult. What about when you have two babies to feed?
Twiniversity asked its members about their experiences to help us create a starter guide to breastfeeding twins. We received responses from MoMs that chose not to breastfeed and MoMs who pumped for their preemies, or difficult-to-latch babies. We even got some tips from MoMs who breastfed successfully for more than a year.
Worried about breastfeeding twins? What To Do When You’re Breastfeeding Two is an on-demand online breastfeeding twins class made just for YOU! This course was created by Twiniversity in partnership with Judy Teibloom-Mishkin, IBCLC. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our virtual lactation consulting and virtual twin parent coaching services.
The Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding Twins
If you are planning to breastfeed, start with a plan but stay flexible. Remember that the babies may have a different plan! You don’t want to commit yourself to a plan that may not work best for you and your babies. It is important with breastfeeding, like everything else twin parenting related, to remain flexible and keep an open mind when creating your own guide to breastfeeding twins.
Tips for your guide to breastfeeding twins
- Don’t give up unless YOU are ready to.
- Don’t breastfeed unless YOU want to.
- Talk to a lactation consultant early and often. Book a session with Twinivesity founder Natalie Diaz here!
- Rent or borrow a hospital-grade pump to help get your supply up.
- Consider using herbal supplements like fenugreek and/or milk thistle to help with your supply.
- Know the facts and be ready to be vocal about nursing if your babies are in the NICU.
- A twin nursing pillow will increase your comfort and allow you to feed both babies at once. Check out the Twin Z Pillow and the My Brest Friend Double.
- It is not all or nothing. If you cannot supply both babies, you can pump and give formula. This is called hybrid feeding and it is extremely common with multiples!
- Don’t get too hung up on breastfeeding. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.
Things to remember when creating your guide to breastfeeding twins
If you decide to breastfeed start as soon as you can after the birth. You may find that it is easier to start with feeding one baby at a time until they/you have established good latching and your babies have a little better head control.
You will want to nurse your babies ‘on-demand’ in the beginning, likely every 2 1/2 hours, and you should not go more than 3 hours from the start of one feeding to the next. This means you will be feeding babies 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. It will take anywhere from 2-8 days for your milk to come in after delivery (prior to that, your babies will receive colostrum.)
If you are nursing, you may want to pump for 10-15 minutes after each feeding to help stimulate your milk production. A hospital grade pump is recommended. Don’t worry too much about the volume you are pumping since the babies are more efficient at getting milk out than the pump. Let their weight gain be your indicator. You can buy a baby scale online to use at home before and after feeds to see how much they are eating.
Need twins lactation help from a pro? Book a virtual session with Twiniversity founder Natalie Diaz, Certified Lactation Counselor. Click here to book now!
Don’t struggle with your guide to breastfeeding twins alone
If you are having any difficulties, reach out to a lactation consultant like our very own certified lactation consultant Natalie Diaz or another twin mom for support. Trust us, you are not alone and many of us have trudges these obstacles, too. We are more than happy to share our successes and failures with you to help you find your own path while setting up your own guide to breastfeeding twins.
The babies weight will be monitored while you are in the hospital and checked by your pediatrician at your first appointment. If the babies are not gaining enough or have lost too much weight, you may be advised to supplement with formula. There are many ways you can approach supplementing: there are devices that can be attached to your breast to deliver a supplement, you can bottle feed after each nursing session, or you can offer a bottle instead of a particular feeding. Be sure to choose bottles with a slow flow nipple to encourage the babies to ‘work’ for their meal!
Twiniversity tip: If you are going to swap nursing for a bottle, you might consider a night feed for this and get your partner to do a feeding so you can score some extra shut-eye!
In What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year, national twins guru and founder of Twiniversity (and twin mom herself!) Natalie Diaz provides a no-holds-barred resource about life with twins, from pregnancy and birth all the way through your duo’s first year of life. BUY NOW
Everybody is different. Only you can decide if breastfeeding is for you and if/when you should stop. Some MoMs report that they decided to stop after battling more than one case of mastitis, sore nipples, or inadequate latching/sucking by the baby. It is important to realize that your health is very important! (Something that new MoMs forget sometimes.)
Above all else, trust in yourself to make the decision that is best for you and your babies!
More articles to help your guide to breastfeeding twins
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