Are you intimidated by the thought of breastfeeding your twins? You’re not alone. But it is possible to successfully breastfeed your twins. If you are worried that you will not be able to produce enough milk, remember that it is supply and demand. Keep your body healthy, hydrated, and rested, and the supply “should” come. (For tips on increasing your milk supply see here) Here are just a few basic things to keep in mind for breastfeeding your twins.
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Get support for breastfeeding your twins
Ask to talk to the hospital’s lactation consultant, soon after the delivery of your twins. She will be able to offer tips on how to position your babies; how to get a good latch; how to increase your milk supply; and to be your cheerleader. Don’t be afraid to talk to her often to get continued support.
Did you know our very own Natalie Diaz also offers a lactation consultant to help you get off on the right foot with your own journey breastfeeding your twins? Book your session here.
We have many moms right here in the Twiniversity community willing to offer support, as well. You can ask for support from other moms of multiples on any of our social media platforms, (did you know that we even have moms of triplets, who breastfed their babies?), or e-mail our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can put you in touch with another twin mom, who successfully breastfed to help cheer you on.
Get in position
Now, you may be wondering how you feed two babies at once. Well, at first you may want to start with feeding one at a time until you and each baby gets the hang of it. Mirra S. says, “Don’t get discouraged and don’t expect to tandem nurse them right away. It probably took 6 weeks before we could tandem nurse, and even then, we couldn’t do it all the time.”
Tandem feeding isn’t for everyone. “Don’t feel like you HAVE to tandem feed,” says Torrie S. “I did a few times, but I mostly feed them one at a time, alternating sides. I prefer to have that one-on-one time. They are both very efficient, so it only takes about 20 minutes in total.”
You will want to have in your reach at least a couple pillows or a nursing pillow, like a boppy or a twin nursing pillow. Make sure you change which breast each baby nurses at so that your supply remains even. There are several different positions to tandem feed your twins. You will have to find the best for you personally.
How do you know which hold is right for you?
Double Football Hold- This is the most popular position recommended by twin moms for breastfeeding your twins. Place both babies at your sides, with their legs under your arms and their heads supported by your hands.
Double Cradle- Position the first baby in a cradle hold, with his head in the crook of your elbow. Bring the second baby up to your other breast, cradling him in the crook of your other elbow. Cross their legs over each other, so they both rest comfortably on the pillow.
Combination Football and Cradle- Some women find feeding one baby in the football hold and the other in cradle helpful, especially if one baby prefers one position or the other. Position the baby in football hold first, and then bring the second baby up in a cradle hold.
Nursing Wear- You need to be comfortable while breastfeeding your twins. I found the nursing bra that I had purchased was a bit too cumbersome. I went back and purchased a sport-style nursing bra. This style was more comfortable for me. Once I found these nursing camis and tank tops, I never looked back. I wore these under everything! I loved that they keep your belly covered as you nurse. You can find them at a decent price at your local retail store. Others need more support like a bra like this from Bravado Designs which comes in sizes up to a G cup.
Nursing on the go– Don’t be ashamed to nurse in public! It’s your right. If you want to have a bit of privacy while nursing in public, a nursing cover is great. It not only helps you keep your privacy, but it helps keep your babies from getting distracted by their surroundings. Get one that has a strap that loops around your neck so that your babies can’t pull it down like a blanket, exposing you unexpectedly. (And who has an extra hand to pull it back up?!)
Using a breast pump
You will need a hospital-grade, double electric breast pump if your babies are born premature or are otherwise medically compromised. If you are going to be pumping you will need to pump more than a few times a day so I really recommend getting a hospital-grade pump if you can. This type of pump is the most often preferred by twin moms.
You can purchase or rent one from your local hospital, WIC office, or at many other medical facilities. Be sure to check with your health insurance company about picking up the tab. You can use a used pump if all of the attachments are new including breast shields, valves, membranes, and tubes, as shown in the photo. DO NOT use attachments used by someone else, for sanitary reasons. I pumped for about four months for my premature twins. It is hard but well worth the effort.
A ‘hands-free’ pumping bra/bustier will help free your hands for multi-tasking, while you pump. Twin mama Erin D. suggests, “Making pumping your ‘me’ time!” So grab the remote, a book, or come read tips and get support on Twiniversity, while you pump!
We wish you the best while breastfeeding your twins. Here are some more tips for helping to succeed at breastfeeding. And if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact the Twiniversity team for support!
Need some baby safety training? Take the Twiniversity Complete Baby Safety course, offered on-demand. Includes video modules on infant, toddler, and child CPR, first aid, and common medical ailments, plus car seat installation and safety and childproofing your home. Click here to learn more!