Breastfeeding Two Babies

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on August 20, 2012

Many mothers who have been through it will agree that breastfeeding twins or higher multiples can be a major ordeal if you are not prepared. It seems to require more than double the amount of work and can be overwhelming at times. Your mind may tell you that your breasts cannot possibly produce enough milk for two starving mouths or that you will never get a break. Many mothers have found it much easier to just give up breastfeeding and switch to the bottle.


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Those of you who want to breastfeed your twins can take heart from the fact that thorough preparation can make the task much easier. The rewards will lie in the incredible bond that forms between you and your babies over a period of time.

Proper planning with the help of your doctor, partner, family and friends can make the task a lot easier.

Mental preparation is also important. Be prepared to face many challenges such as sore or cracked nipples, engorgement and low milk supply. Discuss these potential problems beforehand with your doctor and work out the best ways in which to overcome them. Here are some facts about breastfeeding twins that will go a long way in helping you meet these challenges.

Breastfeeding twins simultaneously takes the same amount of time as does bottle feeding. In fact bottle feeding requires additional time to clean and sterilize the bottles and to prepare and warm the formula. And think of the savings in cash! Some estimates put the amount saved from breastfeeding twins at over $1200 in the first year alone!

It is best to follow a flexible rather than a rigid schedule. Remember that your twins are individuals and may want to nurse at different intervals. Some mothers find nursing on demand during the day and following a fixed schedule at night to be easier. Some prefer to let the hungrier baby dictate the time of the next feed. Do not be afraid of being unable to produce enough milk. As long as you breastfeed your babies whenever they want, your body should be able to supply enough milk. A low milk supply can be rectified by nursing more often so don’t stress. In fact, you may face the problem of producing too much milk, in which case you should pump and store the excess milk for later use. If you are that your babies are not getting enough milk, check with your doctor. Doctors monitor a baby’s weight at different intervals to check their growth rates and if your babies check out fine then you have nothing to worry about.

Another problem many mothers worry about is sore nipples. Be aware that sore nipples are not caused by the excessive feeding but by incorrect positioning of the baby’s head resulting in improper latching, so learn about the correct positioning.  Sore nipples usually respond well to a combination of breast milk and lanolin.

Best Position For Breastfeeding Twins

Use two rolled up towels or nursing pillows to support your babies. Special nursing pillows are available that have been designed specifically for twins. They have a large surface capable of supporting two babies at once. This will help to free a hand whenever you need to burp or reposition the baby.

A pillow will help you to adjust or vary your nursing position. Some mothers prefer the football hold which positions each twin along one side. This is the preferred position for mothers who have delivered their babies by cesarean section as the weight of the babies is not on their abdomen. Another convenient position is the cradle position where the babies are held across the chest. The advantage of this pose is that you can keep an eye on both the babies at the same time. You can also rotate or vary the poses whenever you get uncomfortable.

Alternating your breasts is also important as very often, one twin will be stronger than the other. This will prevent undue load being placed on one breast. Since it gets difficult to keep track of which baby was last on which breast, it makes sense to alternate the positions once a day. Keeping a chart will also help. Switching back and forth will ensure that equal amounts of milk are being produced by both breasts and will guard against blocked milk ducts.

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