KatieKatie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full-time work-from- home parent. You can contact her by emailing katie@mumblingmommy.com.

By Heather C.

Photo from Creative Commons Search

Breastfeeding Twins. It sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?
Daunting? Exciting? A fun challenge?

Yes, it is pretty much all of those.

Breastfeeding twins is a lot like breastfeeding one baby,
except there are two. So for every 20 minutes you spend nursing one, you spend
another 20 minutes nursing the other. If they go 2 hours between feedings like
the average breastfed newborn, your schedule looks like this:

8 a.m. Diaper change, clothes change, etc. (Baby A)

8:15 a.m. Nurse (Baby A)

8:35 a.m. Diaper change, clothes change, etc (Baby B)

8:50 a.m. Nurse (Baby B)

9:10 a.m. Pump

9:20 a.m. Maybe time for your breakfast? A quick shower?
“Sleep when baby sleeps”? Just don’t get too comfortable because before you
know it, it’s…

That’s right 10 a.m. Baby A again

It is physically exhausting for very obvious reasons. If
there was ever a time to make sure you drink enough water, eat a ton of healthy
and balanced calories and keep up with your vitamins, this is it! It’s
emotionally exhausting because once you are lacking in sleep, the rest of your
body has no problem wanting to shut down but you simply cannot. (This feeling will happen whether you nurse or bottle feed, breast milk or formula.
It’s a newborn thing regardless, worsened by having two newborns.)

So now that I painted that lovely picture for you, you are
wondering why on Earth anyone would breastfeed, let alone breastfeed twins.
Well, because it’s amazing. Because it’s beautiful. And because once you are
doing it, it doesn’t feel quite as bad as you would imagine.

Still wanting to breastfeed your twins, right? Okay, here
are my best pieces of advice:

  1. They
    share your breasts (duh!) so you have to decide what method you’ll use to be
    sure they both get milk. I personally give one boob to each baby then switch at
    the next feeding. Others offer both boobs to each baby. There is not a right
    way to do it. It just takes some getting used to. Ideally, just pick a method
    and stick to it. The sooner you establish and pattern and method, the sooner
    your body will make the milk needed for each feeding. Either way, your body
    does know that two babies came out of you and it will make enough milk for both
    (as long as other obstacles do not get in the way.)
  2. It
    is possible to tandem nurse them. There are a few different ways this term is
    used. I am not talking about simply nursing more than one baby/child; I am
    talking about nursing them both in the same sitting. To do this, you will need
    a good nursing pillow; in fact you will need a twin specific very large nursing
    pillow. It takes a bit of practice (and some juggling skills) but it’s not that
    bad once you get used to it. (I faced some personal obstacles that made it
    impractical to make this a habit but I will share with you the tips other twin
    moms gave me.) Set your space up comfortably on a bed or couch. Lay a baby on
    either side of you. Once positioned in the middle of them, get your pillow(s)
    into place making sure you have good back support and everything you need is in
    reach (burp cloths, the TV remote, your phone, etc.) Get both breasts exposed
    and ready. Pick up the first baby and latch her in the football hold. Once connected, scoop up the second baby doing a football hold on that side as
    well. The babies’ heads should meet in the middle with their feet wrapping
    towards your back.
  3. It’s
    not a complete necessity, but I would also recommend an easy way to track how
    much each baby eats. They make fun colored bracelets or rings that you can
    switch back and forth to know which side each baby should be nursing on. They
    make a timer called the itzBeen where you can click just one button to start.
    It then tracks how long it’s been since baby started eating. (For twins you can
    get two of them and assign a color to each child.) There are also a variety of
    apps available for moms and dads with smartphones. I personally use Baby
    Connect on my iPhone.
  4. If
    possible, find a support team, whether it’s someone you know personally or
    friends you meet online, connecting with other twin moms is definitely a big
    deal. Specially, finding other twin moms that are nursing while you are
    learning the ropes as well will be a huge help to you.

Be prepared for a lot of questions from those around you.
It’s hard for a lot of people to understand why someone would nurse twins. I
recently wrote a post for another blog about this.

Stay open-minded, get help as soon as you notice an issue
and don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and breastfeeding
twins can be amazing. I am more than happy to talk to anyone more personally
about my experience if you have any questions or comments.

Heather C. owns and writes for the blog Our Magical Chaos. She uses the lessons her kids teach her to take each day at a time and embrace the twists life throws at her. Being a parent is what she knows best. Our Magical Chaos features stories, product reviews, and tips for parents just trying to make it through. You can like Our Magical Chaos on Facebook or follow Heather on Twitter. Heather is also a freelance writer and runner. She specializes in parenting girls, all things twins, and keeping her family happy.

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