By Heather C.
|Photo from Creative Commons Search|
Breastfeeding Twins. It sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?
Daunting? Exciting? A fun challenge?
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:
“Sleep when baby sleeps”? Just don’t get too comfortable because before you
know it, it’s…
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.)
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.
are my best pieces of advice:
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First time here? Like Mumbling Mommy on Facebook to continue the conversation!
While you are here, you might also enjoy these posts: