You just found out that you’re expecting twins. Congratulations, Mama! Along with excitement, you may feel trepidation whether you’re a new mother or have a child already. Looking after more than one baby comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to feeding. Breastfeeding twins and multiples is completely possible.
Here’s what you’ve got to know about how to breastfeed twins and multiples, including how to prepare, breastfeeding positions, managing breast milk supply, and more breastfeeding tips.
What Are The Challenges Of Breastfeeding Twins?
Getting started with breastfeeding with just one baby can be challenging! Even though breastfeeding is completely natural, this doesn’t mean it’s easy and you immediately know what to do.
To get breastfeeding off to a good start, prioritize skin-to-skin contact and focus on encouraging the correct latch.
Have a few consultations with a lactation consultant before your due date. This can help you prepare for breastfeeding and understand how to mitigate challenges that can arise during your journey.
Maintaining Breast Milk Supply
As twins and multiples require more milk than one baby, maintaining a steady breast milk supply can be difficult for many women.
When you have more than one baby, it may be a struggle to feed them together if they both want to breastfeed at the same time.
You can introduce a bottle to your babies as soon as breastfeeding is established. This can give you some more freedom as your partner or a family member can feed your little ones while you get some much-needed rest.
While baby blues is common, it’s essential to pay close attention to your emotional and mental health to ensure this doesn’t spiral. See a counselor and join a new moms group to help you navigate the newborn period and beyond.
Can You Breastfeed Both Twins At The Same Time?
Yes! You can have a baby on each breast if your little ones are both giving you hunger cues at the same time.
You can let your hungrier baby call the shots when it comes to breastfeeding – so when they start showing cues, you breastfeed both babies. This can save you time. Alternatively, you can breastfeed one baby at a time – this can be preferable if you’re struggling with latch.
“Some moms like to let the hungrier baby dictate the feeding schedule of both. Others feed on each baby’s demand during the day and stick to a schedule at night. Whatever you choose, just keep careful records to make sure each baby is well fed at each feeding,” tells What To Expect.
If you have triplets, you can breastfeed two of them together, and then the third one afterwards. Just remember to switch breasts halfway through feeding the third triplet so that both of your breasts get stimulated.
What Is The Best Way To Breastfeed Twins?
Once you’ve got breastfeeding and the latch down, you can tandem feed your babies to save you time.
- Get A Breastfeeding Pillow
There are breastfeeding pillows that can support two babies at the same time. This will take the pressure off of your arms.
- Get Into A Comfortable Position
Create a breastfeeding section in your home with a comfortable chair, a footstool, and a box of supplies including nursing pads, water, and snacks. Once you’ve got your own comfortable spot, you’ll be more able to get your little ones comfortable.
Try the football hold or the cradle hold, using the breastfeeding pillow to support their heads. Try different positions until you find what works for you and your babies.
How Do I Keep My Milk Supply Up With Twins?
Breast milk works on supply and demand. This means that when your breasts get drained, your body will create more milk. To keep up with this demand, breastfeed your babies regularly.
“Follow a baby-led approach. Breastfeed whenever either baby shows early signs of being hungry – such as stirring from sleep, poking their tongue out, turning their head, making cooing noises, or sucking their lips or hands – to help build a sufficient supply,” advises Medela.
You can pump after breastfeeding sessions to boost your breast milk supply. Think of this as putting in an extra breast milk order with your body! Freeze this milk for bottle feeds.
It’s also essential to take care of yourself through your diet. Women exclusively breastfeeding twins need to consume an extra 1,000 to 1,200 kcal a day. However, this number can increase when your babies go through a growth spurt and drink more. “Don’t let your caloric intake dip below 1,800 calories per day. If you go any lower than that, your body will go into ‘starvation’ mode and your milk supply may drop,” advises The Bump.
Foods to focus on in your breastfeeding diet include:
- Fish and seafood
- Whole grains
- Proteins, such as chicken, beef, lamb, and pork
- A variety of fruits and veggies, including starchy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats, including olive oil and avocados
Breastfeeding multiples can come with a few more hiccups than feeding one baby! Prepare yourself with the Breastfeeding Made Simple course. This online breastfeeding guide will help you feel confident in knowing what to expect from breastfeeding at birth, through growth spurts and developmental leaps, how to extend nighttime sleep with breastfeeding, and more.