Breastfeeding Twins or Multiples: Tips for Managing and Thriving
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a mom-to-be or a new mom, and you’ve embarked on the incredible journey of bringing not just one, but two (or more!) bundles of joy into your life. That’s right, you’re expecting twins or multiples, and we’re here to celebrate and support you on this extraordinary adventure.
Breastfeeding twins or multiples is like having a front-row seat to the ultimate multitasking challenge. But don’t worry; you’ve got this! While it may seem like an overwhelming task, we’re here to delve into the intricacies of this beautiful and rewarding experience. From tackling the double milk supply dilemma to finding the perfect tandem feeding positions, we’ve got your back.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, we’ll explore how breastfeeding twins compare to the single-baby experience and discover the tips, tricks, and insights that will make your life as a twin mom a little easier.
Is Breastfeeding Twins More Difficult?
There are a lot of misconceptions about breastfeeding out there. But it’s only natural to wonder if breastfeeding twins is harder than taking care of a singleton.
Technically, the answer is no! Your body has prepared for your multiples so you can be ready to take care of their nutritional needs. However, breastfeeding can often be challenging for new moms. For twin moms, breastfeeding can be doubly difficult since there is more than one mouth to feed at once.
That’s often why many mothers of multiples are not able to breastfeed their twins, triplets, or more, according to VeryWell Health. Many moms of multiples feel overwhelmed in the first few weeks. They need to meet the needs of not one, but two babies, and there are still only 24 hours in the day.
While breastfeeding twins may feel more difficult at first, there are plenty of tips that can help you find the right rhythm with your multiples!
What About Milk Supply?
Many new moms of multiple also worry about how to meet the nutritional supply of two or more new additions. As we said, your body often handles this part on its own!
La Leche League explains that mothers of multiples usually experience more breast development during pregnancy. This, in addition to the simple rule of supply and demand, means that mothers of multiple can usually produce enough milk for two or even three babies.
Worrying about low milk supply isn’t just a problem for moms of multiples. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides great tips for helping new moms increase and maintain their milk supply so they can breastfeed with confidence:
- Breastfeed every time your baby is hungry. In the early weeks, your baby will eat 8-12 times every 24 hours. Follow your baby’s cues, and let your baby tell you when it’s time to eat.
- Make sure your baby is latching well.
- Empty your breasts at each feeding. Hand express or pump after feeding to draw out all the milk and signal your body to make more.
- Get plenty of sleep, and eat a healthy diet.
- And more…
Practical Tips for Breastfeeding Twins
Now, for what you’ve been waiting for. Here are some practical tips for breastfeeding with twins that can help you manage your time with multiples.
Forming a Feeding Schedule for Twins
Finding a feeding schedule for your twins can help make things much easier throughout the day. What to Expect recommends to try nursing your twins on the same schedule if possible. Many moms choose to feed based on the demands of their hungrier baby, or you can meet the demands of each baby individually during the day.
That’s right, you don’t need to be breastfeeding two babies at once! While it may be easier to schedule, your twins don’t have to stick to the same feeding schedule. Since newborns have different appetites and nursing patterns, it may be easier to form individual feeding schedules.
This all comes down to your preference and the needs of your babies.
Breastfeeding Positions for Two Babies
If you do want to keep your babies on the same feeding schedule, knowing some breastfeeding twin positions is a must. The Bump offers great advice for tandem breastfeeding twins, including the best positions:
- Double football: This is a common breastfeeding position that you can pull off with multiples. Doing this with one baby on each side can give you more control and is especially helpful for newborns with little or no head control.
- Laidback breastfeeding: Recline with both babies lying diagonally across your torso to feed. Once your babies have good head control, you can also lay back and have each baby sit upright on either side of you, so you can relax.
- Australian position: Once your twins are both able to sit upright you can sit down with one baby straddling each of your thighs facing towards the breasts to nurse.
- Mix positions: Of course, you can also try hybrid positions. As your twins become more mobile and their personalities shine through, they may prefer different positions.
Even singleton moms may struggle with getting baby to latch. When a baby won’t latch or is having difficulty sucking, it can be disheartening. Luckily, there are many ways to help make the experience positive and effective!
Try these tips to get baby to latch and don’t hesitate to get help from a lactation consultant. Remember that twins can be different, and one baby may have trouble latching while the other does not. Always make sure you’re focusing on the individual needs of your babies.
Take Care of Yourself
Being a twin mom is hard! To set yourself up for success with breastfeeding twins, you need to put your own health first. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, eating nutritious meals, and getting enough rest.
It’s also important to reach out to your support network. Whether that means having family help with feeding times or joining a breastfeeding support group, it’s important to have support as a new mom no matter if you have a singleton or multiples.
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