If you’re expecting and you’re wondering if you can breastfeed both babies? The answer is YES!!! At least you should plan to. But to be realistic you should also keep it in the back of your mind that your babies may need a little extra and therefore you should be open to other options.
Things to Consider
According to statistics 50% of twins are born prematurely (before 37 weeks). Premature babies often need extra calories in the early days, weeks, or months of life. If your little ones are born early, they can still breastfeed, and the long-term goal should be to exclusively breastfeed. Try to be open minded about giving them your pumped breast milk, donated breast milk, or some formula for the first few months.
The other thing to consider is that breastfeeding for any mommy baby duo is a learned skill. It can take some work and practice. Surround yourself with people who know your goals and who can support you!
You might be wondering if your body can make enough milk to feed both babies? You bet it can! The goal with twins is to keep them on a schedule but that’s more of a long-term goal. Remember that when you’re building up your milk supply skin to skin contact and feeding is the best thing for it! In the first few weeks until your supply is where you want it to be to nourish both of those babes, feed, feed, feed! This will be an exhausting time, but it’ll be worth it in the end when you’re supply can feed both babies. So, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Hydrate, eat well, rest when you can, and ask for help!
Let’s talk technique. Tandem nursing, where both babies feed at the same time, is a real time saver for mom but it can be intimidating. My advice is to start by feeding one baby at a time. Like I said before, breastfeeding is a skill that both mom and baby need to learn. Once you feel comfortable with breastfeeding them one at a time and you feel like they have a good latch and you’re hearing them swallow then you’re ready to try tandem. When you get it, you’ll feel so empowered! After all you are feeding TWO babies at once!!!
What You Need
Now, what will you need in order to breastfeed newborn twins? First, commitment. Ask those around you who have experience to help you learn to breastfeed. Second, you’ll need a really good breastfeeding pillow. I suggest an over-sized pillow with lots of support. I used the Brest Friend Pillow, it has back support and a strap that attaches the pillow around your waist. Third, you’ll need an over-sized chair, sofa, or bed. If you’re feeding alone, you’ll need to set the babies down beside you where they’re safe, put the pillow on, get one baby feeding in the football hold (clutch hold) then pick the second baby up with the other hand and get them on to your other breast.
Once you and your babies have tandem nursing figured out and you feel comfortable you can change things up. Try different positions and locations. If you find yourself struggling in the first few weeks, or months, we’re here to help.
Congratulations Mama! You’re the mom of twins and YOU GOT THIS!