Moms of twins often wonder if they can breastfeed their babies and continue to do so successfully. Breastfeeding twins is possible, and many moms thrive in this challenge. I will share in this article tips and ideas to make breastfeeding twins easier.
Supply and demand is the core pillar of breastfeeding. The more your babies will breastfeed, the more milk your body will produce that will be enough for your twins. Therefore, breastfeeding stimulation is essential, especially in the first six weeks postpartum. During those weeks your body will establish the milk supply for the upcoming period. The best stimulation, of course, is breastfeeding your babies. However, one of the challenges sometimes faced with twins is the preterm delivery of the babies and their placement in the incubators. In this case, direct breastfeeding will not be possible for a while, and the mom will have to pump her milk, which will also stimulate milk production. In such cases, it is best to use a hospital-grade breast pump, something that most maternity hospitals provide. Even if the mother leaves the hospital, she can either rent a pump or come to the hospital to use it. Skin to skin is also essential in stimulating milk production, and the success of breastfeeding twins.
- During the first weeks after birth, it is important to breastfeed each baby separately. To ensure that each one of them will establish a proper latch.
- Alternating breasts and babies is also important. It is not recommended to have one baby feed on one side only. Sometimes one of the babies will be able to suck more than the other. Also, one breast might have more milk than the other. Hence the importance of alternating, which can be done by feeding one baby from one side for an entire day, then alternating the next day. Or alternating breasts after each feed. Or, starting the feed with one baby feeding from both sides, then feed the other baby from both sides and switch the order during the next feed.
- When using baby formula, it is important not to keep one baby exclusively on formula while the other is exclusively breastfed. And divide breastfeeding, and formula feeding between them equally, so that each baby gets the benefits of breastfeeding.
A mom expecting twins needs breastfeeding education and support before the arrival of her babies. She needs guidance and instruction on breastfeeding in general, and on breastfeeding twins in particular. For her to be fully prepared for the experience. I recommend seeking the help of a breastfeeding consultant during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Many maternity hospitals today are accredited as baby-friendly. These hospitals support breastfeeding, allow the newborn to be in the mother’s room, provide breast pumps, and help the mom use them. And provide all the necessary support for a successful breastfeeding journey.
A mother of twin babies needs to have a high-grade, double, electrical breast pump. To use when needed.
The support of the husband and the family is essential for any new mom, especially if she has twins. Having help with her other responsibilities will allow the new mom the time and energy she needs to succeed in breastfeeding her twins.
Sometimes mothers believe that breastfeeding more than one baby will exhaust the milk supply faster. This is not true; the milk supply is not affected by the number of babies at all. Milk supply might decline when infants start eating solids, or when the mom returns to work and is breastfeeding fewer times. Or when the mom’s period returns.