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Breastfeeding twins may seem like an impossible task but rest assured, it is completely possible! There are some challenges, without a doubt, and it can seem a daunting task but the rewards are worth it.
Let’s break down the basics of breastfeeding twins so you know how to make it work for you and your precious babies.
We’ll also address how you can look after yourself as well, as it’s just as important.
Where do I start with breastfeeding twins?
Preparation will certainly help, but be aware that everyone’s breastfeeding experience will be different, especially with twins.
Start by finding support. Check out antenatal classes in your area as they will walk you through breastfeeding in general. The professionals here and at your doctors will know lactation consultants who can help you with the extra challenges.
Professionals can give you expert advice and different things to try, but try to plug into local networks. Mums and twins groups can be a great source of information - these are women who are breastfeeding twins and know the tricks to try. Much more than that, these networks are a good support foundation for you long term.
Be kind to yourself, because it will take time to learn how to breastfeed twins.
Breastfeeding one baby can be difficult, so be aware of the challenge ahead of you. If you have friends and family who are willing to help, then don’t be afraid to ask and accept any help on offer. Your life will be a whirlwind and any help that can let you focus on breastfeeding your twins in the beginning should be welcomed.
Planning your breastfeeding journey
Let the medical staff know that you plan on breastfeeding twins.
They will ensure you get skin-to-skin contact with the babies as soon as possible after the birth. You’ll need to start breastfeeding the children shortly afterwards, the nurses will help you to start off and don't be afraid to continue to ask for advise and help whilst you're at the hospital.
If your babies are early and need to spend time in hospital, then lactation consultants and midwives can advise on your next steps. This may involve pumping your breasts several times a day to ensure you’re making enough milk for both babies.
Latching is the way your baby suckles on your nipple and areola to get milk. Without a proper latch, your milk won’t come down and the baby will stay hungry. Your breast won’t produce more milk either as it’s not getting the signal that milk is needed. Be patient and persistent though, it will take time and practice for you and your babies to get it right.
You will produce enough milk for breastfeeding twins as long as they’re both latching and drinking your milk. Your body should naturally produce the milk it thinks is needed. In saying that, if breastfeeding isn't working for you and your babies and you feel it's not for you, don't be too hard on yourself. You need to do what's best for you and the babies.
There are signs when your babies are hungry such as poking their tongue out, making small noises, and sucking their fingers, hands, or lips. Keep an eye out for these and be ready to let your little ones latch on when they’re ready.
How to breastfeed twins
Be aware that what works for one baby might not work for the other. They are independent twins with their own wants and needs. Remain patient though, because you’ll work out what those are over time.
Try different positions to see if you want to feed them separately or at the same time. Specialists can help you try these out to see which one suits you.
Use a feeding pillow to keep them comfortable and stop them wriggling around too much as they feed.
- Place one baby in the preferred position, hold your breast with your free hand.
- Place your thumb where your baby's nose will touch your breast, usually just over your areola. Put your first finger where your baby's chin will touch the breast. You have the general position for them to latch comfortably.
- Hold your breast and bring your baby to your breast. Stroking their cheeks will get the rooting reflex to kick in. The baby will turn their mouth toward your breast.
- Bring your nipple to their lips and they will open their mouths.
- Lift your babe to the breast and help them latch onto your nipple and areola.
- They will start suckling.
- Move the second baby into the preferred position and start the above process with them.
Looking after you
Breastfeeding twins will be an emotional time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help at any point.
If you’re struggling to breastfeed, remember it’s better to have a fed baby than a hungry one. Switching to bottles to feed your twins means your baby is getting the sustenance they need.
Your journey is a unique one and you have two beautiful children to look after. Breastfeeding your twins is a great bonding experience with your children when possible, but there are other bonding experiences.
Check out our store to find items for your twin journey, such as one of our twin carriers. Perfect for getting out and about with your twins around town.
We also wrote a blog post on the TwinGo Nurse and Lounge pillow, which provides countless other ways to bond with your babes and look after yourself. Read it here.