Breastfeeding isn''t always the magical bonding experience that some might imagine in their minds. Sometimes, breastfeeding just one child can be difficult. Literally, anyone who has breastfed will have at least a few moments where the thought of tandem breastfeeding is overwhelming. It''s quite simple to say that breastfeeding twins may not be the easiest thing in the world, however.
This breastfeeding twins guide answers the most common questions about breastfeeding multiples as it may be, and it involves beginning a routine and having the ability to go with it.
How to breastfeed twins
Breastfeeding twins may be challenging, but it is possible, according to Dr. Jessica Madden, an international board-certified lactation consultant and medical director of Aeroflow Breastpumps. There are several things you can do to begin getting breastfeeding twins.
How to tandem breastfeed
Tandem breastfeeding is a term you hear a lot when you talk about breastfeeding twins, and it signifies simply feeding two or more babies at the same time. While it may seem like a puzzle at first, then you will need to keep their feeding schedules sync and be certain to handle that feat.
Once the babies have been born, you can create a personalized nursing space. Choose from at least one nursing station in your home, where you have what you need within reach. Consider whether or not you have the comfort and proximity to the babies in the future.
- A full water bottle so that you can stay hydrated, which is a really important part of breastfeeding and especially breastfeeding twins. Pro tip: choose a water bottle with a straw so its easy to drink if both hands are full.
- Your favorite pillow to stay as comfortable as possible.
- Nursing accessories, such as extra nipple shields if you need to use them and nipple cream for any soreness post-nursing, or nursing pads to catch any leaks when youre done.
- A tandem-friendly nursing pillow to keep the babies (and yourself) in a comfortable position.
- A phone charger, so that you dont have to worry about your phone dying.
- A dim light, such as a Hatch nightlight, to make the environment more soothing. This is especially great for nighttime feedings when you want some light but dont want to wake the babies up too much with something bright.
- A pacifier or some sort of soothing toy to keep one baby happy and busy if one twin is done before the other.
- A Haakaa (or something similar) to collect any leaking breastmilk so you dont lose anything.
- Burp cloths to clean up any mess that might be made.
- Some snacks just in case the session is going longer than expected and you get hungry.
- A book, magazine, TV or a pair of earbuds to listen to a podcast to keep yourself entertained, especially if you dont have your hands free to scroll through your phone.
Consider having a space for one baby to sit or relax while in touch. Latch on one baby at a time, get that baby latched and settled, then get the second baby latched, according to OConnor.
If youre unable to get extra help from a lactation consultant outside the hospital, then you should take advantage of. In short, you should also get lactation help from the beginning. Many mothers do not seek help until their children are six weeks old, and this is sometimes too late to make sure they have both. However, the process of determining which capacity you need isn''t going to make or break.
Tandem breastfeeding positions for twins
Tandem breastfeeding is a process of finding which breastfeeding position fits your budget. Both Madden and OConnor recommend these four nursing positions:
- Double football: This is one of the easiest options and can be the best to start with. Each baby will be facing you with their bodies tucked under your arms and your hands supporting their heads. You can rest the babies on pillows for extra support.
- Double cradle hold: Hold both babies in the cradle position. Position them so that their legs overlap and make an X shape across your lap. This allows the babies to interact with one another a bit more.
- Football and cradle: Hold one baby in the football position, with their body tucked under your arm and your hand supporting their head. Hold the other baby in the cradle position with their legs on your lap. You can alternate their positions if needed in different sessions.
- Upright latch: You sit in a reclined position with the babies laying on your front, kind of upright. Use your arms to cradle them, knowing that since youre reclined, it helps keep them in place.
Breastfeeding pillows for twins
Many new mothers adopt nursing pillows like the My Brest Friend and the Boppy Best Latch. Madden states that you dont need to invest in a specific pillow. I really believe this is a personalized decision, but what is successful for another twin mother might not work.
OConnor suggests you should select one that fits your body and supports both babies when it comes to breastfeeding. A pillow with adjustable straps that are intuitive to manipulate with one hand is particularly useful.
There are a tumultuous breastfeeding pillows out there, but the below are excellent for ease of use. The My Breast Friend and Boppy are really versatile, while the TwinZ and TwinGo are designed specifically with twins in mind. Here are a few options to keep an eye on:
How many calories do you burn breastfeeding twins?
Youve probably heard that breastfeeding helps to burn a lot of calories, especially when your body is making and producing milk. So, does breastfeeding twins burn more calories? It is estimated that nursing twins burn about 1,000 calories a day, according to OConnor. Nursing one baby burns about 500 calories, indicating that nursing two babies double the amount of calories.
As you prepare for breastfeeding, you should eat a lot of food and drink a ton of water to keep your supply functioning and maintain yourself healthy. It is very important to think about your partner prior to breastfeeding. It''s important to keep you fed and watered while you focus on breastfeeding, whether it be cooking for high-calorie snacks or even feeding you while your hands are full.
When breastfeeding twins, how to deal with a slacker breast
It is not uncommon for breastfeeding mothers to have a slacker boob, formerly known as one breast that doesn''t produce as much milk as the other one. This can make breastfeeding twins feel as if they weren''t a deal-breaker.
If you are breastfeeding both babies at the same time, I suggest that you alternate which baby starts feeding the slacker breast each time. She recommends that you pump on the other side with a hospital-grade pump while nursing your baby on the other side.
Breastfeeding twins definitely has a learning curve, but that doesn''t mean it''s an impossible task. It''s absolutely doable, and once you get the hang of it, you''ll begin to feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed. A lot of support is really critical to making this journey work. And if you end up feeling like it is just not for you, it''s always okay.
Sources interviewed are:
Aeroflow Breastpumps, a board certified lactation consultant and medical director, has hired Dr. Jessica Madden, M.D., IBCLC, and the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Leigh Anne OConnor, an IBCLC, LCCE, and an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, has been appointed as the new chair.