24 Aug How to breastfeed twins
Breastfeeding can be magical, empowering, & gratifying all at the same time. It affords the newborn invaluable benefits & offers an intimate bonding experience to both the breastfeeding person & baby. Breastfeeding can also pose challenges, particularly for those expecting multiples! Here are some tips to support a successful & satisfying breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding one baby utilizes an additional 500 calories per day. So when nursing twins, you’ll potentially burn 1,000 additional calories every day. Consuming a healthy balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein will promote good lactation.
If your babies are born premature & unable to breastfeed right away, pump or hand express from both breasts in order to stimulate/ increase your milk supply. You should plan to do this at least eight times in 24 hours or about every two to three hours during the day and at least once during the night.
When you start breastfeeding your babies, feed them one at a time. This will allow for an opportunity to assess how well each baby latches as well as address any issues. Sore or cracked nipples could potentially be the result of a poor latch.
Consider creating a 24-hour chart to keep track of how long and how often each baby nurses as well as the number of wet and soiled diapers for each baby during the first week or until you’re more comfortable with feedings.
How you breastfeed is going to be up to you and your babies. Some find that breastfeeding two babies at once works well and saves time. Others prefer to breastfeed each baby separately. You may find that you do a combination of both at any given time.
Each baby should be encouraged to feed at least 8–10 times in 24 hours. If one of your babies is too sleepy you will need to wake them to feed in order to ensure they get enough milk.
Keep a drink and snack handy plus books or music to pass the time.
Limit visitors in the early days to those you feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of. Nursing two babies at once may leave you feeling exposed. As you & your babies get into a grove you will learn ways to keep your breast covered while nursing.
Your support system may offer to help so create a list of simple tasks to have readily available. This makes it easier when people do offer to assist.
There are a variety of positions in which to hold your babies for feedings. Again, you will select the one/ combination that works best for you & your babies. Here are a few examples to choose from:
The double-football hold
Hold each baby in a clutch or football hold. Position a pillow on each side of your body and your lap. Place each baby on a pillow beside your body almost under your arm so that the babies’ legs point toward the back of your chair. Make sure each baby’s back is supported by the inside of your forearm. Use the pillows for arm support. Secure the babies’ bottoms with the insides of your elbows. Keep the babies’ heads at nipple level. Place the palm of one hand at the back of each baby’s head to provide support.
Head to head
Place each baby’s head on pillows directly in front of you. Your babies’ bodies are turned toward you, rather than facing up. Your palms support each baby’s head.
Hold one baby in the cradle position with his or her head on your forearm and his or her whole body facing yours and the other baby in the clutch position.
Place both of your babies in the cradle position in front of you. Position your babies so that their legs overlap and make an X across your lap.