Breastfeeding twins can be an overwhelming concept for many twin mums-to-be, but it is totally possible. Ignore all the naysayers who are convinced you won’t be able to, with the right guidance and techniques you can successfully learn how to breastfeed twins – no problem. Ladies, >’s how to make it work…
Speaking with Clare Byam-Cook, breastfeeding expert, we learned all there is to this seemingly difficult task. While it’s not exactly “easy” . any means, these tips and tricks should help all those mothers out there learning how to go about nursing twins.
Latching Techniques with Twins
When you see women breastfeeding, it looks so natural and effortless. While it’s certainly natural, both new and experienced mums know that it doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road. That is, you can’t just expect your baby to know what to do when they feed for the first time. Rather, you have to learn all about latching techniques, learn how to position your child properly and help them latch onto your bosom to ensure they’re receiving your chest milk.
So if that doesn’t already sound overwhelming for those new to motherhood, imagine what it’s like having to teach not one but two babies how to latch. Although it’s a bit trickier it’s not impossible, and breastfeeding twins simply takes a little more time and dedication.
“If your baby is latched on correctly he should have his mouth wide open, his lips curled back and he should do deep rhythmic sucks rather than short, shallow ‘dummy’ type sucking,” Byam-Cook says. “Feeding should be pain-free and you should not feel or see any pulling of the chest as he sucks.”
How To Start chest Feeding Twins
“I always recommend that a mother starts off . feeding her babies individually so she can establish whether each baby is able to latch on easily and feed effectively,” Byam-Cook says. “And also to learn roughly how long each baby takes to get a full feed. If both babies feed well she can then graduate to the more complicated process of feeding them simultaneously.”
However, Byam-Cook notes that while some women are able to get to this process of simultaneous feeding soon after their babies are born, there are others who take longer to do so, and some who never do at all. Although feeding both children at the same time makes things considerably easier, don’t despair if it’s not possible for you. Every mother’s situation is different, and what’s important is that your twins are able to feed well.
“The main factor is whether the mother has plenty of milk that flows quickly and whether both babies feed effectively,” Byam-Cook says. “And this is more down to luck than time and effort . the mother.”
Working On Their Schedule
Being flexible is an important part of parenting, but it’s especially important when it comes to breastfeeding twins. Like any human who operates on their own schedule, a baby doesn’t usually work with the needs of its sibling. When they want food, they’re not going to wait for their brother or sister to feel hungry too.
“They are individuals with different feeding and sleeping patterns and will want to feed as soon as they are hungry, regardless of whether their sibling is still asleep or not hungry,” Byam-Cook says. On the other hand, Byam-Cook reveals that if necessary, it’s still possible to feed twins at the same time . waking one child a bit earlier to work with its sibling’s daily feeding routine.
“This can be done without causing any stress to the baby as most babies thrive on having a fairly regular feeding and sleeping routine,” Byam-Cook says. In fact it’s a good idea to feed one baby then wake the other to feed them so that they can start to sync. Ultimately it will save time for you.
How to Breastfeed Both Babies At the Same Time
If your babies are able to feed at the same time, Byam-Cook recommends using a special feeding pillow available for breastfeeding twins. She says using normal pillows from home are fine as well as long as they support each chest and provide a comfortable, safe place to lay the babies. Although some moms are able to feed their twins without pillows (if only every woman could obtain those skills), Byam-Cook says many women breastfeed with their twins in the clutch position, better known as the football hold.
The football hold involves placing each baby at one side, with your elbows bent so that their bodies are positioned around your body to the sides. Your baby’s backs should rest on your forearms or you can use pillows on your lap and a chair with low arms.
The Pros & Cons of Simultaneous Breastfeeding
Although breastfeeding your twins at the same time might seem like the most beneficial way to go about it, there are advantages and disadvantages to both simultaneous and individual breastfeeding.
According to Byam-Cook, breastfeeding the twins together can help the mother sleep, eat and relax between feeds when she doesn’t have to worry about feeding double the number of times throughout the day. The mother will have more time to herself, whether she wants to catch up on “Scandal” or get things done around the house. The world is her oyster.
It might not be ideal for a mother to breastfeed her children individually, but if she doesn’t, she might be hurting the feeding process of one of the twins.
“Many mothers find that in the early weeks the babies may not feed very efficiently,” Byam-Cook says. “She may not have enough milk and/or it might be hard to persuade both babies to feed at the same time, especially if one is bigger than the other and doesn’t want to feed as frequently as his smaller sibling. Any of these factors can mean that it might be better for everyone to feed them separately, so each baby has her full attention for the duration of the feed.”
Additionally, Byam-Cook says that if a mother’s milk supply is low, it might be best to feed one twin from both br**sts and to feed the other entirely from a bottle. The mother can alternate the babies every time she breastfeeds.