Help With Breastfeeding Multiples
Feeding twins, triplets or quads will put any Mama to the test, but it can be done. Read on to find out more.
As if breastfeeding a single newborn isn’t challenging enough, throw another baby or two into the mix and pretty soon you feel like a full-time milking machine. Breastfeeding multiples isn’t easy, but it’s definitely possible. While some women will choose the formula route, or plan to supplement, most women who want to exclusively breastfeed their twins, triplets or quads are able to do so.
While some people will go for the one-at-a-time method, the truth is, it’s significantly more efficient to tandem feed. But this takes some maneuvering because it’s not like you’re playing with dolls here, these are real babies with a bit more weight, floppy heads and a tendency to squirm and move around a bit.
Thus plan to be feeding twins at the same time, and experiment until you figure out the system that works best to make that happen. That could involve special nursing pillows or even rolled-up towels (probably worth it to invest in the pillow) for props—whatever helps you to best position your babes for stable feeding. Also, remember to rotate with each feeding to even out milk distribution.
If some women have trouble producing enough milk to feed one baby, it stands to reason that breastfeeding multiples may require more than one nursing mom has to give. However, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Demand will dictate supply. As you feed more regularly to accommodate the needs of each baby, and work on emptying your breasts, your supply will increase to meet the need. Remember to keep eating and drinking properly to keep your body primed for milk production.
Some moms feed based on need, while others work to establish at least a flexible schedule. In the first few weeks, as you’re getting your bearings (don’t worry, this is going to become second nature!) work on being flexible as you observe how much milk your little ones take in and how often. This will help you to move the babies to a schedule that ensures they get the nourishment they need while you get time to do something besides nurse.
Despite the challenges of feeding twins or triplets (or more!) there are notable benefits. We’re all familiar with the physical and emotional health benefits, but according to La Leche League International, breastfeeding twins can save you somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 hours and $1,200. All that bottle-making time adds up!
The need for a little extra twins help is not uncommon and it’s exactly what our doulas and lactation specialists are here for. And, if you’re pregnant with more than one, you won’t want to miss our upcoming class focused breastfeeding multiples. Click here for more information.