In many ways, breastfeeding twins is no different to breastfeeding a single baby. All the principles remain the same, the difficulty arises in time constraints and, if you want to, breastfeeding both babies simultaneously – which can take quite a bit of practice.
To start with, you will probably find breastfeeding each twin individually easier. Only once you have the hang of that should you move up to two babies at once. There are several advantages to doing this.
- Breastfeeding twins will satisfy both babies simultaneously; saving you time and allowing you to get much needed rest and sleep.
- If one baby feeds more vigorously than the other, he / she may trigger the letdown reflex more quickly than her less vigorous twin.
- By alternating breasts, the stronger feeder drives milk production in both your breasts. Note: You will not run out of milk if you breastfeed every time baby is hungry. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis
While these advantages are important, it is worth remembering that your twins are individuals and one may want and need to feed more often than the other.
Tips for Simultaneous Breastfeeding
The following tips for simultaneous breastfeeding will help you manage your twins.
- Special cushions and pillows are available to make breastfeeding twins easier. These pillows allow you to vary feeding positions so you can use the method that suits you and your babies.
- Ensure babies are latching on properly to avoid sore nipples. Breastfeeding more than one baby does not mean you are more likely to have sore nipples.
- If you are following an on demand feeding schedule, let your hungrier baby dictate the time of the next feed. This may mean waking the second baby.
- When your babies are older, introduce a more structured feeding routine.
We understand that the logistics of breastfeeding twins can be difficult. It is important to take all offers of help that come your way and taking the time to rest or nap yourself when babies are sleeping – those other jobs can wait for now!