Breast feeding twins is not as difficult as it may seem at first glance. There are a few things to keep in mind for nursing multiples to be a success. With a little practice, every mom can master breastfeeding twins.
The main secret to breast feeding twins is to get them on the same feeding schedule. No mom wants to feel like she spends her days nursing on baby after another without a break. Getting the twins to nurse at the same time goes a long way to help a mom who decides to breastfeed stick with her decision. It works best to encourage them to nurse before they cry from hunger. They may not latch on right away, but at least both twins are at the breast ready to nurse. It may be hard at first, but is worth it in the end.
Another concern for most mothers of multiples is their milk supply. The milk supply works by way of supply and demand, so there is always enough milk for the babies. It can be frustrating when a new mother begins breast feeding though. It takes several days for the milk supply to establish itself. The quickest way to increase the volume of milk is to use a breast pump on each breast for a few minutes after the twins have finished nursing. A cheap hand pump works just fine. There is no need to spend lots of money on a dual electric pump unless bottle fed breast milk is part of the twins’ feeding plan.
The last thing a mother should learn when breastfeeding twins is the football hold. It is the easiest way to hold two babies while they nurse. With the help of a wrap around pillow, such as a Boppy, the football hold is easy to master. This is best accomplished by sitting down in a comfortable chair, putting the pillow around the waist and laying each baby on their backs with their heads near the breasts and their feet pointing towards the mother’s armpits. The twins are cradled against the mother’s body just like a football. The football hold work great while nursing twins because there is plenty of room for them to eat together without laying on each other. There is plenty of room to continue to nurse twins even as they grow and become larger babies. Remember to switch the babies from one side to the other for each feeding session, so they don’t favor one breast over the other. Failure to do this can lead to an imbalanced milk supply if one twin eats more than the other.
Breast feeding more than one baby is not difficult when the techniques listed above are learned. Mothers who would like extra help when breast feeding their twins can talk to their local lactation consultant. Almost every hospital has at least one lactation consultant on staff and members of La Leche League can be found all over the United States for extra information.