Tips for successfully breastfeeding twins
Now that we have discussed some of the challenges women face when breastfeeding, let us look at some tips for successful breastfeeding.
Tips for successfully breastfeeding twins
No one can dispute the fact that breastfeeding can be quite challenging, however in my personal experience as a mom, I do notice that some of these challenges can be reduced or eliminated entirely with the following tips:
During your pregnancy, digest as much information as you can on breastfeeding. Books and classes can be significant when trying to get an understanding of what breastfeeding twins involve.
Accept all reasonable offers of help and support
Get used to people offering help, and graciously accept it. You will need it! Accepting help usually involves having other people in your home, but make no mistake, the help you are getting can and will make an enormous difference and can even boost your self-esteem.
Organizing is crucial in the overall management of twins especially when you are still learning the ropes of breastfeeding twins. Good organization will grant you the ability to stay reasonably focused and get more done.
Become familiar with the changes in your breasts
Don’t panic if you notice little to no milk immediately after giving birth. It can take 3-5 days for milk to “come in” after birth and for the breasts to be producing milk. Keep breastfeeding, the more you breastfeed your twins the quicker your breasts will produce milk.
Refrain from tandem feeding
In the early days of breastfeeding my twins, I too tried tandem feeding thinking it would be a time-saver, but instead it backfired. It was extremely difficult to hold and maintain perfect balance with both babies – often fearing that one would slip out of my arm.
I ended up breastfeeding my son, while my daughter was next to me enjoying a bottle of expressed breast milk.
It is wiser to breastfeed one baby first then latch the other later on. Only tandem feed when both you and your babies are skilled at attaching.
Don’t pass on a good breast pump
Investing in a good quality breast pump with dual action for expressing both breasts at the same time can come in extremely handy. Pumping can help your breast create more milk!
I often tried to pump whenever I had a free minute to express enough milk for my daughter and still have some left to store away for later usage.
Supplement with formula if needed
There’s a stigma surrounding giving babies’ formula. But what do you do when no matter how hard you try; you just can’t produce enough milk for both babies on your own? What do you do when no matter how hard you try, your baby detest breast milk? What do you do when even pumping and feeding sessions at night go awry?
You use formula.
Even Dr. McGee advises new moms of twins to supplement their own natural milk with formula since it’s tough to produce enough milk for both babies on your own.
Don’t feel guilty about it; it’s completely okay to use formula milk instead of breast milk.
Nursing products can make it easier
It’s easier to breastfeed both twins at once in the beginning when they’re little. Breastfeeding pillows make things way more comfortable. These pillows easily wrap around you so they can snuggle under each breast.
Once the babies start to get bigger, they start to respond to their environment and get distracted making simultaneous nursing almost impossible. In this case, you should consider a table for two, which consists of two side-by-side seats that twins can comfortably lounge in while you bottle-feed both at once.
Consider a lactation consultant
If you wish to solely breastfeed your twins even when it’s challenging to produce enough milk on your own; then you might consider the help of a lactation consultant.
They can give clues and tips to help you produce more milk naturally and help you establish a feeding routine.
What to do when your baby still doesn’t want the breast?
It sometimes happens that babies refuse to breastfeed. This can be upsetting, especially if you have no idea why it’s happening. You’ll probably feel devastated and think that you are doing something wrong. Chances are, you’ll be racking your brain to understand why your baby doesn’t want the breast.
But don’t, there are many reasons why babies go on breastfeeding strikes.
- Having difficulty with latching on properly. Baby finds it difficult to latch on properly and can’t get a good enough mouthful of your breast to feed on.
- The baby may refuse your breast out of frustration.
- Sometimes the baby is in pain or is distressed.
- Baby might be teething or has a stuffy nose.
But a breastfeeding strike is easily helped by giving your baby extra attention and more skin to skin contact.
Sometimes it happens that no matter what you do, the baby still shows no interest in your breast. In this case, consult your doctor and ask if you can switch to formula.
Breastfeeding twins and the effect it has on the family
Breastfeeding twins is never easy, it’s extremely challenging for mothers and the rest of the family. Yes, the whole family suffers.
As a new mom, my priority was with my twins thus becoming a very busy person. Luckily, I do not have older children; I knew they would suffer tremendously.
Feeding, bathing, changing diapers is all new mothers of twins are focusing on. The stress of doing this job right is most of the time felt by other members of the family and can cause frustration and friction. I personally never noticed how my stress was affecting my partner until he pointed it out to me.
It’s not uncommon for parents of multiples to have older singleton children. If so, make sure you spend enough time with your older singleton children and occasionally get them involved in the care of the babies. This reassures them that they are still important and that mommy still loves and adores them.
Be good to yourself! It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you have more than one newborn, and mothers of multiples are at a higher risk for postpartum depression. Getting enough sleep is especially urgent.
You may need help and support when caring for your twins. Don’t be afraid to ask and accept offers of help. Don’t hesitate to ask for more help if needed.
Be patient with yourself (and your babies) and give yourself time to figure out how to make breastfeeding work for you and your newly expanded family.