Breastfeeding Twins(15 Posts)
Was wondering if anyone could give me some tips and hints for breastfeeding twins. I am putting together a leaflet of information for parents expecting twins and thought it would be helpful if they could benefit from others experiences. So whatever tips you have for breastfeeding twins whether it be exclusively or mixed feeding would be great.
Get a comfortable chair and pillow
Expect to spend the first 6w just feeding
Get early help if you have problems latching them on
Learn to feed lying down
Avoid supplementing if possible
If you think you are feeding too much then it's probably about right!
E Z 2 nurse pillows are great if you're planning to breastfeed (pricey though).
I have a 22 month old dd and 8 week old twins so often express and give them a bottle as so much quicker. You'll figure out what works best for you. Good luck.
Feed Feed Feed Feed Feed!
Never expressed as found it too complicated, much easier just to feed them myself
Tandem feeding was my saviour! (esp at night) And the EZ-2-nurse cushion :-)
Loads more tips but can't think of them. Will post again!
Mine are now 17, I breastfed them exclusively for 6 months, then with alternate formulas bottles til 15 months.
For newborns, I tried the one across the tummy and one under the arm position, they would feed properly for about 20 mins then just rest and suck, so mostly I would feed one for 20 mins on one side and one on 20 mins on the other side, swaddle them up and put them to bed - I was fairly firm as already has a toddler, so didn't mind if they cried a bit.
As they grew, mostly one after the other, one side each, trying to swap sides with each feed as eldest has a stronger suck so I would feel fuller on that side by the time for the next feed.
My toddler was so good, he just played or watched Postman Pat for 45 mins, then we would do something together until 3 hours later when it started all again!
Ahh - I do have such fond memories of that time - especially now as they are both out at work! I love babies
Great idea to create a booklet. I am currently carrying twins and I am finding it so hard getting practical advice. Please let us know when the booklet is available. Very useful posting from LeChatRoug, thanks.
Dianee... The Association of Breastfeeding Mums has a downloadable leaflet you might find useful abm.me.uk/downloads
My tip RealNappiness - spend the first few days feeding them individually so that you can learn their individual latches. Then when home, work on the tandem feeding.
Don't listen to the doom merchants. Find other twin mums who have/are successfully breastfeeding.
Seek help early.
I breastfed my triplets till 12 months, mix feeding in the beginning. I only fed 2 at a time on two occassions. I didn't feel comfortable doing it like that. I prefered to feed them one at a time and make good use of the time to cuddle them.
Luckily I was an experienced Mum and had BF my 3 singletons, so it was easy. I think as a novice, BFing multiples is hard going. I enjoyed every minute of it, and actually regretted stopping at 12m afterwards
I b/f my twins until they were 11 months old. They were exclusively breastfed until they were 6mths old then we used a mixture of bottles of EBM and breastfeeding, finally introducing formula with less b/fs when they were 9 months.
The tip is just to keep going, there will be times when you will want to give up at the start but if you stick with it, it will be so much easier. No faffing with bottles and sterilising.
My tips - I never got the hang of tandem feeding so rocked one in a bouncy chair with my foot whilst I fed the other.
At least in the early days, if one twin wakes for a feed, wake the other straight away for a feed so at least you'll get a little break before they both need the next feed.
If your twins are premature (like mine were) consider nipple shields until their sucking reflex develops properly - I used them to help them latch on for a few weeks until they got to what would have been their due date
Express if you can in the early days after the morning feed - I expressed from the start anyway as they were tube fed but it meant I was producing slightly more milk than the babies needed so I always had a really good supply and eventually, they could have my EBM in bottles
Have one baby per boob - I always knew therefore which baby would feed on which side and never got mixed up.
Hope that helps.
Another comment regarding prem babies. I had an agonising time with one of my boys - all the experts said everything looked fine. I expressed for him to begin with. For some reason I tried again when he was 3 months old and it was so easy - I think the latch was just too tight due to his small size (he was 8 weeks prem, I gave up due to the pain when he was about 6 weeks old). If I had known I might have tried in the intervening period to see whether it was easier. I also assumed he would lose his urge to breastfeed after 6 weeks exclusively with a bottle. Both my boys went easily between bottle and breast with no confusion.
I use a boppy pillow with my twins and tandem feed lots. Best buy! So was my medela twin pump for increasing my milk at the start. It takes perseverance at the start but stick with it & you WILL have enough milk!
BF for a year here. Second the thought that it is fairly relentless to start off with. Definately invest in the best support pillow that you can afford. Be aware that if you tandem feed, you need to really watch your posture and not end up with back problems (speaking from experience!)
In the early days, note down who fed on which side and for roughly how long - you WILL get mixed up
If it's easier, gradulally move onto one boob for one baby - no lop sided boobs here despite all the scare stories.
For tandem feeding, I found it easier to have them head to head with a body under each arm - stopped any kicking or hair pulling
Ignore those who say it can't be done - I had nothing but positive comments in public.
Watch out for the growth spurts! Especially the 6 week one. Mine tended to spurt about 4-5 days apart so i had a good 7-10 days of lots of feeding! Went back to lovely settled babies afterwards though
Don't even think about getting into a routine. What you can do though, is wake one when the other wakes to feed together, or wake one straight after the other so u get the biggest gap between feeds possible
If u need a bit of routine, write down what they do one day, feeds and naps, and compare it to the next. You will probably find that there is a losse pattern to the days. It does change though.
I breastfed mine for just over a year. The last 6 months was a pure joy. 3-6 months were fine, the first 3 months were hard work!
I nearly always tandem fed, except when out and about, and always did this in the double rugby ball hold. Worked well for us, especially for my weaker feeder at the beginnng. The strong feeder would get the let-down going so the weaker feeder didn't have to work so hard!
4 months in and I'm still keeping a diary of b/f, nappies & naps - If I didn't write it all down I'd never remember.
I swap @@s each day. What an interesting point about the letdown Kathryn. My boy was a very lazy feeder at the start but I didn't think of that. I swapped them so my girl would build up the supply.
I'm impressed you guys made it to a year.
I have conatant niggling thoughts that I'm not making enough milk - especially now they're so much bigger. I keep saying I'll try to make it to six months....
I'm still bf my 11 month old twins. I nearly gave up at 5 weeks because it was relentless, and there were nights when all I did was feed one, then the other, then the first one again ALL NIGHT. They were the hardest times, but I think at about 8 weeks things settled down.
I was given a c shaped cushion,(not sure if ez 2 nurse) and that worked well when I fed both of them together, but I didn't do that very often, as I didn't enjoy it, and also as they got older and bigger it became difficult to get them into position by myself. I went through a couple of weeks giving them one bottle in the evenings, but they weren't really that interested and it was really to give me a bit of a break more than anything.
I found that I didn't follow the well meant advice from the older generation that I HAD to get them feeding at the same time and should wake one when the other woke, and although it means that I am still woken about 6 times oer night (3 wakings per twin), I can cope better with this as I am still in the spare room with the babies and it means that I can latch a baby on and go back to sleep!
My two were early and tube fed in SCBU and I was advised to express between 2 and 4 am every night, along with having them at the breast and then expressing every 3 hours or so to start with, but feeding was established quite easily. I just wasn't prepared for how full on it was going to be! I was also adivised to swap breasts daily, so each twin had a day at one breast then the following day at the other, and this has worked quite well. I really noticed that one had a better output than the other from the expressing, so I think the swapping was probably right for the babies, but I realise that this is different advice from Mandy21!
In the end, you have to just go with what suits you all the best. But be prepared that at the beginning it is really hard work, in fact looking back, the first 8 weeks were hellish!! All worth it tin the end, though and I can't imagine how time consuming bottles would have been.
Sorry for long and rambling post!
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