Congratulations on your twin babies and your decision to breastfeed them. The good news is that there are many women who have triumphanty breastfed both their twins—in fact, a few of them manage to do it for more than two years! Here are some tried and tested tips for breastfeeding twins.
Many twins are born early, and may spend some time in the nicu. You can still, however, feed your babies breastmilk—in fact your milk will have powerful immune boosters that they need now more than ever. Pump your milk or if you are not fully lactating yet, you can approach a breast milk bank who can provide the milk until yours ‘comes in.’
Knowledge is power
Read books, connect with other breastfeeding moms or moms of twins who have breastfed (ask your hospital for a list of local resources). Many hospitals will also have lactation consultants who can give you one on one advice and more importantly support. If you have not yet given birth, you may want to sign up for a breastfeeding class or read articles on how to increase milk or deal with common concerns like sore nipples.
Inform your doctor
Do tell the medical staff that you are commited to breastfeeding and that you do not wish your children to be given sugar water or any fluids without speaking to you or discussing it with you first.
Tools for breastfeeding twins
You may want to invest in a double pump, which will save time. You can also ask your lactation consultant about a massage that can help stimulate milk flow. Also invest in a comfortable seat and a horseshoe shaped pillow to help prop your babies up while they feed.
It my take a while for your baby to learn how to latch, and you to get comfortable with breastfeeding. Just don’t give up! Everyone has their own learning curve and this early on your babies will not have very large appetites. There may also b e a case when one baby learns after than the other. In that case breastfeed him first so that his sibling has a chance to settle down.
Manage your supply
Breast milk supply is affected by physical exhaustion and stress. Try to get sleep and eat well. Take power naps when you can!
Photo from nhabitots.com