One of the most, if not the absolute most crucial tasks for a mother when bringing her baby home is to provide exclusive breast milk nourishment for at least the first 6 months. It’s common knowledge that babies rely on breast milk, and medical professionals advocate for its continued use for as long as feasible. This is because breast milk essentially acts as a superfood for infants, delivering all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required while keeping them well-hydrated and satiated (1). However, the breastfeeding journey isn’t always without challenges.
Some women struggle with producing enough milk for their baby and some babies find it hard to latch onto their mother in order to breastfeed effectively. Even when things do go smoothly, being your baby’s primary source of nutrition can be exhausting. Now can you imagine that times two, or with multiple babies? Sounds overwhelming doesn’t it? But you must never underestimate a mother’s body and will. So, if you’re expecting multiples or twins and planning to breastfeed them, this is everything you need to know for the process to go smoothly.
Is Breastfeeding Harder With Twins?
Indeed, it is undoubtedly challenging. Caring for a newborn and ensuring they receive sufficient milk can be demanding work. When it comes to breastfeeding twins or even more multiples, it entails increased effort and dedication compared to caring for a single baby. However, it’s essential to recognize that successfully breastfeeding multiple babies is entirely achievable. Realism and proactive planning are key. Seek support from your doctor, a lactation consultant, family, and friends. Discuss your breastfeeding plan with your partner, clarifying their involvement and how they can assist, including potential night-time bottle feeding. Address these vital questions before the babies arrive to minimize chaos.
Keep in mind that newborns have tiny stomachs and require frequent feeding. You might reach a point where it feels like your entire life revolves around feeding, burping, and dealing with spit-up on repeat. This is entirely normal. However, if you start to feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to hand a bottle to your partner and ask for help with some feeds. It’s crucial to remember that you may encounter common issues such as cracked nipples, low milk supply, and engorged breasts, which can be uncomfortable and painful. What truly matters is that you’re doing your utmost to nourish your little ones without depleting your own well-being. Your health is important too!
How Often Do You Have To Feed The Babies?
During the first month, your newborns will have to feed around 12 times a day, each. So you’ll probably feed them every two to three hours. But this will gradually decrease to about 7 to 9 feeds a day during the next month. As time goes by your babies will start drinking more milk and will need to be nursed only 2 to 3 times a day around the 9 month mark as they will start to eat solid foods as well.
Some women choose to feed their babies on demand, that is, feeding them whenever they show signs of hunger. But this can make you feel like you are stuck breastfeeding throughout the day. To avoid this, you can simply nurse all your babies at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with allowing both your babies to nurse at the same time even if only one of them showed signs of hunger. This will help you keep track of the number of times they fed and help you get some down time while your babies have full tummies.
How To Nurse Two Babies At The Same Time?
If you’ve got twins, getting a nursing pillow that is specifically designed to accommodate both your babies is a life saver. Although, if you can’t get your hands on one, you can use rolled up towels as well. The point is to support both your babies when they feed. It’s also a great idea to set up a designated space that is big enough to accommodate all your babies comfortably. A football hold is also a great position to consider while nursing both babies at once. You can get them to face each other in this hold to make things easier for yourself.
At the end of the day, feeding multiple or twins is a challenge. But it can be done successfully and you don’t need to run yourself ragged trying to accomplish this task. So, take it easy, plan ahead and let your body take its natural course. Reach out to professionals if you need help and stay healthy!