Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

breastfeeding,twins,newborn

breastfeedingtwins

^Our twins Jackson and Levi.

Breastfeeding twins sounds like a near-impossible feat. So much to worry about. So time consuming. What if I don’t make enough milk for two babies? Can I do that?! Can I really nourish two babies.. Adequately? Will they be healthy? What if they don’t gain enough weight? How will I get any sleep? Is it even possible to hold two babies nursing at the same time?!

These are some of the thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my twin boys. Even as a breastfeeding veteran, I was terrified. I felt very intimidated by the thought of two babies needing me every three hours around the clock for their first few months of life.. Even though I have a combined four years of breastfeeding under my belt, I still felt like it was a crazy thing for me to expect myself to be able to do. I can only imagine what moms think of their abilities to do this who have no breastfeeding experience at all.

Im here to say this:

You can nurse your twins. Effortlessly.

It takes patience, determination, and willingness to alter your schedule and your tasks around your babies’ needs.

I’m going to give you the best advice I have, from my experiences nursing my sons. I hope it helps:)

During pregnancy To-Do’s:
1. Plan maternity leave if you are working. The more time home with your babies, the better.
2. Get a high quality breast pump. A lot of insurances are covering the cost of a breast pump, I highly recommend looking into this!
3. Learn and read everything you need to know about using the pump, and reading about when to pump and breast milk storage.
4. Get your basic nursing essentials from my list Breastfeeding Essentials!
5. Buy two Fisher Price Rock ‘n Plays. The closer your babies are to you at night, the better. There are so many good things about this little bassinet when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s portable, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it’s small. You can find one on Amazon by clicking here:Here

6. Do your HOMEWORK.

The one thing that I urge moms to do is read. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more information and knowledge you have before your start, the better your confidence will be about nursing to your goals.

Expect yourself to run into road bumps. Everyone does. Research all of these things and PLEASE only go to trusted sources for breastfeeding info.

My top nursing go-to website is Kellymom.com.
You should also seek support from your local La Leche League Group, you can find information here at LLLI.org.

These are some basic road bumps that I have had to deal with:

-correcting poor latch
-engorgement
-clogged ducts
-milk blebs
-mastitis
-nursing a sick baby(stopped up nose)
-nursing strike
*Another thing, don’t believe breastfeeding advice from just anyone. There are a lot of things people think are supposed to help with nursing but really only hurt your efforts. There are myths out there that may make your struggles so hard that you cannot continue. Your great aunts sisters niece might mean well, but only take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your homework. Do your research before you take any advice.*

When your babies are born:

– begin breastfeeding right away, as soon as you can. If it is possible, ask that absolutely no formula is given to either of your babies. If you can’t physically nurse your babies (if they need to be in the NICU, begin pumping when you can.)
-get in touch with the breastfeeding consultant while you are in the hospital and make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel confident about nursing your babies.
I was adamant about nursing both of my twins at the same time while I was in the hospital. I wanted to know I could do it. I don’t really know why I wanted to, but the encouragement from the staff at the hospital really helped me. They were really surprised that I was actually attempting it and doing it! And I wondered to myself, do most twin moms not try? I surely hope it is not the lack of confidence that keeps twin parents (or any parents, rather) from breastfeeding their babies. I realize that the amount of support that a new mom gets when she starts breastfeeding truly can make or break her. I just can’t assume most moms will toughen up and have that determination all by themselves. It was a miracle that I did, because I had no support when we had our first baby. But I can see that it doesn’t happen for everyone. If this post helps just one mom, I would feel like I have done my job for my entire blog, you know? I want all breastfeeding moms to know that they CAN do this and that they CAN get through the road bumps. You can.

Not necessarily tandem nursing, that’s optional. But the truth is, you’re going to have to do it at some point. Those babes are going to be crying at the same time, you’re going to realize that you have two boobs! (Lol.) and really, it isn’t that bad. Tandem nursing is an art. And you don’t need anything but a comfortable place to sit.

More on that later.

When you come home from the hospital, get a journal and keep it next to you and write down every poo diaper, every pee, When they nurse and how long they nurse. Their doctor is going to want to know all of that anyway, but it helps your confidence level. Knowing they are giving you plenty of wet diapers means they’re getting enough to eat. And when you write it down, you don’t have to rack your sleepy brain to try to remember the blur of the last week to see if he’s had a drop in pee diapers, when you feel discouraged that he’s not getting enough milk. (Sorry for the forever-long sentence just then.)

Another HUGE thing I want to tell moms:
Fall in love with water.
Water is going to be the key to success. You need to have great, clean, good tasting water. The Sam’s Choice bottled water at Walmart is just fine and it tastes great. I’m extremely picky about my water, so trust me on that one! Nursing my 8 month old twins, I go through three 32-pack bottled water packs in two weeks.
You need to keep a bottle close to you at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty (obviously) but don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. Keep one with you while you’re nursing and when you sleep. Another saying that is easy to remember, Drink when they drink!

Stay on your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop them just because you aren’t pregnant anymore. You’re still nourishing their every need. <3

Keep snacks with you close by, and don’t get hungry. Don’t worry about dieting because one great thing about nursing is that those pregnancy pounds will disappear! I was still hanging onto 40lbs when the twins were born, and now I’m down to 15lbs. So keep your diet full of good, healthy foods and stay full, because you’re still eating for three. 🙂

Night-time Nursing:

One big thing I’ve learned nursing twins is if you want to get any sleep, nurse your babies at the same time throughout the night. For example, if Baby A wakes up at 2:30am, nurse and lay him back down, but wake Baby B up to nurse as well. That way, you don’t nurse Baby A and go back to sleep just for Baby B to wake up hungry in a half hour later when you just barely got to sleep again. That way both babies are fed and hopefully sleep another 2-3 hours before someone wakes up again. Eventually they’ll get on the same pattern and it’ll help you tremendously when you’re trying to sync up their schedules.

Now, some may not agree with me on this and that’s alright, but here’s another tip: let Dad do most of the work through the night. Let him do the diaper changes. Let him get up to get them. You need your rest. I know how hard it is not to do those things yourself but breastfeeding takes HALF of a mothers energy. Half. You need every ounce of sleep you can get. If you’re doing the massive task of feeding two babies with your body, he can change a diaper half asleep. He will be alright. You stay asleep when the babes go to fussing at night, let him get them a fresh diaper and then you can wake and nurse. Let him put them back to bed.

Speaking of rest, learn to nurse while laying down. It’s probably not feasible when they’re newborns but as they get a little older and they grow a little, side lying is best at night for nursing because you can fall right back to sleep very easily. You don’t have to get up and get a nursing pillow and situate yourself and then situate baby. It takes a lot of energy to do that half asleep and can make you dread night feedings.

Prepare for hunger. When my first daughter was born my husband actually made me a sandwich before we went to bed. It is kind of funny now that I think about it but it really helped. I would wake up starving and I would gobble down whatever I could get. Pb&J sandwiches would fill me up until morning. 🙂 You will get hungry throughout the night and if you can, eat up!

Whew I’m exhausted.
I will do a Part 2 post soon! Thanks for reading. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

  1. My formally breastfed twin boys are now 8. You gave some really good advice. I nursed mine at the same time probably 95% of the time. When they were really small I had a very large recliner that I would nurse both together and then just go to sleep there. Worked for me anyway. 🙂 They were 20 months when completely weaned. I actually nursed them longer than I did my other 2 sons.

    1. That’s amazing Kim! Thank you for your kind words. I think a big, comfortable recliner is definitely a necessity for breastfeeding any number of babies! Lol. I hope I can make it to 20 months! They’re 10 months now and we are going strong. 🙂

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