It sounds a challenge – but you and your body, and your babies, can do it!
Breast milk is made in response to the baby’s sucking.
The more the baby feeds, the more milk you make.
So….twice the feeds, means twice the milk….and while no one would say it’s always easy to breastfeed twins, once you get going, you’ll find things do get better.
Feed your babies as often as they want, and maybe more often if they’re small and sleepy. Your body will respond by making the right amount of milk for them.
Twins are more likely to be small, pre-term and need special care at birth. We know these factors can can affect the start of breastfeeding, and make it harder to get a good supply going.
It takes a long time to feed twins, too. They may not be very energetic, or able to stay on long at first; it can feel as if you are doing nothing else but feed them. Some smaller babies take a while to learn how to suck and swallow effectively, and getting them positioned at the breast can be hard.
But get help with everything else you need to do, and stick with breastfeeding the babies – using a bottle of formula may seem like a good idea, but it can mean you make less milk, and fill your babies up so they don’t come to the breast often enough. Be guided by your doctor or midwife however, here – there are some situations where small or poorly babies may need some formula temporarily. It doesn’t have to mean the end of breastfeeding.
get help with positioning and attaching your babies at the breast. You may find it easier to feed both babies at once, or one at a time. Ask the midwife about different positions – there are a few and you can work out which suits you and your babies by practising
accept change – something that worked once may not work next time
use pillows to help in the early days, as you won’t have a spare hand to help with getting them on
swap breasts and babies at each feed, to even out the supply and the stimulation
get information from other parents
They’re the greatest source of information and support about feeding. There may be a twins and multiple support group in your area – ask your midwife or health visitor.
© Heather Welford