Tips for Breastfeeding Twins

If you’re mothering twins, you would likely find breastfeeding to be a huge challenge, at least in the beginning. As opposed to feeding a single baby, you have two mouths to take care of. Both babies need to be fed sufficiently and on time for proper development.
There are several questions which may cross your mind during the pregnancy or when you have just started to breastfeed the twins. These typically include:

  • Will I be able to produce enough milk for two babies?
  • Should the babies be fed together or independently?
  • How will I know if both babies are satiated with the feed?
  • What will happen if I’m out at the feeding time?
Let’s try and answer some of these common questions and dilemmas faced by moms of twin babies. Here are a set of useful breastfeeding tips.
Tip#1: Create a nursing schedule
In the initial few weeks, your infants will require breastfeeding around 8 to 12 times each day. Every breastfeed session would last for approximately 20 to 30 minutes and happen every 2 to 3 hours. When you begin breastfeeding your twins, try and nurse them on a common schedule. At the same time, remember that even identical twin babies could have different appetites, personalities and nursing behaviors and patterns. Therefore, it would be important to understand their individual needs during breastfeeding. For example, one baby may require more frequent feeding than the other.
Tip#2: Breastfeed at the same time
Breastfeeding the twins together will help you save a lot of time. There are various techniques for positioning the babies so that they can be breastfed together. For instance, you could place them in a clutch hold with pillows around you (at the sides). The babies can be put on the pillows and their legs should face the chair back. If you decide to keep the little ones in front of you, make sure that their bodies are completely turned towards you and your chest is in contact with their chests. The bodies of the babies shouldn’t face up.
You can look for special pillows (available at mother and baby stores) as these are really helpful in positioning the babies. While breastfeeding, you need to feed each baby from both the breasts, alternatively. This will help in meeting their individual needs while also offering them additional visual exercise.
Tip#3: Eat enough to breastfeed the twins
It is important to understand that you’re feeding a lot with two babies in your hands. This means you will require a higher calorie intake each day, a minimum of 400 to 500 additional calories for each baby (approximately 1,000 extra calories in total per day). Eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet and don’t forget to include healthy fats to fuel your body. You may have to up your calories further when the babies start growing and their appetites increase. Alternatively, you might have to reduce your calorie count if the nursing is being supplemented with solids and/or formula or if there is a significant fat reserve in your body that needs to be burnt.

Article Reviewed By Crystal Ibetoh MD, MBA reviews each article and ensures the accuracy of the health information. Dr. Ibetoh has strong medical interests in women's health and preventative medicine. She is also a mother of three and uses her medical expertise in addition to personal experience to provide advice about breastfeeding.

*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding breastfeeding.*

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