Breastfeeding twins

Here’s your guide to breastfeeding twins efficiently

While giving birth to twins calls for double the joy and celebrations, breastfeeding two infants requires twice the hard work! After all, twins mean twice the tantrums, twice the challenge, and twice the discomfort. But it doesn’t have to be so! As a mother, once you know how to handle the two tiny tots, feeding them can become one of the most beautiful experiences of your life.  

We all know that a mother’s milk is the best food for a baby for at least the first 6 months of his or her life. But, many mothers of twins feel that it is not possible to feed both children simultaneously, and worry that one of them might end up being neglected. However, you will be surprised to know that breastfeeding twins simultaneously is possible and can even be much easier that you thought.  

Some effective ways of conveniently feeding multiples or twins:

  • Start with a breastfeeding chart

    A visual breastfeeding chart will help you keep track of feeding times. For twins, you will need two charts to maintain breastfeeding schedules. Take the help of your twins’ paediatrician to make the chart and also speak to him regarding baby formula and baby food that is right for both the babies. However, try and provide only your milk for at least the first six months

    The chart will hold all the relevant information like the time of feeding, amount, and other such details. Also, keep in mind that the babies will slowly develop a taste for solids and different flavours between the 7th and the 12th month. But it isn’t necessary that they will develop the same preferences. So, the chart will help in keeping track of the feeding habits of both babies.

  • Always seek help

    It takes a lot of time to feed babies, especially when they are very young. It is true that when you are feeding two, it makes the job harder. So, when you are in the process of nursing your babies, ask family members to help with other chores. Try and get in touch with support groups too. Not only will they understand your problems, but they will also give you valuable advice. 

  • Feed sequentially

    Feeding the babies one after another or at different times will allow you to spend quality time with both babies, along with quality feeding (follow the chart). Ideally, you should first feed the baby who was last on the previous day. This way, a sequence can be maintained, and both the babies will get quality mother’s milk. When one baby has finished feeding, the mother can begin with the other twin. 

  • Feed on time

    It is your responsibility to ensure that both your babies get a good feed each time. Many twins spend considerable amounts of time in the hospital in Neonatal Intensive Care. They are habituated to being fed with significant amounts of breast milk at regular intervals throughout the day.

Using a breast pump

How much milk should you pump for twins? 

A breast pump increases the supply of breast milk, which is one of the biggest concerns of a lactating mother of twins. Along with this, it also allows mothers to stockpile excess milk for emergencies. You can even use double breast pumps to cut down pumping time. Try to stay relaxed while pumping, as the more stressed you are, the less breast milk you will release. Find a quiet spot and enjoy valuable time bonding with your kids.  

Try pumping in the morning as you will have more milk then. Do it at least an hour before breastfeeding or an hour later. This will ensure that you have enough milk for the babies if they are exclusively breastfed. Each mom and baby is different, and you should plan your pumping schedule as per your convenience and go with the pattern that works best for your babies. 

The focus should be on quality feeding and not pumping

Babies bond with their mother’s milk, and pumping helps them in getting only a percentage of the breast milk that they get when they feed directly. So, breastfeeding and pumping milk should go hand in hand, if mothers are using pumps. 

Last but not the least; mothers of twins should take care of themselves and follow a healthy diet to stay strong and energetic. Also, a good dietary intake will ensure high quality and sufficient milk production. Remember that breastfeeding twins can burn a lot of calories, and so, you should not stay hungry. Breastfeeding mothers should also consume more water, as drinking less water will produce less milk.