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Are you a mom of twins? Does breastfeeding cause a doubly challenging? Well, this is one of the most asked questions and we’ve got just the right tips for you!
No doubt, you’ve got two mouths to feed and balance, it can get a little too tough to understand how to breastfeed twins, however, the benefits of breastfeeding do make it worth the effort. Mamabear, there is no rocket science here, and rest assured, you’d be a pro in no time.
Breastfeeding Twins - The How-to’s
Here are a few twins breastfeeding tips to help set yourself up for success:
1) Establishing a Nursing Schedule - Twin Breastfeeding
For the first few weeks, in particular, infants would need feeds about 8 – 12 times per day, a rough breakdown of every 2 – 3 hours, both; day and night. Keep in mind, that each session must last for about 20 to 30 minutes, however, wait for each baby to signal before you call it quits.
When just starting, try to nurse the twins on similar schedules. Nevertheless, even identical twins can have different appetites, personalities, and nursing patterns. This is why it is best to tune into each one’s needs as one could need frequent nursing as compared to the other.
The nursing schedule at the end depends on your take, while some moms might let the hungrier baby decide on a nursing schedule for both, the other moms feed on each baby’s demand during the day and stick to a schedule during the night. No matter what you choose to follow, just try and keep extra-careful records and make sure both of them are fed well.
2) Tips for breastfeeding twins
The best and the most ideal way of feeding twins is to burse them together. Sure, you’d want to nurse the babies one at a time until learn to latch, with time it’s best to switch to feeding them together. This will help you avoid spending the whole day and night nursing.
Furthermore, here is are a few tips for twin breastfeeding:
- Consider choosing a nursing pillow. These are specially designed for twins and make it easier to position the little munchkins. As an alternative, you could also choose to use 2 regular pillows or towels that are rolled up.
- As you first get started, always position the pillow and have someone hand the babies to you, one by one. In case you’re alone, first set yourself on the floor facing the couch and place the babies on either side of the bouncy seats where you’ll be sitting. Now, quickly fasten the pillows around your waist and then position the babies one at a time on the pillow and latch.
- Positions of breastfeeding twins is a must, that too in a football or the cradle hold with the help of the pillows to support their heads. You could also combine the cradle hold and that of the football with the help of the pillow’s support. (Experiment with this until both; you and the babies are comfortable).
- Avoid overdoing one breast, instead, it’s best to use both breasts, alternatively. For this, you must remember to switch breasts for each baby at every feeding or every day to help stimulate both breasts, equally.
- If you have triplets (or more), try to nurse two babies at a time and then nurse the third baby later. However, make sure you switch the babies who get solo breastfeeding time.
- Despite all, what works best for you is the right option to choose. It’s okay if nursing the babies together isn’t working out for you. If bottle-feeding one baby with pumped milk or formula works as a supplementary and nursing the other simultaneously, you know what’s best.
- Focus on the baby’s latch. Breastfeeding, in no way, should cause you sore or cracked nipples; a usual cause of poor latch. In case it happens, you must keep breastfeeding nipple creams handy to ease the pain.
Breastfeeding Twins: Burning Of Calorie When Breastfeeding Twins!
How Many Calories Do Breastfeeding Twins Burn?
Per facts, breastfeeding a baby can burn up to an additional 500 calories per day. This means, that when nursing twins, you can expect to burn about 1,000 calories each day!
How Many Calories is Needed To Breastfeed Twins?
Burning calories when breastfeeding also means eating enough to be able to not only feed the twins but also be able to breastfeed and burn more calories.
In order to be well and fueled, you’d need about 450 to 500 calories over the pre-pregnancy needs for each baby, this means roughly 1,000 additional calories in total, daily.
For this, you might need to increase your caloric quotient must be bigger so the baby can grow bigger, as well as, hungrier. Or, you might want to also decrease the number of supplements with formula or solids, or in case you have fat reserves that you’d like to burn.
In order to keep fueled, try and stick to a balanced breastfeeding diet and also drink enough water. Also, make sure to eat enough calcium. As a matter of fact, all lactating mothers must have at least 1,000 mg per day or even a little more.
Twin Breastfeeding: How to Produce Enough Breastmilk for the Twins?
In a twin breastfeeding mom, it is essential to nursing frequently to help boost the breastfeeding milk supply. And, feeding on demand with breastfeeding production troubles is quite common and one way to increase the supply is to regularly stimulate from a pump. Also since most of the milk comes in the first 5 minutes, short nursing sessions each day can help boost the supply better as compared to fewer longer sessions.
Therefore, aim to schedule your twin nursing sessions about 4 times a day to nurse your baby. An electric double pump can also become your best pal, especially since it can help get those precious extra hours of sleep while your partner uses the milk to breastfeed the babies.
Breastfeeding Twins: Breastfeeding VS Supplementing for Twins
According to the AAP or the American Academy of Pediatrics, they recommend exclusively breastfeeding the baby until they are 6 months + and for up to 1 year old. But, when breastfeeding twins this could be a little hard to follow and that’s okay!
In case you cannot breastfeed your twins for 6 months, or even at all, it’s best to supplement formula to also be able to breastfeed for longer. However, on the flip side, supplementing can also decrease breastmilk production due to the lack of demand, so you might want to pump on regular basis.
To Conclude: Reaching Out For Help!
There are many moms who tend to struggle when they initially first with nursing their twins, so if this is what you come across, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your pediatrician, or a lactation consultant/doula who has the most experience with multiples and can be the right support when needed.