Have you wondered if breastfeeding twins is possible? Well I’m here to tell you that it absolutely is possible – more sore than people think. This article will help set you up for successfully breastfeeding twins.
Can twins be exclusively breastfed?
Yes, yes and yes! I’ll say it one more time for the naysayers in the back – YES! YOU CAN BREASTFEED TWINS! If you can breastfeed a singleton, you can breastfeed twins -biologically. Breastfeeding is supply and demand. If you have one baby “demanding” milk, your body will make it for that baby. The same thing goes for 2 babies – even 3! Is it exhausting? Sure, it can be, especially for a mom with a lower storage capacity.
Why do people think breastfeeding twins isn’t possible?
Well, because they’re uneducated. Biologically, you can absolutely breastfeed twins and there is a very small percentage of women who can’t. Mentally, it can be tough and maybe you can’t breastfeed twins, AND THAT’S OKAY. I think people would rather say their body failed them than they mentally couldn’t do it anymore. Breastfeeding one baby is exhausting in the first few months so add on another and it’s literally draining!
I also think people say it isn’t possible to breastfeed twins because twins typically are premature and when babies are premature, they’re more likely to have latching and feeding issues than a baby that is not premature. Unfortunately, people go into it already thinking they won’t do it. Hell, I did too and I successfully breastfed my first 2 singletons!
Newborn babies can be overwhelming. Add another into the mix and you might as well have added 5. It’s very important to remember that breastfeeding your twins is extremely possible. Take deep breaths and ask for help!
Do I have to pump to breastfeed twins?
No! Assuming babies do not have ties and they are nursing efficiently, pumping is not necessary. Too many people think they need to just nurse, pump, repeat because they think their body will not make enough milk. as long as you’re frequently latching, your babies are all you need to build your supply. The only times pumping would be necessary is if they’re born premature and have trouble nursing or if they are not strong enough to last an entire feed. Then you would just pump directly after a nursing session.
Should each breastfeeding twin have their own side?
This is a personal preference! I would say no because one twin could be a stronger nurser than the other and you could have a dud boob (one boob produces less milk than the other and it is very common).
Tips for breastfeeding twins
- Don’t overcomplicate things. If you can breastfeed a singleton, you can breastfeed twins.
- Pace feeding: If bottle feeding is necessary, make sure you pace feed the bottles. Pace feeding is a bottle feeding technique that closely mimics feeding at the breast. It also ensure you don’t overfeed a breastfed baby (which is possible and common via a bottle) and then subsequently have to quit breastfeeding because you can’t pump frequently enough to maintain that many ounces.
- Watch diaper count: When breastfeeding, the best way to make sure baby is getting enough milk is diaper count. Baby should have 6+wet diapers a day by day 4. Breastfeeding twins can feel like they are constantly eating which makes moms think their supply is insufficient. Diaper counts will help reassure you that baby is getting enough.
- Relax. I know, easier said than done. But your body knows what its doing. When in doubt, ask for a lactation consultant and take advantage of them in the hospital!
- Don’t overcomplicate things. If you can breastfeed a singleton, you can breastfeed twins. It’s all supply and demand!
- Keep track of feeds and diapers – you can download a free printable tracker here. Laminate it and wipe it clean when it gets full or just print a few of them.
- Ask for help. For the love of all that is holy, ask for help. Breastfed babies really shouldn’t get a bottle until 8 weeks at minimum (to help with nipple confusion and your supply) and I know that sounds exhausting. But there are lots of ways your partner can help with breastfeeding that don’t include a bottle.
Breastfeeding twins positions
The 2 very simple positions I used when my twins were infants were just like the 2 basic breastfeeding positions for singletons, just with 2 babies on each side. When they were tiny, we used the football hold and the regular cradle hold, with one twin’s upper body stacked on the other twin’s lower body.
As they get older, you can position them to be facing you while straddling your leg.
Must have products for breastfeeding twins
- Twin Z or Twin My Breast Friend Pillow: I used both of them but found the Twin Z to be more versatile because you can use it in other situations besides breastfeeding.
- Electric breast pump: Assuming everything is good with babys’ latches and efficiency, you will want to build a pump session into your day if you want to offer bottles after 8 weeks. Most insurances will cover a breast pump.
In all honesty, the double nursing pillow is all you need aside from the breastfeeding items for singletons. Again, it’s all the same concept as a singleton, just more frequently.
Finally, I want to be VERY clear – I am pro breastfeeding, but not at the expense of your mental health. If you have all of the right information and you still can’t mentally keep it together, it’s not worth it. YOU have to be happy and sane to take care of baby.