Twins Or More
breastfeeding can be a challenge for any new mother. For a mother
of multiples, the prospect of nursing more than one baby can seem
daunting to say the least! Learn all you can about breastfeeding
during your pregnancy. Find out about resources for lactation support,
breast pump rentals, and feeding strategies for preterm infants.
Preparing as much as you can, before your babies are born, will
help you face the challenges of breastfeeding twins or more.
If you are breastfeeding twins or more you can choose to nurse one
baby at a time or two at a time. Nursing two babies at once can
be a challenge. However, it can be the most efficient way to get
the job done! You may need some help latching two babies on initially,
but, as you and your babies become more skilled at breastfeeding
it should get easier. Have someone with you to assist with positioning
and latching on the first few times you try simultaneous nursing.
There are a number of different breastfeeding positions that
can accommodate two babies at once. The combination hold, the crisscross
hold, and the football hold all work well. Using a nursing pillow
can be helpful in positioning the babies. Try out several different
positions and see if simultaneous nursing works for you.
at a Time Feedings
Breastfeeding one baby at a time may be easier, however, it is more
time consuming and you can end up feeling like your every waking
moment is spent nursing a baby. There are some advantages. It is
easier to position, latch on, remove from the breast and burp babies
when they are fed one at a time. It is also a special one-on-one
time to cuddle and enjoy one another. Perhaps the best solution
is to be flexible: sometimes nurse one baby and sometimes nurse
well while you are breastfeeding is important. Your nutrient needs
can vary greatly. The number of babies you are nursing, whether
they are receiving any supplemental formula, how much weight you
gained during pregnancy, your activity level, and your pre-pregnancy
nutrition status all influence your nutrient needs. Here are some
When Breastfeeding Twins Or More
- Eat to
appetite. Don't restrict your intake too severely in an
attempt to lose your pregnancy weight too quickly. If you
are losing more than 1/2 to 1 pound per week, you probably
aren't eating enough. (If you were overweight before pregnancy
or gained excessive pregnancy weight, losing up to 2 pounds
per week may be appropriate)
- If you
are exclusively nursing twins or more, you may need an extra
500 calories and 10 grams protein per day for each baby
you are nursing. You may need to eat 6 - 8 times per day
to achieve this. Drinking extra milk, fruit juice, fruit
smoothies and milkshakes can help boost your intake.
a multivitamin with minerals to help ensure you are meeting
your needs for micronutrients. If you aren't choosing 4-5
calcium-rich foods each day, you may need an extra calcium
up your fluid intake. Drink water, milk, or fruit juice
each time you nurse. Lactating mothers of multiples can
be producing 2 or more liters of milk per day!
- Use the
and lactation food guide to help with food selections.
Add extra snacks and beverages to meet your extra needs.
Mothers who are trying to breastfeed more than one infant may need
help from the medical or nursing support team. Twins or more are
often born prematurely and may have special nutrient needs. Premature
infants may not be able to coordinate the sucking, swallowing and
breathing required to breastfeed successfully. If your babies are
initially unable to breastfeed, you can express breastmilk for them.
Expressed breastmilk can often be fed to preterm babies via a feeding
tube until they are strong enough to begin nursing.
checks are necessary to establish that your babies are gaining enough
weight. Your pediatrician can help you decide if supplemental feedings
are needed. Your expressed breastmilk or an appropriate infant formula
can be used to augment nursing.
Don't feel badly
if one or more of your babies requires some supplemental bottle
feedings. Talk with a lactation support person for advice. When
breastfeeding is well established, babies can often learn to alternate
between breast and bottle feedings. This can also allow someone
to help with feedings and give you a much needed rest.