Breastfeeding twins? Know common challenges and tips to do it right

Breastfeeding one baby is easy, but how do you breastfeed twins? If you're expecting twins, here's a quick guide to find ways to manage breastfeeding twins.
Tips to breastfeed twins
Follow these tips to breastfeed twins while keeping your health in mind. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Priya Singh Published: 4 Sep 2023, 01:30 pm IST
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While breastfeeding and motherhood are beautiful, sometimes it can be a little challenging for some mothers. Breastfeeding brings a great sense of responsibility, and it requires you to learn how to breastfeed. A mother requires a lot of patience, energy, support, and even some professional help to master the art of breastfeeding. If breastfeeding one baby requires so much effort, does it mean double the effort for twins? Here’s how you can manage breastfeeding twins to make your journey to motherhood more memorable in more ways than one.

How to manage breastfeeding twins?

Here are some ways to help you manage breastfeeding twins:

1. Enrol in an antenatal breastfeeding session

These sessions provide an opportunity to the mother to clear her doubts about breastfeeding in general and feeding twins, understanding major challenges that may arrive during hospital stay, assessment of your breasts in advance to check the anatomy of the breast would prevent post-delivery hassle. These sessions would also provide a detailed information about the milk supply, feeding cues of the baby, hospital policy for breastfeeding etc. so that a mother is prepared for breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding twins
Ways to breastfeed twins the right way. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Understand the basics of breastfeeding

It is vital to understand the basics of breastfeeding that is positions, attachment, and latching. Why it is so important? If the position is not comfortable for the mother there is a great risk of pain, aches in upper body, lower back which can lead to pain full breastfeeding sessions and may also cause greater fatigue in mothers. Position and attachment of the baby at the breast is equally important as it will assure milk transfer to the baby, drainage of breast milk which ensures weight gain of your newborn and prevents breast conditions such as engorgement crack/sore nipples which can make breastfeeding challenging and painful. Learning different holds such as cradle, cross cradle and football hold especially for twin feeding can be helpful.

3. Use breast pumps

Investing in a breast pump can be a great deal especially for mothers who are breastfeeding twins. Breast pump allows you to express the breast milk and store it for later use which is absolutely safe. Stored breast milk can be given to the babies by anyone in the family, using spoon katori or a palladia feeding. The same can be learnt during the hospital stay to avoid any hassle at home. Often, mothers ask which pump should they buy, mainly there are two types of breast pump available – manual and electrical. You can choose any one depending on the degree of your dependency on the breast pump. If you’re planning to use breast pump often, investing in an electrical breast pump can save more energy than manual ones.

4. Seek support at home

Breastfeeding requires support and is always good to seek help rather trying to do everything by self. Outsourcing tasks such as burping, changing nappies, pacifying can be done by father or any family member who is available during nursing period. This saves a lot of energy of the mother, giving her ample time to indulge in self-care, eat or simply take a nap if she wants.

5. Be mindful of what you eat

Breastfeeding twins can take most of the energy from your body and time of your day till you form or understand your babies’ schedule. Lack of time and energy sometimes leads to poor eating habits or skipping meals that impacts your health and energy levels drastically. Taking care of your food choices such as eating home cooked food often, including galactogogues food in your meals, eating on time and staying hydrated are key to feeling healthy and maintaining your breast milk supply.

breastfeeding twins
Here are some tips to manage breastfeeding twins. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Common challenges women face while breastfeeding twins

Let us also put some light on some of the challenges that can arise during breastfeeding twins. It is observed quite often that while breastfeeding twin babies, one baby is usually more active than the other. The most common reason is the weight of the baby, which can lead to challenges with forming a proper schedule as it would often take a little extra time than the other.

Another challenge new mothers face is either low milk supply or poor drainage of breast milk, leading to engorgement. This is mostly common in babies who require NICU stay. With guidance from a professional such as a lactation expert and support can help in facing and solving these challenges with time. All breastfeeding requires is patience and practice with your newborn babies!

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About the Author

Dr Priya Singh Senior Executive Lactation and Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Navi Mumbai (Vashi) ...Read More

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