Breastfeeding Twins

So you have two babies! [Or you are having two babies] [[Or you are just interested in how someone would manage this feat]]

Step one doesn’t even involve breasts. It’s about getting on a schedule. If both babies are on different schedules then a parent will find themselves CONSTANTLY feeding one baby or the other. We strongly recommend the three hour schedule.

Once you have the when down, you have to figure out the how:

Will you feed them at the same time?

Will you feed them back to back?

Which baby gets each breast?

There is no RIGHT answer.

Both babies at one time:

Most commonly, parents figure out a position that is comfortable for them to feed both babies at the same time. This means that the whole feeding can be over in an efficient amount of time and neither baby has to wait patiently to eat.

One Baby at a time:

Both babies at one time doesn’t work for every parent. Some women with very large breasts need to have a more hands-on nursing process. And some women just can’t seem to feel safe/comfortable feeding both at the same time. I’ve heard from other women still that they want to nurse each individually to make eye contact and give each baby undivided nursing attention. [This is only possible if there is another caregiver. I guarantee you that the baby not eating won’t sit quietly and wait while their sibling goes first!]

With one baby at a time, the babies are on the same schedule but about 20-30 minutes staggered. So that one baby is always hungry first. You find a favorite play mat or bouncy seat for the waiting baby. Sometimes you can manage the schedule so that the second baby is still sleeping while you feed the first.

Which breast does each baby get?

This varies vastly. Some parents choose to assign a breast to each baby. Some switch off every feeding. And some switch off every day. It’s important to figure out if you have a “powerhouse” breast or if they both produce similar amounts to help you make this decision.

Pumping:

Some babies won’t latch. And some parents find the concept of figuring out which baby ate how much and when and for how long is just too daunting. Pumping can also be an effective way to feed multiple babies. Pumping supply is unpredictable- some women will overproduce, and some will underproduce. A hospital grade pump is recommended to produce enough milk to feed more than one baby. The easiest way to pump is to get your baby onto the Eat. Play. Sleep schedule. So you start pumping 20-30 minutes before they wake up and when they wake from their nap you are able to offer them the fresh milk that you just pumped. It’s important when pumping that you are mimicking the times that your baby eats at.

 

Support:

The best thing I can offer is finding excellent lactation support. Sometimes it’s just the right pillow, the right lip flip, the right

About Karina McCarthy

A Rhode Island native who has babies in her blood. A mom to a beautiful daughter and a lover of yoga and long naps.