How to Breastfeed Twins

Having  breastfed my first two children, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed the twins. But twins?? Was it possible? It did take a while to get into the swing of things,  but it's so worth the effort. If you want to breastfeed your twins, you can do it too! These are my tips from our story. I hope that they help and encourage you to breastfeed your twins too.

Breastfeeding Twins by a paediatrician

Do you breastfeed twins separately or together?

To begin with, while we were still in hospital, I fed them separately. Sebastian was in an incubator and wasn't allowed to feed for 3 days. So for 3 days it was just me and Celeste and she took to it like a duck to water (or a baby to a booby). I did have to wake her up every 3 hours as she was a low birth weight baby (2.3kg) and they didn't want her going too long with out food.

When Sebastian was allowed to feed, he was quite good. Although we did have to faff around with top up feeds and NG tubes but that's another story. The bottom line is that I couldn't feed them together until we got home (there wasn't really anywhere suitable in hospital as the bed was too narrow.)

What positions can you use to breastfeed twins?

To begin with I got my husband to help me. One baby across the front in the traditional way, the other down the side in the 'rugby' position. It worked quite well, although I couldn't do anything like read a book. (Luckily I have an iPhone so I can hold it in one hand and read on my kindle app.)

How do you move each baby when you're breastfeeding twins?

After a while I didn't need my husband's help. When they were little I would hold them in the 'kitten grasp'. Get a good handful of clothing behind their necks and pick them up like a kitten. 

At 6 months old I moved them around by grasping their shoulders. (Obviously I put them in a nearby position first and sort of rearranged them, or moved them across the bed.)

For a time, I found that when we first started a feed, I had to rearrange them several times. I put the first one on, then the second which means the first one fell off. But we would get there in the end.

Now at nearly 8 months old, they're quite mobile and easy to position. They often hold hands and stroke each other. Although I do have to stop them from scratching each other.

What kind of chair do you need to breastfeed twins?

I need a reasonably large chair to feed them in. I'm perfectly happy breastfeeding out and about but the reality is that I need a sofa or largish chair. So the only time I've ever managed both of them together in public is at Ikea where there is no shortage of sofas (not the ones on display, they have loads in the cafe.)

Ideally having lots of cushions around makes my position much more comfortable (especially at the beginning.) But I found that I couldn't put them in the right places myself so pretty much gave up on that. I know it's probably not great for my back. I'll have to take up yoga again…

Should you always breastfeed twins at the same time?

I read somewhere that you should always feed twins at the same time. I wonder whether the author actually had twins? It sounds great, but the reality is I often feed them at separate times too. It is easier to feed them separately, but quicker to do it together. Also it's so cute watching them together, holding hands and slurping noisily. 2 little fuzzy heads together.

Do you have to swap sides when breastfeeding twins?

My midwife said that it didn't matter whether they had a side each or swapped sides. I decided to swap them around, but it was a bit random. (I'm not very good at remembering which side they were on last.)

Is it hard work breastfeeding twins?

If you have twins and are thinking of breastfeeding, I would definitely recommend giving it a go. There are huge health benefits to breastfeeding. It can be tricky to establish, but it's very rewarding and beneficial to both mother and baby. Having twins is a bit more work than having one baby (but surprisingly not as much as you'd think.) Equally, breastfeeding twins is a bit more work than breastfeeding one baby, but not as much as you'd think.

There are many websites and Facebook pages that offer support to breastfeeding mothers. So good luck and I hope you enjoy breastfeeding you twins.

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Breastfeeding Twins by a paediatrician