Breastfeeding twins or triplets
When you expect several babies, you need to think a lot, first of all – feeding. Breastfeeding twins or even triplets is a very difficult task. But be sure: this is possible, and the result will prove itself doubly.
Like any nursing mother, you need to understand the basic principles of breastfeeding: how milk production depends on consumption, how to find the right posture and help babies catch their breasts.
Additional difficulties in breastfeeding several babies are associated with time (more precisely, its absence), maintenance of the mother’s physical strength and the search for the optimal feeding schedule. Solving these problems will be easier with someone else’s support.
How to prepare for breastfeeding twins?
The main thing is to start preparing before delivery. Even if you have already breast-fed before, consult an expert about feeding twins.
You can attend special courses for pregnant women, and a breastfeeding consultant or supervisor can teach you the basic principles of caring for twins and answer any questions. In addition, it will be useful to chat with the mothers of twins and find information about small and large communities dedicated to the education of twins. Such communities often organize meetings, publish useful articles, provide telephone support, and offer other types of assistance.
Agree in advance with relatives and friends about housework, ask them to take on the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and shopping so that you can fully devote yourself to breastfeeding. Robin, the mother of four children from Canada, believes this is extremely important: “My mother-in-law lived with us for the first two months. I can’t imagine what I would do without her! ”
In addition, it is important to correctly understand what awaits you. Breastfeeding at the same time two children will have to learn, you will sleep little, and at first you will not have time to leave home.
“At first, life will be quite stressful: get ready to devote all your time to feeding,” warns Helen Turrier, head of support for the British Association for the Care of Newborn Twins and Triplets (Tamba), a professional nurse and mother of three children, including twins – Breastfeeding take more time, especially if the kids spent some time in the neonatal intensive care unit. ”
How to start breastfeeding twins?
The best way to successfully start breastfeeding is to get skin-to-skin contact with your babies as soon as possible after birth. 1 Include this item in your birth plan and discuss your intention to breast-feed with your partner and your healthcare provider in advance. Consider what to do if babies are born prematurely or are hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Ideally, breastfeeding should begin immediately after childbirth, even after cesarean section. Doctors should bring you babies and teach you how to properly apply them to your chest. If they have not done so, ask for it and be sure to bring your partner so that he knows how to help you.
“I think the main reason I successfully managed to breastfeed twins, even though I had difficulty feeding my eldest son, was the help of experts in the hospital in the most important first days,” said Zoe, a mother of three from the UK.
Do I have enough milk for two babies?
Yes. The more babies you feed, the more milk is produced. Studies show that triplets can produce three liters of milk per day2, while an average breast boy needs 831 ml of milk per day.3
After giving birth, you will start producing colostrum (the first milk rich in nutrients) in an amount sufficient to feed the newborn babies for the first two to four days. After that, milk production will occur on the basis of supply and demand.
Focus on the needs of the kids. Breastfeed as soon as you notice any of them showing signs of hunger – babies can begin to wake up, stick out their tongues, turn their heads, grunt, lick their lips, suck their fingers. This will help your body produce enough milk.
How to facilitate breastfeeding twins?
You and your kids will have to learn by trial and error. Perhaps one child will be better at catching his chest, eating more often, or gaining weight faster than another. Remember that every baby is unique. If you have any difficulties and doubts, contact a specialist.
“A familiar obstetrician helped me find the right position for a long time so that the babies would correctly grasp the breasts – one of my daughters had problems with this at first,” says Anna, the mother of two children from the UK, “In the first month I really needed help feeding time – at least in order to give me babies. It’s hard to deal with two babies at the same time, especially when they are so small. ”