Breastfeeding twins FAQ and A
Breastfeeding twins can seem intimidating. Heck, nursing one baby can be overwhelming and you are going to be breastfeeding multiples.
Don’t worry, nursing twins through the first year is possible. There will be challenges, but parenting comes with challenges. There are many resources available to help you through your twin nursing journey.
You can talk to a lactation consultant, other twin moms, and find resources online. In this post, you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about breastfeeding twins.
You will also find additional resources to help you successfully breastfeed twins here: The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding Twins.
What's In This Post?
- Breastfeeding Twins FAQ and A
- Breastfeeding Twins Tips
- Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding Twins
- Must-Have Supplies for Breastfeeding Twins
- Twin Z vs My Brest Friend Twin: Which Twin Breastfeeding Pillow Is Best?
- 11 Tips and Tricks for Breastfeeding Twins
- How to breastfeed twins: The logistics of double nursing
- Double Ow! What To Do When Your Breastfeeding Twins Bite
Breastfeeding Twins FAQ and A
Can you successfully breastfeed twins?
Yes! You absolutely can successfully breastfeed twins! I did it for 15 months and so have lots of other twin moms.
There are many reasons why breastfeeding might not work or might not be the best decision for your family. But the fact that you are having twins is not reason enough to think you can’t do it.
Get more information here: The Ultimate Guide To Breastfeeding Twins.
How can I increase my milk supply for twins?
Milk is production is based off supply and demand, so the more you nurse your twins the more milk you will make. You also need to take care of yourself. That means drinking enough water and taking in enough calories.
Many mothers also swear by drinking plenty of water, drinking Gatorade, eating oatmeal, drinking mother’s milk tea, and taking fenugreek. You should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or making any major dietary changes.
How do you feed newborn twins at the same time?
Feeding newborn twins at the same time can be hard. For the first few weeks, it is often easier to nurse them one at a time. This way you can focus on getting a good latch and full feed with each twin. (Feeding one and then the other will help keep them on the same schedule.)
As you and your babies get better at breastfeeding, you can tandem feed them. Many twin moms find using a twin nursing pillow to be very helpful for positioning and support while breastfeeding their twins. And you can learn more about getting your twins into nursing position when you are all alone here: How To Breastfeed Twins When You Are On Your Own.
Does your body produce more milk with twins?
Yes. Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis. So if two babies are demanding milk your body will supply milk for two.
Is breast milk sufficient for twins?
Yes, breast milk is complete in terms of nutrition, even for twins. To make sure your babies are getting enough milk you need to look at weight gain and dirty diapers. (Think 5-6 wet diapers or more in a 24 hour period.)
How can I increase my milk supply overnight?
If supply is low moms might be looking for an overnight fix to their problem. Sadly there isn’t a quick instant fix to this. The best way to increase supply is to nurse more frequently. This tells your body to make more. Drinking plenty of water and eating enough will help.
How much milk should I pump for twins?
How much milk you should pump varies depending on how often you are breastfeeding your twins. If you are exclusively pumping you should be pumping 8-12 times a day, or one pump for every feeding.
If you are pumping to supplement or feed your twins as much breast milk as possible, it is recommended to aim for 15-20 minute sessions
Yes, you can exclusively pump for your twins. Pumping milk and bottle feeding can be a great way to let your partner and others bond with your twins while feeding them.
Keep in mind you will need to pump as frequently as you would be breastfeeding. That means 8-12 pumping sessions in a 24 hour period. (For more tips on exclusively pumping click here.)
You can tell your twins are full the same way you can tell a singleton is full. Your babies will be relaxed. Their hands will open and not be clenched fists.
Your twins may fall asleep and dribble milk. They will be happy and not searching for the breast anymore.
This depends on where you are in your breastfeeding journey and your overall goals. In the first few weeks when babies need to be fed in the middle of the night you will want to pump, even if you get the occasional long stretch of sleep.
You will want to pump until you are confident that your twins no longer need to wake and eat at night. You will also want to make sure you have enough time during the day to pump if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding your twins. It stinks to have to wake up at night, but if you need to fit in extra times it might be necessary.
You need to talk to your pediatrician about when you can stop waking your twins to feed them, but generally, once your twins are over their birth weight and out of the NICU you can let them sleep at night.
During the day it is important to wake your babies to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours. This will help your twins get on a consistent schedule and make sure they are getting enough feedings during the day.
Once your twins are over their birth weight (and you are given the clear by their pediatrician) you can let your twins sleep at night without waking them up to eat.
During the day you should wake your twins to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours to get onto a good consistent schedule. By waking your twins you are making sure that they are eating enough during the day (so they don’t need to make it up at night) and that they are getting a consistent schedule built.
Yes! Please wake your twins to eat during the day. (And at night until their pediatrician tells you they can sleep longer.) By feeding them at the same times every day you are building a schedule. And more importantly, by waking them to eat you are making sure that you are getting enough breastfeeding sessions during the day and won’t need to make them up at night.
A twin nursing pillow isn’t a necessity, but many twin moms find them to be extremely helpful. There are two main nursing pillows that are most popular with twin moms, the Twin Z pillow and the My Brest Friend Twin Pillow.
Learn the pros and cons of each pillow here: Which Twin Nursing Pillow Should I Buy?
This is where taking notes and maintaining a schedule comes in handy. If you fed your twins half an hour ago, chances are they are not crying because they are hungry. Look for other reasons. If you have gone 2 to 3 hours since the last feeding, your twins are most likely hungry.
You should always carefully assess why your babies are crying, don’t just start feeding them automatically. You may find it is a simple discomfort that is causing the problem.
If you think your twins are hungry then you should, of course, feed them, regardless of the schedule. Following proper wake time guidelines will help you know if your twins are ready to sleep again. Learn more about optimal wake times here: Optimal Wake Times for Babies.
Newborns need to eat 8-12 times in a 24 hour period, and that includes overnight. So in the first few weeks, your twins are probably hungry when they wake at night.
Over time you can take note of when your babies wake up at night. If they consistently wake up at the same time every night, it could be because this has become a habit. Use alternate soothing methods. If they go back to sleep they weren’t hungry.
Hungry babies won’t just go back to sleep, so you will know if it is a hunger issue.
Get more help: Twin Sleep Tips
You can burp your twins one at a time, holding one upright over your shoulder while the other twin continues to nurse.
To burp both twins at the same time, put them on their tummies over your nursing pillow on the floor. Then you can use both hands to gently pat them on the back to help them burp.
Burping is a great time to get your partner involved in the feeding process as well. Once your twins are done breastfeeding you can each take one to burp.
It is legal to openly breastfeed in the whole country, so you can just breastfeed any time you need to. That being said not everyone woman likes feeling exposed while breastfeeding. In that case, you can bring your twin nursing pillow out and find a quiet place to nurse.
Bringing a nursing pillow isn’t always practical. When out in public you can nurse your twins one at a time. You can also pump and bring bottles to feed while out, either for both babies or nurse one and bottle feed the other.
These are just some of the questions most frequently asked. You can start preparing to breastfeed your twins during pregnancy, and it is a good idea to have a plan in place for feeding your twins before they arrive.
Here are additional resources to help with you breastfeed your twins.
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