Breast-feeding twins or multiples may seem like a daunting task, especially during those early days. But actually, breast-feeding twins or multiples is no different in principle to breastfeeding singletons. Experiment with various positions of holding baby and settle for one that’s right for you.
There’s No Need to Despair. You Can Make Enough Milk
Milk production works on the supply-and-demand principle. So even if you have three babies nursing, your body can step up production to meet the needs. However, you will have to take in more calories and liquids then most breastfeeding mothers do. Eating full, healthy meals and snacks is now more important than ever.
Tips for Breastfeeding Twins or More
Feed Them All At Once
It is better to feed your babies simultaneously, as otherwise, just when you’re finished with one, another will need to be fed – and it can be exhausting! If you have twins, you can feed them together by holding both in the football hold position, or in cradle holds with their bodies crossing each other. It’s also possible to feed holding one baby in the cradle hold and the other in the football hold.
Alternate Breasts With Each Baby
Babies are individuals, and you may find that one may have a better appetite than the other. You can make up for this difference in demand by giving both babies the chance to use both sides. For instance, if one baby is a bigger drinker than the other, alternating will keep the supply in both breasts even.
Supplement With Formula If Needed
If you have triplets or higher multiples, formula may become necessary. You can breastfeed two and have the other baby bottle-fed with formula at the same time. Keep rotating so that all the babies get their turn at the breast.
Get Extra Help
Delivering twins or multiples is very tiring, and the demands of caring for them are sure to be exhausting. You may have to think of pumping breast milk so that your partner or someone else can help with the nighttime feeding. Line up family or friends in advance to help with housework, cooking and baby care. You could also consider hiring help in the form of a baby nurse or assistant.
Don’t Give Up
Breast milk is crucial for baby. Since multiples are often small and/ or premature, they need the benefits of breast milk even more. Even a few short weeks or months of breast milk, or even a combination of breast milk and formula can give your babies a real health boost.