I have breastfed all six of my children for at least a year and the twins were no different. I was *very* determined to make it work and we made it to about 14 months before they weaned. My twins were preemies and we had to supplement for the first few weeks. They were in the NICU for 8 and 14 days. While they were there, I had to pump every 2 hours. Once they were home I would nurse them every 2 hours, then give them a bottle to make sure they had enough. As my supply increased, they took less and less of the bottle and eventually stopped taking it all together. I never had to supplement with any of my other babies, but with them being in the NICU it took longer for my supply to get up to the point of supporting two babies.
It was tons of work to nurse twins. In the beginning, it felt like I did nothing but nurse them all day. But it was something I really wanted to do, so I stuck with it and was able to make it past the one year mark. (They are now happy healthy boys who just started high school!)
It doesn’t work out for everyone that tries. I know lots of twin moms that tried to nurse their twins, but for one reason or another were not successful. I think it helped that I had already successfully breastfed three older children over a year each. In the end, it doesn’t hurt to try and it will give you twins a great start at life. Even if you end up having to supplement, it is still worthwhile doing.
Tips for Nursing Twins
Get a nursing pillow so you can nurse them both at the same time. The football hold works great for this. In the beginning you may need another person to help you by holding one twin while you latch the other one on. After a while you will become an expert at juggling both babies and won’t need the extra set of arms.
Pick a comfy spot and make it your nursing area. Keep your nursing pillow in this spot and place water, snacks, books, magazines, tv remotes, etc. on a table within easy reach. Drinking lots of water and consuming plenty of calories will help you produce enough milk for both babies.
If you develop sore, cracked, or bleeding nipples you should get some lanolin. There are a several brands made just for nursing moms. It is safe to nurse with it on your nipples. Reapply each time you nurse.
Always feed them both at the same time. If one wakes up hungry and wants to nurse, wake the other one up and nurse them both together. Not doing so can result in you literally spending every minute of the day nursing one baby or the other. Keeping them on the same schedule will help keep you sane.
Leaking tends to happen more frequently with nursing twin moms. This can especially become a problem as they start to sleep longer and stretch out the time between nursing sessions. You may be one of the lucky ones that never leaks, but to be on the safe side invest in a small box of nursing pads just in case.
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