When parents-to-be receive the news that they are expecting twins, they are initially a bit shocked, and conflicting feelings arise. Because apart from the fact that two babies suddenly announce instead of one, twin pregnancies are classified as high-risk pregnancies. In this article we will reveal Everything about how to Breastfeed Twins?
The future twin parents have many questions: How is pregnancy developing? Will the babies be born prematurely? Is cesarean necessary? What will everyday life be like with two babies? Does the family then need household help?
A woman who is planning to breastfeed her baby will also ask whether it is possible to Everything about how to Breastfeed Twins babies at all. If breastfeeding a baby is often questioned in different situations – this is, even more, the case with twins! It still happens that future twin mothers are advised against breastfeeding from the outset, according to the motto: “This is far too exhausting,” or “You can’t do it at all,” or “How do you want enough milk for two Have babies? “. It is quite possible to breastfeed two babies!
Breastfeed Twins has many advantages for both mother and child:
Breastfeeding helps the uterus to recede more quickly. It is particularly important after a twin pregnancy because the uterus had to expand particularly strongly.
Breastfeed Twins helps save time (about 8-10 hours a week, assuming that babies are sometimes laid together and sometimes separated). There is no need to buy and prepare baby food and also to rinse and sterilize bottles and teats.
The breastfeeding hormones help the mother to be more relaxed – this is a very important factor for twins!
Breastfeeding to babies automatically means that the mother has a lot of skin contact with both babies. It is especially important if she may have been separated from one or both babies for a while.
Breastfeeding helps protect babies from diseases. A nursing twin mother will spend much less time caring for her sick babies in the first year of life – another very important argument for breastfeeding twins.
If the mother-to-be is determined to breastfeed her twins, good breastfeeding preparation makes even more sense than with just one baby! Twin mothers are often discouraged from breastfeeding or are very unsettled by conflicting information.
What is important when breastfeeding twins?
In principle, the same rules apply as when breastfeeding a baby:
1. A natural birth (if possible) favors the start of breastfeeding. Twin mothers are often advised to have a cesarean section, although it is quite possible to give birth to twins in the normal way. It may be useful to get the opinion of a second gynecologist who has experience with twin births.
2. Good bonding (direct skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, placing the babies on the mother’s stomach so that they can crawl up to the breast and drink for the first time) immediately after birth also favors an optimal start of breastfeeding. If bonding is not possible immediately after birth, it can be done a few hours or days later.
3. Milk production must be optimally stimulated. Therefore, both babies should be put on from the start! It is the only way to make enough milk for two children! A later start of breastfeeding is still possible, but then it is more difficult to adapt the milk production to both babies.
If at the beginning only one baby can drink directly at the breast, the other should be pumped out. On the one hand, this guarantees sufficient milk production for both babies, and on the other hand, the baby separated from its mother receives breast milk from the very beginning. If both babies now have to be separated from their mother – because they may have been born too early – the mother should use a fully automatic double pump to pump up her milk production.
Ideally, pumps should be pumped as often as a newborn normally drinks (about 6-8-10x in 24 hours, whereby the pumping frequency can be increased slowly – depending on the mother’s state of health).
4. A twin mother should be shown different breastfeeding positions from the start that allow both babies to be put on at the same time. Putting on at the same time has – just like double pumping – important advantages: on the one hand, time savings (half the time). On the other hand, an automatic increase in the amount of milk, since the simultaneous stimulation of both breasts increases the level of prolactin. Another important advantage of Breastfeed Twins at the same time is that the baby who sucks more strongly can trigger the milk donor reflex and thus make it easier for the other child to drink. Of course, putting on both babies at the same time requires some practice, and some mothers also prefer to breastfeed one baby after the other. Nevertheless, a twin mother should consider breastfeeding both children at the same time from time to time – especially at night – to get enough sleep.
5. Should the other twin always be woken up so that both children can drink at the same time and that breastfeeding takes as little time as possible? This question cannot simply be answered with yes or no. However, it is worth considering, at least at night, trying to wake up the sleeping twin and put both children together so that the mother gets as much sleep as possible. Some twin mothers also want to consciously enjoy some time alone with each child. It depends on various factors which solution is best for which mother-twin pair.
6. Should each twin get “his” breast, or is it better if each baby is offered both breasts alternately? With this question, it is important to note how both babies drink. If they have different drinking patterns (as is often the case), it is advisable to offer both babies alternately both sides so that the breasts are stimulated evenly.
7. A final important point concerns nutrition. Just like for any breastfeeding mother, a twin mother should watch for an increased calorie intake during breastfeeding (about 200-500 calories more in a baby – i.e., twice the number of calories in a twin mother ). So you have to make sure you eat and drink enough! Some twin mothers report that they developed an incredible appetite while breastfeeding and lost weight!
Breastfeeding positions for breastfeeding twins:
Here are a few easy positions for breastfeeding twins
The double back grip (better known as a football posture). This breastfeeding position is probably the best known for Breastfeed Twins. In that position, the mother sits upright, and both babies lie on cushions on the side of the mother with their feet in her back.
The combined cradle and back handle: One twin is placed in the back handle and the other in the cradle handle.
The parallel posture: In this breastfeeding position, the babies’ bodies point in the same direction. One baby is placed in the cradle position as normal, with the mother supporting it with her forearm. The other baby’s body points in the same direction as that of his twin, with the mother having to support his head with one hand.
X position: Both babies are placed in the cradle handle, with the legs of both babies crossing in front of the mother’s belly.
The V-position: The mother lies with a slightly raised torso, well supported on the back with cushions. Both babies are laid out so that their legs form a V in the mother’s lap. This position is very comfortable and, therefore, well suited for at night.
Any position that works well for the mother and babies is fine! The comfort of the mother is particularly important. You should make yourself as comfortable as possible with enough pillows to breastfeed so well supported. A good twin breastfeeding pillow is also often helpful.
Everyday life with twins:
A well-organized and well-thought-out everyday life is essential for the successful breastfeeding of twins. Even before birth, future parents should consider how and where they can get help. Are there family members and / or friends living nearby who are willing to help? Is it possible financially to take advantage of domestic help (at least during the first exhausting months)?
Are there helpful neighbors? Twin parents-to-be can build up a well-functioning aid network so that they can survive the first few months well. A nursing twin mother can expect that she won’t do anything else for the first few weeks or months other than taking care of her babies.
If there are already one or more siblings in the family, it makes sense to prepare them well for the arrival of the twins. The whole household organization should be rethought and kept as simple and practical as possible. For example, it is helpful to set up several baby changing and sleeping places so that everything is always quickly at hand and easily accessible.
Setting up one or more “nursing places” with enough pillows to support, drinks, and snacks for the mother and toys and books for the siblings can also be very helpful.
Twins are more comfortable and usually sleep better if you put them together in a bed or cradle. The easiest way to breastfeed at night is to put the baby’s bed in the parents’ bedroom.
The support of the partner and the family:
If an expectant twin mother wants to breastfeed, she needs special support from her partner and close family and friends.
If breastfeeding is repeatedly questioned or the mother is even criticized, it becomes very difficult – if not impossible – to breastfeed. Therefore, the partner and close relatives should, if possible, be involved in all preparations and especially in breastfeeding preparations.
Finally, I would like to mention that cases of triplets and even quadruplets have been known to be successfully breastfed! Breastfeed Twins is worth it and, as an experienced twin mother, claims: “The problems with breastfed twins are twin problems and not breastfeeding problems.