I knew from day one that I would give my all to breastfeeding twins. And, I also knew that I would have to if I wanted to nurse two babies. I read as many books as I could find on the topic of breastfeeding twins. The books were helpful, but I realized later on that I relied too heavily on the experiences of the moms who wrote the books. The overall idea it gave me was that keeping up your supply with the babies’ demand is the biggest hurdle (not always the case) to nursing twins. Hopefully, the next few tips will help if you are having twins and planning on breastfeeding!
Don’t start pumping unless there is a problem
The books I read encouraged a mom to bring her pump to the hospital and begin pumping right away. This is where I went wrong. I should have trusted my body to produce what the babies needed, let the doctor tell me if there was a problem with their weight gain, and pumped at that point. Instead, I ended up tricking my body into thinking I was making milk for quadruplets.
If you end up overproducing, your babies may only be able to drink the foremilk which doesn’t contain the satiating fat of the hindmilk. This causes babies to want to nurse more frequently and may cause gas and fussiness. It took a couple of months to regulate the problem after I realized what was going on. Here is a great article on signs of oversupply from La Leche League.
You may not be able to tandem nurse for a while
I thought I had all the tandem positions down. The football hold, the double cradle, a mix of both, all of these seemed impossible in the hospital. I had the lactation consultant helping me, but I just couldn’t figure it out with their wobbly heads. I nursed them one by one until they could hold their heads up. Eventually, they would walk and crawl up to me…way easier!
Feeding tandem in public is really tricky
I can count on one hand the number of times I actually did this. I respect that everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to feeding in front of other people. Feeding both of them at the same time required a lot of exposure that I wasn’t comfortable with at the time. The few times I did feed them at the same time in public one would always be peeking out of the nursing cover to see what was going on.
Everyone will ask you how in the world you do it
I still get asked this when I tell people that I nursed twins for 18 months… IDK?! I just did! Seriously, though, I made up my mind long before I gave birth that I would be able to. I think there’s a lot to say about the power of our minds and will do to something.
You will probably end up with cabbage on your boobs
When you are actively nursing twins, the feeding requirements of each baby will differ at times. This may cause a clogged duct. These are awful, and the only advice the doctor gave me was a warm compress, feed a lot, and put a piece of cabbage on your boob. Eventually, it goes away.
Whether you breastfeed for one day or several years, giving it your all and listening to your body and your baby is most important in my book!