Thank you to CMOTC member Amy A. who solicited this much sought after advice for an honorary member!
I’ve spoken with a new honorary member who is concerned about breastfeeding her twins. We have a lot of CMOTC moms who’ve breastfed your twins and would love for you to share your positive stories. AND if you used a nursing pillow, what brand.
Advice/experience/tips from CMOTC moms:
It is definitely possible! I nursed both of mine until they were 12 months old. It can be a little challenging- it is with even one baby and so for sure with two- but get all the help and support you can and just be prepared to be patient. No matter what anyone tells you, even if they babies are latched on correctly, it does hurt in the beginning. But, if you stick with it and keep trying, it stops hurting after a few weeks. Generally our bodies work on supply and demand. If your babies demand it, your body will supply it. Many moms like to "tandem" feed which means feed them both at the same time, one on each breast. If you are going to do this- I would recommend getting a twins nursing pillow. I did not do this however and just personally preferred to feed one and then the other immediately after. You can do it both ways and see what works best for you. Good luck- I wish you the best!
I just had our twins last Thursday and I am currently breast feeding exclusively. It is tough but it gets easier every day.I bought the 'my breast friend' twins plus nursing pillow and could not do without it. It allows me to feed them at the same time comfortably. I also liked that the cover was a washable plain color, I know some have prints that I didn't care for. I bought it from walmart.com and chose the option to ship to the closest store. This helped us avoid any shipping fees. It was reasonably priced and arrived within a week.Even though we are only 7 days into our journey, I am confident that I will be able to successfully nurse the twins for quite some time. As with our other 2 children, it can be frustrating at times. But the benefits outweigh the frustrations. Hope this helps!
I fed my twins until they were 10-11 mos old & used the MyBreastFeriend pillow. I fed my singleton until he was 13-14 mos old, use the same pillow. Love the pillow for the lumbar cushion & it raises the babies up so you are not hunched over trying to feed them.
She should get the EZ to nurse breast feeding pillow and order it before her babies are born so that it arrives in time (mine took 2+ weeks to arrive).
The first few weeks/months can be very challenging. It is a good idea to have a lactation consultant come to your home when you are ready to tandem feed. Tandem feeding shouldn't be attempted until both babies are able to latch well on their own and mom is totally comfortable.
It can be challenging at time, especially if one has any issues. I had one stellar nurser and one that ended up having reflux (swallowing hurt him), so he could not stay latched due to this (which we didn't know for months and lots of tests and meds). I breastfed and pumped with the twins for seven months. I also had a singleton before whom I breastfed for eleven months. I used the EZ 2 nurse twins pillow when my second twin was finally able to breastfeed and my boppy for my singleton and if I fed just one twin at a time (once the second was able to BF).
If I had to give some advice, especially to a twin mom, it is try to relax and not worry if it does not go smoothly at first, chances are it will soon. And, if it doesn't and you have to supplement with formula a little, don't feel guilty or like you have failed.
Next, line up a lactation consultant to come in at least once during your hospital stay. They are extremely helpful.
Unless you have stellar nursers right off the bat, or shortly thereafter, you will most likely need to have someone there to help you get them on the pillow and latched for a while. It takes a while before they, and you, get the hang of it. Once they do, a couple months in, it gets a lot easier.
Get a good nursing pillow, like the EZ 2 nurse pillow. It is contoured and very big so they fit nicely. It is huge and bulky, but it works.
Pump. Get a good double pump and pump a lot. My supply was not plentiful with my singleton or twins, so I had to pump extra. When I went back to work, it really went down. I wish I would have pumped more, but sometimes you can't. If you can, do it and stock up as much as you can.
Feeding them together is good for your supply and also efficient, but sometimes having the one on one nursing experience with one child is very special. Consider doing this sometimes too. It takes longer, obviously, but it is worth it.
Don't feel bad if you have to supplement, many of us have had to do it as well.
If you need support, reach out and get it. The CMOTC moms are there for you, as well as visiting lactation consultants.
I am breastfeeding my 7 month old twins, and I'm here to tell you... it CAN be done!
Some of the things I've learned along the way:
1. If your babies are early, lazy, or just plain sleepy at first, try changing their diapers before nursing.... Or, remove their clothing as they nurse to keep them awake. You can also rub their head or feet to stimulate them.
2.The jaw should be working in such a way that you can see the motion under the ear when they're transferring milk and not just sucking for comfort.
3. Babies suck for more reasons than just to eat. Comfort, stress, and to feel safe are a few of them. Being with mom is as much a need in the early months as eating. Babies don't know what century they're born in, or what kind of socio-economic climate. They don't know they're safe and sound unless they are with the food and warmth... YOU!
4. When a baby "ups the suck" it doesn't mean your milk supply is low. It means your babies are increasing your supply to get ready for a growth spurt. They generally hit three or four growth spurts before six months, and will nurse more accordingly.
5. Your breasts will feel full and sometimes engorged for the first six weeks or so. After that, they may feel less full, but you will still be making milk.
6. Nipple confusion is a real problem. If you have to supplement in the early days, try spoon feeding or a supplemental nursing system (SNS) instead. After four to six weeks of successful breastfeeding it's "safer" to introduce a paci or artificial nipple.
7. If your nipples hurt beyond the first few days, or if they come out looking like a lipstick, or if your baby isn't transferring milk well, your baby might have tongue-tie. Ask your pediatrician or an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant about the quick procedure to correct this.
8. It really helps to see someone breastfeed twins. Find a support group!
9. There are two kinds of breastmilk. The foremilk is the milk that comes out first. It quenches thirst and is high in lactose. Too much of this milk can make your baby gassy. The hindmilk is what comes out later. It's higher in fat and protein and is thicker and whiter in color. This is the stuff babies need to grow grow grow! Nursing twins at the same time actually helps get them the hindmilk because usually there is one twin on each breast for all the feedings in a day.
10. Keep yourself hydrated and eating well. Your body can make milk for two babies-- it's all about the demand and supply!
If you have more experience, advice or tips to share regarding breastfeeding twins, or even resources, please comment below.