Tips for Breastfeeding Twins

January 21, 2018

Tips for Breastfeeding Twins

Breastfeeding my twin girls is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a mother, but also one of the most rewarding. The juggling act, perfecting the latch, having enough milk, giving top ups; and expressing after every feed was tiresome in the early days but as with everything in motherhood we got better and now it’s a perfected art. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to breastfeed my girls (7 months and counting!) and I’m so passionate about helping other mummies do it with ease. I will say though, while breastfeeding has been my choice; we were lucky enough that it worked for us, fed is by far best. Regardless of how your baby is given milk, nothing can replace the love and affection you give your little cubs.

The early days 

breastfeeding twins

Now

breastfeeding dress

Be kind to yourself

I never actually knew breastfeeding was harder than putting the baby to the boob. No one ever talks about the struggles or hardships that come along with breastfeeding and when it wasn’t second nature I got a bit of a shock. No idea why.. I’d never done it before and neither had the babies! Luckily for us it was only a few days before both babies were latching well enough to have good feeds but we did need to tailor a few things to make it work. There are so many different positions to feed in, so many techniques to keep the babies feeding (and not falling asleep) and so many tricks to make it work for mumma and bubba so if things aren’t going to plan don’t beat yourself up!! There will be a solution, it sometimes just takes a little work but this is by no means a failure! Very rarely are we experts at something the first time we try.. breastfeeding is no different.

Find what works for you

Before the girls were born I always thought I would tandem feed because it was more time efficient and I wouldn’t need to worry about a baby screaming while she waited for a feed. In reality though, tandem feeding didn’t work for us. I persisted, probably longer than I should have, lots of tears were shed (from all three of us) and in the end, I decided that what twin feeding ‘should’ look like wasn’t for me. And you know what? THAT’S OK!! There is no right or wrong when it comes to breastfeeding your babies so whether that’s direct feeding, exclusively expressing or mixed feeding, whatever works for you and your babies is what’s right!Initially we had to wake the girls for feeds to help them put on weight so demand feeding wasn’t an option. We decided to do seven feeds in 24 hours with one four hour stretch during the day and two four hour stretches overnight (the rest were three hourly). Whatever you decide to do make sure you’ve cleared it with your midwife or doctor. The other little trick that really worked for us (and still does) is giving them a bottle of expressed milk as their last feed before bed. This way I knew exactly what the girls were getting so I knew they were full plus I liked the fact they were both being fed at the same time before their biggest sleep. This still works for us now and it’s great because daddy loves to help out and it gives him quality time with them as well. Including daddy in the feeding routine has been super important for us as he wanted to be hands on. This has also been great for me to get a break whenever I needed it because anyone can give them a bottle now.

Have a breastfeeding station

I had my own designated space on the couch to breastfeed from, it’s where I spent most of my days in the first few weeks! I chose to feed in the lounge room because I had the most space and it was the easiest place for people to lend a hand when I needed it. Next to me on the couch was a basket where I kept everything I needed - snacks, water, breast pads, nipple cream, burp cloths. I also keep the pump right here because I needed that after every feed. Make things easier for yourself mumma, you’ve got more than enough to worry about!

My go to box

breastfeeding

Helping your milk supply

One thing I was worried about (well, one of many!) was having enough milk for twins. Again, my naivety didn’t serve me here and I didn’t understand the concept of supply and demand! Nonetheless, I did do a few things to help bring my milk in and boost my supply. Oats, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast and milo were the ingredients that worked best for me. I would have oats for breakfast, a milo as a mid-afternoon snack and I’d use the brewer’s yeast and flaxseed in bliss balls. Lactation cookies were also great! It sounds silly but having snacks that I knew were going to help with my supply actually encouraged me to eat better!

Look after you

It’s so easy as a mother to put ourselves second or even third but when you have two (or more) children relying on you this simply can’t happen. I learned early on that if I didn’t eat enough and drink enough water my milk supply was affected, which meant my babies were affected. To help with the busyness that is being a mother I made sure I had meals ready to go in the fridge and snacks within arm’s reach. Simple things I could eat with one hand were the best!! Getting enough rest is also super important when you’re breastfeeding. Now I’m hearing you, “Rose, I have two babies needing me every second of the day when am I meant to find time to rest?!”. I totally get it but if you don’t rest your body can’t produce milk as efficiently which means your babies won’t thrive. The housework can wait, the washing can wait!! Get a nap in where you can. Even just putting your feet up for 5 minutes will help. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help as well!

One handed snacks were life!

breastfeeding twins snacks

Support

The most important thing in any breastfeeding journey is making sure you have plenty of support around you. There are going to be wall kicking moments where you’ll feel like it’s all to hard and want to give up so having that support network who are cheering you on is fundamental to having a successful breastfeeding journey. The amount of times my hubby has sat there, holding my boob in the baby’s mouth while I’m balling my eyes out is countless! But without him we wouldn’t be where we are today. Our local breastfeeding centre was also a huge help so reach out to the experts because they know this stuff like the back of their hand. We saw a lactation consultant for a few weeks and her help was priceless. Mostly she gave me the confidence that what I was doing worked but she also helped with latching and positions. They also did weighted feeds for us so I was sure the girls were getting exactly what they needed to from their feeds which can be a huge concern for breastfed babies as there’s no real way to tell how much they consume. If you have any doubts or concerns at all I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek advice. Even if it’s just for piece of mind it’s worth it! Remember also that it could be bubs that needs a little help, it’s not always mumma. Another huge support for me has been other mums. No one else gets it like they do so finding a tribe you connect with is so helpful.

Above all mummas, there is no ‘perfect’ way of breastfeeding and everyone’s journey will be different so do what works best for you and your babies! Trust in yourself, your body and your babies.

Bio and social links

Rose Ellis is a first-time mum to twin girls, Summer and Pailsee. Married to her high school sweetheart, Rose is a stay at home mumma and business babe running an online business coaching women on their health goals. She blogs about the whirlwind that is motherhood, her love for health and wellness and is passionate about creating a space for mumma’s to feel empowered, motivated and inspired to live a life completely fulfilled with who they are.  

Instagram: @roselouiseloves
Facebook: Rose Louise - Health, Wellness and Mummyhood
Email: rose@rose-louise.com





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