You CAN breastfeed twins. It is very do-able.
Like all things twin-related, you just need to be organised.
‘Organised’ will fast become your new buzz word.
New breastfeeding mothers may struggle with poor attachment, low supply and sore nipples. A new ‘multiple mum’ faces the logistical ‘fun’ of feeding two hungry babies. There are two options available to you. You can either feed one at a time or both together at the same time. Both have their pros and cons, it really depends on what feels more natural for mum.
One At A Time
In an ideal situation when you feed one baby at a time, one will be sleeping and the other awake.
You peacefully feed one gorgeous baby and when the other awakens, you put your now happy-and-full bubba in a bouncer (or rocker or reclined highchair or the pram if out & about) so they can entertain themselves while you then feed gorgeous bubba #2.
However in reality, both babies often will awake within minutes of each other. So what do you do? You feed the hungrier baby first (or the first one awake) and have the other baby close by in a bouncer.
If your second bubba was sleeping but decides to wake up mid way through the first bubba’s feed, it’s time for the one-baby-two-baby shuffle.
Stop the current feed and place your previously-happy baby in the bouncer, ignore upset screaming, grab bubba # 2 (change nappy if need be), place bubba #2 in their bouncer, pick up the first baby and finish feed, swap bubs, finish the second bub’s feed and voila two bubs have been fed. Of course, if you’re lucky to have some help on standby, get them to entertain the waiting or just been fed bub while you finish breastfeeding. The main pro with this method is that you get one-on-one cuddles and the main con is that you will always feel like you’re feeding a baby. Moooooo!
Now feeding two babies at the same time is quicker, you won’t be stopped mid-feed to grab bubba #2 and you get double cuddles. But you do need a personalised ‘feeding station’- a twin nursing pillow, two bouncers (or rockers or reclined highchairs) within arm’s reach, a box of tissues or old school cloth nappy (for any spewy drooly mess) and a 2 seater plus couch to camp out on for each feed. You can either tuck each bub under your arms like a football or have them lying parallel to each other.
With your nursing pillow, you can get by with a pile of normal pillows tucked all around you when they’re itty bitty but as they get heavier they will sink in and you will hunch more hurting your back in the process. If a twin nursing pillow is out of your budget, head to your local foam rubber shop and get them to cut one out for you. The foam needs to be fairly dense but still allowing some sinkage. Memory foam pillows do the same job. The bouncers are for the one-baby-two-baby shuffle.
There’s no rule that says you need to do one over the other. Need to feed in public? One bubba at a time can be easier and much more discreet. In the comfort of your own home with two hungry screaming babies at 3am? Feeding two means a quieter and quicker feed. It’s all about which one works best at the moment!
For more information on breastfeeding, go to the Australian Breastfeeding Association website and for further information and advice on twins and triplets etc head to the Australian Multiple Births Association website.