Have the babies been born healthy and strong?
If the babies have been born prematurely or strong they may not have an effective suck. This may I turn cause a delay in milk production. In such instances formula feeding is considered.
Is the Mother too tired?
If the mother is unwell or severely exhausted, then formula milk can be considered.
Breastfeeding at The Same Time
A typical mother has enough milk for all her babies. This is because the supply is influenced greatly by the babies’ demand. Breastfeeding both babies at the same time offers a better mother and baby bond. Additionally, it cuts feeding time in half allowing the mother to have adequate rest during feeds. If one baby is awake and needs a feed, it is advisable to wake the other baby up to feed; this will maximize your rest time.
Breast Feeding Alternately
This is considered when both babies are too small and need focused individual feeds. Sometimes, the mother may not have enough support to handle feeding both babies at the same time and may opt to feed both children individually.
It is essential for a mother with twins to get help from either the partner, friends or close relatives when feeding the babies at the same time. A twin nursing pillow may also be ideal to make the mum as comfortable as possible.
Ideal Positions for Nursing Twins
Always ensure you are comfortable before nursing your twins. A few positions for nursing that you could consider are:
This is when both babies are feeding and their stomachs wrap around yours while their feet extend to either side of your body. Pillows can be used to support both babies.
This position supports alternate feeding where one baby nurses on one side and his body extends across you. The other baby is at the lap waiting for its turn. This position is advantageous to both twins as they feel each other’s presence when nursing.
Nursing lying down
Lying on your back with a pillow tucked in for comfort, both babies can suckle on each breast while lying parallel to you on either side.
Myths Surrounding of Twins
- Not to share- A common myth among mothers in Kenya is that each twin should be allocated their own breast and they should never share. This is not true. In fact sharing during feeds ensures that both twins get the right amount of nutrients and gain weight well.
- You won’t have enough milk –lactation generally improves with the suckling demand. Typically a mother can produce milk for more than one baby. If babies are not gaining weight properly, you may need to consult a lactation consultant. Read more on baby weight here.
With these points in mind, it is important to enjoy feeding time to help the mother-child bonding.
Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019