Tips/Advice For Nursing Twins

Tips/Advice For Nursing Twins

I highly recommend the My Brest Friend Twin Nursing Pillow Deluxe.  But, when your babies are newborns, you may need to add pillows on top of the nursing pillow in order to bring the babies right up to your breasts. 

Before you sit down to nurse your babies, make sure you have everything you need:  water, snack, reading material, remotes for tv or music, phone, burp cloth, etc.

Drink lots of water.

Tandem feeding saves a lot of time.  It also helps you produce the volume of milk that your babies need quicker. 

In the first couple of months, I used the football hold for both babies.  Now I either do a cradle hold/sitting position kind of thing for both of them, or I cradle one and football hold the other one. 

In the beginning, you have to keep track of how much each baby is eating and how many dirty diapers you change.  I used a recording sheet that the hospital had given me.  At this time, I was exclusively tandem feeding, alternating each side at each feeding.  With the recording sheet and the fact that I was tandem feeding, it was very easy to keep track of which side each baby had last and I knew that when it was time for the next feeding, there would be plenty of milk on each side for both boys.  When they are on different schedules, however, it can be trickier to alternate sides at each feeding and still make sure there is enough milk for each baby on each side.  Let's say, for example, that Chub-Chub ate at 8am on the left side, but Miracle Man doesn't eat until 9 or 9:30.  If I put Miracle Man on the right side at that time, there might not be enough milk for Chub-Chub at 10 or 10:30 yet.  But, if I put Miracle Man on the left side at the 9 or 9:30 time, has my body produced enough for him in that hour to hour and a half?  Well...it depends...on exactly how much time as passed. 

My solution to this:  on the days where the boys are very off from each other, schedule-wise, I simply feed them on one side only on that day.  And if that schedule continues into the next day, I then switch sides for each of the boys.  I find that I have had not had any difficulties with my supply when I do it this way.  And it is easy enough to transition back to tandem feeding. 
When I was at home alone with the boys in the beginning, I would place them both in one of the carrycots for my bumbleride stroller.  I would then lift the carrycot over to the couch and get myself set up, getting myself water and a snack, my iPhone, the remotes for the tv, any reading material that I wanted, a burp cloth, etc.  Then I would sit down on the couch, put the nursing pillow on, put a pillow behind my back, and arrange two more pillows on top of the nursing pillow.  Next, I would lean over and scoop one of the babies out of the carrycot and place him in the correct position...without latching him on yet.  I would choose the first baby based on who needed to be lifted the farthest, across my body.  I would then scoop the second baby up and place him on top of the pillows.  Once I had both babies in front of me, I would latch them on and adjust the pillows so that they were positioned properly. 

As the boys have gotten older (and larger), the tandem nursing has come and gone.  For a while, I was barely tandem nursing them.  They were on different schedules and when they were on the same schedule, I couldn't quite figure out how to lift them and hold them at the same time without the nursing pillow.  I really loved using the nursing pillow when I could position them each in the football hold, but they are too large to do that now, so I haven't really used it for about 2 months or so now. 

Just recently, the boys have been on a much more similar schedule and are often crying to eat at the same time.  I have found that I can still tandem feed them, despite their larger size, if I sit in the right spot.  It's all about location, location, location.  I have an oversized chair in my family room that works very well for this now because it is large enough that I can sit cross-legged and prop each baby up with my knees, yet still have the support of the arms of the chair. 

I also find that it is easy to tandem nurse them in the middle of my bed.  Typically, I sit cross-legged on my bed as well, and again, prop the boys up with my knees.  Naturally, with their increased size and weight, my arms fatigue quicker if I do not put pillows under them to relieve some of the pressure when I am sitting on my bed. 

In these two places, I am not concerned about either one of the boys falling and getting hurt if I accidentally slip while holding them (not that this has EVER happened).  I also like both places because there is plenty of room to spread out, but I also have some support.     

I have found that latching-on while tandem nursing is a little trickier now.  It is still very manageable, however.  You have to get the babies in the correct positions and then kind of tip your arms around with the babies heads and let them do most of the rest.  Thankfully, they are old enough to be able to do that now.

In the beginning, the boys would nurse anywhere from about 10-12 minutes to 45 minutes each (but usually the 10-12 minutes).  Now they consistently nurse around 20 minutes or less.  And they are getting a lot of milk.  When I have needed to pump, I usually produce approximately 5-8 ounces per side, which tells me that this is about how much each baby is eating per feeding. 

You can use a hands free pumping bra for pumping and/or feeding one baby while pumping on the other side, if necessary.  When Miracle Man was in the hospital, I needed to pump and feed Chub-Chub at the same time to keep up my supply when he wasn't eating and to feed him with when he finally was allowed to eat.  I ordered a PumpEase Hands Free Pumping Bra just before going into the hospital.

PumpEase Fabulous 50's Collection hands-free pumping bra

I used this to pump on one side, while tandem feeding Chub-Chub on the other side.  This helped me save a lot of time in the hospital.  I had ordered it a day before going in, but didn't recieve it until the day after Miracle Man's surgery.  So that whole day and a half without it was spent finding a private place to nurse Chub-Chub, nursing him, then going up to the NICU to their pumping room to pump.  I barely had any time in between to eat or visit with family and friends who were there to support us.  Once I had this pumping bra, as difficult as everything else was, at least this part of the experience was easier. 

When nursing one baby, it was very easy to cover up to have a little privacy.  With two babies eating very frequently, and all of the visitors you will have, privacy is a lot harder to come by.  I purchased a nursing cover, a Hooter Hider, to make my nursing sessions in front of company a little more discreet.  Of course, it is obvious that you are nursing under the cover, but at least all of your body parts aren't showing for the whole world to see.  I also bring this cover with me whenever I leave the house so that I have portable privacy. 

Hooter Hiders Nursing Covers

If your baby/babies have difficulty latching-on, talk with your pediatrician.  Your baby/babies may have a tight upper frenulum or be ever so slightly tongue-tied.  A simple laser surgery can fix this problem (ours was also covered by our dental insurance) and make breastfeeding a less painful process for you.  I noticed a big difference in their latching-on once they each had the laser surgery on both areas.

As I continue to nurse the boys, I will add more tips to this page, so check back often!

Websites With Tips and Suggestions

Breastfeeding Twins
La Leche League International
Baby Center
Ask Dr. Sears
Twins Magazine
Having Twins

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