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Breastfeeding Twins: Expert Tips, Finding The Right Feeding Position And More

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is observed every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 120 countries. Initiated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 1991, the event aims to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant's life, which yields many health benefits.

World Breastfeeding Week was first celebrated in 1992 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2021 is 'Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.' The focus is on how breastfeeding contributes to the survival, health and wellbeing of all and why it is imperative to spread awareness on the importance of breastfeeding worldwide.

Ask any new parent, and they will tell you how tiring and exhausting it is to take care of a baby. Now, imagine what it will be like for the parents of twins. Having twins is like having double the joy, a double dose of cuteness and a double shower of blessings.

As overwhelming as it may seem, caring for twins is actually possible. But with it all comes double the trouble too. Twins require twice the amount of care that a single baby would need. You will also need two of everything. But if you are to be blessed with two bundles of joy instead of one, fret not. The first thing you need to do is to build a support system.

Breastfeeding Twins: What You Need To Know

It might seem like a daunting task to feed twins, but it is possible. The body makes milk to meet the demand, so you will not have to worry if you produce enough milk. You may choose to breastfeed the babies together, but it might be not easy to do, as they may have different needs.

Breastfeeding one baby after the other will mean that you will spend a majority of the day breastfeeding. If you are determined to breastfeed, you may choose to pump milk and store it. This way, you can breastfeed one baby while the bottle feeds the other. You can shift the sequence for the next feed [1][2].

Here are some tips to ensure safe and healthy breastfeeding for your twins:

1. Create a schedule: You must develop a nursing schedule for your twins. In the first few weeks, the twins need to breastfeed eight to 12 times per day, which is every two to three hours, day and night. Experts advise that each feeding session should last about 20 to 30 minutes. You can start nursing your twins on the same schedule initially; however, their schedules may change [3].

2. Try tandem style: Tandem nursing is breastfeeding more than one child during the same period of time. Tandem nursing can help increase milk supply, reduce the engorgement and plugged ducts, and help connect the two babies [4][5].

3. Consider a nursing pillow: You can use two pillows for the twins, and it has been shown to make it easier to position your babies. You can use two regular pillows or rolled-up towels.

4. Find the right nursing position: Try positioning both babies using the pillow to support their heads. There are different types of feeding positions or holds that you can try between and experiment until both you and the babies are comfortable [6].

5. Switch between the breasts: Switch breasts for each baby at each feeding or at least every switch side every day, so both breasts are stimulated equally.

6. Focus on your latch: As you will be feeding two babies, make sure it doesn't cause your nipples to crack or get sore [7].

7. Find what works for you and your twins: If a specific type of feeding position is not working for you, do not worry. What is important is that you choose to feed in a position that is comfortable for you and the babies.

8. Ask for help: Many moms struggle at first with nursing twins, so don't be afraid to ask for help. Discuss with your paediatrician or a lactation consultant for assistance [8].

On A Final Note...

If you are happy and relaxed, your babies will be relaxed and happy too. Getting a good night's sleep might be near to impossible with twin newborns, but you must make use of every moment you can spare for sleep.

Ask your family to take care of your babies for a while or help out with the chores at your household. This will free up some time to relax. Be sure to eat well too.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I feed my twins together or separately?

Ans: Each method has its merits. You might feed individually while you sort out the basics, then move to time-saving tandem breastfeeding, that is, nursing both babies together.

2. What I can do to make breastfeeding twins easier?

Ans: Experts advise that it will be trial and error for you and your babies. Remember, they're also learning. One baby may find feeding easier, need more frequent feeds, or gain weight more quickly, so treat them as individuals. Take expert advice whenever necessary.

Story first published: Thursday, August 5, 2021, 18:45 [IST]