Infant - Breast milk
Author: TLN

What to Expect When Breastfeeding Twins

You will produce enough milk

Many parents breastfeeding twins worry that they won’t be able to keep their breast milk supply up, or that they won’t produce enough milk to successfully feed both babies. The fact of the matter is that the more you breastfeed, the more milk you’ll make: Frequent breastfeeding and pumping help maintain your supply. And if you notice a dip in your production, don’t panic. Your supply will naturally fluctuate during the first year of breastfeeding, and there are ways to restore it.

You may want to consider a nursing pillow

The Mayo Clinic recommends feeding each baby individually when you first start nursing so you can get a sense of how they latch. Once you’re comfortable nursing each baby, try to get into a routine of feeding both infants at the same time. Yes, it will probably be hard to wake up a peacefully sleeping baby for a feeding session, but you could be stuck in a never-ending breastfeeding cycle if you nurse one child at a time.

One of the best ways to breastfeed twins simultaneously is with the help of a comfy nursing pillow. Each twin gets one side of the pillow so you can feed them in the football hold position. You might need help positioning each baby when you first start, but as you continue to use the pillow you’ll become more familiar with how to set yourself up comfortably.

You will need a good breast pump

Twins are more likely to be premature, and if your babies are receiving treatment in the NICU, you may need to bottle-feed. Plus, if you plan to head back to work or pump on the go, a pump will come in handy long after you bring your little ones home. You can order an insurance-covered breast pump that suits your unique needs through TLN.

For a little extra help boosting your milk supply, you can also consider renting a hospital-grade breast pump. While there is an out-of-pocket cost, you won’t need to commit to any time frame. Simply use the rental to increase your supply and return it when you’re ready to transition to a regular breast pump.

You will burn a lot of calories

Breastfeeding one baby burns about 500 calories every day, so breastfeeding two babies burns around 1,000 calories a day. That means parents of twins need to be extra vigilant about eating enough throughout the day. Optimal nutrition while breastfeeding is essential for keeping your milk supply and energy levels up. Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet to keep both you and your baby happy and healthy!

You may want to build a backup milk stash

When you’re out of the house on a little me-time excursion, you’ll want to be sure that whoever is watching your babies will be able to feed them just as you would. Work towards building up a backup stash of breast milk, and invest in a bottle that your baby will take without fussing. Introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby can be tricky, so get the right gear to make it a smooth transition.

You might want to try different nursing positions

While you get comfortable feeding both babies at once, ask your partner or a nurse to help you position the twins. There are a variety of breastfeeding positions you can use to simultaneously nurse both babies, so try them out to find the position that works best for you. If you’re struggling to successfully position and latch both infants, schedule a lactation consultation with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. IBCLCs are the experts in breastfeeding and can offer you one-on-one help to set you up for success.

For more resources on breastfeeding and pumping, view all TLN articles here.