Double the Joy, Double the Jitters
Having My Babies
Two Breasts, Two Babies?
Most mothers of twins wonder about two main things, says Julie Morreale, leader of the DeKalb, Ill., La Leche League: "Will I be able to make enough milk, and will I ever sleep?" Morreale, herself a mother of five including 3-year-old twin girls, reassures mothers that their bodies can, indeed, supply the nutritional needs of two babies at the same time. "Your body will produce enough milk for twins, as long as you're feeding on demand. Some people try to set up a schedule: That's a fine thing if it works for you once they're 4 to 6 months old, but newborns and breastfeeding babies are made to nurse more often, and twins nurse more often yet," she says.
"Nurse early, nurse often," agrees Zoeie Kreiner, who's worked with hundreds of mothers of twins on breastfeeding issues. "The more you nurse, the more your body produces."
Nursing your twins at the same time, if you can, will help you get a little more rest at a time when you can expect to feel like a zombie. How do you accomplish this feat of coordination? Kreiner suggests trying a few positions. First, sit down on the couch with a baby on either side, perpendicular to you. First pick up whichever baby is the stronger nurser at the time -- since she'll pull the milk down for her twin. Then try the "double football hold" -- with each baby's head on one breast and her bottom resting on whatever you're sitting on, with your hands supporting her head. Or the cradle position, with one baby cradled in the crook of your arm and second baby's head almost in the other baby's lap. Kreiner notes that many twins like that posture because they're used to being so close.
For the most hands-on advice you can find, get involved with a local mothers-of-twins-and-multiples group, which will be easy to find with the help of the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (www.nomotc.org). Many groups have a "stork mom" program, pairing experienced twin mothers with nervous newbies to answer questions like, "How do you get through the grocery store?" and "How do you handle all those car seats?"