Preparing for Breastfeeding Twins

If you're planning to breastfeed your twins, remember it is just like learning any other new skill. And you get better with practice. Here's how to prepare.

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  • Talk to your OB and pediatrician about breastfeeding.
  • Read a few books, such as the New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Don't Go It Alone

  • See if your hospital has a lactation consultant to help new moms learn about breastfeeding. Many hospitals offer this service for free.
  • If not, consider hiring a certified lactation consultant yourself. For more information, contact the International Lactation Consultant Association.
  • Keep handy your lactation coach's and pediatrician's phone numbers.
  • Seek out support from other moms. There may be a local "mothers of multiples" groups in your area that can offer you tips on how to breastfeed twins successfully.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing.
  • Be prepared for some breastfeeding challenges. It may take patience to figure out how to get your hungry babies to latch onto your breasts.

Make It a Family Decision

  • Talk to your partner about breastfeeding.
  • Plan how to make your mate feel involved in feeding.
  • Consider purchasing or renting a breast pump if needed. It is often covered by insurance. Local pharmacies sometimes have rentals or sturdier hospital grade breast pumps if need be.

Plan the Details

  • Talk with your doctor about how you should eat when breastfeeding. Ask how to know if your babies have any intolerance to certain foods you eat.
  • Ask your doctor about birth control while breastfeeding.
  • Talk to other moms who breastfeed or have breastfed. Ask them how they fit pumping into their work schedule and how they coped with sore nipples.

Keep in mind that twins are likelier to be delivered pre-term and may need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for a time. If that is the case and you are committed to feeding them breastmilk, the pump is critically important to make sure they have enough during their hospital stay.

Get Set to Go

  • Set up a quiet corner or room for breastfeeding.
  • Many women find the u-shaped pillows particularly helpful for nursing.
  • Some women find it helps to have their feet raised on a footstool.
  • Have your nursing bras washed and ready, if you haven't already started wearing them.
  • Line up several button down shirts or dresses to make nursing easier.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on January 17, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

University of Florida: "Emotional and Physical Preparation for Breast Feeding."

American Academy of Pediatrics:  "Things to Avoid When Breastfeeding," "Expressing Breastmilk on the Job," "Common Myths about Breastfeeding," "Breastfeeding Positions," "New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition, 2011."

CDC: "The CDC Guide To Breastfeeding Interventions," "Educating Mothers."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Manage Your Stress."

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