Twins! The word evokes a sense of excitement in some…and a sense of fear in others. I was in the latter camp when, at 10 weeks along, I found out we were having not one, but two babies. I had never in my lifetime dreamt that I would have twins, and with two older boys already, I was overwhelmed at the thought!
After announcing to the world that we were having twins, then came the repeated commentary. “Congratulations” was not always the typical response. We often heard comments that were, well, less than optimistic about the situation. “Better you than me!” “Wow, you’ll sure have your hands full.” We even heard, “I’m so sorry, that is going to be so difficult for you.” Then, as my due date approached I began to get questions and comments regarding breastfeeding. All of my friends and family knew I had exclusively breastfed my older boys, so they were curious as to how I was going to handle this situation. “Certainly you’re not going to breastfeed your twins, are you?” “If you do breastfeed, you’ll have to pump.” “You will have to supplement with formula, you know.” Even the hospital lactation consultant told me I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed my twins exclusively for the first eight weeks. She sent me home with a detailed pumping-nursing-supplementing plan. And the commentary went on and on…
You Can Breastfeed Twins
I am here to tell you, from experience, if you want to exclusively breastfeed your twins, you can! Don’t let the naysayers say otherwise. My twins were exclusively breastfed from the day they came home from the hospital until almost a year old, and at 17 months have not yet weaned. Having the right disposition and mindset will do wonders for your success in breastfeeding twins! If you have never breastfed, do remember, it’s not easy for everyone to get started. Be sure to ask for help. Ask for help from a trusted family member or friend that is experienced in breastfeeding. Ask a lactation consultant or contact your local La Leche League.
Breastfeeding twins is a juggling act—literally! I found that it was important to help my babies learn how to breastfeed individually before I could tandem nurse them. Because most twins are premature and small, they sometimes need a little extra help learning how to latch appropriately and really getting the hang of nursing. One of the tools I’ve found indispensable in tandem breastfeeding is using a twin nursing pillow. I used the My Brest Friend Twin Nursing pillow. I used it when my babies were tiny and I still use it now when they’re 17 months old! I’ve also heard good things about the EZ-2 Nurse Twin Nursing Pillow. If you plan to tandem nurse your babies, I highly recommend you purchase one of these. I wanted to be able to tandem nurse from day one. While I’ve read some women can do this—and more power to you if you can—it just didn’t happen for me and my boys. My twins, like I mentioned above, needed a little one-on-one attention. After they got the hang of nursing, and had better head control, tandem nursing was a breeze. It took just a few weeks and we were tandem nursing more often than not. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t tandem nursing from the start—you’ll get there eventually!
Breastfeeding is incredibly important to both your babies health, your health, and bonding with your baby. Make learning how to breastfeed them a priority and surround yourself with positive supportive people on this journey. Don’t beat yourself up if you need help or find that you do need to supplement your babies along the way. As a mom of twins you have too much on your plate to waste energy berating yourself. Enjoy your babies and the journey with them—they grow up too fast.
Trisha is a mom to 4 fabulous boys and 1 wonderful husband. She stays busy homeschooling Bradley (8), trying to keep up with Cameron (almost 4), and loving on her twinsies Dylan & Elliot (1). Trisha loves to research and read about a number of topics. She and her husband write about a great diversity of subjects on their blog Intoxicated on Life including: faith, family, homeschooling, health, and anything else that strikes her fancy! They hope you’ll also enjoy following Intoxicated on Life on facebook and twitter.
*This is a guest post. Thoughts and opinions don’t necessarily reflect our own.