Full-term breastfeeding is a major commitment and may seem even more intimidating if you are preparing to nurse/pump for twins. However, it is especially important to breastfeed in the event of multiple births because breast milk contains the perfect amount of nutrients to support premature babies, which often occurs more with twins or multiples.
Most women are able to produce enough breast milk to support multiples. In order to ensure adequate milk supply you should begin breastfeeding or pumping soon after birth, and at least 8 to 12 times every 24 hours; the more frequently you express breast milk, the more milk your body produces.
The staff at the Mayo Clinic have offered tips for pumping/breastfeeding twins in a recent publication. These tips are outlined below and provide a good starting place for mothers preparing to nurse multiples.
The Mayo Clinic recommends feeding twins individually when you first begin breastfeeding in order to provide a clear insight on how well each baby latches on and to also better address any issue that may occur. Perhaps consider creating a 24-hour chart to record feeding quality and duration for each infant. It is also recommended to note the number of wet and soiled diaper changes for each baby. The aforementioned charting system can be implemented whether you are pumping or nursing your infants. Once breastfeeding is established with each baby you can consider simultaneous feedings to save time.
One way to feed twins simultaneously is via the double-clutch or double-football hold. For this position you’ll hold each child in a clutch or football hold. Use a pillow on each side of your body and your lap. Place each baby on a pillow beside your body, almost under your arm. The babies’ legs should point toward the back of your chair, and you’ll need to make sure to support their backs with your forearms. Secure the babies’ bottoms with the insides of your elbow, and keep the babies’ heads at nipple level. Gently place your hand on the back of your babies’ heads to provide additional support. Your babies should remain head-to-head on the pillows directly in front of you, but be sure to keep their bodies are turned toward yours.
The cradle-clutch combination is another option. This position requires you to hold one baby in the cradle position with his/her head on your forearm and their body facing yours, while holding the other baby in the clutch position as mentioned previously. If one baby latches better than the other, choose to hold that child in the cradle position for feedings.
Another option for nursing twins is the double-cradle hold. Simply place both babies in the cradle position in front of you. Their legs should cross over your lap like an X.
Many women elect to express breast milk via pumping to implement bottle feedings with the added support of a spouse or family member for feedings. A double electric breastpump allows for quick breast milk expression from both breasts at once.
Most insurance policies provide coverage for breastfeeding equipment and supplies when obtained through a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider such as Aeroflow Healthcare Breastpumps. Submit your information here to see if you qualify for a breastpump through insurance. One of Aeroflow’s dedicated team members will contact you within five business days to review your coverage and discuss breastpump options. Having the support of a double electric breastpump will take you a long way in remaining committed to full-term breastfeeding, so submit your details today. You’ll be one step closer to prepared by owning a double electric breastpump through Aeroflow Healthcare!