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Breast-feeding twins:
Making feedings manageable
By Mayo Clinic staff
If you’ve decided to breast-feed
your multiples, congratulations!
Breast-feeding will provide
many benefits for you and your
babies. Still, breast-feeding
twins or other multiples can be
challenging. Understand how
to get started and where to turn
for support.
Planning to breast-feed more than one
baby? Here’s help breast-feeding twins or
other multiples, from getting positioned
and ensuring an adequate milk supply to
combining breast-feeding and formula-
feeding.
What are the benefits of
breast-feeding twins or
higher order multiples?
Breast milk contains the right balance of
nutrients for your babies. The antibodies in
breast milk will boost your babies’ immune
systems. Breast milk also has special benefits
for babies who are born prematurely, as are
many twins and higher order multiples. Breast
milk is easier to digest than is commercial
infant formula - especially for premature
babies who have smaller, less mature stomachs
and intestines. If your babies aren’t able to
nurse at first, you can pump breast milk to be
given to your babies through a feeding tube.
Beyond the health benefits for your newborns,
breast-feeding is likely the most convenient
and least expensive way to feed your babies -
and it might help you lose weight after you give
birth. Breast-feeding twins or other multiples
also ensures frequent interaction between you
and each of your babies.
Should I breast-feed my
babies at the same time?
When you start breast-feeding your twins
or higher order multiples, feed each baby
individually. This will give you a chance to see
how well each baby latches on to your
breast and address any potential issues.
Consider creating a 24-hour chart to
record how long and how often each
baby nurses, as well as the number of
wet and soiled diapers for each baby.
If you feed your babies pumped breast
milk, you can also record how much
they take at each feeding.
Once you’ve established breast-feeding
with each baby, how you breast-feed
is up to you and your babies. Some
mothers find that breast-feeding two
babies at once works well and saves
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July/Aug 2013