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time. Others prefer to breast-feed each baby
separately. Likewise, some babies might show
a preference for individual feedings. Try
different approaches or a combination — such
as breast-feeding one baby at a time at night
and two at the same time during the day — to
see what might work best for you and your
babies.
Will I have enough milk?
Most women are able to produce enough milk
to feed twins. Many women are also able to
breast-feed or pump enough breast milk to
feed higher order multiples. To ensure a steady
milk supply, consider these tips:
• Start right after birth.
Breast-feeding your
newborns soon after birth and at least
eight to 12 times every 24 hours will help
you establish your milk supply. The more
often you breast-feed, the more milk you’ll
produce.
• Pump.
If your babies are born early and
are unable to breast-feed right away, begin
pumping shortly after you give birth to
establish your milk supply. Ask a lactation
consultant about renting a hospital-grade
breast pump that allows you to pump both
breasts at once. Double-breast pumps help
stimulate milk production while cutting
pumping time in half. Once breast-feeding
is well established, pumping also allows
other caregivers to help with feedings, which
can be particularly helpful for mothers of
higher order multiples.
What positions can I use to
breast-feed my babies at the
same time?
There are many ways to breast-feed two babies
at the same time. What’s most important is
choosing a position that feels comfortable to you
and your babies.
For example:
• Double-clutch or double-football hold.
In this
position, you’ll hold each baby in a clutch
or football hold. Place a pillow on each side
of your body. You might also want to place
another pillow on your lap. Place each baby
on a pillow beside your body - almost under
your arm - so that the babies’ legs point
toward the back of your chair. Make sure
each baby lies on his or her back with his or
her head at the level of your nipple. Place the
palm of one hand at the base of each baby’s
head to provide support. Alternatively, you
can place both babies - head to head - on
pillows directly in front of you. Be sure to
keep your babies’ bodies turned toward you,
rather than facing up. Use the palms of your
hands to provide support for each baby’s head.
• Cradle-clutch combination.
In this position,
you’ll hold one baby in the cradle position
- with his or her head on your forearm and
his or her whole body facing yours - and the
other baby in the clutch position. If one of
your babies has an easier time latching on to
your breast or staying latched, place him or
her in the cradle position.
• Double-cradle hold.
To use the double-cradle
position, you’ll place both of your babies in
the cradle position in front of you. Position
your babies so that their legs overlap and
make an X across your lap.
At first, you might want or need help positioning
your babies. Enlist someone to help you get
situated until you get the hang of simultaneous
feedings.
• Alternate breasts.
Alternating the breasts
you use to feed each of your babies will help
maintain your milk production, since each
of your babies might have a different style of
feeding. Switching breasts will also give your
babies different views, which stimulates
their eyes. Consider assigning each baby
to one breast for a day and then switching
the next day or giving each baby a different
breast at each feeding.
Remember to always bring your babies to your
breast - rather than bending over or leaning
forward to bring your breast to your babies.
Can I combine breast-feeding
and formula-feeding?
Exclusive breast-feeding is ideal.
However,
some mothers choose to combine breast-
feeding and formula-feeding. For example,
you might replace one or more breast-feeding
sessions with a formula-feeding. Work with
your doctor, your baby’s doctor and a lactation
consultant to determine what works best
for you and your babies. If you give your
babies formula, keep in mind that your milk
production might begin to decrease if you
breast-feed or pump less than eight to 10 times
within 24 hours.
What else do I need to know
about breast-feeding twins or
higher order multiples?
Getting the hang of breast-feeding twins or
other multiples can be difficult, but don’t get
discouraged.
If you’re struggling, meet with a
lactation consultant who has experience with
multiples. Ask your baby’s doctor for help. Talk
to other women who successfully breast-fed
multiples. Ask loved ones for assistance with
household tasks and the care of older siblings
- or consider hiring household help - so that
you can focus on feeding and caring for your
babies.
Be patient with yourself and your babies as
you experience the challenges and rewards of
breast-feeding two or more newborns. Above
all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
H
July/Aug 2013
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