If you are expecting twins or more, it might be daunting to think what your breastfeeding journey might have in store for you. Breastfeeding one baby on its own can be overwhelming, so thinking of breastfeeding more than one seems a little crazy.
Don’t stress yourself out though. Your body is absolutely incredible, and it is more than capable of breastfeeding more than one baby. Your breasts will be able to keep up with the milk demand, but what about the actual placement of the babies, the times and the logistics of it all? Here are a few practical tips and tricks on how to tackle breastfeeding multiples:
Don’t rush a schedule – While you might want to get your life into order by establishing and maintaining a schedule with your multiples, you need to let them feed on demand for the first few months. This gives your body enough time to establish a good supply, and also gives your babies the opportunity to practice their latching as multiples are often born early and need the extra help to breastfeed.
Each baby is different – Even though your multiples might be identical, each one is unique. They will have different needs and different challenges. You will need to get to know each one individually and figure out what is best for each.
Make sure you are comfortable – Have one or more areas where you are comfortable feeding. You cannot simply sit on the couch with a baby at your breast when you have more than one. You will need to have specific areas where you can lie or sit, giving space for both babies to latch and feed. Keep some drinks, snacks and books handy while you feed.
Keep all your babies close – If you are only able to breastfeed one baby at a time, or have more than two babies, make yourself comfortable on the floor, lay down a blanket and put the other babies next to you while you feed. That way they will still feel close to you, they will be close enough to grab when it is their turn to feed, and you can easily keep an eye on all your babies at the same time.
Latch one baby at a time – If you can breastfeed two babies at once, it is important to make sure the first baby is latched properly before letting the other one latch. Without making sure each baby is latched correctly, one might not be getting enough milk, and this could become difficult to notice if your attention is split.
Join a breastfeeding group – The people who will understand your situation best are those who are going through the same thing, or who have experienced breastfeeding multiples before. Joining a breastfeeding group will give you constant support, and there will be someone to answer your questions as soon as they pop up.
Breastfeeding multiples has many challenges, and it is in no way easy. However, it is a great decision to make for your precious little babies. Keep reminding yourself that you are doing an incredible job!