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Breastfeeding for Multiples

 Here are some important facts about breastfeeding multiples

 

  • The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends a mother breastfeed for at least the first year of the baby’s life.
  • Breastmilk contains the right amount of nutrients for your babies
  • The antibodies in Breastmilk will help to protect your baby’s immune systems.
  • Breastfeeding multiples is the most convenient way to feed your babies
  • Breastfeeding twins or other multiples also insures frequent contact between you and each of your babies helping to build the security and emotional benefits of breastfeeding in each of them.

Breastfeeding one baby at a time?

 

Many women wonder if they should feed each baby individually or simultaneously.  This is a personal choice and many women find their own way to breastfeeding simultaneously.  At first it may be overwhelming and you may feel uneasy about breastfeeding two babies at the same time.  It is OK to take your time and get each baby feeding well individually.  Some women are comfortable feeding two babies at the same time right from the start.  The most important thing to remember is that you and your babies are learning.

 

  • When you first start to breastfeed it is best to breastfeed each baby individually.  This will give you the time to see how well each baby latches on and feeds.
  • For twins or higher multiples it is a good idea to have a feeding chart to record how long and how often each baby feeds, plus the number of wet and poopy diapers.  If you are using a bottle, you will record the amount of each feed.
  • Once you have established breastfeeding with each of the babies things will get easier.  Babies can then be breastfed at the same time.

What positions can I use?

There are many ways to feed two babies at the same time.  The most important thing to remember when feeding your babies is that your comfort is important.  You will spend a lot of time feeding in the first few weeks and comfort will help you to relax and enjoy your experience.

  • Double Clutch.  This position is most easily done in an armed chair that can accommodate the three of you.  If you are in your bed you will use pillows to your sides and one on your lap.  Each baby will be on a pillow beside you with his feet pointing toward the back of your chair.  Your babies bodies will turn toward you and you will use the palms of your hands to support each baby’s base of the head.  Make sure you lean back against the head board or chair back for comfort.  You can do this after each baby is latched.  This position is most comfortable if you had a c-section [insert picture]
  • Cradle- Clutch combination.  In this position you will hold one baby in the cradle position- with his head in the crook of your elbow and supported with your forearm.  His whole body will be facing yours.  Heart to heart. The other baby will be in the clutch position on the side of your body with his head supported by your hand and his body and feet going toward the back of the chair.  The baby that latches best is best placed in the cradle position.  For more control of a latch use the clutch.   
  • Double cradle hold.  When using the double cradle position you will position each baby in front of you.  Their legs will overlap or make an X in front of you. Make sure each babies body is turned toward your body.  This position works best when both babies are breastfeeding well.

Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.  An Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant can help you get it just right for you and your family!


Courtesy The Foundation for a Breastfeeding Culture