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Breastfeeding More Than One Baby

Having more than one baby can have its challenges, but it is still possible to breastfeed twins, triplets or even more! Its a great way to bond with your babies and soothe them. You may be having a baby and still breastfeeding your older child.  Lots of mums make breastfeeding multiple babies or tandem feeding a toddler and baby work for them. It may take a little bit more practice for you and your babies to get used to breastfeeding. Midwives and health visitors will help in the early weeks and months to support and help you and your babies enjoy the amazing benefits of breastfeeding. 

 

  • You may be worried you won't have enough milk for two babies or more but the human body is amazing! Breasts can produce enough milk to feed your babies for as long as you and they want to. Here are some tips to help you maximise and maintain your milk supply;

    • Skin to Skin. holding your babies next to your skin will help them and you to produce Oxytocin promoting your bonding and attachment, increasing your milk supply and let down and reducing stress levels for you and your baby.
    • Start From Birth. Breast-feeding your newborn's as soon after birth as you can 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. If your babies are in the neonatal unit staff will support you to feed your babies expressed breastmilk if they cannot breastfeed for themselves yet.
    • Expressing Milk. If you have twins or more the hospital may suggest ''double pumping'' to maximise your milk production and halve the time it takes to express milk. Continuing to express when you are home with your babies will ensure that until they and you have fully established breastfeeding you are able to keep up with their requirements. If you have triplets you may want your partner to feed one baby with an expressed breastmilk feed while you breastfeed the other two. Don't forget to vary the baby fed with expressed milk at each feed. 

    • Antenatal Expression. When you know you are having twins or triplets you may want to consider antenatal hand expression. This can ensure you have a supply of frozen  colostrum ready for when the babies are born in case it is needed and reduce the need for formula to be given to your babies. *Click here* for more information. 

    • Evening & Night feeding. Feeding your babies in the evening and at night is very important as this is when your body most actively produces milk making hormones. 
  • When breastfeeding twins or triplets, its important you and your babies are as comfortable as possible. Here are some tips to help you get started;

    • Use a breastfeeding pillow. You can get pillows that are designed for twins. Or you can use two regular pillows or rolled-up towels.
    • Get yourself comfortable and set up. In the early days it may be easier to get yourself in position and have someone hand you each baby. Get them to latch one at a time. If you're alone, set yourself up on the floor with lots of pillows. Put the babies in their bouncy seats on either side of where you'll be sitting. Fasten the pillow around your waist and position the babies one at a time onto the pillow.
    • Breastfeeding triplets (or more). If you have more than two babies try feeding two at a time. You can then feed the third baby afterwards. Remember to switch which baby feeds on their own during each feed.
    • Try and get a good latch - Your nipples should not be painful or cracked during or after feeds. If they are you can please look again at our positioning and attachment page and call Just One Norfolk for help and advice.

    To find out more about breastfeeding twins *click here*.

  • You will be very busy looking after and feeding your babies, but its really important that you look after yourself as well! Here are some tips to help you look after yourself as well as your babies;

    • If you have a partner or support person they will be very important, helping out with the babies and helping you emotionally as well. They can help to look after one baby while you look after the other. 
    • If you can, try and get friends and family to help with the housework and look after older children. Don't forget to ask for help if you need it and if someone offers help, accept it! Have a list of simple tasks ready to make it easier when people do offer help.
    • Don't forget to eat and drink when you can. A healthy diet is even more important when breastfeeding multiple babies!
    • Try and get as much rest as you can. If possible, try to sleep when the babies are sleeping. 
  • You may become pregnant whist still breastfeeding your older child and want to continue to feed during the pregnancy and after with both children. This is called tandem feeding. It is absolutely fine to continue feeding your child whilst pregnant and also afterwards whilst feeding your baby - your milk is very clever and will meet the needs of both. Continuing to breastfeed your child may help them with the transition to older sister/brother. 

    Please *click here* to find more information on tandem feeding.

     

Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible breastfeeding support and advice.

It may help in the first instance to look again at our page on Positioning and Attachment and *click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below

 

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