Breastfeeding More Than One Baby
You may be worried there may not be enough milk to go round when feeding multiple babies! But don't worry, women are able to produce enough milk to feed twins and even triplets and more. But there are things you can do, to increase and to help maintain your milk supply;
- 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 help increase your milk supply. Pumping both breasts at the same time will help you make more milk. You can get double electric breast pumps which is quicker and will help stimulate your milk supply. Once breast-feeding is well established, pumping will allow your family members to help with feeding.
Alternate breasts. You can try and offer both breasts to each baby during a feed, this could also help with increasing your milk supply. Switching breasts also gives your babies different views of you and their surroundings.
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 nursing pillow. You can get nursing 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.
- Use alternate breasts for each baby. This makes sure your milk supply is stimulated equally.
- Nursing triplets (or more). If you have more than two babies try nursing two at a time. You can then nurse 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 call Just One Norfolk for advice on latch and positioning.
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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