Breastfeeding is Nature’s way of providing a baby with all essentials for growth. For the mother, breastfeeding is incredibly satisfying and helps build a lifelong bond with the baby.
Breastfeeding entails being there on demand for the baby all 24 hours. Breastfeeding the twins is not an easy task and a mother who is breastfeeding twins should avail of all the support from family and friends that she can garner.
Breastfeeding takes less time as compared to bottle-feeding babies. With twins, especially, breastfeeding the babies enables a nursing mother to save up to two hours every day from the tasks of sterilizing bottles, mixing formula, and cleaning up.
As with a single baby, breastfeeding twins cannot be kept on to a fixed schedule. Twins may feel hungry at different times and may, at times, vary in their appetite. It is advisable to feed twins on demand during the day and nurse as per a schedule in the night.
Keeping track of which baby nursed at which breast may be difficult. It is more practical to switch babies between breasts every 24 hours. This helps to let the milk down in each breast and ensures both the babies get sufficient feed.
The use of a specially designed nursing pillow for twins helps provide the necessary support to both the babies and to the nursing mother.
While nursing, the body releases oxytocin, which may induce thirst. While breastfeeding, it is essential to drink plenty of water.
Nursing twins may cause cracked and painful nipples. Rubbing breast milk on nipples is a traditional remedy to heal sore nipples.
The nursing mother of twins needs to be relaxed and well up on her sleep and rest. Her diet should be nutritious and rich in proteins and vitamins. Nursing is hard work for the mother’s body and often there is no time for anything except nursing and cleaning the babies. The partner’s support is vital for a nursing mother.
There are classes that teach breastfeeding with a lot of tips that can make you feel comfortable.
Specially made twins nursing pillows help in feeding the twins comfortably and at the same time. They are designed to hold both the babies so as to reach the nipples. They prevent the need for the mother to bed down for feeding the twins and develop backaches.
Mothers of twins worry if the milk they produce is sufficient to support the baby’s growth. Signs that the baby is feeding well are:
- Baby feeds at least 8 times a day at two weeks of age.
- The baby passes stools at least thrice every day.
- The baby gains at least an ounce per day from the fifth day to three months of age.
- The baby urinates 12-14 times a day
- The sound of the baby swallowing while nursing is audible.