For many, the decision whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed is made prior to the birth but not always. Breastfeeding more than one baby is perfectly possible and, after a bit of practice, feeding simultaneously speeds the job up no end. For equipment required for breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, please refer to How to plan for multiples – What do I need?
“Be prepared. Read everything you can that is specific to breastfeeding twins and hassle the hospital to get you a place on a specialist antenatal workshop or an appointment with a breastfeeding counsellor before rather than after the babies are born. And talk to anyone you can get hold of who has breastfed twins, even if they are strangers – if you ask, most mums who have done it will gladly share their experience. Digesting information about holds, getting babies latched and building up milk supply etc., will really help build the feeling that you will be able to breastfeed, come the time.”
Ally from Nunhead, mum to Jack and Arlo, 2
Whatever method you choose – make sure you find a holding position that is right for you. You are going to spend a long time feeding, so make sure it’s comfortable and protects your back. Many parents of twins or triplets find that establishing a routine of some sort is helpful, if not essential, in coping with the demands of both night and day. Your routine will help you structure your day. If you have a time when you find it more difficult to manage, then arrange for friends or family to call round or phone you then.
“When my babies were born they were too small to be held and needed tube feeding. I expressed milk for them in hospital, when I went home four days later I hired a double electric pump and took the milk into hospital in cool bags. I gradually introduced formula so that when they came home after six weeks they were exclusively formula fed. They were tiny as they were 11 weeks premature and needed feeding two hourly round the clock with each feed taking around an hour! We drew up a shift system where my husband, mum and I would take shifts to feed the babies throughout the night. They were bottle-fed (after I expressed milk for them in hospital) and we used to put them in their bouncy chairs and prop bottles up with a towel, taking turns to pick them up and wind them. When my mum went back home we got a night nanny for two nights a week and gradually feeds became less frequent and I was guaranteed two nights full sleep a week.”
Rachel from Herne Hill, mum to Sonny, Lucas and Devon, 4 and Roman, 5
Read more feeding stories