Breast or Bottle – Tandem Feeding Twins
Being pregnant with twins can certainly seem overwhelming for an expecting mother, especially the thought of having to tandem feed them. However, it is more than achievable if you are prepared. It is up to you whether you choose to use breast or bottle or use both the methods. All you need is a little help and support from your husband and the rest of the family.
Yes, despite it being a fear amongst many expecting mothers, nursing twins is possible. Since you are nursing two babies at a time it may require a little more patience, stamina and hard work, but, according to women who have raised twins, it is worth the extra effort.
The importance of nursing your twins
A mother’s milk is important for the healthy growth and development of every newborn. It is particularly essential for twins who are often born prematurely. The milk of a mother who has given birth to premature twins contains proteins and is rich in amino acids compared to the milk of a mother of a full-term baby. So, this richer milk is important for the babies as it helps them gain weight quickly. So, while it can be stressful having premature twins, breastfeeding when deciding on either breast or bottle can be a wonderful experience for the mother who will feel out of this world doing the best for their babies.
Most mothers find tandem feeding their twins easy. It saves them time and money, plus it allows them the ease of feeding both the babies at the same time if they are hungry. It increases the production of milk inside the mothers since more milk is removed at the same time as the twins feed. On the other hand, if you want to bottle feed your babies, sterilizing the bottles and preparing the formula will take up a lot of time. Nursing their twins gives the mother a chance to know their babies. Plus, she can sit down and relax as well.
Tandem feeding twins
If you are worried about not being able to produce enough milk to breastfeed both your babies, you must banish this thought immediately. Mothers have successfully breastfed twins for generations. For the first few weeks it is vital for you to feed on demand each baby separately whenever they are hungry, however, with time feeding them in tandem becomes a more practical option and helps them both develop the same routine. Mothers are advised to give their babies alternate breasts each day to ensure an even supply of milk to them. It is best to note down the time and length of each feed and which baby had which breast to ensure that both your babies are getting equal time and nutrients.
Tandem feeding positions
The following are a few positions in which you can breastfeed your twins at the same time. There is no right or wrong way so you can choose any method you are comfortable with and find effective.
It is a common position for breastfeeding twins. In this position, the babies feed together from the mother’s breasts as their feet extend to the mother’s sides. The mother places pillows underneath their babies to support them. This position makes it easy for the mother to use their hands to make the babies latch on effectively. As both the babies lay on different sides, neither of them is disturbed by the hands or feet of the other one.
When you breastfeed twins in this position their arms and feet may end up on one another. It is a good way to create a bond between them and can be comforting as they feel each other’s warmth and closeness. However, as they grow older, this position may get difficult for you to perfect while feeding both your twins together as they may easily get distracted by each other.
Clutch and Cradle
In the clutch and cradle position, the mother feeds one baby in the clutch hold while the other is feeding in the cradle hold. So, both feet are extending to one side of the mother.
Laid Back Nursing/Biological Nurturing/Reclining
In this position, the mother is comfortably lying down rather than sitting up, and the babies are positioned in either of the above-mentioned ways such as “clutch”, “cradle” or “clutch and cradle” as they latch. Of course, new mothers get tired. So, by using this way to breastfeed their babies they can nurse them while resting themselves.
Nursing Lying Down
This is the most helpful position for a tired mom to breastfeed their twins. The mom lays on either of their side, over their bed, with a pillow tucked behind their back for support, while one of the twin lies on one of their side and the other lies across the mother’s body as their feet touch each other’s.
Tandem feeding tips
Breastfeeding your babies will take time; therefore, it is best for you to relax and enjoy that time. Take it as an opportunity to bond with your twins and rest.
Yes, breastfeeding your twins in tandem is going to make you hungry and thirsty but then that is what gives a mother the most satisfaction when she is providing the necessary nutrients to their babies. Once you are done, grab a healthy snack and have a lot of water and juice. Give yourself sufficient sleep so that you do not feel overtired. Have proper naps and take good care of yourself. For a baby to stay healthy, it is vital that their mother stays healthy.
If you know someone who has raised twins, they may be able to give you some useful tandem feeding advice. Thus, it will be great to meet them and ask them questions.
So, despite the fact that breastfeeding your twins in tandem can put strain on your body and you may find it difficult to nurse two babies at a time. With time, you realize that your body could produce sufficient milk to meet the needs of two babies at a time and that it is a great feeling.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.