breastfeeding twins

Breastfeeding Twins: Double the Love, Milk, and Challenges

Disclosure: I may get commissions when you click through the affiliate links (that are great products I stand by) on my articles. You can read the full disclosure for more information. Content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.

Meet Ann: an affiliate marketing consultant based outside of Chicago. She specializes in helping brands grow their programs and achieve success. As a work from home wife and mom to three boys, including four year old twins, she also blogs on The Full Hand about her experiences balancing digital marketing with her role as a mother.

Having twins is an amazing experience for any parent – two beautiful babies to love, cherish, and watch as they grow each day. But when it comes to nurturing a newborn duo, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is whether or not you will be breastfeeding twins!

It can be an incredibly daunting process and a scary feeling—especially when facing double the responsibility.

That’s exactly how I felt during the winter of 2018. My hope is that my real-life experiences can help another twin mama feel more connected and less alone in this breastfeeding journey. Ultimately, you want to make an informed decision on what’s best for your family.

One Baby vs. Multiple Babies

This wasn’t my first rodeo breastfeeding. Prior to getting pregnant with my twin boys, I was blessed with my first son Luke.

I breastfed him until he was six months old. Similar to other working moms, I started to wean nursing after I returned to my job. My pumping schedule was hard to maintain with my meetings. My office had a great nursing room, but it took about ten minutes to even walk there. Plus, I was just mentally done.

When I became pregnant with my twins, I had already transitioned to a new job that allowed me to work fully remotely. This meant I didn’t have to worry about attending in-person meetings or walking long distances to find lactation rooms.

Preparation for Breastfeeding Twins

Once the initial shock of becoming a mom to twins wore off, my curiosity drove me to research nursing two babies simultaneously.

I began to question my ability to produce an adequate amount of milk. Not to mention, the logistics of it all. How do I even hold two babies on my breasts?

To ease my anxiety, I read articles, joined twin-focused Facebook groups, and texted with fellow twin moms I knew. I was determined to at least try.

I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, but I had other motivations to nurse. The cost of diapers, wipes, clothes, gear, and more was a huge factor for me. If I could lessen the financial load by having breastfed twins, I was willing to give it a shot.

The Early Days

We welcomed Noel and Liam into our family at 36 weeks. My water broke naturally and it was a pretty straightforward delivery via c-section. Both babies weighed around 5lbs and there was no NICU time needed which can be common with multiples.

The early days were a total blur. Sure, we had help from family and friends but it was exhausting.

Besides the intense fatigue, I didn’t feel like my body was producing enough milk. We were supplementing the boys with 2oz bottles of formula during night feeds. Not only did this allow my husband to help feed the babies, it allowed me two to three hours of rest.

During the day, we tried to establish a good routine. My oldest went to daycare which helped lessen the demand for needs. Plus, it allowed me to spend time with the twins and start to form a special bond.

Nursing Twins

Although I didn’t work with a lactation consultant, I had a good memory from my first son on practical tips and tricks to get them to latch.

I decided early on that I wouldn’t be feeding the babies separately. Nursing one baby at a time just seemed too time-consuming.

With the help of a twin nursing pillow, I’d prop each baby onto a breast in a football hold. The extra cushion gave my newborn twins the proper head control, and the pillow made twin feeding more comfortable.

If I felt like my expressed breast milk supply wasn’t enough, I would supplement it with formula and focus on my nutrition.

Making a Change

Despite a few early weeks in, I noticed that my milk production wasn’t meeting the demands. This made me doubt myself and my abilities. I couldn’t help but wonder, if my body could nourish one baby, why was it struggling to do the same for two?

Another twin-mom friend suggested using a double electric hospital-grade pump. The purpose was to help increase my milk supply. She switched to one, and it helped with her breastfeeding journey. They were free to rent, so I went through the process and picked one up from my local hospital.

Despite using this power turbo breast pump, the stress of feeding these small babies weighed on me. I felt like a cow, hooked up to the pump. It was a physical and mental challenge that I had never faced before.

One night my husband looked at me and said, “You can stop, Ann. We can feed them however we like. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”

With that, I started to adjust my expectations of myself and be realistic about what my body could do.

After four long and hard weeks of breastfeeding twins, we switched exclusively to formula. It was a relief to be free from the pump and its relentless cycle of feeding, pumping, and cleaning.

I had gone into twin motherhood with preconceived notions about what I should do but ended up going on my own journey that allowed me to make choices that worked for our family–not just what I thought was right. 

Want to share your story? We’re seeking real-life parenting stories from real life people! Whether you’ve faced challenges or cherished joys as a healthcare professional or a parent, we want your unique perspective!

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