Yes! Sometimes you feel like breastfeeding one baby is almost impossible but then you have TWO babies! Anna shares her story about how she is successfully breastfeeding her twins. It was not easy but also achievable with the right help and support. When you have babies who are early, even a little bit, it can make the process harder. Although Anna’s babies were born “term” for twins, 37 weeks, that is still early! These babies often need some supplementation while they transition to the breast.
Getting started with breastfeeding twins
Anna had taken a prenatal breastfeeding class with us so she would be prepared. After the birth, she spent lots of time with the babies skin to skin, and got her milk moving right away! She did a combination of hand expressing (she started within the hour after birth) and then pumping, at least eight time per 24 hours. This allowed the babies to get her milk AND protected Anna’s breastmilk supply so when the babies were ready to fully breastfeed, she had plenty of milk for them.
It does take village!
Anna and her husband Dirk had no idea how much work twins are. I don’t think anyone can be totally prepared for this. It is not just twice as much work. It seems like ten times the amount of work! Fortunately, Anna’s parents were here to help and, boy did they! It seems like everyone had a baby in arms all the time! This extra help meant Dirk and Anna could focus on caring for the babies and here and there for themselves. The meals, cleaning, all those other tasks were taken care of by the grandparents. Anna says the first months were a blur!
Transitioning to breastfeeding
This is an art, helping babies move from bottle feeding to breastfeeding. Making sure good Paced Bottle Feeding is happening is critical. Also, having a good IBCLC in your corner can do nothing but help. We met on Zoom primarily, the babies were born during the height of COVID, about once a week to assess where the process was and what to do next. Of course, so typical, one of the babies was ready to be exclusively breastfeed before the other. This happens most of the time! Karen Gromada has a great book about this, called Mothering Multiples. Getting help for this transition is critical so don’t be afraid to reach out!
Enjoy Anna’s story!