Breastfeeding multiple babies can seem a bit overwhelming, but remember this is what your body is meant to do. 

Get as much information prenatally as possible to prepare for the birth of your multiples. 

Your breast milk is especially important for multiples who are often born early and small.  twins

Getting Started

  • Hold your babies skin to skin within the first hour of their births or as soon as possible.  If you are not able then offer to Dad.
  • Become familiar with baby led latching and allow the babies to latch as soon as possible after birth, this sometimes can take up to 2 hours
  • Even if the babies are breastfeeding, removing milk by hand expression within an hour of the birth has a huge impact on milk volume later on.  This colostrum can be stored in a syringe and fed to the babies by spoon or cup.  Every drop is important.
  • Breast massage can be very helpful to encourage the milk to flow 
  • Get help from hospital staff, practice various positions

If your babies are separated from you

  • If you or your babies have problems and they need to be separated from you this does not mean you have to give up breastfeeding
  • Breast massage can be very helpful to encourage the milk to flow 
  • Removing milk by hand expression within an hour of the birth has a huge impact on milk volume later on.  This colostrum can be stored in a syringe and fed to the babies by spoon or cup.  Every drop is important.  Continue to hand express as frequently as possible during the first few days.  As the days go on and milk volume increases a hospital grade rental pump is most efficient in establishing a good milk supply.  Plan on pumping both breasts every 2  to 3 hours and at least once at night.  The more milk that is removed the more milk you will make.

Feeding multiples

  • Many moms feel most comfortable feeding one baby at a time until both mom and baby learn what to do. Some families prefer to breastfeed one baby and pump and feed the other baby expressed breast milk by bottle so others can help.  Remember that introducing bottles in the early weeks can sometimes effect how the babies suck and can reduce milk supply.  
  • Once mom and babies are comfortable and babies are sucking effectively, it may be easier to breastfed them together for some feedings. 
  • However the are individuals and may not want to feed at the same time. 
  • Especially in the first few weeks, it is important to switch babies from one side to the other at different feedings.  One baby may be better at feeding than the other and you want to remove as much milk as possible from both breasts. 
  • Karen Gromada has good information with downloadable print outs including: birth plans, breastfeeding and pumping diaries and pros and cons about various feeding methods  in her “For Parents” section.

Support

  • Be sure to arrange for lots of help. Many families find that setting up a schedule of “helpers” give both caregivers some relief.  You will need help with housework, meal preparation, running errands etc. 
  • If you have any questions or concerns about breastfeeding seek out help
  • Talk to someone who has breastfed multiples before.  In Niagara, consider connecting with Parents of Multiple Births Association (POMBA)
  • Attend a la leche league meeting this is a good place to establish some early support and have questions answered