Expressing Breast Milk for Twins
Some mothers often worry whether they will have enough milk for two babies. Mothers of twins are able to produce enough milk for both of their children because as with single births milk is produced on the supply and demand principle. Because of this principle, your body has the ability to make as much milk as your babies need.
If you are nursing and pumping, try to find out which kind of routine works best for you. Some moms nurse both babies at the same time and try to plan pumping sessions around feedings. While others prefer to nurse their babies individually while pumping on the other side. If you are exclusively pumping and trying to establish your milk supply try to create a pumping schedule that mimics a newborn’s feeding routine, which can be anywhere from 8 to 14 times a day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
Remember that your children will benefit from any amount of breastmilk that you are able to give them. Since twins are often born pre-term, they need the benefits of breastmilk even more. Don’t give up, even if you have to begin supplementing some of their feedings.
Tips for Making Pumping and Breastfeeding Twins a Little Easier
- Be sure to use the best quality breast pump available. Most mothers of twins rely on a durable hospital grade pump that allows for double pumping.
- Pump milk directly into the bottles you will use for feedings. This is a great time saver because you don’t have to worry about transferring the milk into another bottle and it reduces the amount of bottles that you have to wash.
- Limit washing your breast pump parts to once a day. Rinse them with hot water after each use and store them in the refrigerator until your next pumping session.
- Choose a pumping location and leave everything set up. This way you don’t have to worry about setting things up each time you need to pump and you’ll save a lot of time that is better spent bonding with your children.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The early days of caring for twins can be exhausting and overwhelming. When your days are consumed by nursing and/or pumping, let dad or another family member help with other baby tasks and household chores.
Choosing a pediatrician who is supportive of breastfeeding twins and finding a lactation consultant with twin experience before your children are born are both good ways to build up your breastfeeding support group. Attending La Leche League or other breastfeeding support meetings are great for receiving mother-to-mother support from moms who have successfully breastfed twins.
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