Your first year with twins: Feeding

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Breastfeeding twins


Twins can be successfully breastfed. The more they drink, the more milk you'll produce so there should be plenty for two. It can take a while for you to get the hang of it so if you're keen to breastfeed, try and stick with it.

The obvious pros of breastfeeding your twins are that it'll save you money and you'll have more freedom to go out and about without having to worry about sterilising and heating up bottles.

There are some downsides though. You might feel drained and will need to eat about 600 more calories a day to keep your strength up and to produce enough milk for your hungry babies. Your nipples can also get quite sore. A mum feeding one baby will have more time to rest a sore nipple by swapping breasts but if you're going to try and breastfeed your twins two at a time, this won't be an option.

A mum's experience

'Before I had my twins I'd breastfed my previous three children and didn't even consider doing anything different with Caroline and Georgina. I did try at the start but it was just too sore. Perhaps if I had done the twins one at a time I would have been able to stick with it but I'm afraid to say I quickly gave up and they were on bottles by the time they were a month old.'
Diana Smith, mum to Caroline and Georgina, 4, Sally, 6, Wendy, 8 and Alistair, 10

Expert advice

'If you're finding breastfeeding difficult or sore, it is likely to be a positioning issue which is something that can 100% be solved. I had trouble with one of my twins but got help and advice from another counsellor and was able to carry on breastfeeding my twins until they were four years old.

Every mother is different but if a woman wants to breastfeed and is finding it hard, we'll support her by looking at things such as whether the baby is taking enough breast tissue in their mouth - it's called breastfeeding not nipple feeding so this is why mums can find it sore! Also we'll observe the way the baby is lying against the mother and give her the confidence to experiment with different positions and ways of holding her babies.'
NCT Breastfeeding counsellor and mum of twins Nena Blake

Bottle Feeding

Bottle feeding could also be a good option for mums of twins because it means that someone else can help you with the feeding. Early on when you're trying to find your feet your twins might be in very different sleep routines, so it might feel like one of them is awake most of the night. If you've got a partner that could do any of those late-night bottle feeds, it might take some of the strain off you.

Continued below...

If you're going to be doing most, or all of the feeds on your own you could be making more work for yourself, because there's the cleaning and making up of the feeds to consider as well as the balancing act of trying to physically feed both at once.

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