Figuring out the art of nursing twins can be a real challenge. It seems simple enough; mothers of twins are built to nurse two babies simultaneously. Unfortunately, you've got two little personalities on your hands, and getting them to cooperate with a schedule takes a lot of patience.
Are My Twins Eating Enough?
Your first concern may be whether your body will produce enough milk to nourish two babies. Don't worry. Your body will produce enough milk to meet the demand, and then some. Keep an eye on your babies for signs of weight gain and look for four to six wet diapers per baby per day.
Setting a Schedule
The logistics of nursing twins are challenging. Mothers of twins have to work little harder to create a system that works for nursing both babies. On the plus side, you won't need to worry about pumping breast milk to prevent engorgement.
Breastfeeding experts recommend feeding immediately after the babies are born. One baby should be fed every two to threehours. This encourages the mother's body to increase milk production. The patterns set within the first four days of nursing determine how well the nursing will go.
When you begin nursing, work with one baby at a time to fine-tune your breast-feeding routine. As you gain confidence and your babies get the hang of eating, you can breastfeed both twins at the same time. You'll likely need to try a few different positions to find one that's comfortable for you and both babies. Many mothers of twins rely on a nursing pillow designed specifically for twins. This type of breastfeeding pillow makes positioning the babies a lot easier.
Tips for Breastfeeding Twins
It is important to rotate the babies to a different breast for each feeding. This prevents the baby that is a stronger nurser from getting one breast to produce more milk then the other.
At any point, if you are concerned about your babies' development or feel they may not be getting adequate nutrition from breastfeeding, visit your doctor and have the babies weighed. After weighing the babies, your doctor will be able to tell immediately if breastfeeding is providing adequate nutrition.
Nursing the twins is a great way to spend some close, relaxing time with them. It helps the bonding process.
All breastfeeding moms need adequate nutrition and hydration, but it is even more important for women nursing twins. A woman that is breastfeeding twins should get between 2,500 and 3,000 calories every day. This amount ensures that the mom has sufficient energy to produce milk. Keep your diet well balanced, with plenty of protein, calcium and vitamins. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
There are several resources available to nursing mothers. You can seek help from a nursing coach or lactation consultant at your hospital, or talk to a member of the La Leche League or another breastfeeding organization.
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