Breastfeeding helps keep you and your newborns healthier, and offers a unique opportunity for all of you to bond. We hope this overview on breastfeeding multiples will help get you and your babies off to a great start.
You may find it helpful to speak with one of UMC’s Certified Lactation Educators before your babies are born. She can go over the basics and address any concerns you may have about breastfeeding multiple newborns. Community organizations such as WIC can provide additional information before your delivery, and serve as helpful resources afterward.
In the Hospital
Breastfeed your babies as soon as possible after birth. Try nursing one baby at a time or two at the same time to discover the method that works best for all of you. When nursing two at a time, you may find that the milk letdown generated by the more active nurser helps provide additional milk to the less active nurser.
Try various breastfeeding positions to see which is most comfortable for you and your newborns. Common positions for nursing multiples include:
- The Double Football – Using your right hand to hold your first baby’s head, rest the baby’s back along your inner forearm, with the feet running along your side. Use your hand to guide the first baby’s head to your right breast. Repeat the same steps on the left side with your second baby.
- Double Cradle – Cradle the first baby in your right arm to nurse your right breast, with your baby’s belly facing yours and feet resting on your left side. Cradle your second baby’s head in your left arm to nurse your left breast, resting that baby’s feet on your first baby’s feet or belly.
- Parallel – Cradle the first baby in your right arm to nurse your right breast, with the baby’s belly facing yours and feet resting on your left side. Hold your second baby in a football hold to your left breast, allowing this baby’s head to cradle on the first baby’s belly.
If you cannot nurse your newborns immediately after birth, begin using a breast pump to express milk. This will help you begin to produce milk so when your babies begin breastfeeding, your body will be ready.
Even if breastfeeding isn’t possible right after birth, you can establish a connection through skin-to-skin contact. When you snuggle your babies against your skin, you offer them comfort and familiarity while helping your body begin producing milk.
You can also room in with your babies to start learning their personalities and feeding cues. Rooming in allows you to nurse as soon as your babies are hungry and helps your body make milk. Infants and moms both tend to sleep more restfully when rooming in.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy, and get as much rest as you can. This is important for your health both as a new mom and breastfeeding mother. Consider accepting offers of assistance from friends and family to help care for your newborns.
Keep an eye out for thrush, a whitish yeast infection of the mouth occasionally found in infants. If one baby has thrush, all should be treated.
Be careful not to skip feedings, or if you do, use a breast pump to express milk. This will help you avoid plugged ducts and engorgement — both of which can be quite painful.
Remember, support is available if you need it! Our Certified Lactation Educators are happy to guide you through any challenges, and community organizations like La Leche League stand ready to offer help and encouragement.
Talk to a Certified Lactation Educator:
by phone (8AM to 10PM) 806.775.8864
by pager (24 hours a day) 806.761.9414