Don't feel you have to rule out breastfeeding if you're having more than one baby. Lots of mums with more than one baby are able to breastfeed with a bit of extra support.
Getting extra support to breastfeed
If you’ve got more than one newborn you’ll need both emotional support and physical support! Feeding cushions are often key for breastfeeding mums of more than one baby, and the ‘rugby hold’ is great for feeding twins. It may take more time for you to get into a routine that works, but once you do you'll find breastfeeding a great way to calm your babies and help you feel that special bond.
Whether you breast or bottle feed, feeding can take up a lot of your time in the first few months. If you choose to breastfeed, ask for extra help with breastfeeding, positioning and attachment when you're in hospital. You'll also need all the support you can get from your midwife, health visitor, family and friends once you're home.
Watch this video to see how a mum breastfeeds her newborn twins – with a little help from her partner and some cushions.
It's important to try and feed your babies as soon as they show signs they're hungry. Each baby might want to feed at the same or at different times – so if you have twins you might want to give both babies a breast each and feed them at the same time. It's important never to force a baby to feed, even if their sibling is feeding. If only one baby does want to be fed, why not try and pop the other baby in your Baby Box or even giving them some tummy time on their Baby Box playmat while you are feeding?
You won't be able to feed twins at the same time at first if one of your babies is smaller and needs to feed more often. You'll need extra help to care for twins with different feeding demands. Don't feel guilty about this, you are making your weaker baby stronger like their sibling – your twins' needs will soon match up and that will make your life much easier.
Breastfeeding premature twins
There's even more reason to breastfeed twins as multiple babies are more likely to be born prematurely. The antibodies found in breast milk will better protect more vulnerable babies against infections, and their underdeveloped tummies will digest breast milk much easier than formula. You can find out more about breastfeeding sick and premature babies here.
Breastfeeding triplets or more
If you have a really good supply and your babies are not too premature, you won't have any trouble breastfeeding triplets or more. You could also give them your expressed milk if breastfeeding is a bit daunting. However, some mums of triplets or more choose to combine formula feeding with breastfeeding, or choose to feed their babies exclusively with formula.
You should always try to feed your babies as soon as they show signs that they're hungry, although your babies may fall into a pattern if you offer them feeds at the same time. Bottles must be freshly prepared for each feed, so make sure you ask your partner, family or friends for help with this.