Breastfeeding Twins

Breastfeeding Twins - DoyleDispatch.com

One of the biggest questions that we have gotten since I gave birth to the twins was “How do you feed them?” People are shocked when I tell them that we feed both Audrey and David at the same time. With the amount of support as I have received, I have found that anything is possible (even getting some sleep at night).

Here’s how we did it until they were about 3 weeks old:

I start pumping for 5 minutes to get the milk flowing.

While I’m pumping, Tim does the following to wake up the baby:

  • Pick up one of the babies (who we will call Baby 1) and unwrap him from his blanket. Take off his shirt and change his diaper, if needed.
  • Burp Baby 1.
  • Puts Baby 1 in a safe spot.

If there is a second person helping (THANK YOU, GRANDMAS!), they will do the same with Baby 2. If not, then Tim (or the other support person) will take care of Baby 2 after Baby 1 is in a safe place.

I put the expressed milk aside (still in the pump and containers).

Situate in the chair with my Twin Z breastfeeding pillow around me and clip in. Put my feet up on the ottoman to give an even-sturdier support for the twins.

Tim hands me one of the babies (which we will still call Baby 1), and I get him to latch on a particular side. We have a chart that we made to let us know what has happened with each feeding/diaper change. We look there to know which breast to use (we switch at each feeding).

Make a few faces at the first pinches, but within 2 seconds, he has a good hold.

Tim hands me Baby 2, and we latch her on as well.

Midway through the feeding (20 min on only one side), one (or both) of the babies may lose their latch because they have fallen asleep. Tim will take that baby and burp her to wake her up. When she starts rooting again, we know she is ready for more feeding.

While I am feeding, Tim will use the expressed milk to fill syringes for a supplemental feeding immediately after the regular feeding. If he has time, he will rinse out the breast pump.

After 20 minutes (at which point the baby is working too hard to get the milk and is spending too much energy trying to eat and not getting enough nourishment to make up for it) or once Baby 1 has lost their latch, we burp him/her again.

I apply lanolin and cover myself up.

Lay the baby on his back. Put a clean finger in her mouth and wait for him to start sucking. Insert the syringe against our finger and slowly release the milk into his mouth. We have gotten good at timing the push of milk to coincide with the suck.

Repeat with Baby 2.

Burp once again.

Change diaper and wipe off excess milk.

Get changed into clean clothes (if needed) and swaddle (if we want them to fall asleep).

Voila!

We have gotten then down to about 30-40 minutes, although we still sometimes take up to 1 hour for the whole process, if we have fewer hands to help us.

After 3 weeks old:

Since they turned about 3 weeks old, we have certainly shortened the steps to feedings. It still takes us about 30-40 minutes, but that is because the babies nurse for longer. Now, here’s what we will do:

Unswaddle Baby 1 and 2. Check diapers for explosions. If the diaper isn’t too full, we won’t bother changing the diaper first.

I sit in the chair and put the nursing pillow around me.

Place a burp cloth or towel where each baby will be laying down (to catch diaper explosions and spitting up).

Tim or Grandma hands Baby 1 to me to start latching on. Once Baby 1 is situated, they will hand over Baby 2. Once both babies are set for about 2 minutes, Tim or Grandma can do an activity.

Baby 1 or 2 may unlatch and need a diaper change or to be burped. Tim or Grandma helps with that.

Once the babies are finished, we let them stay unlatched for a few minutes (still propped up to help with digestion) while they cuddle with me. This is my nice, uninterrupted baby time. This also helps us to figure out if they will be hungry again soon (so they can start nursing on their own).

When we know they are done, Tim or Grandma will take Baby 1 (or 2) and change their diaper and get them dressed. They will then do the same with Baby 2.

While Tim or Grandma is dealing with Baby 1 and 2, I am putting Lanolin on, cleaning up the area (including the pillow, burp cloths, or myself if I was spit up on).

Voila!

 

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Comments

  1. Being one of the members of the support team, I can tell you, is a real honor. Watching these miracles of life is a joy unsurpassed. If I could have done one thing differently with the raising of my own kids, I would have spent more time just watching the miracles of their daily discoveries, instead of trying to get things done. But I am not wasting this time to do it with these precious little ones. Yes, it is a real honor to watch the everyday miracles that are LD and Audrey.

  2. Cindy Poots Remington says:

    Dory and Tim:
    I am so impressed with your commitment to breastfeeding. You are doing everything the way I have been shown through my training, and we teach lots of new parents how to finger-feed with a dental syringe. I know it is tiring to do all of this work for your babies, but I congratulate you and admire your fortitude! Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much, Cindy! You are certainly right that it is difficult. I know that breastfeeding one baby has its challenges, and we are doing two at once. It is sooo worth it, though. I wanted to give up a couple of weeks ago, but I’m so happy we pushed through. We are lucky that it is working for us!

Trackbacks

  1. […] this has helped you get some perspectives on tandem breastfeeding. In addition, you can read about how Dory, who is currently breastfeeding, tandem feeds on her blog, Doyle Dispatch.  If you have any follow-up questions or stories of your own, we would […]

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