Can I breastfeed more than one baby?In short: yes! If you plan ahead and get a lot of help from the birth of your baby, then there is no reason why you could not successfully breast-feed twins or multiple births.
Do I need more time nursing multiple births than giving the children the bottle?Breastfeeding of multiples takes about the same amount of time compared to vials. However, you still need to wash and sterilize the bottles and prepare the baby food. So, if you breast-feed in the first year, not only will you save a few hundred dollars to spend on baby food, but also countless hours of preparation.
What is better: A firm breastfeeding routine or flexible breastfeeding?Try to be flexible. If you react flexibly and at the same time nurture your children together, you will make the most of your precious time. Nevertheless, twins also have individual needs and so it may be that one child is hungry every half hour and the other only every two hours. Some mothers find it best to look for the hungrier baby during lactation. Others breastfeed during the day as needed and follow a certain routine at night.
Can I feed two babies while breastfeeding?Yes, if you use rolled up towels or pillows to support your babies. There are also custom-made Nursing Pillows in V shape. Some are even designed for breastfeeding twins - they have a long, firm surface and can support two children at the same time. This frees your hands and allows you to put the babies in the right position or for a peasant.
You can use a pillow to change your breastfeeding positions. For example, you can switch from weighing (belly to stomach) to side or football (sideways under the arm). From one breastfeeding to the other, put the children in each other's breasts - especially if one of the children drinks more than the other. If you find it difficult to remember which child was on which breast, try a 24-hour rhythm change.
This change promotes a steady milk production of the breasts and reduces the risk of a milk congestion. Another plus: Both your baby's eyes are stimulated and practiced!
If your twins are premature and one of the two children has to stay longer in the hospital than the other, you can breastfeed the one twin at home and simultaneously pump milk from the other breast to stimulate the milk supply.
Do I even produce enough milk for more than one child?The law of supply and demand applies to all mothers - even for mothers of twins or multiples! If you breastfeed every time your babies are hungry, your body will reproduce enough milk. An under-production of milk can almost always be boosted by having children put on more often - or by correcting the nursing position. If your babies still need to stay in the hospital and you can not start breast-feeding right away, start sweeping milk by hand on the first day. And if you get along well with an electric pump, you can also pump both breasts at the same time. Your midwife or breastfeeding advisor will be happy to show you how to do it. This will ensure that your breasts produce as much milk as possible. You can even refrigerate or freeze the milk in sterile containers for later use.
Always have water near you ready. When breastfeeding, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which makes it very thirsty.
How do I know if my babies get enough milk?Just as you can tell from a single child: Count your baby's wet diapers and feel if the bowel is working. Looking over the thumbs you can say: Your baby should have wet a diaper in the first 24 hours after birth, two diapers in the next 24 hours, three in the next 24 hours and so on. After a week you should change wet diapers seven to eight times a day. (If you use disposable diapers, there may be as few as five to six as they will absorb more fluid.) Your baby should be breastfed eight to twelve times within 24 hours. And after the first week, Stillbaby's chair should be loose and mustard colored.
Maybe in the first few days it might help you to note the following: When did you breastfeed? Which baby was lying on which breast? And how often did you have to change wet diapers for which baby?
Do I expect my nipples to become unbearably sore when I silence two or more babies?It does not matter if you breastfeed one or more babies. Soreness is caused by incorrect placement and not by the number of babies to be nursed.
If your nipples get sore, treat them with breastmilk or a combination of breastmilk and purified lanolin. After breastfeeding, press two or three drops of milk out of your breast and let them dry on the nipple for five to ten minutes. The milk supports the healing process of cracks and kills bacteria. Then apply lanolin, which you can buy (or order) at the pharmacy.
What if I feel a stronger connection between myself and one of the two babies than with the other twin?This can happen - especially if one of your children had to stay longer in the hospital. So you could already get to know the other baby and probably has developed a stronger connection to this twin. One of the children may also be sick more and you will notice that you pay more attention to this baby. Above all, it is important that you are aware of your feelings and work to give both siblings the same love and attention.
Luckily, when you're breast-feeding, you're in close contact with both children - this helps the bonding process.
Will I ever be able to rest in between?You do not have to be on call all the time. In fact, you should not. If your children are sleeping, take a nap if possible! When you are exhausted, let yourself be helped, for example by your partner, family, friends, volunteers, etc. Leave the children to your partner - even if only for 15 or 20 minutes. Try to get out of earshot of babies! Go for a walk, take a bath, or read a magazine in another room. When the breastfeeding routine is found, go out with your partner for an evening. Remember: They were a couple before the children were born. They had a relationship - use opportunities to continue where you left off before birth.
Where can I get help?Create a network of helpers before the children are born. After giving birth, you have enough other things to do and then you should not be under pressure to seek help desperately.
There are many organizations and initiatives that offer help in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:
- The non-profit organization Wellcome offers practical help for families after the birth and is represented in different states: www. wellcome online. de.
- About the charitable organization La Leche Liga Deutschland e. V. (www.lalecheliga.de) you will find breastfeeding consultants nationwide.
- The German Federal Government also has some links and information for families with multiple births, which can be found at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs.
And most of all: Stop by the Babycenter Community. There you can interact with parents who have similar questions to you and may have valuable tips for you.
Talk to your family, friends and neighbors and find out if they can help you with cooking, cleaning or shopping. Invite those of your family and friends who consider twins' breastfeeding a good idea. And keep those off the hook who disagree. They need - and deserve - all the support they can get.