Every pregnancy, labor, delivery, and baby is different, and that's never more true than when you look at the unique challenges facing moms of multiples. From gestation to childbirth, twins come with a whole new set of trials, tribulations, and accomplishments. And once the growing and birthing part is finished, there's the logistical trick of feeding two newborns, either one at a time or in tandem. So if you're planning on nursing your babies, here's the best breastfeeding position for twins that'll assist you in sustaining two human beings, with your body, at once.
The best breastfeeding position for twins actually changes over time, according to the Mayo Clinic. At first, you'll want to breastfeed each baby separately. Individually feeding your babies, according to the Mayo Clinic, will give you a chance to see how well each baby latches on to your breast, as well as give you the opportunity to address any issues specific to either of your babies. The Mayo Clinic also suggests creating a chart to keep track of which baby ate when, and how they did, so you can track your babies' feeds separately. And with the postpartum sleep deprivation you're sure to be feeling, writing it all down is definitely the way to go.
Once you've established how each twin is feeding, the Mayo Clinic reports that some women choose to breastfeed both babies at once. The clinic also warns that some babies won't want to share you for every feed, while others will be more relaxed about sharing their food source. "Some babies might show a preference for individual feedings. Try different approaches or a combination — such as breastfeeding one baby at a time at night and two at the same time during the day — to see what might work best," writes the Mayo Clinic.
When it comes to the best positions for breastfeeding twins, there are a few combinations you can try. First, you could try the double-clutch position, also known as the double-football breastfeeding position. The Mayo Clinic breaks it down by explaining the hold in the following way:
"Position a pillow on each side of your body and your lap. Place each baby on a pillow beside your body — almost under your arm — so that the babies' legs point toward the back of your chair. Make sure each baby's back is supported by the inside of your forearm. Use the pillows for arm support. Secure the babies' bottoms with the insides of your elbows. Keep the babies' heads at nipple level. Place the palm of one hand at the back of each baby's head to provide support."
I suppose you're not going to be scrolling through Instagram while you're busy breastfeeding using this hold, so I say cue up the Netflix on the TV or start a new audio book to keep you and the babes company.
You can also try a cradle-clutch combination. Thankfully, the Mayo Clinic is able to explain this particular hold to readers as well, writing:
"In this position, you'll hold one baby in the cradle position — with his or her head on your forearm and his or her whole body facing yours — and the other baby in the clutch position. If one of your babies has an easier time latching on to your breast or staying latched, place him or her in the cradle position."
Finally, you can cradle both of your babies at the same time in front of you, with their legs crossed in your lap. You might find that you need a special pillow in order to help you support each baby. Twiniversity, a site dedicated to all things twin babies, recommends the Brest friend twin nursing pillow or the Twin Z pillow for extra help.
As with anything breastfeeding and/or parenting related, trial and error is the name of the game. There is no "right way" to breastfeed (or feed) your babies, so try some holds and find what works best for you, your baby, your body, and your family.
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