Finding the perfect way to feed your baby is one of the first things parents and caregivers think about when welcoming a little one into the home.
What happens when there are twins, triplets or more? Today we will take a look at some of the ways to feed multiples in hopes of helping you find a method just right for your family.
With twins, breastfeeding can be double the challenge but also double the reward!
With the right balance of technique and support, breast-feeding will provide many benefits for you and your babies.
Nursing Twins / Breastfeeding Triplets
The many benefits of breastfeeding have been well documented. At the top of the list, breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your babies, and the antibodies in breast milk will boost your babies' immune systems.
This leads to breast-fed babies having a lower risk of asthma, allergies, ear infections and other illnesses.
For many twins and other multiples that are born early, breast milk also has special benefits for these littles ones. Breast milk contains easy to digest proteins that are especially beneficial for premature babies who have smaller, less mature digestive systems.
Beyond the health benefits for your newborns, breast-feeding has many benefits to mothers. In a large percentage of moms it helps to decrease the time it takes to shed the postpartum weight after you give birth.
Breast-feeding twins is the most powerful form of interaction between the mother and her babies and is greatly associated with improved bonding between mothers and babies.
With multiples, feeling overwhelmed and overly tired is not unusual; these early feedings can help to enforce a greater maternal sensitivity and responsiveness to infant needs.
How to Breastfeed Twins
Pregnancy with multiples lends to a greater chance of separation after birth. Any separation after birth may make breastfeeding harder, but not impossible.
Holding or at least touching your babies immediately after the birth or as soon as you can will go a long way in releasing the hormones necessary for lactation. You can still touch and stroke a baby in special care and may be able to hold them against you in kangaroo mother care.
Kangaroo mother care is a method of care for preterm and full term infants. The method involves infants being held by parents or caregivers, with skin-to-skin contact.
The benefits of kangaroo care for babies go beyond having more successful breastfeeding episodes and include:
✅ Stabilizing your baby’s heart rate
✅ Improving your baby’s breathing pattern and making the breathing more regular
✅ Improving oxygen saturation levels
✅ Gaining in sleep time
✅ Experiencing more rapid weight gain
✅ Decreasing crying
✅ Having an earlier hospital discharge
The benefits of kangaroo care for parents and caregivers beyond an increase of mother’s breast milk supply include:
✅ Improving bonding with your baby and the feeling of closeness
✅ Increasing your confidence in the ability to care for your new baby
✅ Increasing your confidence that your baby is well-cared for
✅ Increasing your sense of control
When a mother is practicing kangaroo care, her infant typically snuggles into her breasts and falls asleep within a few minutes.
Research has shown that this simple act increases breast milk supply and greater breastfeeding success.
Twin Breastfeeding Positions
If you are preparing to have twins, the idea of how to breastfeed them can seem overwhelming. Starting with the first very basic beginning you are faced with two options: try and feed them both at the same time, or feed them separately.
Feeding them together, also called tandem feeding, is definitely possible and can be a huge time saver and with patience and practice can be conquered in no time.
Tandem Breastfeeding Twins
Here are some tandem twin nursing positions that work well with two. You may find one or more that works best for your family. These positions can also easily be modified for just one baby at a time.
The Football Hold
The football hold is typically the easiest way to start tandem nursing your twin babies, especially tiny newborns.
This hold supports both of their heads a little better with your hands, while helping guide them onto the nipple. You can also see what their mouth is doing, in case you have to adjust their latch. A newborn’s neck control is not very strong, and at this age they need a lot of help being positioned and supported during breastfeeding.
The football hold is the position where you place each baby’s feet near your elbow and ribs, and their head is at your breast. Your baby will be positioned on their side comfortably resting on your twin-size nursing pillow.
The Cradle Hold
The cradle hold is when you cradle your baby in your arm, with their head at your breast, their body lying on your arm, and their feet or legs, in your hands.
This is a hold that you would typically use for a newborn, if you didn’t have the support from a nursing pillow. Although the cradle hold is a little more difficult with two babies because your arms are both being used, this position can be done, especially if you have help with someone passing your babies to you.
The Stacked Position
The stacked position is one that works really well with your small newborn babies. In this position you can place each baby’s body on top of each other, with their heads at opposite breasts while you are cradling them.
This works especially well if your babies are swaddled. The stacked position can comfort newborn twins by simulating the squished feeling of their bodies against each other in the womb.
The Criss-Cross Position
In this position, you would sit slightly reclined cradling each baby. One twin will lay on a diagonal across your body, with their feet to your hip, while their twin will assume the same position on the opposite breast and hip, while wrapping over the first baby’s body.
This twin nursing position works well as your babies get a little older and bigger.
Football and Cradle Holds
Having one baby in a cradle hold and one baby in a football hold is also a great option.
As your babies get older and have more neck control, you will find that they might be able to do some gymnastics, and nurse easily in a variety of combinations.
A Reclined Sit with Babies Upright
In this twin nursing position you would sit in a reclined position with your babies laying on your front, somewhat upright. You will use your arms to cradle them, but because you are reclined, gravity will help keep them in place.
Just remember that there is not just one right position for feeding twins. Be patient and experiment to find what twin nursing position works best for you and your babies. You may find that switching to different holds as your little ones grow will be most beneficial.
At first, you might want help positioning your babies. Enlist someone to help you get situated until you get the hang of simultaneous feedings.
Breastfeeding and Formula
Exclusively breastfeeding twins or triplets can be a challenge. Not only do you have to build and maintain a large enough breast milk supply, but you will be breastfeeding very often.
Many parents find that taking a break a few times a day will help both physically and mentally and formula feedings can help with that. Giving your baby formula in addition to breastfeeding is called supplementing. The good news is that supplementing, when done with care, will not be detrimental to your breastfeeding journey.
Supplementing Breastfeeding with Formula
Breastfeeding and Supplementing with Formula
Organic European baby formula uses only the highest quality ingredients, sourced from organic farming practices, and held to the strictest regulations.
Copying breastmilk as closely as possible, European baby formula is free from toxic ingredients such as antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, chemicals and pesticides.
Best Formula to Supplement While Breastfeeding
Choosing a 100% organic baby formula like HiPP HA Combiotic Hypoallergenic, is perfect for supplementing. Made with cow’s milk proteins that are divided into small fragments much like breastmilk help to reduce the allergenic properties and digestive discomforts that can be associated with combined feedings.
The special fiber-based prebiotic and a probiotic from lactic acid bacteria found in HiPP HA, mimic those found in breastmilk, work together to add extra tummy support and Omega-3 and 6 LCPs (DHA and ARA) for brain development.
As with all European baby formulas HiPP HA is filled with essential vitamins and minerals needed for development and growth.
Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding Twins: Sensitive
For little ones that are born with a cow’s milk allergy or have extremely sensitive tummies due to medical issues, you may need a specialty formula as a breastfeeding supplement.
In these situations and for preemies with immature digestive systems, we recommend goat milk-based baby formula.
These A2 milk formulas generally form a smaller, softer, and looser curd in the gut than found in a cow milk-based formula, which makes them naturally easier to digest and reduces allergies found in cow’s milk baby formula.
Holle goat's milk and Kendamil goat’s milk formulas provide essential fatty acids similar to breastmilk that acts as a prebiotic, making digestion and absorption easier. Healthy gut bacteria means less issues with sensitivity and a more comfortable baby.
Best Organic Goat's Milk Formula
Best A2 Cow's Milk Formula
Holle A2 Milk Stage 1
Age: 0-6 months
Size: 800g / 28.22oz
Biodynamic Organic Certified (Organic ++), Milk from cows with A2 beta-casein protein type, DHA/ARA, No Maltodextrin
How to Bottle Feed a Baby
Exactly how to meet the needs of two or more babies is one of the biggest challenges for parents and caregivers. With this in mind and for many other reasons, some families choose bottle feeding as an alternative to breastfeeding.
Bottle Feeding Twins
Families who choose to use bottles for feeding their twins have the benefit of extra hands. It also gives your partner or other caregivers a chance to participate in the feeding process.
However, there are many times when it is necessary for one person to feed both babies at the same time, and that is when it is handy to have a strategy. It takes some practice, but it can be very manageable to feed two babies at the same time.
Twin Baby Gear
Whether you use formula alongside your breastmilk or as a breastmilk alternative, how you feed twins or more may vary depending on their age and size. Just like in breastfeeding, positioning is important for caregivers and babies.
Twin Feeding Pillow
Younger babies require support for their necks and heads. While the intimacy of close physical contact is an added benefit during feeding, it also works to use bouncy seats or feeding pillows that are made especially for twins. Feeding pillows are especially good for emulating the positions recommended for nursing and perfect bottle feeding.
Twin Feeding Table
Older babies have more physical control of their heads and limbs, and may even be able to hold the bottle without assistance. When adding solid nutrition to the mix you can keep your babies close and make the time enjoyable for you all.
How to Prepare Baby Formula Perfectly
European baby formula is nutrition that closely mimics breast milk with the convenience of being readily available when you need it. For every stage and digestive need European formula is here for your family.
Best Formula for Transitioning from Breast to Bottle
For the littlest babies, Holle Pre is organic cow's milk-based nutrition that has prebiotics and probiotics that help immature digestive systems absorb and digest the nutrition needed to grow and thrive.
Best Formula for Cow Milk Allergies - Vegetarian
For sensitive little ones, European baby formula companies know that the cleaner the nutrition, the better. Kendamil Goat Milk based baby formula offers you powdered nutrition that is plant based and free of palm oil, artificial ingredients and synthetic preservatives.
Breastfeeding VS Formula
Families who choose a combination feeding method or an alternative to breastfeeding whether out of necessity, convenience, or simply a personal choice are no less thoughtful of their babies’ health and development than those that exclusively breastfeed.
Reasons for Supplementing or Choosing a Breastfeeding Alternative
The most important consideration when deciding which feeding method is right for your babies is the needs of your family.
Your family is important to us. We are proud to bring you breastfeeding supplements and alternatives that are among the best in the world.
My Organic Company only carries pure organic toxin free nutrition to support the proper growth and development of your little ones; so you can focus on what is most important - your family.