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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding More Than One Baby

Having more than one baby can have its challenges, but it is still possible to breastfeed twins, triplets or even more!

It is a great way to bond with your babies and soothe them. You may be having a baby and still breastfeeding your older child. Lots of parents make breastfeeding multiple babies or tandem feeding a toddler and baby work for them.

It may take a little bit more practice for you and your babies to get used to breastfeeding. Midwives and health visitors will help in the early weeks and months, to support and help you and your babies enjoy the amazing benefits of breastfeeding.

Dive Deeper

Will I Have Enough Milk?

You may be worried you won't have enough milk for two babies or more, but the human body is amazing! Breasts can produce enough milk to feed your babies for as long as you and they want to. Here are some tips to help you maximise and maintain your milk supply.

Skin to Skin

Holding your babies next to your skin will help them and you to produce oxytocin. This promotes your bonding and attachment, increases your milk supply and let down and reduces stress levels for you and your babies.

Start From Birth

Breast feeding your newborn babies as soon as possible after birth and if possible at least 8 to 12 times every 24 hours. This will help you establish your milk supply. The more often you breast feed, the more milk you'll produce. If your babies are in the neonatal unit, staff will support you to feed them expressed breastmilk if they cannot breastfeed for themselves yet.

Expressing Milk

If you have twins or more the hospital may suggest ''double pumping'' to maximise your milk production and halve the time it takes to express milk. Continuing to express when you are home with will ensure that until they and you have fully established breastfeeding, you are able to keep up with their requirements.

If you have triplets you may want your partner to feed one baby with an expressed breastmilk feed while you breastfeed the other two. Don't forget to vary the baby fed with expressed milk at each feed.

Evening & Night feeding

Feeding your babies in the evening and at night is very important. This is when your body most actively produces milk making hormones. 

Antenatal Expression

When you know you are having twins or triplets you may want to consider antenatal hand expression. This can ensure you have a supply of frozen colostrum ready for when the babies are born. It can help to be prepared and reduces the need for formula to be given to your babies.

Read more about antenatal expression 

Tips For Breastfeeding Twins

When breastfeeding twins or triplets, its important you and your babies are as comfortable as possible.

Breastfeeding Pillows

You can get pillows that are designed for twins. Or you can use two regular pillows or rolled-up towels.

Getting Comfortable & Ready

In the early days it may be easier to get yourself in position and you may have someone who could hand you each baby. Get them to latch one at a time.

If you're alone, set yourself up on the floor with lots of pillows. Put the babies in a safe space on either side of where you'll be sitting. Fasten the pillow around your waist and position the babies one at a time onto the pillow.

Breastfeeding Triplets (or more)

If you have more than two babies try feeding two at a time. You can then feed the third baby afterwards. Remember to switch which baby feeds on their own during each feed.

Getting a Good Latch

Your nipples should not be painful or cracked during or after feeds. If they are have a look at our positioning and attachment information or call Just One Number for help and advice.

 

Read more about breastfeeding twins

Breastfeeding Triplets

 

Tandem Feeding A Baby & Toddler

You may become pregnant whist still breastfeeding your older child and want to continue to feed during the pregnancy and after your new baby is born. This is called tandem feeding.

It is fine to continue feeding your child whilst pregnant and afterwards whilst feeding your newborn.

Breastmilk is very clever and will meet the needs of both. Continuing to breastfeed your child may help them with the transition to older sister or brother.

Read more about tandem feeding

 

Looking After Yourself

You will be very busy looking after and feeding your babies, but it is really important that you look after yourself as well!

If you have a partner or support person they will be very important. Helping out with the babies and helping you emotionally as well. They can help to look after one baby while you look after the other.

If you can, try and get friends and family to help with the housework and look after older children. Don't forget to ask for help if you need it and if someone offers help, accept it! Have a list of simple tasks ready to make it easier when people do offer help.

Don't forget to eat and drink when you can. A healthy diet is even more important when breastfeeding multiple babies!

Try and get as much rest as you can. If possible, try to sleep when the babies are sleeping. 

Who can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible breastfeeding support and advice.

It may help in the first instance to look again at our page on Positioning and Attachment or read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby

Norfolk’s Early Childhood and Family Service (ECFS) offers support for all parents and carers with children aged 0 to 5 years.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

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