It’s a general consensus that breastfeeding twins is one of the biggest challenges that any new twin mom faces.
You have two ways you can go about this: feed them separately or try and feed them both at the same time. While the first one seems much easier because each baby has its own temperament and personal needs, if you can master tandem breastfeeding you will make your life ten times easier in the long run. Yes, at first it’s going to be a struggle getting both babies to latch at the same time, but once you establish a tandem feeding routine you will be amazed by the ease of it.
We are here to give you all the insights about twins’ nursing and help you decide which one of the twin breastfeeding positions is the best for you. Stay tuned!
Do I Need Lactation Consultations?
The short answer is “yes, definitely”. Lactation consultations are designed to give you the best advice on what will and what wouldn’t work with your twins in terms of breastfeeding them.
Usually, hospitals offer free lactation consultations for new moms and you should make the most of the resources which are available to you.
However, if you’re giving birth at home you will have to arrange your own lactation consultations. Nevertheless, home birth is not recommended when expecting twins because there are many potential complications associated with twin birth, and you don’t really want to risk it.
The Best Twin Breastfeeding Positions for Tandem Feeding
While you might start off with feeding each baby individually, you will want to master tandem breastfeeding as soon as possible to make your life easier.
Here are the best tried & tested twin nursing positions that moms love. We encourage you to try as many of them as possible, in order to find your own fit.
- The Football Hold. This is the ultimate beginner’s twin breastfeeding position, because it’s the easiest one to get the hang of, especially if you have tiny newborns, and it’s also a classic one. You will need to place your babies with their feet tucked behind your arms and across your ribs, while their heads are at each of your breasts. As newborns they will need a lot of support for their heads and feet if you’re doing the football hold nursing, so it’s best to use a nursing pillow
- The Cradle Hold. This one is a little bit more difficult when tandem breastfeeding, because you’re using both your arms. The heads of your babies are at each of your breasts, their bodies are laying on your arms, and their feet or legs, in your arms. This breastfeeding position is great if you don’t have the support of a nursing pillow, but you might require the help of someone else to assist you with positioning the babies.
- The Double Cradle or Cross Cradle Hold. In this position, you need to 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 take the same position on the opposite breast and hip, while wrapping over the first twin’s body. This twin nursing position is quite easy to hack and is also a long-term one, because you can keep coming back to it even when your babies get older
- Football and Cradle Hold. In this position one baby is in a cradle hold, and the other baby is in a football hold – a great combination for extra ease
- Saddle or Parallel Hold. You need to sit in a reclined position with your babies laying on your front, sitting upright, and facing your chest. You will cradle them with your arms, but because you are reclined, gravity will help keep them in place. This position is ideal for older babies because they have more neck support or are able to sit upright
The Best Breastfeeding Pillow for Tandem Nursing
As you already know some of the twin breastfeeding positions for tandem feeding require the use of a nursing pillow. A good breastfeeding pillow will provide you with all the support you need to get your babies to latch at the same time, and avoid back problems for you.
We absolutely love the My Brest Friend Supportive Nursing Pillow for Twins. Just like the name suggests, this is your new best friend when tandem feeding your babies. It is specifically designed to accommodate two babies at once, and offers the right support for both your tiny twins and yourself.
As we mentioned, a common issue with tandem nursing is back pain caused by leaning forward when your twins are latching. If you still feel like your back is being strained even when using the My Best Friend Pillow, you can add extra blankets or pillows to ease your back.
What is the Best Breast Pump for Twins and Do You Need One?
Getting your newborn babies to latch from the start, especially simultaneously, is a common issue for many moms of two. If this happens to you, the one thing you shouldn’t do is neglect the nutritional needs of your twins because of your determination.
One thing you can do is feed them separately at first and then slowly introduce tandem breastfeeding, regardless of how frustrating and tiring this might be for you.
But if this doesn’t work either, you might have to figure out an alternative that involves bottled milk, either pumped breastmilk, or a substitute. For example, you can have a little system where you breastfeed one of the twins and simultaneously feed the other one with a bottle during one of the feeds, and then swap for the next one. This way your babies are at least being breastfed during half of their feeds.
Of course, pumped breastmilk is much better than a store-bought substitute. If you have enough milk supply you should invest in a twin breast pump to make sure you’re stocked up on that natural breast milk.
We recommend you the award-winning Haakaa Manual Breast Pump. Doctors and celebrity moms vouch for this silicone manual breast pump and especially highlight its ease of use. The Haakaa Manual Breast Pump is much more simplified than any electric breast pump and uses the power of natural suction. It’s also super easy to clean – it only requires soaking in boiling water for 2 mins and voila! You can also take it anywhere with you due to its compactability and lightweightness.
Give Your Babies a Little Treat
Tandem breastfeeding doesn’t have to be this exhausting and dreadful experience. On the contrary, you can make it fun for both you and your babies.
So how can you do that? Why don’t you start by getting some funky matching bibs for your little angels? The Drinking Buddies Twins Baby Bibs are a quirky option with a super catchy slogan. Moreover, they’re ultra soft and breathable making twin life easier.
Master Twin Breastfeeding Positions
Twin breastfeeding: the most important part of the development of your babies, yet the most difficult one to master. Dear mom, you’re not alone in this! There are tons of moms who struggle with getting their babies to latch, especially at the same time. Tandem breastfeeding is your best bet but until you get the hang of it you might sweat a bit. There are quite a few twin breastfeeding positions for tandem twins nursing that you can try out until you find your best fit. But if tandem breastfeeding isn’t your thing, don’t worry, because there are other alternative options.