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Mums share tips for Breastfeeding Twins

Some mothers from our Facebook Community share a few words of insight about having twins.

Natalia

I breastfed for 12 weeks and then put our boys on formula. I had fantastic support and that was how I coped. An afternoon sleep is bliss! If you are able to, have an afternoon sleep, helps you get through till dinner and bed time. The sleep deprivation was something I was not prepared for. Having friends do the kindy run was also a huge blessing. Just enjoy this time, they do grow soooo fast, our boys will be 5 next year and hubby and I can't believe it, where have the last 5 years gone!

Tina
I have five month old twin boys and they were prem so were in nicu for ten days before we could bring them home and they were fed for about a week through tubes. The best advice is to put no expectations on yourself or the babies and just take each day as it comes. My mum moved in with us for three weeks and I bottle fed until about eight weeks, I was expressing and feeding them ebm, this allowed others to feed them while I slept which was a god send. I introduced exclusive breastfeeding at 8 weeks and have had no problems at all. I tandem feed where I can, as unglamorous as it is, because it cuts feed time in half!

Tascha
I breastfed my twins for the first 5 months. I topped them up with formula at night with the hope they might sleep longer, which seemed to make no difference. As they were born small and early they were feeding every 2 hours. Its hard work, worth it in the end ;o). I feed them together as then they woke at the same time, and had the same routine. This meant the little sleep i got, was great. My twins are 3 now, still sleep and wake at the same times now.

Emiloly
I have 9 month old twin girls and I am still breast feeding ;) It was hard at first but so worth it in the end.  My advice re: breast feeding is to see a lactation consultant.  Community breast feeding support was fantastic with me and their support invaluable.

Rachel
Our girls were born nearly 4 years ago and we didn't cook ourselves dinner for 8 weeks after they were born! We had fantastic friends/family who really supported us. The most scary thing for me was the logistics of getting out and about with two babies. We have a typical Wellington house - up a long path! I don't think I left the house by myself with our girls for the first 5 months! The first few months were a real team effort (and my husband and I made a great team too). I breastfed/pumped and formula fed for 6 months then they went completely on formula. Oh I slept when the girls slept and our house was a complete shambles but sleep gets you through!

Debbie

I have 8 month old twins (boy and girl), still breast feeding. Get in contact with a lactation consultant and get your milk supply up early! I was expressing after most feeds in the early days to get my supply up. I think this helped greatly. Also tandem in the early days cuts down the time! By about 12 weeks I was able to  feed them with out help from others and single fed from about 16 weeks, as they are more efficient and it was great to have independence with feeding. Also if you can (depending on prems etc) get into a routine early on and keep them in the same routine (feeding same time, sleep and wake time), even it if means waking one. Afternoon sleeps are a must - especially early on. The more support from partner and family you have the better. I would say this is how I survived the first 12 weeks.

Rachel
Hi I have identical boys who are 16 months, I also have 3 other kids.  My daughter is almost 13  and my sons are 9 and 5. I have found it easy having the twins, I'm a cruisy sorta person and don't stress about much I take it as it comes, and kids are kids so my kids take that from me and are really cruisy kids especially the twins as they just had 2 fit in to whatever was going on! I had two children at school and one at preschool, when they were born my hubby took kids to school for the first month which was great as that was the twins feed time but otherwise I still did everything the same as before. I am still breastfeeding with no end in sight and haven't had any problems.  I tandem fed them for a long time.  Once I got home and was more comfortable breastfeeding pilows were the best invention! I dont feed them together so much now as they are bigger but do sometimes. I was induced 5 weeks early as T1 wasn't growing and had a natural VB with T2 being born feet 1st! They weren't as small as I thought they would be (4lbs 5ozs n 5lbs 3ozs) and only spent 24 hours in NNU.  Were topped up via feeding tube formula til my milk came in then was EBM to keep their blood sugars up. But I still tried to breastfeed them.  It took a couple days for them to feed well and tubes got taken out.  Came home exactly when they were a week old. My advice would be to be organised as you never know when you could go into labour or be induced.  I've been overdue each time so when I was told I had to be induced I was shocked. Think of what may happen so its not so much of a shock if things do happen, but of course you hope for the best and im sure everything will be perfect. Good luck having twins really is amazing!!

Lareina
I have 4 yr old twin girls had them at the age of 20! I think the best advice I can give is routine routine routine! I fed my girls for about 4 weeks and had to top up with formula and express after every feed. I unfortunately did not have enough milk for them both and as soon as I just fed them formula they put on weight and thrived! Not to mention some rest for me! They were fed every 3 hours from birth then 4 hourly from 3 weeks onwards. All the best for a healthy pregnancy its all worth it, my girls are each others best friends and I wouldn't have it any other way! baby #3 due in 5 weeks! (one this time)

Marie
My twins are now 9 months old, we have never been in a routine. I suck at routine, so it just doesn't happen. I'm still breastfeeding them and there is no sign of anyone giving up. They were 7 weeks prem, so they have had the occasional formula top up to fatten them up, but its very rare now. I twin fed them for the first 3 or 4 months, but they got too big for the pillow.  My advice is to make sure you have a good feeding chair and feeding pillow. Your back will thank you! Although I'm sure all the physios and chiros are grateful I didn't ;) I'm finally getting a feeding chair now before I become a complete cripple.  And enjoy them... there is something very special about twins! Its hard to juggle if you already have kids though, I have 2 older girls and its hard, they feel very left out a lot of the time.

Emma
I have 5 year old fraternal twin girls. It is so much fun! I think people scared me before they were born by telling me how hard it was going to be. It helped me to not focus on that (ahem...stayed away from the multiple birth club because they were the worst for that!). It is not harder than having one baby, you just need to do everything twice :o) Get a good buggy and a good baby carrier and take each day as it comes.

Kaya
I have 1 year old twins, a boy and a girl. Lots of help! Accept any help offered. My routine was feed, change sleep, feed, change, sleep. That was all they did for months. Have specific bedtime things, for us it was a relaxing CD. Had attachment issues here, but fed almost exclusively with breast and ebm for 6 weeks. They were 6 weeks prem.  I have a friend who is BF her 4 month old twins, she has a tandem feeding pillow. I did not, I wish I had.

Bex
I think just accept all help you can. The first year is hard but you get there. And do what works for you :) Plus joining a multiple birth club is good - you make new friends who have/are going through the same experiences.

Amanda
I have 3 year old twin boys who were tandem breastfed until they decided to wean themselves at around 12.5 months. I used a Babybaby feeding pillow. My advice for the early days is get as much help as you can. I had my husband home for 2 weeks, then my mother-in-law for 2 weeks and then my parents for 2 weeks. Get a good stroller so you can take them out for walks to clear your head and so that they sleep! Rest whenever you can and if you are breastfeeding EAT! Mums of breastfed twins need loads of food so take whatever is going from family and friends! Mostly have fun, as the first year is so busy and days become a blur, but twins give you double the hugs and kisses ;-)

Maria
ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU ARE A GREAT MUM EVEN IF YOU HAVE DARK THOUGHTS. The first 8weeks are hell and until one of your little treasures starts sleeping through it will be hard.

If you have an older child under 5yrs old you are entitled to a winz homehelp grant. Get yourself an appointment with WINZ before babies arrive.  You can have a nanny for free or you can hire a family member & they get paid to play with your kids at no cost to you :)

If you don't feel confident with your midwife don't be afraid to change midwives. I changed midwives at 37 weeks and was so glad I did!

Join the multiple birth club & if you are in Canterbury check out the Rangi Ruru nanny school for free nanny care from the fantastic nanny trainees.

Be prepared for an 20min shopping trip to take over an hour as you will be stopped by every old lady who sees you.

Maria
I have 9mth old twin boys. I rarely tandem feed now as they scratch each other, but in the first 6mth I would wake one up & tandem feed them both to save time & I was still spending most of my days in nights feeding. So much so my husband calls the chair which I bf the boys in command central lol.

Jillian

My twin boys are almost 2, but I was lucky, my hubby and I had one each thru the night wen they were first born. Actually they were al lot easier than I expected, they are more trouble now I think!!

Emma
I never breastfed the gremlins really, they were bottle fed EBM for the first ten weeks while I tried to get breastfeeding established, but in the end it was just too hard. I got cracked nipples from them not latching properly, then a staph infection, they screamed non stop 20-hours a day and I had very limited support. Looking back, I really wish I had persevered and not been so hard on myself about it. I was determined to tandem feed coz feeding individually took so long, but it made it much harder to get a good latch, and if one came off, I couldn't get her back on. I wish I had just sucked it up and fed them separately until we got the hang of it, coz in hindsight it really is only a few weeks until they become more efficient. I have since gone on to breastfeed lil miss (23 months and counting), but I put so much less pressure on myself which made it easier, even tho the gremlins were only 20-months when she was born so I had 3 babies. Sorry, a bit of a depressing story, but I like to share it coz hopefully it might help someone else to hang in there in the early days.

Juliet
Twins are awesome and I would do it all again if I knew I was having twins (this may be sleep deprivation talking!!) Our darlings were born at 25 weeks 5 days so I was expressing like a cow from day 1. Sadly with the stress of having them in NICU my milk supply dwindled so after a few weeks they were topped up with formula. By the time we were home from the hospital (after 12 long weeks!) they were having majority formula feeds. I think the stress and not having the same bond with them (I found it hard to bond with them through plastic and with wires poking every which way...some others dont!) made breast feeding hard. I beat myself up over it but at least they had a few weeks of mummy's milk. Still they have thrived and at 18 months old (corrected age) they are doing what their same age mates are doing!

Emily
gosh every mum has a different story twins or not!.....and we all have hard times and also the very best of times!  My twins are 10 months old and still breastfeed 100%......i did tandem feed in the first 8 weeks during the night as it cut the feeding time in half so i could get more sleep, otherwise i prefer to feed them one at a time, they have  one side each and i swap them for each feed to keep my bbobs even! lol as one baby is a stonger feeder than the other.  My girls have just started crawling......its just awesome to see two babies grow and develop together! us twin mumma's are so very blessed with double joy!

Claire
Good reading. I am 32 weeks pregnant with twins so it is nice to read all the different perspectives :)

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