Now that you are a mom of twins, it can seem hard to maintain milk supply!
Come on, even moms of single babies struggle with milk supply. I understand your pain.
Being a mother of twins isn’t easy and when it comes to breastfeeding or pumping, the job is even harder.
One thing I want to share is not all tips and techniques work for all moms. So, you will have to try different ways and see what works for you.
Here’s a list of 8 tips that will most likely help increase your milk supply and keep the twins full.
Click a link below to jump to the relevant section
- 1. Nurse on Demand Initially
- 2. Skin to Skin Exclusive Breastfeeding
- 3. Stay Hydrated as Much as Possible
- 4. Lots of Rest Equals Lots of Milk?
- 5. Double Breast Pumping/nursing
- 6. Pump in Between Breastfeeding
- 7. Keep the Other Breast Occupied Even If You Are Feeding One Baby at a Time
- 8. Care for Your Breasts for More Milk
- Final Words
1. Nurse on Demand Initially
At the beginning, I relied more on routine and used to breastfeed my boys exactly at the same times of the day. I thought I was doing a great job until I talked with a lactation specialist.
The best thing to do is to feed your babies when they get hungry. Whenever there is demand, you provide the supply. This can be a bit painful initially because twins can get hungry within an hour or sometimes there’s a 1-2 hours gap.
What this does is it signals your body to produce milk depending on the demand of the babies. This worked for me and might do the same for you.
2. Skin to Skin Exclusive Breastfeeding
Trust me. Keep the pump away at least for the first few weeks.
Pumps are strong and can help quite a lot. However, at the beginning, you need to get close with your baby to stimulate milk production. Make skin to skin contact with the twins and you will see that your body will start making more milk.
I have talked with dozens of moms who started pumping right away and never produced enough milk. But when they switched to exclusive nursing with skin to skin contact, things started to change. So, give your body time to get used to the natural process of nursing and then you can use the pumps.
3. Stay Hydrated as Much as Possible
One thing is certain: drinking ounces of extra water won’t increase your milk supply abruptly. However, breastfeeding or pumping can quickly make you dehydrated and feel thirsty. So, if you aren’t keeping yourself hydrated, it sure will decrease your milk supply.
A good way to remind yourself about drinking water is to drink a glass right before each nursing session. Drink whenever you are thirsty or alternatively make a routine and drink 2 litres of water everyday. The better you feel about your body, the more you will be ready to produce milk.
4. Lots of Rest Equals Lots of Milk?
A research study done on turkish moms has found that sleep quality can impact breast milk production. I know it’s tough to get rest or sleep with twins. But no matter what, try to sleep at least 7-8 hours each day.
You don’t have to sleep for 7 hours straight. You can take short naps for 1-2 hours in between feedings, but make sure you do get the right of sleep.
Sleep deprivation can release cortisol, which is a stress hormone and it can lead to decrease of milk supply.
Apart from sleep, keep yourself out of stress and ignore stuff that can make you overwhelmed with fear or anxiousness.
5. Double Breast Pumping/nursing
Using a double electric pump can make life easier for twin moms. I wouldn’t recommend going down this road right away. But you can slowly start pumping after the end of the first month. Double pumping will make sure that both the breasts are getting empty and this will signal your body to produce more milk.
Even if you are not pumping, you can tandem breastfeed which is to nurse both of your twins together. I have seen lots of moms doing this and most of them have gotten positive results.
6. Pump in Between Breastfeeding
This is another way to get maximum output from your breasts. I wish someone told me about this when I was feeding my babies.
What happens is sometimes one breast can get more attention than the other one. So, naturally, that breast will start producing less as days go by. You can easily avoid this by pumping that breast as soon as the babies stop nursing.
Pumping right after nursing also empties the breasts and you can also gain extra milk that you normally wouldn’t have got.
7. Keep the Other Breast Occupied Even If You Are Feeding One Baby at a Time
Some moms like me prefer to breastfeed one baby at a time. My twins didn’t get hungry at the same time. So, I used to feed one at a time.
What I noticed was the other breast kept leaking and that was a complete wastage. At that moment, I didn’t want to use a pump. I came across a Haakaa silicone breast pump that works by expressing milk using natural suction.
Using this technique I was able to extract a few ounces extra everyday. So, on some days when I was producing less or had less time for nursing, this extra milk came handy.
8. Care for Your Breasts for More Milk
A lot of moms focus more on pumping or nursing, but the thing is if your nipples are sore, nothing will work. You will feel pain and you won’t feel much motivation to nurse.
So, do whatever it needs to soothe your nipples and make sure they are in good form. Here’s some tips that I want to share:
- Use fresh breastmilk to massage your nipples before and after each feed
- Change nursing pads frequently to avoid bacterial infections
- Avoid soaps or shower gels on nipples to protect the natural oil on the areolae
- Use nipple cream made from pure lanolin to moisturize and heal your sore nipples
Most of these tips will work for you if you are consistent with them. Remember that first comes you and then breastfeeding. If you are not happy or not in a good mental state, consult with a specialist and solve your personal issues. Only then can you increase your milk supply.