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Twins and Other Multiples

If you are the new mother of twins, triplets, or a larger number of multiples, you may worry about how you will manage to breastfeed them all. If you have twins, you can breastfeed them at the same time by holding one baby at each side in a football hold or by cradling both infants in front of you with their bodies crossing each other. You may also feed one baby using a football hold and the other in a cradle position. You can experiment and find the positions that work best for you.

You may need to express breast milk as well as breastfeed, since multiples are frequently born prematurely and require special care. A hospital-grade electric breast pump will help maximize your milk supply until your babies have fully adjusted to breastfeeding and are gaining weight appropriately. Your lactation specialist, local Mothers of Twins club, or La Leche League can offer advice on where to find a pump and provide other helpful information. Your pediatrician will continue to monitor your babies’ weights to make sure each is getting an adequate amount of breast milk to ensure proper weight gain.

If you have triplets, you can breastfeed them as well. But do not be discouraged if your pediatrician recommends supplementing feedings with formula. You might find nursing two of your babies at a time and giving formula or expressed breast milk to the third works the best. At the next feeding, give the formula to a different baby. All three (or more) babies should have a chance to breastfeed. And it’s especially important for you to get adequate rest, eat a good diet, and have good help with household chores and baby care to establish and maintain a milk supply for all of your babies. One estimate found that breastfeeding twins may require an additional 1,500 extra calories a day!

Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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