So you had your twins and you have decided that breast is best – but what if I told you fed is best! Many moms of multiples fear breastfeeding their new babies and always wonder, “How will I manage feeding both of my twins at the breast or even make enough milk?” Luckily for us ladies, our bodies are so smart and unique that they know exactly what to do to meet our infants’ needs. Your body has known for months that you’re eating for three (or more) – how neat is that? While you have been eating twice your body weight in ice cream and pickles to feed those tiny humans, your body has been preparing itself for their grand appearance for the last 7-9 months (because we know some twins are just so eager to meet you that they come early).
Breastfeeding isn’t always feasible
While nearly all of us want to breastfeed, it is not always feasible (and it can be quite overwhelming, too). After giving birth to my twins, I was completely overwhelmed by the whole process! Even though I am a postpartum and nursery nurse, I had such a rough time getting my twins to latch on an enjoy mamma’s milk. In the end, I decided that exclusively pumping was the best route for me (and for my dear husband). As crazy as it sounds, I found so much relief after removing the stresses of fighting my babies to take the breast. It didn’t take long before we were in a routine and I was able to successfully give my twins exclusively pumped breastmilk until they turned one!
Exclusively pumping for multiples is no easy task but if you choose this route, just remember this: you can do it. There are plenty of women out there in similar situations and they will support you on this journey. Some of the best information and support I received was from social media – there are several fantastic groups out there for you to join. Now let me share my five tips for exclusively pumping moms.
So here we go……
- Make sure you have a double electric breast pump. There are a few on the market that I will list below. Having this type of pump is going to help you maintain a sufficient supply of breastmilk that your babies love so much.
Medela Pump In Style
- The membranes need to be changed every month. The membranes (valves) can breakdown and wear out over time. Since this piece contributes significantly to the suction power of the pump, you will not be able to adequately empty your breast of milk, which can decrease your supply. Rule of thumb for an exclusively pumping mom would be to change the membranes on the first of every month.
- Pumping bra. Invest in a hands free pumping bra. This allows you to be hands free and will save your life (yes, literally). Who wants to sit and hold the pump parts to your breast for 20-25 minutes? Nobody has time for that.
- Spare parts. Make sure you have a set of spare parts at all times. At the most inconvenient time something will malfunction and you don’t want to be running to the store at 2am because your breasts are about to burst. This could be tubing, membranes, flanges, etc. Any accessory piece to that pump.
- Always have a drink within arm’s reach … snacks too! You will be amazed at how thirsty you will be while providing nourishment to those precious little babies. Aim for a gallon of water of day. For snacks, make sure you have healthy, on-the-go options: nuts, trail mix, protein bars, Nutri-grain bars, fruit, etc.
I hope you found this information useful. Take it, apply it, and pass it on – because after all, fed is best!
About the author
Katlin McFerrin, BSN is TLC’s Dallas associate and a mom of three little girls, seven and two (twins), residing in Plano, TX a suburb of Dallas. Katlin graduated with her BSN, in her home town, at East Tennessee State University. She is a neonatal and postpartum nurse with education in lactation who has a passion for teaching. Katlin works PRN on the floor and teaches baby care and infant CPR to expecting first time parents once a month. You can reach Katlin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on our Dallas services including Expecting Twins and Breastfeeding Twins Classes.