We can all agree that the list of “things to get” before welcoming your multiples into the world can seem daunting at first thought. With double (or more) babies to prepare for where does one distinguish what is a “must have” and what may not really be needed? When it comes to breastfeeding multiples you don’t need a lot of the extras in order to have success. These are my (Lorna Donnelly – RN,IBCLC and Mother to Twins) top 5 essentials you definitely want to ensure you’re aware of. They will without a doubt make breastfeeding multiples that much easier and also to help set the course for you reaching whatever your breastfeeding goals may be!
Owning a twin nursing pillow, while not critical to ensuring one’s success with breastfeeding- is arguably an item that can definitely assist in more easily and comfortably allowing you to tandem breastfeed your twins. I have never heard a mom to regret the purchase of a breastfeeding pillow. Whether you prefer a firmer pillow and go for the My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow or Piglet Twin Feeding Pillow or the softer and more versatile Twin Z Pillow– a twin nursing pillow will prove to be among your most used and most appreciated baby products you can own!
Owning and investing in a good quality nursing bra is a no brainer to some. Others may feel there isn’t a difference and decide to save some money and buy a cheaper alternative. Let’s just say all nursing bras are not created equal. When you’re wearing these daily and for potentially a year or longer…. You want to LOVE this bra and feel comfortable in it. Right? Investing in a higher quality brand will allow you to make this a one-time purchase that won’t start to wear or age prematurely. What makes a good quality nursing bra? You want to ensure there is no under wire as you don’t want to put yourself at risk for plugged ducts.
Also, you want to ensure nice wide support where the bra transitions to the straps, and you will of course want to ensure the straps can easily be unsnapped to aid in the ease of breastfeeding. Another important part of the bra is the back where the bra fastens, you’ll want to ensure there are many fasteners as your body changes post-partum and as your milk comes in and your breast size changes. Some styles of nursing bras are without a clasp on the back (much like the back of a sports bra- they’re seamless) and are more forgiving and comfortable to some. My personal favorite and highly recommended nursing bra is the Bravado! Designs nursing bras. They’re phenomenal and so comfortable!
Double Electric Breast Pump
Being a mom of multiples means there is a greater chance of having your babies preterm. While this is not a definitive… you still want to be prepared for all the possibilities. Owning a commercial grade or top end double electric breast pump is a must have! I also encourage moms expecting twins to budget for a Hospital grade pump rental just in case the babies aren’t able to go to the breast initially. Hospital grade pumps are the best pump when you need help establishing your milk supply. If you budget for this in advance you won’t have to worry about the stress of a sudden expense you hadn’t planned for. Budget for it upfront and then if you don’t end up needing to rent one, you have that money that was already set aside. Check with your local hospital to see if they provide hospital grade pump rentals and the cost associated with this.
Whether or not your twins are born preterm or term pumping is a great way to help your milk supply, provide backup breastmilk for situations beyond your control, and also provide your milk if you will ever be away from the babies and they will need to eat. Whether you will be a stay at home mom or mom working outside of the home- you will find times when you need to pump or desire to pump. Do be sure to check with your insurance provider as often times they will provide you with a pump that meets your standards.
There is no denying that preparing as much as one can will help you to get off to the best start possible. If you enjoy reading find any and all reputable breastfeeding resources to read and glean from. Attending breastfeeding classes will also help you familiarize yourself with positioning and latch tips, answer many common questions/concerns, and above all gain understanding of warning signs and when to get help. Join one of Twin Love Concierge’s Online Breastfeeding Twins class to learn and receive the support you need all in the comfort of your own home.
Arguably the MOST important part of your breastfeeding journey is going to be support. The support of your partner is huge. Early on breastfeeding multiples has its challenges and it is a learning process that takes a lot of time whether this is your first time breastfeeding or not. Breastfeeding in the early post-partum period is lengthy. You will need the support and encouragement from your partner and together agree that breastfeeding your babies is the priority as you work towards having a strong breastmilk foundation and getting breastfeeding well established. This takes 3-5 weeks on average and longer when your babies are pre-term. Finding your local La Leche League and attending meetings can be another great way to receive support.
Whether you’re struggling or everything is going beautifully- surrounding yourself with moms that have “been there, done that” or are currently experiencing exactly what you are is priceless. Lastly, don’t forget about finding your local Mothers of Multiples group. There is simply nothing like the friendships from another mom of multiples. That unspoken bond that unites all moms of multiples together and whether they’ve experienced what you have or not they are without question there to listen, support, encourage, and offer advice or suggestions from hearts that can completely relate.
About the Author
Lorna Donnelly – RN,IBCLC, TLC’s Pre & Postpartum Dallas Associate, born/raised in Texas and has resided in the Fort Worth area for 15 years. Proud mother of three amazing children who all enjoy being outdoors. Her daughter, the oldest, is an insect loving little girl followed three years later by very active fraternal twin boys. Lorna attended Texas Christian University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She then began working in local hospitals as a RN providing postpartum care to both mom’s and babies and later worked in the newborn nursery. After the birth of her daughter and having first-hand experience with breastfeeding she realized how passionate she was about empowering mothers to breastfeed and helping to be a source of support along that journey. It was then that she became an IBCLC and began working in the Lactation Department within local hospitals. After the birth of her twins, she dived into various online multiples groups because of her driving passion to be a source of encouragement to fellow moms of multiples. She joined TLC to fulfill her desire to educate, equip, and further empower moms of multiples in whatever way they need. You can reach Lorna at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our Dallas services and our online Breastfeeding Twins Class details.