The birth of multiple babies makes demands of the entire family. But as is so often the case in life, good preparation is half the battle – especially when it comes to time management, as time is a rare commodity after giving birth. So it can be a good idea to ask relatives and friends in advance for support in the household. Anyone who has never breastfed before can get valuable tips from breastfeeding advisors and midwives or take special birth preparation courses. You can also get support from talking to other mothers of multiples or by joining twin groups.
Different breastfeeding positions
It doesn't matter if one baby or several babies are demanding to be fed at the same time – sleep feels almost impossible in the early stages. So it’s important to manage your energy and pay attention to your own wellbeing and, above all, to your nutrition. It's best to follow your babies' lead and latch them onto the breast at early signs of hunger. Specially designed breastfeeding pillows can help with positioning and relieve pressure on your arms, back, shoulders and wrists. Should you feed them at the same time or one after the other? In the beginning it's certainly easier to feed the babies individually and then switch to time-saving tandem feeding. There are different breastfeeding positions for twins, such as the double football hold (with a baby under each arm), the parallel position (the babies lie against the body, heads pointing in the same direction) or the laid-back position (both babies lie on the mother's stomach). It's best to ask lactation consultants or midwives to show you the different positions. Alternatively, each baby can be fed on demand, with the second being woken up when the first has finished feeding, or use a mixture of both methods.
Getting help is important
Mothers often allocate one breast to each baby, but it's beneficial to alternate if one breast produces more milk than the other and one of the babies is getting less. This means the baby which gets more can stimulate milk production for the one that gets less, building up equal production on both sides. If you have problems with breastfeeding, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional support, ask family and friends for help or hand over tasks that you can no longer manage.
SWICA supports the 2023 Breastfeeding Campaign, which runs in German-speaking Switzerland from the beginning of May until July. For more information, visit stillkampagne.ch.