Caring for twins is a lot of work. If you are breastfeeding twins as well, you are my hero! Tandem nursing can feel daunting. Here are some tips from an IBCLC to make it easier.
Positioning for Mom:
This is so important! Get yourself into a comfortable position and have everything on hand that you’ll need: phone, water, remote, burp cloths, and rolled up swaddle blankets. Put your feet up and a pillow to support your lower back, shoulders or where ever you need it. From here you are ready to get your babies and bring them to you.
Positioning for Breastfeeding Twins:
Your twins can be in an infant bouncer or lounger on each side of you, depending on where you are sitting. So that they are safe and you can see them while you get yourself positioned. Having them close by and safe is optimal so that you can latch them one at a time.
Positioning at Breast:
Bring one of the babies to you. As mentioned above have your feet propped up on a footstool or ottoman. Take one of the babies out of the lounger. A breastfeeding pillow may be helpful for extra support when breastfeeding twins. Ensure that infant alignment is good (ear shoulder and breast all in a straight line), bring your nipple to babies nose and when they open their mouth guide them to the breast to latch.
Latch one baby at a time. Bring the first baby onto the pillow tucked in towards you. Place a rolled up swaddle blanket behind them to keep them in place. You can also place a throw pillow under each side of the nursing pillow and have a folded up towel centered on top of the nursing pillow. This provides extra support for both babies specifically for their heads. Then bring your second baby to the breast and add a rolled up blanket for support.
Breastfeeding Twins Hold
The football hold works very well for tandem nursing. This will look like a baby on each side of you with their legs tucked against your body, going backwards. In this position you can see how both babies are latched and nursing. From here you can make any adjustments needed (fanning the lips, reposition to ensure good body alignment). In this position your back and shoulders are supported.
It is not unusual for one baby to nurse better than the other. That does not mean that they cannot do it. It just means they may need some additional support and assistance. When the feed is over, follow the same method as you did. Unlatch one baby at a time and place in a safe place close to you. If necessary, offer the second baby a little more time at the breast. Then burp them both individually.
As always please reach out to our lactation department at Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny for additional support. Give us a call today! 781-444-4063
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About The Author
Olivia Wojcik BSN RN IBCLC graduated summa cum laude and has been a nurse working with mothers and babies for 8 years. She is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and specializes in infant & newborn feeding and education. She is a trained sleep coach, newborn care expert, and a level II reiki practitioner. Her biggest accomplishment and the one of which she is the most proud, is being the mother to two beautiful girls.