Multiple infants and breast-feeding

Most mothers can produce enough milk to breast-feed two or more babies. If you have twins or triplets, breast-feeding becomes more physically and emotionally challenging. But with support and guidance, you can be successful.

Breast-feeding fosters the bond between you and each baby. Since multiples often are born prematurely, the protective factors (antibodies) in breast milk are especially important for them.

Get assistance from a health professional, a breast-feeding specialist (lactation specialist), or another person with expertise in breast-feeding multiple-birth babies. Special techniques often are recommended for multiples. These may include:

  • Feeding the babies one at a time until they learn to latch on to the breast.
  • Feeding two infants at the same time after you are comfortable feeding one at a time. The cradle hold or the football hold often are advised. (You may also choose to feed the infants one at a time.)
  • Pumping breast milk after your milk supply is established so that others can help you feed the babies.
  • Using formula to supplement breast milk feedings.

Also, consider the following issues:

  • Drink plenty of water and eat at least 500 extra calories a day.
  • Consider joining a support group for mothers who breast-feed multiples. La Leche League or a group such as the Mothers of Twins Club (MOTC) may have support groups that can help.

Last Updated: July 16, 2009

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