September 4, 2012

Guest Post- All about Feeding Twins

I was contacted by Katie Moore a few weeks ago who wanted to write a guest post for all of my fabulous readers. She knew that I had many mommy readers and wanted to share her thoughts on feeding newborns. I was excited and asked her for some tips on feeding newborn twins, since I am going to be doing this very soon! I really appreciate her knowledge and tips! After reading her post, make sure and check out her blog. 

Feeding Newborn Twins

As is everything else with twin infants, feeding can be a complicated process. Mothers of two infants may feel that they do nothing but feed the babies and wash bottles. Additionally, many twins are smaller than average at birth, meaning that monitoring the milk intake of both babies is critical. Twin mothers must create routines and habits to help themselves keep track of feedings so that they can inform the pediatrician of any issues that arise.

Feeding Logistics

If a mother of twins does not create some sort of routine or schedule from the very beginning, she will struggle to sleep at all, much less do laundry and wash bottles. Mothers of twins often report that they feed both babies at the same time, even if they have to wake a sleeping infant to do so.

Twin mothers are incredibly resourceful. By placing both twins in bouncy seats, mothers of two babies can feed both of them at the same time. Eventually, twin mothers will learn to cuddle an infant in each arm while holding a bottle for each baby, but in the early days when the babies need to eat every two hours, feeding the babies as quickly as possible is essential.

Keeping Track of Bottles

Because many twin infants are tiny at birth, making sure that both get recommended amounts of milk is imperative. One baby usually will be larger than the other and have a bigger appetite. To keep up with the bottle situation, mothers of twins often buy bottles in two different colors, one for each baby. Doing this is especially helpful if the babies have to take two different types of formula.

Mothers of twins also find that it is better to fill a day’s worth of bottles once a day and keep them in the refrigerator, rather than making each bottle at feeding time. By doing this, mothers of two babies can easily streamline preparations for each feeding session, and they don’t have to try to remember the correct amounts of milk to mix at two in the morning while dealing with a pair of screaming infants.

Breastfeeding Twins

Although it is much more complicated with two babies,
breastfeeding twins is possible. Mothers who have never nursed before may find that nursing one infant at a time is easiest, but once they get more skilled at nursing, they can feed the babies with an infant at each breast. Nursing support pillows are quite helpful in the early days of nursing as the mother is trying to help both babies get latched on.

Even if a mother never manages to
tandem nurse, she can breastfeed one twin and bottle-feed the other at the same time by using a bouncy seat and a nursing support pillow. At the next feeding, she may want to switch babies so that both infants get the benefit of her breast milk. Mothers of twins should realize that every drop of breast milk is beneficial to their babies, but they should not beat themselves up if breastfeeding does not work out long-term.

Mothers of twins have so much to prepare for before their delivery—two babies means double the decisions for when it comes to health options like breast or bottle feeding, whether or not to invest in
umbilical cord blood banking, and immunizations. With the double duty, comes double feedings that many mothers of twins worry about. But by being organized and diligent, they can stay aware the needs of their babies. Feeding twins may be very difficult at first, but as the babies grow it will get much easier.

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