CAN I BREAST­FEED MY MULTIPLES?

Your Pregnancy - - Pregnancy Files -

Breast­feed­ing twins or triplets is def­i­nitely pos­si­ble. Plan ahead and get plenty of sup­port so that you’re able to fo­cus on your ba­bies. If you can af­ford it, get help with your house­work, a nanny, or a night nurse to as­sist you through the chal­leng­ing early weeks or months. You could also ask your hus­band or rel­a­tives to step in. De­pend­ing on the ges­ta­tional age of the ba­bies and the cir­cum­stances that sur­round the birth, the sit­u­a­tion can have many dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios that will de­ter­mine your goals with re­gards to lac­ta­tion. Should the ba­bies be born early, it is of ut­most im­por­tance to ini­ti­ate and pro­tect your milk sup­ply. Reg­u­lar breast care and cor­rectly ex­press­ing with an ef­fi­cient breast pump will help with this. Many hos­pi­tals do have dou­ble elec­tric breast pumps avail­able for NICU moms. It may hap­pen that one baby is well and able to stay with you, but the other needs spe­cialised care in the NICU. In this case, you will need to ex­press milk for the other twin while nurs­ing the health­ier twin at your breast. If nei­ther of your ba­bies needs a stint in the NICU, the ideal is to do skin-to-skin con­tact and be guided by each baby’s feed­ing de­mands. It may be eas­ier to feed one at a time to en­sure that each baby is ef­fec­tively latch­ing and feed­ing well. Once you get to know each baby and their in­di­vid­ual cues, then you could save time by feed­ing them to­gether. Po­si­tion is im­por­tant to make sure that each baby – and you – is com­fort­able. The most com­mon hold for twins is the rugby hold, with each baby held under an arm with their legs fac­ing to­wards your back. Feed­ing triplets re­quires a dif­fer­ent strat­egy. If all three ba­bies are breast­feed­ing, then of­fer Baby One and Two a breast each. Then feed Baby Three on both breasts af­ter that. Ro­tate the ba­bies at each feed time (Baby Two and Three on a breast each, with Baby One on both breasts, and so on). If the ba­bies are born pre­ma­turely and are un­able to latch, then ex­press­ing your milk is the next best op­tion. Re­mem­ber that each mom of multiples’ sit­u­a­tion is unique and in­di­vid­ual, so call in a lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant if you’re strug­gling. The South African Mul­ti­ple Birth As­so­ci­a­tion (SAMBA) is a use­ful source of sup­port, en­cour­age­ment and mo­ti­va­tion. Mak­ing con­tact with a lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant be­fore the birth of your ba­bies will help to give you the cor­rect guid­ance.

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