Tandem breastfeeding twins is doable. After having four other children having twins was an all-new experience for us. But it is possible to breastfeed twins successfully—especially with a plan and support.
One study showed that 70-90% of mothers with twin infants in a support group were successfully breastfeeding vs. 40% of the general population. This shows how important having support is to mothers of twins.
And I get being busy and overwhelmed. My baby boys (child #5 and #6) made us a family of eight. Our children ranged from high school age to newborns with varying needs.
I needed a plan and support to make breastfeeding twins possible. And I want to give you as much help as possible so you can feel empowered, supported, and confident that you can do it too.
Continue reading below for my best tips on tandem breastfeeding twins.
Why Tandem Breastfeeding Twins is Great
There is breastfeeding, and then there is tandem breastfeeding. And though there may be a social debate on tandem breastfeeding children of different ages (which is also doable), tandem feeding twins is a very different circumstance.
In my opinion, tandem feeding twins is the way to go for a couple of essential reasons, saving time and your sanity.
Tandem breastfeeding twins is specifically the act of breastfeeding both infants at the same time. When you feed both babies simultaneously, you save a significant amount of time. Every experienced mom knows that time is your most valuable commodity.
When you feed twins together, you can work toward aligning their feeding and sleep schedule. Scheduling your day will do wonders for your sanity versus trying to feed each baby individually as needed.
So that’s the why, but now we need to work toward the how. Keep reading for those helpful tips I promised you on tandem breastfeeding twins below.
1) Stay HydrateD
Drinking water is so important while breastfeeding. Think about all the moisture that you are doling out to your little ones. It is crucial to not only replenish your H2O but to increase your intake as well.
Experts recommend that you get about 16 cups of water a day through drinking or eating moist foods. One way to help improve your water consumption is to drink a glass with every feeding.
Think about what works for you. If you need your water at room temperature to drink it quickly, always have a bottle on the counter. Or if you prefer cold water, make sure you have a day’s worth of water bottles (or a pitcher) waiting for you in the fridge.
But I find it easiest to go ahead and drink that entire glass right away and quickly (drinking the entire bottle in about a minute) before a tandem breastfeeding session. This way, the task is done, and I can’t make an excuse to leave a half glass of water.
2) Eat Well
You’re not just eating for two, you are eating for three, and you need to eat accordingly.
The average woman needs to eat 300-500 additional calories while breastfeeding, and if you are solely giving your baby breast it will likely be on the higher end. When you are tandem breastfeeding twins you will literally double the calories needed.
That makes your additional intake up to an extra 1,000 calories.
Of course, you will want to eat a nutritious diet, but equally important is eating a varied diet. Getting a variety of nutrients and vitamins from your food is great. But when you vary your food intake it will change the smell and taste of your breastmilk.
These variations will expose your infants to various foods and more likely develop better eaters that are willing to enjoy a wider variety of foods as a toddler and beyond.
3) Get the Support You Need
Especially those first couple of weeks you are learning how tandem breastfeeding works, seek the support you need. Every mom is tired and a little overwhelmed with a new baby. There is no shame or weakness in looking for help during those early days.
In fact, it’s smart and shows you have a good sense of your EQ.
If you’re able to, ask for help with meals, cleaning, or childcare from family and friends while you figure out your twins’ feeding schedule. Allow your focus to be on the task at hand.
Also, take advantage of the breastfeeding consultant at the hospital. They can give you tips on your latch and positioning.
Even if you have left the hospital, you can find experienced lactation consultants at a reasonable cost. If it relieves your stress and solves your problems, it is so worth it.
Speaking of positioning your twins, I recommend also investing in a good breastfeeding pillow. Check out my favorite tandem feeding pillow on my post of essentials for breastfeeding twins. A good breastfeeding pillow certainly gives you added support to comfortably feed both babies at once.
Last but not least, you can find help in a support group. I recommend starting your search with Multiples of America, where you can pop in your zip code to find a group near you.
4) Keep Track of Your breastFeedings
Remember how I mentioned a schedule will help you save time and stress, so does keeping track. I like journaling, and it can be a valuable tool when communicating with your twins’ pediatrician.
With two babies (and four other children) pulling on my time, I couldn’t remember all the feeding and sleep cycle details. Jotting down a quick note at each feeding gave me the tools to track how well the babies and I were doing.
But I don’t like to journal or I rather feed on demand, you say. There is still one thing you should keep track of—which baby is feeding on which breast.
It is very important to alternate breasts because each baby has its own level of demand. Chances are one baby will suckle harder, faster, or need more. When you alternate, this evens the production in each breast which is best for you and your twins.
I did write down the amount of time and which breast while tandem breastfeeding twins. But if you are not a journaler, you can simply remember to alternate each feeding (or at the very least alternate each day).
- Baby Connect Newborn Tracker Apple or Android
- Feed Baby – Baby Tracker Apple or Android
- Glow Pregnancy & Baby Tracker Apple or Android
- MyMedela Family – Baby Tracker Apple or Android
- Ovia Parenting & Baby Tracker Apple or Android
- Baby Daybook – Baby Tracker Apple or Android
5) Get Set Up
If you will be tandem breastfeeding twins while alone, I can’t emphasize how valuable it is to get yourself all set up before starting.
This means drinking that water and having a spare drink and snack within reach. If you need entertainment, grab a book, the TV remote, or your phone before starting.
The most important part of setting up is making sure you have a comfortable space with spare pillows nearby. Set one baby on each side of your body (it may be easiest if they are elevated in their bouncy chairs). Put on your breastfeeding pillow and get comfy before picking up your infants.
Final Thoughts on Tandem Breastfeeding Twins
I hope this post helps you while tandem breastfeeding twins. I know it’s a challenge, but I also know how amazing and powerful women are. You will make it through this.
And it’s mind-blowing how fast this time will go by, so try to savor your precious moments with your littles while you can.
I want you to end reading this article with a feeling of support and confidence. So, most importantly, I want you to know it’s okay to do what works for you.
Yes, I think breast is best, but if you feel the need to supplement during the day, once before bed, or all night long, it’s okay. Make tandem breastfeeding twins work for you.
You should never feel shamed for making the choices that are best for your family.
If you have any twins breastfeeding questions or comments, please drop them down below.