Curious what to expect when breastfeeding twins? Or if supplementing breastfeeding twins is okay? Then you’re in the right place. This discussion is sponsored by Similac but all opinions are my own and should not replace professional medical advice.
Before I ever became pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed my babies. I had sister-in-laws who had successfully breastfed their babies and they made it look easy and beneficial.
One was very against formula though and seemed to instill within me this idea that formula was bad. Actually, a lot of books and people in my life seemed to make me believe that you weren’t as awesome if you didn’t breastfeed your baby for at least 12 months. I, of course, wanted to do my best to exclusively breastfeed!
Once I became pregnant, my first-time-mom research on all-the-things led me to a strong conviction that breastmilk is indeed best for babies. Plus, it would be free, unlike baby formula which we really couldn’t afford at the time: my husband and I got pregnant as we were finishing up our bachelor’s degrees.
But, life has a funny way of changing your plans. Halfway through our first pregnancy, we found out we were expecting twins.
How on earth do you breastfeed twins?! Can you make enough milk to breastfeed twins?!
Thankfully, my husband’s sister breastfed twins and had some tips for me! But, man it did not sound easy. The pumping and bottle feeding and bottle cleaning and all of it felt overwhelming for a first time mom.
My sister-in-law gave me her old double electric breast pump and I stocked up on some bottles, milk storage bags, and read up on tips on how to nurse twins successfully.
When my twins finally arrived, one was sent to the NICU for a partially collapsed lung for two days. Already my plans for our breastfeeding journey were not going to plan.
I didn’t get to hold and immediately bond with either of my twins as I had a (planned) C-Section. It took a few hours before the non-NICU twin was even brought to me to hold for the first time. Thankfully, she latched on like a champ right away. But I wasn’t able to be with her twin for several more hours.
Because it took a little while for my milk to come in, our twin babies were supplemented with both donated breastmilk (NICU baby) and infant formula. I pumped for my daughter in the NICU and nursed the other one and fed bottles and had no idea what I was doing.
This feeling of not knowing what I was doing only continued after we all went home. Nursing and pumping, and bottle feeding and trying to sleep, and feeling like a serious cow, nursing babies 24/7.
It was exhausting and my nipples and breasts were sore.
At one point I visited a lactation consultant for help because my one daughter was killing my nipples every time she nursed. I wanted tips on how to get her to latch better. And thankfully, it worked.
Then my other twin baby kept just throwing up large quantities of milk and it was worrisome, so we took a trip to the pediatrician (on Mother’s Day morning, go figure that’s where I spent my first Mother’s Day) who suggested we supplement with a special formula, thus formula was used more regularly with her for several weeks until I weaned her back on to the breast.
Eventually, we found our rhythm and our groove when it came to breastfeeding and pumping and bottles and supplementing. Eventually.
In the end, I successfully breastfed twins for 13 months. While they were not exclusively breastfed, this is something I am rather proud of! It wasn’t easy, but I do believe it was worth it all in the end.
My experience of breastfeeding twins and all the learning curves and pumping and supplementing we did helped me tremendously when I had my future singleton babies.
I learned that formula really is helpful at times when your milk supply is low, when your milk hasn’t come in yet, when your baby has low blood sugar, when your baby is sick or reacting poorly to breastmilk, when your baby is still hungry but your breasts are empty or you just want help feeding a baby sometimes!
By my fifth baby, I knew I would supplement with the Similac Ready-to-Feed formula in the hospital after each nursing session as I makebig babies and wanted to ensure their glucose levels stay in the healthy range.
The great thing about Similac too is that they are now the first and only infant formula in the US to have HMOs or Human Milk Oligosaccharide, an immune-nourishing prebiotic previously only found in breast milk that circulates throughout the body. How cool is that?
Formula has seriously made huge leaps and bounds over the past few generations.
Their new Similac for immune support provides complete nutrition for baby’s first year and is designed to be more like breastmilk than ever before (though it’s not actually from human milk). In addition to their new 2′-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide, Similac has a unique blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E, to help support your baby’s overall growth, and brain and eye development. Nice!
Similac is also the first and only leading infant formula with no artificial growth hormones (even though no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated non-rbST- treated cows).
Supplementing with Similac helped calm my concerns about glucose levels and the health of my twins because I knew I was giving my baby something almost just as great as my own milk, and I still had the time to hold her and bond with her as I fed her a bottle or my husband fed her a bottle.
Visit the Similac Sisterhood of Motherhood Savings Club, where you can subscribe to monthly delivery at an average savings of 20% and learn more.
Breastfeeding twins was often challenging, especially as a first-time mom, but it was one of the greatest experiences as well! I am in many ways grateful I had such a learning curve first so that my future experiences with breastfeeding would go smoother.
***Breastfeeding is the gold standard for infant nutrition. For moms who cannot or choose not to breastfeed, formula can be used. Talk to your pediatrician about what type of infant formula is best for your child.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Similac.