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Where to Start With Breastfeeding Twins and Multiples

With two or more babies on the way, some mothers may be overwhelmed with the thought of trying to breastfeed. Where do you even start? Fortunately, it's possible to breastfeed more than one baby at a time. Knowing how to position them and help them latch on, as well as establishing a good routine, can help to ensure that your babies receive all the benefits that breastfeeding can provide.

I'm Expecting Twins or More -- Is Breastfeeding Even an Option?

By this point, you may have gotten past the shock and have accepted the fact that you are bringing more than one baby into the world. Now your mind is trying to wrap around the logistics of how that's going to work.
While being pregnant with twins or multiples carries its own worries and risks, many mothers find comfort in knowing that while their babies are in the womb, their bodies are naturally providing all the care and nutrition they need. But trying to prepare for that care once the babies are born can create a new mountain of worry for moms-to-be, especially when it comes to how to feed them. Is breastfeeding even an option?

Is It Physically Possible for Premature Babies to Breastfeed?

Because twins and multiples are usually born prematurely, many of their organs are not fully mature. In many cases, this means that it is physically difficult for premature babies to get as much milk as they need to grow. However, breast milk is an essential food for premature babies, and it would be ideal to begin breastfeeding as soon after delivery as possible. With twins and multiples, however, delivery is often a surgical one and being able to breastfeed right away may not be an option.
If your babies are delivered via C-section, it may be hours or even days before you can start to breastfeed. Mothers of multiples can prepare for this by buying a breast pump ahead of time. If you are unable to initiate nursing soon after birth, you can still pump your breasts to initiate lactation. A woman's body is made to naturally start the process of producing milk from the moment of birth, and that first breast milk (colostrum) is like "liquid gold" for babies.
Also, the breast milk that mothers of premature babies produce is quite different from that of mothers of full-term babies. If your babies arrive early, their need for your breast milk is even greater.
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