How to Tandem Breastfeed Twins

One of the most common questions asked by those expecting twins is, “Can you breastfeed twins at the same time?”  Of course you can!  Our previous article, How to Feed Your Twins at the Same Time (Tandem Feeding), offered many practical tips for tandem feeding twins — whether by breast or bottle.  But seeing is believing.  That is why this wonderful video by Melissa that we found is such a huge help.  Melissa shows us easy steps to make tandem breastfeeding twins a success — including how to burp one baby while the other continues to feed.

Here are a number of tricks for successfully tandem breastfeeding twins, captured in this wonderful video by Melissa.

Supplies Needed for tandem nursing twins

  • large couch
  • 1 back support pillow (for mom)
  • 2 boppy pillows
  • 1 twin nursing pillow
  • 1 support pillow or folded towel
  • 2 burp cloths
  • water bottle and snacks for mom
  • optional entertainment devices for mom (phone, book or e-reader, TV remote, etc.)

Step 1. Prepare your area

Before bringing in your babies, prepare your breastfeeding station.  Set up all your supplies so that everything is within easy reach.  One bobby pillow will be placed on either side of mom, with burp cloths across the back of the couch.

Step 2. Bring in the babies

Place one twin in each boppy pillow on either side of mom (on the side that they will be nursing on — note that you will want to switch sides with the babies for each feeding).  Position yourself, with back support and twin nursing pillow.  Use an extra pillow or folded towel to make the height of the babies on the twin nursing pillow just right for you.  Pick up both babies and set them on the pillow before latching either of them so that you won’t have to twist and possibly un-latch a baby in the process of picking up the other for tandem nursing.

Step 3. Latch ’em on

Okay, this is probably the toughest part when you are a new mom.  Relax. It’s okay.  Latching is tough when you have just one baby — but add another and the complexity goes way up.  In the early days, you may find that one will latch easier than the other — or one side (of you) will work better than the other.  If you can, plan to have a helper with you for the first couple of weeks of tandem feedings until things begin to go more smoothly.

Step 4.  Re-latch.

As noted above, at first you might spend most of your time latching one baby and then the other, and then back to the first again.  Hang in there — it will get better as your babies learn how to latch, re-latch, and stay latched.

Step 5. Read, Relax, Enjoy, Bond.

This is your time to take a breather.  Relax.  Do something for you — and love on those babies!

Step 6. Burp

When one is ready for a burp — pick up the baby and sit her on the top of the nursing pillow, supporting her on her chest under her chin. Gently pat her back until you get a good burp.  Use your elbow over the other nursing twin to hold him in place.

Step 7. One Twin is Done

When one of the twins is done nursing, burp him and then place him in the bobby pillow on the side where the other twin is still nursing.  This way you will lean in the direction of the nursing twin rather than leaning away from the nursing twin, which could cause her to un-latch.  If you need to attend to the baby that has arleady finished feeding, again, you are leaning toward the nursing twin rather than away.

Step 8. Both Twins are Done

After the second twin has finished feeding — give her a burp and place her in the other boppy.  You have just successfully tandem nursed your twins!

Hopefully this excellent video by Melissa on Tandem Breastfeeding Twins has given you the confidence to try tandem nursing.  There is no faster way to feed your twinfants.  But if nursing (either tandem or one at a time) doesn’t work out for you — don’t be discouraged.  There are many benefits to bottle feeding, too, and this is a very personal decision for you and your family.  One size fits all definitely doesn’t work in TwinParenthood.

Can you add any tips we’ve missed?  What has worked for you?  Please leave us some comments.

copyright 2012 – TwinParenthood / Kathryn Whiteley