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Breastfeeding Multiples

When you are breastfeeding more than one baby at a time, it takes a little more learning and a little more commitment, but your body will learn to supply as much milk as your babies demand and all you have to figure out is how you and your babies can share and survive mealtimes together.

You should learn how to nurse two babies at a time as well as how to nurse your babies individually in order to respond to their internal schedules and individual needs - as well as your own! Some babies have a harder time than others latching on and nursing, and the learning process takes longer for some than for others. But when another baby is quite hungry, or when you're short on time, you'll be glad you know how to nurse two babies at once. Remember in doing so that your multiples are accustomed to tight quarters and enjoy the togetherness and the contact with each other, so that when you need their bodies to overlap in order to give them both access to your nipples, they will be comfortable with the arrangement. A nursing pillow may help you bring both babies up to breast level and will help support their weight. This gives you a chance to focus on positioning them so your nipples won't get sore. It's very important that you protect your own comfort in nursing so that you can continue providing your babies with nutrients and bonding time in this way.

Three popular positions for nursing two babies at once are:

  • The "double football"

    You tuck each baby under an arm, with their heads facing your breasts so that they can nurse comfortably without turning. Nursing pillows make this position very easy to maintain and very comfy for many moms.

  • The "double cradle"

    Each baby's head rests in the crook of your arm and their feet lie on each other's abdomens or legs as they nurse. This is a good way for your babies to get cozy with each other while they're cuddling up to you.

  • The "parallel position"

    In this position, your babies form a straight line, with lots of overlap and both of their feet pointing in the same direction. One baby's head rests on the other's tummy with their legs tucked under your elbow, while the other's legs extend beneath their fellow nurser and across your own tummy.

You may want to offer each baby a different breast every feeding, or an assigned breast each day. Whatever works for you and your babies is the best option. There are no rules, and different babies have different needs and preferences.

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