Having a baby is a grand adventure, but imagine two at once!
Parents are often in shock when they find out they are expecting twins…TWINS! Each parent will react in their own way. Some parents will jump for joy, others will breakdown and cry. Two cribs, two car seats…ooops…the car is too small! And the house…how can they organise everything? Even if it’s a surprise, future parents quickly learn to want both babies and prepare for this new reality.
Welcoming two babies at a time in their lives is something that will have to be dealt with, at the same time as the fatigue and meeting the needs of the babies. During pregnancy, the couple should do research about breastfeeding two babies. Most mothers of twins will produce enough milk to feed both. Dads will have to contribute as well, as breastfeeding twins can only succeed if you work together.
Given that twins are often born before 37 weeks – on average 36 – they are often hospitalised in the neonatal ward for a while. Use this time wisely to handle your new role and taking care of the babies under supervision by qualified staff who will be there for you 24/7.
Breastfeeding should be promoted given the recognised benefits it provides to babies. Nurses will work hard to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible: skin-to-skin, electric breast pump to stimulate your milk production, natural products to help production, and avoiding pacifiers and bottles (only used if really necessary).
Parents have to focus on the essential to make sure this experience is a success by taking care of themselves. In doing so, they are taking care of their babies because they need happy, healthy, loving parents, even when busy during their daily lives.
Many factors help ensure breastfeeding success, both for one or two babies:
- Learn more about the topic
- Ensure the environment is favourable for breastfeeding
- Ask for help
- Get support from family, friends who can bring you prepared meals, listen, encourage, help around the house and give you time to take a break
Certain health networks also provide help by doing in-home visits to support new parents. They will offer you valuable information about how to ensure your breastfeeding adventure is a smooth and long one. It’s possible to breastfeed two babies, it’s not crazy talk! 😊
To better adapt to your new situation, understand that there is no such thing as perfection. Give what you can, without feeling guilty. Accept that you can’t do all the things you used to because there is just no time.
It’s an excellent idea to meet the parents of twins! There may also be community organisations dedicated to parents with multiple babies. There are also websites and discussions groups where you can talk, discuss and share your experiences. You may also meet with a breastfeeding monitor to help you prepare for breastfeeding twins.
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The Baby Expert
Please share your experiences in the comment section.