Did you ever think you’d ever be considering nursing two babies at once? Probably not. I know I didn’t. Also known as tandem nursing or breastfeeding, simultaneous feeding can be an effective way to get both babies on the same schedule, and save you a significant amount of time in the long run!
Settle yourself in a comfortable spot and have both babies within reach. It isn’t unusual to have one baby who is a better sucker than the other. If this is you, latch Baby A, the “better sucker,” on first. When the Baby B is ready to be latched, take your free arm and place it over, around ultimately underneath Baby B with your palm supporting his head. Lift Baby B to your breast and you an focus on making sure he is properly latched. With practice, you will be able to hold your settled Baby A in place with your elbow to leave your lower same arm free to help latch Baby B. Make sure that you bring the babies to you and not you to the babies or you very soon get a sore back. Good posture is essential.
When nursing triplets, you might have Baby C in a chair on the floor in front with a propped bottle of breast milk simultaneously feeding. OR as an alternative and if that Baby C is not fussing, you may wait until Babies A and B have each nursed at least 10 minutes, then put Baby C to the each breast for 5 MINUTES each side. The demand will quickly increase your supply. Keeping a record of which baby fed where will be essential, and at the following feed, Baby C will be one of the ones to be tandem fed at the breast. In other words, rotate them each feed. The Jumelle Twin and Baby Tracking App will help you easily keep track of which baby fed when, where and for how long.
Ask anyone nursing multiples, and they will tell you that simultaneous breastfeeding is also a challenge, requires focus and patience and everyone practices getting latched and fed. It is worth the effort though and as the babies mature, things get easier. As a mother of multiples, you likely have questions about how to most effectively feed your babies. Sometimes the responsibility of feeding more than one baby can feel overwhelming, and you may worry that you won’t produce enough milk. Despite its many challenges, simultaneous breastfeeding is a great time saver! It will get your two babies on the same schedule, and can therefore be worth the effort. If you plan ahead and receive the support you need, you can certain successfully breastfeed two babies. If at any time you are feeling overwhelmed or worried about your babies’ weight gain, see a certified, registered lactation consultant who is familiar with simultaneous breastfeeding and she can properly assess what is going with you and your precious bundles.
Following are some drawings and photos which demonstrate a variety of positions for simultaneous breastfeeding of two babies/toddlers through a combination of holds: cradle holds, football holds, one lying down and then in a saddle hold while the little ones sit on Momma’s knees. Finding what works for you and your babies will make things run smoothly. Keep in mind that as the babies grow, by necessity, you may need to look trying other positions.
It may be that back-to-back feedings are what works best for your family, even from time to time.
If you find one or both babies are scratching you and pinching your breasts as they feed or maybe poking at each other, this is normal behaviour but it is also painful. A couple of hints to handle such a situation is to either put socks on their hands before each feed (they stay on better than mittens), or wear a nursing necklace for the babies to fiddle with. Some Moms wear two necklaces in case of competition. The idea is to provide some distraction to stop the painful behaviour.