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Breastfeeding Multiple Infants

Topic Overview

Most mothers can produce enough milk to breastfeed two or more babies. If you have twins or triplets, breastfeeding becomes more physically and emotionally challenging. But with support and guidance, you can be successful.

Breastfeeding fosters the bond between you and each baby. Since multiples often are born prematurely, the protective factors (antibodies) in breast milk are especially important for them.

Get assistance from a health professional, a breastfeeding specialist (lactation consultant), or another person with expertise in breastfeeding multiple-birth babies. Special techniques often are recommended for multiples. These may include:

  • Feeding the babies one at a time until they learn to latch on to the breast.
  • Feeding two infants at the same time after you are comfortable feeding one at a time. The cradle hold or the football hold often are advised. (You may also choose to feed the infants one at a time.)
  • Pumping breast milk after your milk supply is established so that others can help you feed the babies. You may want to wait about a month until breastfeeding is going well before offering a bottle.
  • Using formula to supplement breast milk feedings.

Credits

Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology