Breastfeeding Multiple Infants

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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 specialist), 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.
  • Using formula to supplement breast milk feedings.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

La Leche League International
www.llli.org
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Women's Health
www.hrsa.gov/womenshealth/index.html

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Current as ofSeptember 29, 2015