Firstly, this article is in no way meant to make those who were unable to breastfeed feel bad. There are no tips in here on the physicalities of breastfeeding. This blog is purely focussing on some organisational tips to help make breastfeeding multiples easier.
Trust me, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting on the couch, covered in multiple babies only to find you need something. I’ve been there and done that!
Here are our top 5 organisational tips for breastfeeding multiples.
1. Go to the toilet before you start!
Make sure you go to the toilet before you sit down to feed them. Trust me, 30 seconds of fussing from hungry babies is much preferable to having two babies pressing on your bladder, and then falling asleep on you and you having to wake them up before you wee all over the couch!! This is especially important if your pelvic floor took a bit of a beating while you were pregnant with multiples.
2. Water and snacks while breastfeeding multiples
You are going to need some snacks, water, more snacks and more water when you are breastfeeding or even if you are expressing. Breastfeeding multiples is hungry and thirsty work! And don’t just grab a 300ml bottle of water, you are going to probably want at least a litre water bottle by your side at all times.
Did you know that intense feeling of thirst that comes over is a sign of your letdown?
Filling up your water bottles and preparing snacks is a great job for someone to do for you. If someone “pops in to see the babies” and asks what they can do, get them to fill up all your water bottles, and even peel some fruit or pop some nuts in an airtight container for you for later. If they are really keen to help, get them to whip up a batch of lactation cookies for you while they are there!
Make sure you have a good insulated travel coffee mug. This will keep your hot drinks hot for hours. Plus it has the added benefit of being non spill while feeding and cuddling babies.
When we think of breastfeeding, most people get a Madonna like image of a mother smiling serenely down at their SINGLE baby. While you will, at occasions glance lovingly at them, once you get the hang of breastfeeding your multiples, you will more likely be watching TV and binge watching Netflix, or at your phone as you scroll through the Twinfo page and the Parents of Multiples Facebook group! So make sure the remote is handy, and your phone is charged. Invest in a long charging cable so you don’t risk your phone going flat while confined to the couch.
Get some headphones (preferably wireless) to listen to audio books and podcasts. A great podcast is the Talking Twins and More podcast! Podcasts can helped me stay awake during night feeds without the added distraction of a bright TV or phone screen to distract your babies. And during the day, audio books and podcasts allow you to still make love eyes at your babies. Plus this will ensure you do not get a sore neck from scrolling on a phonetoo much!!!
4. Burp cloths, nappies and spare clothes
You will know soon enough if you are blessed with a “happy chucker” (or two……or three!). If your multiples are prone to a big chuck after a good feed, then make sure you have several cloths on hand. Even if they aren’t, don’t get caught short. Make sure you have at least one. As at some stage you are guaranteed to have an unexpected pooplosion or vomit!
5. Make yourself comfortable
If you are not comfy, and you are concentrating on holding yourself upright as you forgot your pillow for behind your back, you are going to do more damage than good! Take the time to ensure you are comfortable before you start feeding. You may need a rolled up towel or two when they are tiny to stop them rolling off the edge of the pillow. Or maybe a cushion for behind your back, or a foot stool to raise your legs up.
It took me quite a few weeks of breastfeeding my twins to work out how to use my breastfeeding pillow. To start with, I was concentrating SO HARD on getting two babies attached, that I wasn’t worrying about me. I have a long torso and small breasts. It took me several weeks of crippling upper back pain to realise that I needed to lift the pillow up to me, rather than me bending down to get my nipples to the babies!! When I finally worked that out, I used a triangular pillow UNDER my breastfeeding pillow. As the babies got bigger that was replaced with a single normal pillow. The relief was instant, no more upper back pain!
As you can see, being organised when breastfeeding multiples is important.
I hope that these tips help make your breastfeeding journey a bit easier.
Finally, if you plan to feed in different areas, maybe invest in a cheap small trolley with a couple of shelves that you can move around with you throughout the day. Here you can store TV remotes, phone chargers, water bottles, snacks, nappies, wipes and spare clothes for the babies AND for you. That way everything is always close at hand.
As always, remember, nothing with multiples is set in stone. Babies get bigger and faster at feeding, so your time spent on the couch will be shorter. As your journey continues, you may need to add things to your “feeding station”. Such as a silicone bead necklace for babies to play with so they don’t disturb each other.
What other organisations tips do you have when it comes to breastfeeding multiples? Leave your tips in the comments below.