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Your question:

How can I breastfeed twins if they need to spend time in the Neonatal Unit?

Expert’s answer:

Twins or triplets or more may require care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is because these babies may arrive earlier than their due date. If your babies are being cared for in a neonatal unit, your babies can be held in skin to skin or kangaroo care as soon as each baby is well enough to be held by you. i Skin to skin contact is important and it helps you to feel close to each baby and skin to skin contact also has many benefits for your babies. You can enjoy skin to skin contact with one baby at a time or have skin to skin with both your babies together. Your nurse or midwife will support and assist you.

Breastmilk is more than food for your babies it is gentle on their tummies, protects them from infections, improves brain development and vision, provides antibodies to build their immune system and helps you to develop a bond and connection with your babies. As with any baby, it is important to get your breastmilk supply established preferably by feeding your babies at your breast soon after birth. If your babies are born sick or premature and they may be unable to feed directly at the breast, it would be necessary to express your breastmilk in order to provide for their needs.

When you are starting out breastfeeding twins (or more!), you may find it easier to breastfeed one baby at a time. This will mean that you can learn the skill of positioning and attachment with each baby. When you are confident with breastfeeding each baby you might like to try breastfeed two babies at a time. Your nurse or midwife will support and assist you when you are breastfeeding both your babies. Some parents of multiples find that their babies want to be fed at the same time, while others find that their babies have quite different feeding patterns. Try to get to know each of your babies and follow their individual feeding patterns where possible. A good position when feeding two babies at the breast together is holding each baby in the underarm or football hold. Here is a link to a video of a mum of twin babies https://www.breastfeeding.ie/Resources/Video/Tips-for-breastfeeding-twins.html

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