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Breastfeeding Twins

The Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Breastfeeding > Breastfeeding Twins



August 2004

Hi I am a 42-year old mother of 8 week old twin daughters who is experiencing breastfeeding challenges due to insufficient milk supply. I carried my babies to term -- they were healthy and robust at birth. I am hoping to continue to increase my milk supply and am using chinese herbs, pumping and using domperione. I am looking to connect to other moms who have successfully increased their milk production over time. Please send any inspiration, information and resource/practictioner suggestions. Thank you, twin mama


I also had insufficient milk supply when I was nursing my daughter. I started taking a prescription medication called Reglan and my supply increased immediately and dramatically. (Previously I was only able to pump one ounce but after starting the medicine I could easily pump eight ounces in a single sitting.) Prior to trying Reglan, I tried various homeopathic or natural remedies but none were helpful. Reglan is completely safe for your babies and really works. I would definitely recommend it. It made my life so much less stressful. felicia
Hi Twin Mom! My name is Karen Pollak and I conduct eight week workshops for new mothers of twins (my Berkeley DoubleTalk series is starting Sept 27 at Waddle and Swaddle!) Anyway, I encounter many mothers in my groups who talk about Fenugreek (sp?). It is supposed to increase your milk supply, and I believe is available at health food stores. Also, to increase your supply, if one baby is a more aggressive nurser, switch breasts/baby each feeding so that your breasts generate ample supply for a strong appetite. Also, if you are pumping, once the milk stops, continue to pump dry for 3-5 minutes, again, this tells the breasts that there is a need for more supply and in time the supply will increase.

Many of the moms in my groups nurse exclusively for quite some time, some nurse and supplement and some pump and bottle feed (and honestly, many offer formula only). Consider your circumstances and what you have the time (and energy!) for. As a mother of now 8 year old twins, I know the challenges! Good luck and let me know if I can give you more information about my workshops! My website is: www.doubletalkfortwins.com Karen


I was able to increase milk supply by taking fenugreek, which I got at the El Cerrito Natural. I took a couple before each meal and it was effective within a few days. I read about it in the The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins, which is well worth the read. Otherwise, regular nursing was the only thing that made a difference, and pumping seemed to reduce supply over the long term. Good luck. Lori
It sounds like you are doing all the right things! I'm an adoptive Mom and am nursing my three month old. Through pumping/frequent nursing, domperidone (60 mg. a day--less than the recommended 80 mg.), and fenugreek and other herbs I have built a full milk supply! I even have some in the freezer! I supplemented with formula for two months, using the Lact-Aid system at first and then bottles, and now have enough milk to supply all my baby's food. It has been a lot of work--but well worth it! Not everyone is as successful, but in any case you'll be providing your twins with some breast milk, and that's wonderful.

There are some great websites and online forums--you might look for those about adoptive breastfeeding because they contain a lot of info about building your milk supply over time. Best of luck! kwoodwar


Have you tried Fenugreek? It is an herbal supplement that my nurse practitioner recommended for me when my milk production slacked off. I thought the results were pretty dramatic. I bought it at Whole Foods. kira
The one thing that really worked for me when I was breastfeeding was to drink a LOT of fluids. And I mean a LOT. I would drink bottles and bottles of gatorade, seltzer, juice and water all day long. This helped immensely in my production of milk. Other things th! at you may already know are: mother's milk tea, feeding often and on demand, pumping if you skip a feeding or are away from them. Good luck! anon
I'm a bf'ing mom of 14 mo twin boys. At first I supplemented a little using a supplemental nursing system and (gasp!) bottles, but after about 8 weeks went to nursing exclusively. I used a number of things to get my production up. Herbs, pumping after nursing, nursing more often, drinking more, eating well and trying to get more sleep (that last one is funny, huh?). I also contacted La Leche League, and they were very helpful. It turned out my problem was really thrush. Once I got that under control, things were much easier. Are you sure you're not producing enough milk? It's very common for new moms to think they aren't. Are your babies gaining weight? Feel free to contact me if you have questions about anything I did... Wendy
Congratulations on carrying twins to term and breastfeeding them this far! That's quite an accomplishment. To increase milk supply, Funugreed herb REALLY works, but also: REST, and sleep. I had a 23 hr. a day nurser the first time a round, and a lot of the time, my milk dropped simply out of exhaustion (we had TONS of visitors too, so I didn't get to sleep when baby did), I can imagine with twins sleep is a real issue too. Any sleep and rest you can get at all will help; worry will decrease the milk supply. I always kept remembering these silly stories of farmers I'd heard: O''Oh, Jessie here, she's high strung and can't get too much milk out of here'', and it's so tru! Lastly: La Leche League. ! ; They can be a huge help. I was on the phone with three different counselors each day, didn't want to wear one of them out. All the best! Leia
hello, i recomend to eat more barley grains or hop grains and cook them as rice. also kashi worked for me to double the milk production. i noticed that if i would drink a beer my milk would increase so i tested different type of grains to cook with and would suggest to do the same. there should be also herbs that help. there's a thea called mothers milk from the yogi thea (i think) that might work. good luck! i only have one baby but its sometimes soo hard.. krista
You posted this a while ago but I was just getting caught up on my BPN newsletters. Some resources include a good lactation consultant who has experience with twins. There may be some that are listed in the archives. I used Janaki Costello with my twins, now 1. In the end I had bigger breast issues than she could solve (funky breast architecture, etc.) I've heard that if you get a prescription from your doctor, some insurances will cover lactation consultants. Also, I find the bulletin board at www.twinsmagazine.com to be a really helpful resource for parenting twins. There is a Breastfeeding Board and I know it's been really helpful to a lot of bf-ing twin mamas. Good luck!
May 2000

My sister gave birth to term twins 2 weeks ago, and is having trouble breastfeeding them. She doesn't want to supplement with formula. She breastfed her first baby, so knows how to do it, but she's having trouble with the twin-aspect! Problems are soreness (their mouths are small, so proper latch-on is problematic), exhaustion, getting the babies to stay awake for a decent feeding, knowing when it's okay to pump and when she should "save herself" for nursing, and now doubting if it's even possible to exclusively breast feed 2 babies! Can anyone please give her some words of advice, encouragement, or offer to consult with her about this? Thanks in advance! Susan


I am still nursing my 18 month old twins and would be happy to correspond directly with your sister regarding any problems she is having. The early days can be difficult, but it will get easier. Is she involved in her local Mothers of Twins club (if there is one in her area)? She might find help with her nursing questions there as well. Stefanie
Please, let me help. I am nursing 3 month old twins right now. I want to help your sister avoid the pitfalls that I fell into. I believe twins can be breastfeed exclusively-many women do it. I can be reached at ____. Dana
Yes, It is very possible to "solely breastfeed" twins. I did it (primarily nursing, with one bottle every two days or so per kid just to keep them willing to take one) and so did many of my friends with twins. Feel free to have your sister call me. She can also contact La Leche, or Bonnie Bruce, at Bay Area Lactation Center, 204-9703. Bonnie helped me diagnose a thrush infection on my nipples that no one else (including my ob) caught, and which was causing a lot of pain that had nothing to do with the babies' latch on at all. Once resolved we did fine, and nursed to 19 months. I don't know why she wants to exclusively breastfeed; it is very nice to have bottles as an option so you can get a break every now and then. Twins take an incredible amount of nursing! Even one feeding a day feels like a major break for the "milk machine mom." But either way it can be done! I gave up pumping after a few weeks, except in rare cases of engorgement, because the time it takes is the same as nursing--why bother unless you have to be away from the babies? It can become yet another chore and work reduction whenever possible is the key to keeping up with twins. Good luck to her! Carrie
Yes it is possible to breastfeed twins, but it can be a lot more challenging than to nurse a singleton. You can help your sister by contacting her local Mothers of Twins club - check www.nomotc.org site for local groups and also contacts for breastfeeding issues. Also contact the La Leche League for her. If she's in the the Bay Area, there's Twins by the Bay in Berkeley, and the SFMOTC (www.sfmotc.org). SFMOTC offers a number of special services to its members, including a "New Moms" group as well as an on-line discussion group. SFMOTC currently has a number of mothers with older siblings followed by twins, who may be able to help your sister through this most challenging time. Good luck, Robin
To your sister: congradulations and keep up the good work. Yes, it is possible to exclusively breastfeed twins. I'm doing it and mine are 11 months old. It was very difficult in the beginning but it did get easier and now it is a breeze. I'd advise getting help from a Lactation consultant. Also IVillage/ParentsPlace has a board for women who are breastfeeding multiples where she can post questions and "talk" to other people who are all doing it. I am also happy to have her email me or call me. Karen
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