Is the breast best for multiples?

Breastfeeding Comfort

Finally, if you think you're going to give breastfeeding a go, treat yourself now to a large, firm, slanted nursing pillow specifically designed for twins so that once you get the first baby positioned you'll have your hands available to take on a second child. Between catalogs, the Internet and major retailers, you'll be able to find an array of baby gear designed for multiples.

Pick Your Position

The most important thing about positioning babies for breastfeeding is to give them good support, says Genna. "I like to keep newborns close to Mom's trunk. Don't lift the breast — bring the baby's chin to wherever the nipple naturally falls and have the nipple touch just above the baby's upper lip."

Since no two babies (not even identical twins) are exactly alike, experiment with different positions and note which one each baby prefers. Then, mix and match positions accordingly. You might also change positions occasionally just to give babies a different view. Here are two strategies that are especially popular for double feeding:

  • Double Football Hold: Position babies one on each side, with their heads to the front and their legs under your arms.
  • Cross Cradle: Wrap newborns close to your trunk so they're facing each other, with one baby's legs crossing over the other’s.

There's more than one reason to alternate which breast you offer each baby from feeding to feeding. For one thing, scientists think that switching breasts facilitates babies' normal hand/eye coordination. For another, if one baby is a stronger sucker, he can help bring in the milk supply evenly in both breasts. (Most moms can appreciate this, since the alternative can result in two different-sized breasts!)

What do you do when you have three (or more!) babies to breastfeed? Some moms of triplets will simultaneously give two babies the breast and one the bottle, alternating which baby gets the bottle. Other moms give the baby who is waiting a pacifier, and once the first two babies are satisfied Mom gives the third baby both breasts.

The bottom line is that breastfeeding can be challenging at first, whether it's one baby or more. And choosing to breastfeed is a personal decision that only Mom can make.