Help & Advice
Breastfeeding Twins – Nursing Positions
One of the first things you think when you find out you are expecting twins is, “how am I going to nurse both babies at once?” Although you will probably have to nurse each baby individually in the beginning to get the hang of it, doubling up can save a lot of time.
There are a lot of logistics to think of before breastfeeding twins, including the nursing positions that work best with two babies at once. Here are some positions that work well with two:
- The Football Hold. The football hold is typically the easiest way to start breastfeeding your twins, especially tiny newborns. This is because you are able to support both of their heads a little better with your hands, while helping guide them onto the nipple. You can also see what their mouth is doing, in case you have to adjust their latch. A newborn’s neck control is not very strong, and at this age they need a lot of help being positioned and supported during breastfeeding. The football hold is the position where you place each baby’s feet near your elbow and ribs, and their head is at your breast. Your baby will be positioned on their side comfortably resting on your twin-size nursing pillow. Once your babies grow a little bigger, this position may be a little more difficult because their feet will reach the back of the chair or sofa that you are sitting on.
- The Cradle Hold. The cradle hold is when you cradle your baby in your arm, with their head at your breast, their body laying on your arm, and their feet, or legs, in your hands. This is a hold that you would typically use for a newborn, if you didn’t have the support from a nursing pillow. Although the cradle hold is a little more difficult with two babies because your arms are both being used, this position can be done, especially if you have help with someone passing your babies to you.
- The Stacked Position. The stacked position is one that works really well with your small newborn babies. In this position you can place each baby’s body on top of each other, with their heads at opposite breasts while you are cradling them. This works especially well if your babies are swaddled. The stacked position can comfort newborn twins by simulating the squished feeling of their bodies against each other in the womb. You may find that one baby does better on the bottom, while the other baby does better on the top.
- The Criss-cross position. In this position, you would sit slightly reclined cradling each baby. One twin will lay on a diagonal across your body, with their feet to your hip, while their twin will assume the same position on the opposite breast and hip, while wrapping over the first baby’s body. This is a position that works well as your babies get a little older and bigger.
- Football and Cradle Holds. Having one baby in a cradle hold and one baby in a football hold is also a great option. As your babies get older and have more neck control, you will find that they might be able to do some gymnastics, and nurse easily in a variety of combinations.
- A Reclined Sit with Babies Upright. In this position you would sit in a reclined position with your babies laying on your front, somewhat upright. You will use your arms to cradle them, but because you are reclined, gravity will help keep them in place. This is a very comfortable position for when your babies are a little older and have more neck control.
Just remember that there isn’t one right position. Be patient and experiment to find what works best for you and your babies. You can do this!
By Joanna Venditti – Nesting Story