The Feeding Frenzy
When you're the mother of multiples, you may feel like you do little else but feed your babies. By the time the second (or third) baby has been fed, burped, and changed, the first one's often hungry -- and the cycle begins all over again. This phase is grueling, but it lasts only a few months, and most say it passes in a blur. First, you'll have to decide whether to breast or bottle-feed. Breastfeeding is the healthier choice, plus you can nurse two babies at one time once you get the hang of it. But be prepared for the fact that preemies often don't suck as well as full-term infants, so you may need a lactation consultant's help to get your babies to latch on correctly.
Jeannette, of Greenwood, Indiana, mastered the art of nursing her twin sons, Chance and Campbell, before she left the hospital. "I always paged a lactation consultant for help when it was time for a feeding," she says. "By the time I got home, I could sit on the couch and nurse them while I ate dinner."
Nursing two infants at once is tricky -- you'll want to experiment with different positions to find what works best for you. One strategy is to rest one baby's head in each palm or on pillows with their legs stretched out behind you. Or hold one baby in the football hold and cradle the other in front of you. A U-shaped nursing pillow fits comfortably around your waist and keeps both babies at the breast, leaving your hands free to adjust each baby's mouth. Mothers of triplets often nurse two babies at a time and place the third next to them in an infant seat.
You should alternate breasts each feeding to make sure they produce equal amounts of milk and to lessen the chance of blocked ducts. "Henry always ate less than Michael, so the breast that Henry last nursed from would become engorged before the next feeding," says Julie, of Chicago, a mother of four boys, including identical twins.