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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Breastfeeding or Bottlefeeding: What's Best for You and Your Twins?
Breastfeeding or Bottlefeeding: What's Best for You and Your Twins?

Choosing to breastfeed or bottle feed your twin babies is one of the first and most important decisions youll make for your newborn twins. During your twin pregnancy, take the time to learn about it, think about it and talk with others. There are many factors that may affect your decisionyour personality, health, and feelings about your body your babies health, if your twins are premature or have difficulty feeding, the attitudes of your partner, family and friends advice from your doctor, midwife and/or breasftfeeding counsellor your work and living situation and the amount of information and support you have. Youll make the choice to breastfeed or bottlefeed based on what you feel is best for you and your twin babies and it doesn't have to be a rigid choice - you can choose to change feeding methods or combine them.

There are essentially two methods of providing the nutrition required by your twins - either through breastmilk or by using formula milk. Breastmilk can be given directly through breastfeeding or by expressing breastmilk using a breastpump and given using bottles (for premature babies, it may also be given via tube feeding, cups or specialist feeding equipment). Formula is generally given by bottle and feeds are made up with powdered milk and water (for premature babies, it may also be given as pre-mixed milk by bottle).

Breastfeeding is the oldest, most natural way to feed your babies and experts agree that breastmilk is the healthiest food for babies. Colostrum, the first milk, is especially important for premature babies immunity. Breastfeeding twins requires commitment and support, so seek help before and after the birth. Ideally, you should start nursing as soon as possible after birth and expect to feed every 2-3 hours. Once feeding is established, you may find tandem feeding (both together) easier and it saves time!

Most mothers can successfully breastfeed - Yes, even mothers of twins, triplets or quads! The longer you breastfeed your babies, the healthier it is as nutrition experts agree that breastmilk is the healthiest food for babies. The experts recommend breastfeeding for a year or more, but any amount of breastfeeding is healthy, whether it's one day, one month or one year.

For many reasons, exclusive breastfeeding may not be possible but the good news is that it doesn't have to be an all or nothing decision. A combination of breastfeeding and bottle feeding can give your partner a chance to help with the feeds and gives you a much needed rest! & Also, if your babies are premature, then expressing breastmilk is ideal. Use a good quality pump, such as the Medela Freestyle Double Breast Pump, as you will need to pump every 2-3 hours, even at night!

Breastfeeding is not for everyone so if you decide to bottle feed dont feel guilty as modern formula milk is also nutritious. You will need to have your equipment ready to go and our Closer to Nature TwinKit has been specially designed to provide you with the essential kit you need to bottle feed twins.

For more detailed information on all the different types of feeding, please see our Twins Tips in the Breastfeeding & Weaning section on Managing Multiple Mouths along with a host of other articles on feeding and weaning twins, triplets or more.

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