Nursing Multiples: Parents Share Their Experiences

Did you nurse twins or higher order multiples? What kinds of challenges did you encounter? Whether you’ve experienced nursing multiples or plan to do so in the future, we hope the experiences shared by parents on the La Leche League USA Facebook page will be helpful. You can read additional responses from the original post at Scroll to the bottom of this post to find additional resources.

Finding Support

Leah F. and her twins

“My biggest challenge was actually having family/friends and even the hospital staff make me believe that I couldn’t breastfeed my babies. But we made it! (I) breastfed until a little over two years, and one of my babies had been bottle dependent from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).” – Janet T.

“I’m going on nine months strong with my twins. The biggest obstacle was the doubt from most professionals that I could do it (so thankful, though, for a supportive pediatrician). In the hospital, the on-call pediatricians made it seem like since my milk wasn’t in yet that I was starving them. Thankfully, I have two older kids I nursed so I consider myself pretty knowledgeable with breastfeeding and didn’t let them bully me into formula when I didn’t want to use it. My twins were born at 37 weeks, and one was a lazy latcher so that took a lot of work for me and her both. One also had pretty bad jaundice and had to use the (bili) lights, but I just nursed as much as she would take and she got better (once again so thankful for a knowledgeable, breastfeeding supportive pediatrician). Breastfeeding isn’t easy at first, especially with twins, but it’s so rewarding and does get so much easier after those first few months.” – Leah F.

Supplementing At The Start

“For 2.5 years! The first couple weeks were so hard. (They were) preterm babies (and had) low blood sugars. I supplemented with donor milk until my milk came in. I pumped following every breastfeeding for almost two weeks. One baby was very slow to learn to nurse — sleepy, tongue-tie. She had a frenectomy and a nasogastric (NG) tube for a bit. I took her home bottle feeding, but by day 10 she was also exclusively breastfeeding! It was so brutally exhausting to breastfeed two infants, but also so very rewarding. All of my children have breastfed into year two of life. Loved my journeys!” – Emily S.

“We are two weeks from their first birthday and still nursing round the clock. Staff helped me a lot in the hospital, but it was still overwhelming and emotional to get them to latch at 36 weeks with low sugars and jaundice, so we ended up supplementing (formula and expressed milk) for about 2.5 weeks. Triple feeding was exhausting! They got the hang of nursing and refused bottles by fourmonths, so we’ve been exclusively breastfeeding since, usually together (tandem) during the day.” – Nicole G.

“I breastfed my twins until they basically self-weaned (at nearly four years). They both had a NICU stay, so I pumped for their tube. We then had to supplement until I learned they had lip and tongue-ties. We got them revised and then went back to exclusive breastfeeding.” – Jill C.

Struggles With Latching

“I nursed twins for two years; I did not tandem nurse. I disliked that immensely. I kept my twins on different feeding schedules. Then twin B struggled with latch, so I would nurse twin A and use a pump on the other side. Then bottle feed twin B. I did that for two to three months until I got twin B’s latch corrected.

“These were also my fourth and fifth children, so I had years of breastfeeding experience. This helped my mindset, as I didn’t put as much pressure on me. Breastfeeding is a learning process for both babies and parent. It’s not ever going to be just as you planned. The biggest strength is learning to adapt.” – Lauren F.

“The NICU was our biggest challenge! I had to exclusively pump for the first four months, and in that time keep practicing latching with them. It was a lot of work, but we have been exclusively breastfeeding since.” – Ashlie T.

Nursing Older Child

“I did nurse my twins 35 years ago. When coming home from the hospital to a weaned(@18mo) two-year-old tot (weaned at 18 months), well, he wanted a ‘taste.’

I let him latch on to taste. He replied, licking his lips, ‘Yum yum num num!’ And then there were 3. I nursed my twins until two years plus – a nip here and there for comfort.

I feel proud to have nursed all three for a period of time.” – Estelle C.

Tandem Nursing

“My twins nursed for about 2.5 years until they self-weaned. I learned to tandem feed very quickly once we got home, and they mostly tandem fed for quite a while. The hardest part for me was keeping them both attached at the same time when they were little. I felt like I needed several more hands. Eventually I found a combination of pillows and nursing pillow in a big chair with wide arms was best for us. When we were out, I fed one at a time for the most part.” – Kathy J.

“I nursed my twins for 14 months and tandem nursed until around seven months. Then they got too squirmy and preoccupied with each other for that. It helped that I had already nursed their oldest sister successfully, so I had the confidence.” – Nicole S.


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