Pumping Breast Milk For Twins – Top Tips and Side Effects

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

pumping breast milk for twins

Having twins is having double of everything. Double the joy, double the sleepless nights, double the trouble breastfeeding them. Breastfeeding two hungry babies, and trying to get both their latches right, can be quite difficult. Pumping breast milk for twins can get even more difficult.

Breastfeeding two babies at once may seem impossible but it is not. Such is a mother’s ability to take care of her babies. Every mother wants the best for her babies and so, who would say no to a little help? When you want to pump breast milk for twins, you can use all the help and tips you can get, to make it easier.

In This Article

Can You Pump Breastmilk If You Have Twins?

The first question is – pumping breast milk when you have twins – yes or a no? The answer is definitely yes. However, it can be tough. Breastfeeding directly means, you lift the babies, position them, and put them on your breasts and they do the rest of the work.

When you decide to include pumping or choose to exclusively pump breastmilk for two babies at the same time, it needs a little more effort, patience, and a lot of tips to make it as comfortable as possible.

How Much Should I Pump For Twins?

It completely depends on your babies’ feeding style. How frequently they drink, how much -they drink each feed, and what the total quantity for a day is. You can aim to pump a good 750-800 ML a day, after week one post-delivery. If there is excess, you can always store the breast milk in the freezer for later use.

[Read : Pumping And Expressing Breast Milk]

How Long Should You Pump For Twins?

Pump every 3 hours. Ideally, you should feed a baby once every 2-3 hours. So, pumping every time you give your babies a bottle can be a good pattern to follow. Your body will be in tune with your babies’ hunger and their cries and cute gurgles can help with your letdown.

Is Breast Pump Necessary For Twins?

breast pump for twin

No, not necessarily but it can be very useful for many mothers. When you directly breastfeed your twins, the workload can be much lesser. You don’t have to wash pump parts, sterilize bottles or worry about freezing the milk in batches.

However, when you have to position two babies and hold them for the full feeding session, it can be a strain on you physically. You need to hold them firm throughout the session, ensure their latch does not shift and they are held upright. It can hurt your arms and your back. If you have no help around, you will have to burp them too, right after you come out of your breastfeeding position.

When you use a breast pump, though the workload can be slightly high, you get some freedom.

  • You can feed them at different times without having to disturb their latch.
  • Your back and arms will be thankful to you.
  • You don’t have to be physically present to feed them as your partner or someone else can give them a bottle.
  • Pumping more will help in increasing the milk supply
  • You can always stock up and not worry about the milk flowing in for each session.

[Read : How to Choose the Right Breast Pump For Your Baby?]

Top 5 Tips To Help You Breast Pump For Twins

Tips To Help You Breast Pump For Twins

We know you can use all the help you can get. Here are a few tips that might make this pumping journey a little easier for you:

1. Reduce Cleaning

One of the biggest challenges of pumping breast milk for twins is cleaning the pump and its numerous tiny parts. It can be very tiring and demotivating if you try to wash the parts after every pumping session.

The goal is to avoid any bacterial formation and to keep it clean and safe for the babies. Bacteria do not form in cool and dry surroundings like your refrigerator or freezer. Once you finish pumping, wash your hands and rinse the pump in hot water. Take them out, place them in a dedicated plastic bag and stash it in your freezer until the next use.

You can wash the parts at the end of the day. Use a separate bin or bowl and put the parts in it and wash them easily. You can use a sterilizer or a microwave to sterilize at the end of the day. If you don’t touch the parts with your dirty hands, they will be clean and free of any bacterial formation.

[Read : How to Clean a Breast Pump – Methods, Sterilizations And Tips]

2. Improve Your Milk Let Down

Initially, your milk may not flow in for the pump. The body has the natural tendency to respond to babies. So, you can try using their blankets or photos to help stimulate the let-down. After a few days, your breasts will respond to the pump and the flow will not need any stimulation.

3. Increase Your Milk Supply

Your breasts keep filling up with milk as soon as you empty them. The body produces to match the demand. So, pump a little more after you empty your breasts. This will signal them to produce more. Slowly the supply will increase. However, ensure you don’t pump your empty breasts too long as it can hurt your nipples and even cause bleeding.

4. Improve Your Comfort Levels While Pumping

Holding two pumps multiple times a day is not a feasible option if you want to avoid arm and back aches. Invest in a good nursing bra that can hold the pumps firmly in place. Your hands will be free and you need not hunch to hold two pumps.

5. Improve Your Overall Pumping Experience

Choosing the right size of flange (the part that holds your breast while pumping) can make a lot of difference. An ill-fitting flange will not only come loose while you are pumping but can be very painful if it is too small. When the fit is not right, the optimal amount of pressure will not be in use, thus changing

Are There Any Side Effect of Pumping?

Side effects of pumping will be the same whether you are pumping for one or two babies. Though these side effects are nothing to worry about, you can expect the following:

  • Sore nipples due to excess pumping
  • Blood in the milk if you pump after emptying breasts
  • Babies may not latch properly when you try to breastfeed directly

Top Tips to Increase Milk Supply When Pumping For Twins

Increase Milk Supply When Pumping For Twins

When your body needs to produce enough milk to sustain two little human beings, it needs all the support it can get from you, and more! Here are a few tips you can try in order to increase your milk supply.

1. Hydrate

Drink more water and other fluids. Breastfeeding can be very dehydrating. The more hydrated you are, the easier it will be for your body to produce milk.

2. Sleep Well

You need good quality sleep for your body to produce more milk. Now, with two babies we know it is close to impossible but get all the help you can. Your body is working hard to produce milk for two babies. Try to get at least a good 5 hours sleep as a full chunk, and not split over the day.

3. Improve Your Diet

Include a lot of galactogenic (milk-increasing) food items to help increase your milk supply. If needed, consult your lactation expert and get a prescription for galactagogue tablets. You can take supplements with your doctor’s approval.

4. Invest in a Good Pump

Invest in a good electric breast pump. It may seem a little expensive when you compare it to cost-free direct breastfeeding but think of the benefits. A good pump can not only pump faster but can be less painful, last longer, and might even be easier to maintain.

5. Pump More

Pump more frequently instead of every 3-4 hours. Every time you pump and drain the milk, your body will produce more. So, you can keep pumping and storing the milk for later use.

Pumping breast milk for twins is not an easy task. With a little support and a lot of tips, it can become less stressful. Over time, you will get comfortable and confident doing it. It is tricky to pump for twins but never impossible.

FAQ’s

1. Does Pumping Burn as Many Calories as Breastfeeding?

Yes, it does. Whether you breastfeed or pump milk, your body needs to burn calories to produce the milk as per demand. So, the number of calories burnt depends on the quantity of milk and not the technique of feeding.

2. Do You Produce More Breast Milk With Twins?

Yes, a mother’s body can produce enough milk to meet the demand. If there are two babies to breastfeed, her body can produce milk accordingly. Some women may experience supply issues. Lactation experts can help come up with a suitable solution.

3. Can Pumping Breastmilk For Two Babies Hurt the Breasts?

Continuous pumping for long durations can hurt the breasts. If the pressure is too high, it can cause bleeding too. However, the body adapts to its demands, and it may not be very challenging to pump milk for two.

Read Also: Supplementing Breast milk With Formula for Twins

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Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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