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If you’ve just found out you’re expecting twins, triplets or more, one of the questions on your mind may be whether you will breast feed or formula feed your babies. As you will know, experts agree that breast milk is best for building your baby’s natural defenses and immunity, especially the early milk a mother produces (colostrum) as it includes antibodies which prevent infection in the newborn.
Taking the First Steps in Feeding
It may seem hard to manage breast feeding two or more babies at first, and it’s probably something you’ve been worrying about since you showed your first pregnancy symptoms. If your babies are premature, it might be best to initially use a pump and bottle feed until your babies are strong enough to latch on to the breast. If you do choose to express milk, remember to do it 2-4 hours, even through the night. This can be a great way of getting your partner involved in the feeding process while ensuring your baby is getting all the benefits of breast milk. There are lots of great pumps on the market and if you make the decision to express before you give birth, you could ask for a pump as a gift from family instead of receiving lots of babygros.
Remember that the decision whether to breast feed or not doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can get advice from your midwife on how to mix breast feeding and formula feeding for your newborns. This mix can make it easier to manage more than one baby as your partner can help with the bottle feeds and any amount of breast milk that your baby gets is better than nothing.
How Long Shall I Feed For?
Experts generally advise to breast feed for over a year, however even breast feeding for one day is healthier for your baby than not at all. Some mothers find it easier to breast feed two babies simultaneously and if you manage to get the hang of this then it can save you time! If this is the case then place the stronger sucker to the breast first so that it will encourage your other breast to express, meaning the weaker sucker won’t have to try as hard to get milk.
If you find breast feeding too hard with twins or triplets, don’t feel guilty. Breast feeding isn’t for everybody and formula milk can offer lots of nutrients too. Make sure you get advice from your midwife on which formulas to use, especially if your infants are premature.