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Breastfeeding and Beyond: A Personal Account of Feeding Twins





Breastfeeding Tips and advice from a twin mom


A basic necessity for all humans and a major area of interest for parents with regards to their children!

From feeding new-borns to solids for toddlers, it is a long journey for all parents to travel. Baby birth is a momentous occasion for the parents and it is literally a whole new world for the child. They come out of the comfort of the mother's womb into this new complicated world. Breast feeding is the closest they get to the 'world' as they had known before birth. Breast feeding is essential and the most comforting place for the new born. And the truth of the matter is that you cannot perfect it - purely for the reason that there is no perfect! Each child is different and has unique needs. Let me take you through my journey of twin parenting.

I have been blessed with twins; two boys - Rudra and Neel. Rudra used to take long less frequent feeds and Neel smaller more frequent ones. Some doctors said that you should feed every 2-3 hours to a new born but that was not the case with Rudra - though, in hindsight, it turned out to be just fine. While with twins I had an impression that I could never directly feed both entirely, but I have been proven wrong. Having said that, with the advancement of technology, there are tools to help you in the feeding journey. Breast pump and formula milk are aids available that you can utilise. Major tip - your sanity and happiness are most important. I am a true believer of 'happy parents raise happy children'. So do not feel shy in using such aids or asking for help. Keep as much help around you as you need.

Also, our generation of parents are internet junkies. But I was never too entrenched in it. I do feel that not reading too much helped me keep my sanity. Also, maybe because my husband took on that role! However, it may be helpful to note the 'growth spurts' of babies. They may not be exact for you as per the age mentioned but when you notice a difference in behaviour you may understand the reason behind it.

Feeding generally is tiring and with twins I felt it to be even more challenging. During the day I would try and feed as much as I could but, in the night, I tried to keep my own schedule. The night schedule was something like this - feed both before sleeping, thereafter 1 top feed (if baby wakes up), and then I put an alarm for ~3am - woke up, pumped, and kept the milk for when required again in the night - point to be noted that I had a 24-hour nanny to help feed milk to the babies. Next, I would be up around 6 AM to feed as and when the babies demanded. This helped me get some decent hours of sleep and I just felt ready for the new day.

Two major findings which impressed the importance of breast feeding were – (a) Your body produces milk according to the demand. That is mother nature. As you feed or as the baby sucks more milk, body gets the signal that more is needed and as such it starts producing more. More you feed, more you produce (b) Though tech has advanced and formula milk can provide most of the nutrition but it still cannot replicate the antibodies contained in breast milk which help build immunity of the child - 'Ma ka doodh piya hai to...'

When the child reaches 6 months milestone, do read about “baby-led weaning” when you are transitioning to solids. I found it to be quite effective. Also, in my experience booster chairs have worked much better than high chairs. Maybe because kids feel locked in a high chair and booster chairs are more their size and access is better. Also, for some travels, say to our parents’ house for longer durations, we packed the booster chairs and took them with us.

So those are some feeding tips and advice from my side based on my personal journey. My final advice for twin parents would be to try and enjoy this journey as much as possible, and do not worry about hard boundaries. Everyone has a different context and there is nothing wrong in using formula or breast pump. Also, if possible, try to get as much help as you can – it can really make a difference in sailing through those initial months!

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