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If you’re a breastfeeding mom of twins, you know that it can be a little more challenging than breastfeeding a single baby. Not only do you have to worry about producing enough milk for both babies. But, you also have to make sure that they are getting the right amount of nutrition. Let’s discuss some tips to help increase your milk supply and make breastfeeding twins a little bit easier!
How to know if your breast milk supply is low
When breastfeeding twins, it is important to make sure that your breast milk supply is adequate. One way to tell if your milk supply is low is by the frequency and amount of wet diapers your babies have. They each should be having at least six wet diapers per day (or more). If not, then it is likely that your breast milk supply is not enough.
Another sign that your milk supply may be low is if your babies are losing weight. Or maybe they are not gaining weight as quickly as they should be. It is expected for your little ones to lose some weight right after birth. But they should soon be back to their birth weight in two weeks and steadily gaining afterward.
It is also possible that your breast milk could be low if you see signs of dehydration. Some signs might be they are having no tears when crying or they haven’t produced urine after several hours. Potentially even you can observe a sunken soft spot on their head.
How to Increase your breast milk supply for twins
In case you notice any of the signs mentioned above, here are some things you can do to boost your breast milk supply:
What you can put in your body to increase production
- Drink lots of water throughout the day (aim for eight glasses per 24 hours). When nursing twins or multiple children simultaneously, it is important to make sure they get enough nutrients in their young bodies while also being hydrated themselves! Try drinking at least two liters every single day. This should be equivalent to about three times as much as what you would normally drink.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Your body needs good nutrition to produce milk. So make sure that you’re eating enough food with each meal or snack time! If possible try having three meals per day plus two snacks between them. This will ensure there are never any gaps where you might have missed out on certain nutrients during meals.
- Take breastfeeding supplements such as Fenugreek or Blessed Thistle. These supplements have been known to help increase milk supply in nursing mothers. So if you are feeling like your breast milk production is low, they may be worth trying out!
- Add protein powders to boost your milk supply. Milkdust, a favorite among moms, has been proven effective in increasing breast milk production. Another alternative is Ora Organics. Ora Organics Protein Powder for Breastfeeding Moms gives your body everything that it needs while breastfeeding. From vitamins like C and B12 which help sustain energy levels throughout the day (and night!) right through to iron. Check out this article for some great protein powders to use in your smoothies.
- Consider incorporating smoothies into your diet. Smoothies are the easiest way to add the nutrition you need from fruits and vegetables, without having to eat large meals.
Other ways to increase production
- Try breastfeeding more frequently. Sometimes just increasing the number of times your babies’ nurse can help boost milk supply too! It’s best if they breastfeed every few hours instead of all at once. If they feed all at once, it may lead to overfeeding and could cause issues down road). If you find yourself needing some extra help in between feedings, consider using a double pump. One such as Medela Double Electric Pump which allows both breasts to be pumped at the same time.
- Pump more often. If your babies aren’t getting enough from breastfeeding due to a low supply, try pumping more often and/or for longer periods of time. This will help stimulate your body’s production. So that it makes an adequate amount of milk each day.
- Get plenty of rest. This one should come as no surprise. When you’re well-rested, your body functions better overall including its ability to produce milk for your babies. Try to aim for eight hours of sleep per night and see if that makes any difference in your milk supply.
It can be difficult to manage breastfeeding twins on top of everything else. But with these tips hopefully it will become a little bit easier! And always remember that if you ever need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor or a lactation consultant. They will be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.
How to improve your breast milk quality
The single best way to boost the quality of your breast milk is by picking up a well-balanced diet. You can also specifically incorporate milk-boosting foods.
Here are some of the best foods for breastfeeding mums.
- Salmon and other fatty fish – These are loaded with a type of fat called DHA. This fat is extremely important for the development of your babies’ nervous system. Your breast milk naturally contains DHA, but including it in your diet raises DHA levels in your breast milk.
- Low-fat dairy products – Your breast milk naturally contains calcium to help your twins’ bones develop. Adding yogurt, milk and cheese, which are all excellent sources of calcium can boost your calcium levels.
- Legumes – Legumes are a great source of iron, especially if you prefer not to eat meat. The darker the bean, the better.
- Oranges and blueberries – Blueberries are filled with vitamins and antioxidants. They are a well-known superfood that can only be great for your lactating needs. Oranges, which are loaded with vitamin C are also good for nursing mums.
- Brown rice – Whole grain carbohydrates such as brown rice can help keep your energy levels up. It can also help you make great quality milk for your little ones.
Some foods can be harmful to a breastfeeding mother. It is important that you know what these are and avoid them. You should also avoid any kind of alcohol or caffeine while breastfeeding.
In general, there are no food restrictions if your twin babies are not experiencing digestive issues such as colic or reflux (also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease). If this is the case with one or both of your twins, then do consult your doctor before changing their diet in any way.
It may help to think about which foods could cause trouble for you too. Are there certain things that make your stomach feel funny after eating them? If so, chances are they’ll affect the baby just like they affect you!
Ultimately, your breastmilk will nourish your babies like nothing else can, so whenever you can, try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and you can be sure that your body will make the best quality breastmilk. Protein smoothies can be a great way to boost your breastmilk and here are some great blenders to help you make them!