Will you make enough milk to breastfeed twins, triplets, or more? Want to know if you can breastfeed your adopted baby? Learn the answers to these questions and get tips to help you breastfeed in any situation.
The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers of multiples and their babies are the same as for all mothers and babies - possibly greater since many multiples are born early. The idea of breastfeeding more than one baby may seem overwhelming at first! But many moms of multiples find breastfeeding easier than other feeding methods because there is nothing to prepare. Many mothers successfully breastfeed more than one baby even after going back to work.
Many twin and multiple babies are smaller or born premature. Get tips on caring for these babies.
Breastfeeding during your next pregnancy is not usually dangerous to you, your breastfeeding child, or your new developing baby. Your child may decide to wean (stop breastfeeding) on his or her own because of changes in the amount and flavor of your milk. Your doctor also may advise you, or you may want, to wean your baby if:
If you keep nursing your child after your baby is born, feed your newborn first to make sure he or she gets the colostrum. Once you are making more milk, you can decide how you can best meet everyone's needs, but stay aware of your new baby's needs for you and your milk.
You may want to ask your partner to help you by taking care of one child while you are breastfeeding. Also, you will need more fluids, healthy foods, and rest, because you are taking care of yourself and two small children.
Yes, but the amount of milk your breasts will make will depend on how your surgery was done, where your incisions were, and the reasons for your surgery. Women who had incisions in the fold under the breast are less likely to have problems making milk than women who had incisions around or across the areola, which can cut into milk ducts and nerves. Women who have had breast implants usually are able to breastfeed.
If you ever had surgery on your breasts for any reason, talk with a lactation consultant. If you are planning to have breast surgery, talk with your surgeon about ways he or she can save as much of the breast tissue and milk ducts as possible.
Maybe. Many mothers who adopt can breastfeed their babies with some help. You may need to supplement your breastmilk with donated breastmilk from a milk bank or with infant formula. But some adoptive mothers can breastfeed exclusively, especially if they have been pregnant in the past.
If you plan to adopt and want to breastfeed, talk with your doctor and a lactation consultant. They can help you decide the best way to try to establish a milk supply for your new baby. Options include:
Maybe. You can try breastfeeding (or returning to breastfeeding) after your baby is older. This process is called relactation. It may take weeks or even longer to get a full supply of milk, so you will need to continue to supplement your baby's diet with formula.
Talk with your doctor and a lactation consultant. They can help you decide the best way to try to rebuild your milk supply. Options include:
If you can't breastfeed and still want to give your baby human milk, you may want to consider a human milk bank. A human milk bank can give you fresh donor human milk if you have a prescription from your doctor. Many steps are taken to make sure the milk is safe.
Some reasons you may want or need a human milk bank include:
Some mothers give extra breastmilk directly to parents of babies in need. This is called "casual sharing." But this milk has not been tested in a lab like milk at a human milk bank has. It is recommended to not feed your baby with breastmilk that you get either directly from other women or through the Internet.