It can seem a very big decision to make, about whether you should breast feed or bottle feed your twins. On the one hand we all know breast is best. We have it drummed into us at antenatal classes and from the midwives and health visitors, that we should be breast-feeding. Breast milk is definitely best for the babies, after all that is what it is there for. However, if only life was that simple. In my opinion, when you have twins, you have to look at the whole picture and the whole family unit and individual situation before you can make a decision on what is right for you and your babies.
Here are some pros and cons to consider:
BREAST FEEDING TWINS
- Breast milk is best for the babies. It helps their immune system
- It is free
- No need to sterilise bottles
- It is possible to feed 2 babies at the same time (though it is not easy)
- It can be more time-consuming than bottles as babies often seem to take longer to breast feed than bottle feed
- No one will be able to help you, so it can seem lonely especially during those night feeds
- If you decide to express milk, you still need to sterilise bottles
- You can’t see how much the babies have drunk
- Breast feeding needs to be learnt, some women find it easy, others (like me) find it very difficult.
- Breast feeding can help mothers to loose that baby tummy quicker
BOTTLE FEEDING TWINS
- Other people can help with bottle feeding (especially during those night shifts!)
- You can quite easily feed 2 babies at the same time
- It may be less time-consuming (though it takes extra time to prepare the bottles)
- It is more expensive (formula milk is not cheap when you have 2 babies)
- There is lots of bottle sterilising to be done
- You can see exactly how much each baby has drunk
My story is that I breast-fed my first son for the first week, but then I was very poorly after that, so was unable to continue and had to switch to formula. Therefore, following that experience, I wanted to try to breast feed my twins, but wanted to be prepared in case it didn’t work out. I breastfed my twins in hospital (and it was much easier than with my son, as the twins seemed to take to the breast much better). However, when I came home, I breastfed them for the first night. It felt like I was feeding all night long and then had to be on the ball, all day long the next day, as I still had a 2-year-old to run around after as well. I had to take a hard look at the whole picture of what was best for the babies, but also what I believed was best for my older son and family as a whole. I came to the conclusion that it would be best for everyone to switch to bottle feeding, so that my husband could help out more. I believe this was the best decision for our family.
Breast is best, but, I would strongly recommend that you go with what is right for you and your family, whether it is breast or bottle. Do not be swayed too closely by the health professionals making you feel bad, they are not the ones that have to do it.