Tandem Nursing

Breastfeeding Twins and Tandem Nursing

A How To Guide

Do you want to breastfeed your twins? Breastfeeding twins is no easy task, you will need a can do attitude and lots and lots of patients. I did it and you can too.


Breastfeeding is something both mother and babies need to learn how to achieve.

If you have breastfed before then it will hopefully come back to you, now you just have to figure out how to feed them, one at a time or tandem nursing?


One thing to remember is when breastfeeding it is important to have a healthy breastfeeding diet avoiding certain foods.

Breastfeeding Twins vs. Bottle Feeding Twins

  • Saves money as breast milk is free
  • Helps lose your pregnancy weight
  • Reduces the risk of postpartum depression
  • Boosts the immune systems of your twins
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer obesity
  • Reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Need to buy formula and is an extra expense
  • Someone else can help with feeding the twins
  • Extra work sterilizing bottles
  • You know how much your twins drink
  • Can sometimes cause constipation

Breastfeeding Positions for Twins


Breastfeeding twins at first can be daunting, there are many ways to nurse twins either tandem nurse or they take turns.


Twin Tip: Some mothers assign a certain breast to each twin, this can result in one breast being larger than the other. To avoid this alternate each twin with every feed. A breastfeeding chart is a great way to keep track of which twin is to feed next on which breast.


Tandem Nursing Twins:


See below for the three most common holding positions when breastfeeding twins. A Twins Feeding Pillow is great support while nursing.


Double Clutch Hold or Football Hold was my favorite position for breastfeeding.

It’s also a great position if you have a cesarean birth as they are laying to the side not putting pressure on your tummy.


How this is done:

  • Using a feeding pillow (or a few cushions) position your twins along each side of you
  • The heads are positioned facing the breast and the body following around to under your arms
  • Your hands are only there to support their little heads.
  • The palm of your hand firmly (but gently) pushes in between the shoulders for the best position for feeding

The Double Cradle Hold


How this is done:

  • Face the breast each baby is using moms forearm as support
  • You will need pillows to support your elbows, otherwise your arms will tire quickly
  • Once in position your twins will be criss-crossed in your lap
  • Your hands are only there to support their little heads. The palm of your hand firmly (but gently) pushes in between the shoulders for the best position for feeding

Cradle and Clutch Hold is another popular position when breastfeeding twins.


How this is done:

  • One twin will be under your arm as described above (clutch/football hold) and the other in the cradle position (as above)
  • Use pillows for support
  • Your twin babies will look like they have lined up along your body

Breastfeeding Twins – One at a time



If you chose to feed your twins separately there are a couple of ways to do this. The first obviously is to feed one while the other is asleep or in a bouncy.


If you have two crying babies and need to tend to them both, simply lay one baby cross your lap so you can comfort them, hold the other ready for breastfeeding in either the cradle or clutch position (or whatever is most comfortable). You can now breastfeed one twin while consoling the other.


Another option is to buy a baby sling, one you can breastfeed in, this way you can be feeding one baby while changing the twins diaper.

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How to Burp Twins Together


It is possible to burp twins together you just need to find a position that suits you and your twins. The picture to the right is me burping our newborn twin girls; I found this a great position.


Another way is to have one twin up on your chest to should area and the other laying across your lap.

Trouble with breastfeeding?
If you are having any difficulties with breastfeeding your twins consult with your lactation professional.

Breast or bottle – whichever decision you take, read our indepth guide on Breastfeeding twins

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