With all U-shaped twin breastfeeding cushions, make sure you are sitting upright and push the cushion right in so there’s no gap by your tummy. Use the back support cushion and maybe add another cushion to make sure there’s enough room for babies’ legs to wrap round you. The cushion should bring your babies to exactly the right height to latch on to the breast. Add some extra cushions if the babies are not high enough or sit on a softer surface so you sink a bit lower. If the cushion is too high try sitting on a cushion, or on a harder surface, like a firm sofa.
To get both babies in to position, put one baby in a safe place within reach so you can set up the cushion and get comfortable. Don’t forget to grab a drink, snack and your phone and make sure the remote is within reach! Place first baby on cushion, then reach to pick up second baby. You could roll a muslin and put behind first baby’s back to prevent them rolling off the cushion if you like. Grab the baby grow of the second baby under the chin and lift gently, slide your other hand under as soon as you can. The back of the baby grow will support the neck of the baby, but move slowly. Lift second baby into position on the cushion.
Make sure you’re starting nose to nipple, this means the babies have to be quite far back. Don’t hold the back of their heads or they will not be able to open their mouths wide, support at the shoulders. Baby should be half on their back, half on their sides looking up at the breast. Wait for an open mouth and bring one baby onto the breast chin first. The bottom lip should be quite far from the nipple, the nipple then goes into the roof of the mouth. You can assist by lifting the breast a little by pressing in on the top of the breast with the other hand. Then do the same with the second baby. The cushion should be set up correctly so that once they’re feeding you should be able to let go and feed hands free.
For babies who are often sick or suffer from bad wind or reflux, it is possible to tilt the cushion a little so babies’ heads are higher than their hips. Try putting your feet on a foot stool to lift your knees a little and then lean back a bit. Or maybe sit cross legged or with your knees bent on the bed. This means the angle of the cushion and your body is still the same but babies’ heads are raised a little.
For the M shaped cushions, start with it in W position, put behind your back, then fold the two sides down and clip together (if you have a clip, some cheaper ones do not have this feature). The centre section becomes the backrest. Then follow the same procedure for latching as the other pillows.
May 2019, Kathryn Stagg IBCLC