How can dads, partners, family and friends help when twin and triplet babies are breastfed?
There’s plenty to do! Here’s some suggestions:
Look after older siblings, new twins or triplets are so time consuming in the early days. But also look after the babies so the breastfeeding parent can spend time with their older children too. Bedtime with older ones is particularly difficult as this is the time babies are most unsettled and like to cluster feed.
Take over the housework. It is very challenging to even find time to take a shower with new twins or triplets. If it is possible to lower standards and let things go, then do. But if you’re the type of person where mess causes stress, then roping in some volunteers or paying for a cleaner can be a great plan.
Feed the breastfeeding parent so they can feed the babies! Provides snacks and meals, breastfeeding is hungry work!
Keep their water bottle topped up. Make a packed lunch before leaving for work so no need to prepare a meal.
Changes nappies. The breastfeeding parent deals with what goes in, everyone else can deal with what comes out!
Pass babies for feeding. And help with positioning them in the early days whilst the breastfeeding parent builds their confidence
Settle babies. Sometimes babies need winding. Often they need lots of cuddles in between feeds. Skin to skin is not just for the breastfeeding parent. Perfect bonding time. Wearing the babies in a sling can be a nice way to do this.
Bath and massage babies. This is another lovely way those that are not breastfeeding can bond with the babies.
Do any top up feeds. If babies need some top ups in the early days it can be a great help for someone else to do them whilst the breastfeeding parent pumps.
Take babies out for a walk every day. It can just be for half an hour. Sometimes this makes all the difference.
Take babies in the morning so breastfeeding parent can stay in bed. Babies are often quite settled in the mornings and sleep fairly well. A lie-in can be a good way of getting a bit more sleep to help cope with the sleep deprivation.
Be a gate keeper, and manage visitors. When a parent is trying to establish breastfeeding, having lots of visitors can be really stressful. The babies will still be little in a few weeks time, there is plenty of time for visitors.
Learn about breastfeeding, encourage breastfeeding and boost morale, defend the choice to breastfeed if necessary, celebrate the smallest achievements and be proud that the babies are breastfed, find breastfeeding support if its not working
Kathryn Stagg, May 2021