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TWINS AND BREAST FEEDING

Twins can be divided into two categories:

  1. Twins formed when fertilized egg [ovum] splits. {Monozygotic}

Here the babies look alike with exactly same genetic information and are of the same sex. E.g. both are males or both are females.

  1. Twins developed from two separate eggs and are called fraternal or dizygotic twins. These babies are not alike or similar and can be either of same sex or different sex.
  • Mother can satisfactorily breast feed both the kids in case of twins. There is a myth prevailing in our society that the quantity of breast milk in the mother of the twins will be less for both the kids and they have to be given outside milk. But if the mother is mentally strong and confident then only through breast feeding, physical and mental growth of the twins who are born after 36 months of pregnancy can be attained. Kids who are preterm or who have low birth weight might be given outside milk after the advice of doctor.
  • Twins can be fed separately or together. It depends on the mother and twins.
  • If the twins are feeding together but from two different breasts and their heads are kept in opposite directions then the practice is called cross over hold practice.
  • If the heads of both the kids are on same sided and similar positions while feeding the baby, then the position is called parallel hold.
  • When there are twins, mother needs a lot of support from the family members. The support is essential to boost confidence of the mother and also when one child is feeding then the second child is to be taken care of. If both the kids are to be fed together then family members have to help the mother to place second child onto the second breast, after the first child has been sucking for almost one to two minutes.
  • The twins that are fed only breast milk are likely to be more immune and will catch less infections in comparison to the twins that are fed both breast milk and outside milk. Initially for two weeks the mother and kids will find it difficult but after two to three weeks both the mother and the kids will be comfortably set in the routine. If mother is comfortable in feeding both the kids at the same time then time would be saved and also mother will feel less tired. Mother will feel less stressed and also satisfied if the kids are only having only breast milk. Mother can feed both the babies while sitting and also while lying down or in sleeping position. It is natural that if both the kids suck then enough quantity of milk will be produced in the breasts and kids won’t have to stay hungry.
  • If the twins that are fed from the breast and from the bottle alternatively then these kids will be facing trouble of gas and also mild stomach ache. If they are fed only from the bottle then they will face these problems less. If the children are given milk from the bottle, lot of time is wasted in cleaning and sterilizing the bottles. If one child is feeding from the breast then second child can be fed from the milk that has been taken out from the mother’s breast. This is called Expressed Breast Milk method.
  • The family members should not be spreading the negativity by saying that the mother’s milk will not be enough for the kids andwill not be able to manage. Rather they should be positive and should try to arrange, help and support her in such a manner that the kids get only breast milk.

 

In the 21st century, with the help of medical science, all the organs of the body including heart, skin can be artificially made but the highly nutritious breast milk cannot be made artificially.

 

 

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