Tandem-nursing twins? Oh, yes you can!
When I found out I was carrying not one, but two babies, I was in shock. The funny thing about it was that I knew twins ran in my family and was trying to prepare myself for that possibility before I got pregnant with my (now 3-year-old) daughter.
This time around, the possibility of twins hadn't even crossed my mind. After the news sunk in, I wondered how I'd be able to nurse two babies. How would I decide who to feed first? Would my other baby be screaming while I tried to nurse the first one? Would my body even be capable of making enough milk for two babies?
With my first child, supply wasn't a problem. I was able to nurse her for over a year and even pumped enough milk to mix into her baby cereal when she started eating solid foods. I knew this time would be different and I felt a lot of anxiety about trying to feed two babies.
Perfect nursing pillow
Then, one day at work, a friend told me she saw this really cool nursing pillow on Shark Tank. It's designed for feeding twins and is called the Twin Z Pillow. I looked it up online, checked out the photos and reviews and felt relieved. If this nursing pillow was as great as it looked, I might actually be able to nurse both my babies at the same time!
It works different than a traditional nursing pillow (like a Boppy) because it doesn't curve around the front of your body. The pillow is E-shaped and the middle part flips up and goes behind your back for additional support. Then you pull the sides of the pillow around the outside of your body and buckle them in front. Tighten the buckle as needed and then put one baby on each side. That's it!
It took me a while to order one since it's only available online and costs $100. My Twin Z Pillow arrived mere days before my scheduled C-section (at 38 weeks) and I was looking forward to trying it out.
One regret I have is that I didn't bring it to the hospital right away because I hadn't had time to wash the cover. Another regret is that I didn't order an extra cover right away (it's about $36, but once you see the size of the pillow, the price makes sense).
The first couple times I tried to tandem-nurse my babies in the hospital, it was difficult because I couldn't get all the hospital pillows arranged properly to provide the right support. My baby boy was having some trouble figuring out how to latch on as well. It didn't take long before I called and asked my mom to bring my Twin Z Pillow and cover to the hospital.
The first time I used the Twin Z Pillow, I was relieved. It was a lot easier to get situated with the babies, and the nursing pillow even provided extra support behind my back. The additional support was helpful because my stomach muscles were sore from the C-section and trying to sit up straight was difficult. Even the nurses at the hospital were impressed by how helpful my Twin Z Pillow was!
It took a couple more attempts at nursing before both my babies got the hang of it. For every feeding the first couple weeks, I would strip my baby boy down to his diaper to help him know it was time to eat. It seemed to help him focus.
Bottle feeding x2
When our babies were 2 weeks old, we talked to our pediatrician about introducing some formula to help supplement the nursing. My body was producing milk and my babies were growing well, but during the day they would get really fussy in between feedings. We bought some formula and started offering it twice per day. This helped give my body a little bit of a break and the ability to make more milk for the rest of the feedings.
The Twin Z Pillow worked great for bottle feeding, too. We would prop the babies up in the pillow and then sit on the floor in front of them holding their bottles. As the babies grew older, they started holding their own bottles some of the time. (Although they usually want me to hold the bottle if I'm the one giving them formula.)
Dual baby lounging
Another great thing about the Twin Z Pillow is that it works really well for baby lounging. You don't need to have separate baby lounger pillows because they can hang out in the Twin Z Pillow before or after feedings.
My 3-year-old daughter loves lounging in it, too!
Tummy time x2
Yet another use for this versatile pillow is to help your twins with tummy time. My babies are Army-crawling all over the place now, but when they were 6 months old I was still able to do tummy time with them on the pillow. I thought it would help them get used to the crawling position.
Nursing a baby is amazing. Nursing two babies at the same time has brought things to a different level. I've experienced so many beautiful moments nursing my twins, and I know those moments wouldn't have happened without this nursing pillow.
The photo above is one I took when my babies were less than 1 week old. They fell asleep — holding hands! — after I nursed them.
There were so many times over the past seven months when they would hold hands while I was nursing them. One moment that really stands out in my memory was when they were holding hands while nursing and then they reached out their other hands to each other. Their arms, heads and hands made a heart shape on my chest. It was so beautiful it made me cry.
7 months and counting
I was able to tandem-nurse my twins up until the night before I had surgery to repair my Diastasis recti that resulted from my twin pregnancy. I'm still recovering from surgery, but hopefully I'll be able to tell you about that journey in the future.
Two weeks after surgery, I tandem-nursed my babies again using my Twin Z Pillow. Now that they're getting bigger (my baby boy is almost 20 pounds!), they seem to prefer nursing separately. My baby girl is more efficient when she eats and sometimes my baby boy likes to stick his hand in her face while they're nursing. Typical sibling behavior, right? ;)
My husband still uses the Twin Z Pillow for bottle feeding the babies, and my 3-year-old daughter still likes to lay on it and "get all comfy" with her stuffed animals and a blanket.
I hope you found this post to be helpful and informative. I am thankful for my Twin Z Pillow and all of the ways it has helped me with my babies. Please feel free to ask me questions about this or any of my previous posts.
Don't worry, there are still a ton of things I want to share with you. Check back soon for my next post!
This blog is truthful and based on personal experience with the products or items mentioned. It doesn't have sponsors, and no one paid to receive positive reviews of their products. All of the links provided are for your convenience and are not "affiliate links" — Valerie doesn't receive payment or kickbacks if people purchase products based on her recommendations.
Valerie Moe is the Senior Graphic Designer for Minnesota Parent magazine. She lives in Bloomington with her husband, their 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old twins. You can comment below or contact her directly here.