How To Tandem Breastfeed Twins

How to tandem breast feed twins 2 - nesting story

When I was pregnant with my twins, I knew that I wanted to tandem breastfeed  them. Not only did I want to do this for the bonding benefits, but I also wanted to cut down on time I was spending breastfeeding.

I had already successfully breastfed my two older children and just had to figure out the twin tandem breastfeeding logistics. But once I started searching for some clear and trusted information, I realized there wasn’t a lot out there geared towards breastfeeding multiples. That is why I have teamed up with Lansinoh to write a series of tandem breastfeeding twins articles, as a trusted resource for new moms of twins.

Note: the information in these articles was based off of my own personal experience. Health professionals and other twin moms were also consulted in the writing process, to gather information and compare experiences.

Below are links to the series of breastfeeding twins articles I wrote for Lansinoh:

Breastfeeding twins at home with help

Breastfeeding twins solo

Breastfeeding twins – nursing positions

Breastfeeding twins – tips and tricks

Breastfeeding twins and pumping

If you would like to learn more about tandem breastfeeding twins, the logistics that go into it, and how to set up an optimal space, watch my video tutorial here.

I also try to reply to emails as fast as possible, so if you have a question that you’d like to ask me, or post on Nesting Story’s Facebook page, please email me

Happy twin breastfeeding!

Photography by Sarah Martin Photography

A Twin Concierge Spills All of Her Twin Preparation Secrets…

Twin Love ConciegeI recently had the chance to chat with one of my favourite twin moms, in fact, she is an expert when it comes to twins. Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn is a juggling Mom to adorable two-and-a-half-year-old identical twin girls and her ‘triplet’ – Twin Love Concierge. T.L.C . T.L.C. provides support and resources to expecting parents of multiples nationwide from preparing for twins classes, new 2 twins playgroups through to pre and postnatal personal consultations.

During our conversation, I found myself wishing I had known all of this before my twins arrived. Although I was well prepared, this would have brought my twin experience to a whole new level. Here is my interview with Shannon…

What advice can you give expectant parents of twins?

Shannon: Don’t get overwhelmed with everything, focus on key elements that you know you need to be educated on before the babies arrive, for example: baby gear, sleeping options, feeding methods. Just don’t over-research, especially in the medical arena, this only causes more stress than good, let your OBGYN be the expert on that.

Plan to be prepared by 30 weeks, at this stage your OB appointments can increase, bedrest may be required or you may just feel too heavy to be excited for the fun stuff. Plan to have the nursery completed, your baby shower done with, registry finalised, any maternity pictures taken, hospital bag packed and your carseats set-up and ready to go. Also, join your local multiples groups, and start connecting with Moms for support.

Take an expecting twins class and let them take the stress out of preparing for the babies. There you can also meet other parents expecting twins local to you. They will become invaluable to you in the next 12 months, as a walk around the park or a in-home coffee date will be much appreciated, if not to just laugh about how tired you are.

What is your must have item for twins?

Shannon: A good functional stroller that works within your lifestyle, and even better if it fits two carseats. These two items are going to be your most expensive purchases, but it allows you to get out of the house easily with the babies, even if its just for a 15 minute walk for all of you to get some air.

We (at Twin Love Concierge) personally love the UppaBaby Vista 2015, as a tandem stroller, or the Mountain Buggy Duet 2015 side by side. If you aren’t ready to budget for the long-term stroller start with a Joovy roo car seat frame. This option is easy to fold, and is cost effective. Lots of twin parents use them for the first few months until they decide what their next best option is.

Do you have any tips for setting up your home for newborn twins?

Shannon: Keep in mind, when preparing your home, create stations. A feeding station with a comfortable, wide chair that fits your double feeding pillow will make a big difference. Keeping bottles, nipples and pump accessories for a feeding station in one spot (kitchen is best) will help keep you organized. A bath station (in a bathroom), fully stocked with diapers, wipes, wash cloths and anything else you need for bath time and keep you from running around last minute to gather everything. Keep your twin’s nursery simple and uncluttered. This room needs to be functional. You will be on the floor a lot, so make sure you have a cushy rug and open space, as you will be spending a lot of time on the floor changing diapers, clothes and playing. Organization is key when you have multiples, hence the designated stations!

What’s one service you would splurge on?

Shannon: I would pick two services. A night nurse and housekeeper. It really depends on personal preference though.

What should a twin mom pack in a hospital bag that is different than a typical singleton hospital bag?

Shannon: A twin breastfeeding pillow is number one. Get the nurses at the hospital to teach you how breastfeed your twins on that specific pillow. This way you can recreate what you will be doing at home while in the hospital. Pack comfy and warm clothes and socks. Don’t forget about dad, a hoodie for him is essential. Oh, and always remember your chapstick, because hospitals can get very dry!

What is your advice regarding visitors after babies are born?

Shannon: Don’t have all of your visitors come right away. If they visit, they have to help, so assign tasks and preempt them before they arrive. Don’t feel afraid of keep the twins in a bit of a bubble, give a couple weeks for you all to settle in at home. Depending on how early they were born, allow them to gain some weight before being around stranger’s germs.

Do you recommend two of everything?

Shannon: No, you don’t need two of everything, especially activity toys. One movement toy, such as a bouncer, or a rocker and one play mat with an activity are sufficient. Try one, if they like it a lot, you can buy a second one. The only thing we do say you will use two of is the Bjorn bouncers, they are lightweight, long-lasting, transportable and can be used for feeding and play.


Twin Love Concierge is currently the largest provider of twin classes globally and Twin Love Concierge has fast become the go to resource for multiples parents – you can find more details here or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #twinloveconcierge.

5 Ways That Twins Are Easier Than One Baby

Twins Are EasierTwins are easier than one baby, or as us twins moms call one baby: a singleton. That’s right, my twins are easier that my son was on his own, or my oldest daughter was on her own. Of course, there are a lot of factors, like the fact that my almost one-year-old old twins are happy babies by nature. They also have older siblings to entertain them. But my experience as a twin mom for the first year, is twins are easier. I am busier, and my life feels like one big deja vu, but I am tempted to pull an Oprah and say “you get twins, and you get twins,” (minus all of the complications that come with a multiples pregnancy). Please don’t go and piss of a mom of twins by telling her you have always wanted twins, yes, this pisses us off. Just know that if you find yourself like I did, with a doctor telling you it’s twins, that there are definitely some perks to raising two at once!

1. They have a companion all of the time. This is something that I noticed the first day when my twin girls were born. As soon as I placed them together for a snuggle, their breathing would slow and they would relax. As the months went by, they became the best of friends, playing with their toys. They get a into an occasional fight, but I often stand back and let them work it out, which they often do. When I drop them off in our church nursery, they don’t even look back. This has been a wonderful break from when we used to have to leave a hysterical baby.

2. They are more patient and less needy. I don’t know if a memo is sent to twins while they are still in the womb, but they came out getting that the world didn’t only revolve around them. As a twin mom, I quickly learned to decide on who got the attention first based on their strengths and weaknesses. Also, if they are both fussing, often there is an instigator and a copy cat. You get pretty good at learning their cries and knowing who is first in line. Bottom line, unless there is a very good reason to fuss, they don’t bother. Something I wish my son had learned when he was a baby.Twins Easier Than One

3. You drop the guilt. This is something that also happens when you have a second child, but even more so when you have twins. This shift happens when you have your first baby, (singleton), where you start wondering, “am I reading enough books? Am I singing enough songs? Should I take him to more play groups?” And on and on. When you are busy with more than one baby, you don’t really have time to feel guilty. Or at least with twins, your guilt is about more basic things like, “did I even cuddle both babies today? Did everyone have a bath? Did everyone eat enough?” A couple weeks into twin motherhood, my guilt was long gone, because I realized that I didn’t have time to ponder, only do.

4. Teaching twins is easier. After having four kids, you realize that every kid is different, including the way they learn. Our oldest, Holden, would take a while and very specific instructions to learn  everything from walking to talking. Then came our oldest daughter, Beau. She picked things up before we were even ready. Just by observing. Now we can see that our twin’s learning style and pace is similar to our older two. Mia is just like Holden, and Everly is just like Beau. Only, just when I think Mia is about to fall a little behind Everly, she catches right up. It is so helpful to have another baby constantly demonstrating how to babble, crawl and pull herself up. Which leaves less work for mom and dad.

5. You feel so much more efficient. The type A parent in me, (or at least what’s left of it having to learn how to not be striving for perfection after four kids), loves feeding, bathing, teaching and caring for twins. Not only is everything more entertaining because they feed off of each other, but you are constantly killing two birds with one stoneI am sure potty training will be a messy job, but it will be nice knowing I am getting it all over with at once!

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Newborn photo by Sarah Martin Photography and Ooh Ooh Darling.

10 Things That Scared The Hell Out Of Me During My Twin Pregnancy

10 things that scared the hell out of me during my twin pregnancyWhile spending countless hours laying on my couch during my twin pregnancy, my fears would sometimes get the best of me. Being pregnant can be a scary experience. But growing two babies at once brought my worrying to a whole new level. Here are the top ten things that scared the hell out of me during my twin pregnancy.

1. How big I was going to get. I already knew how my 5’2″ frame carried one baby at at time, since I already had two children, but two babies? This was something I had a hard time wrapping my mind around at the beginning of my twin pregnancy. I would go online and search photos of twin bellies, trying to figure out how my body would cope. I was so scared about the weight I would be hauling around near the end and what kind of pain that would involve. In the end I did get big, really big.  I was very high and low all at once. The weight was incredible, but I somehow managed each day, with the use of a maternity belt, staying off my feet and soaking in the bath.Twin Pregnancy 36 Weeks2. How having twins would change my relationships. While pregnant, I felt this shift. I didn’t really know anyone at the time with twins and would look around at all of the faces of people who loved me and cared about me thinking, “no one here really gets this.” I worried about how the help I was receiving from family would would impact our relationships, and wondered if they would start to resent me. I worried about the relationship I had with my two children and if they would feel jilted by the two newest members. I was worried what the stress would do to my marriage. In the end my friends got on board and really helped when possible. Once I was able to establish some independence with taking care of my kids, I one by one thanked family members for their help, but let them know I could take it from here. I so desperately wanted to be captain of my own ship. The first weeks were a little rough and emotional, trying to make sure all four of my kid’s got the attention they needed. They amaze me everyday, by how in love they are with the babies. Then there is my marriage. It takes work, but we have been able to do it. I would be lying if I were to say we don’t fight. We are learning along the way to make deliberate date nights at home after the kids are in bed, to listen better, to give each other breaks and remember to have fun!

3. Twin logistics. The type A person in me would spend a ridiculous amount of time playing out scenarios in my head, wondering: how will I tandem nurse on my own? How will I bath both babies? How will I get both babies out the door? And so on. I read books, watched You Tube videos and set the scene. All of that research and preparation has paid off in a big way. I have and will continue to keep sharing all of my how to’s with you!

4. Showering. At around 28 weeks during my twin pregnancy, little tasks started to become very complicated. I had very low blood pressure, so standing for any length of time would make me feel woozy and I’d start to black out. Showering scared the hell out of me. Eventually I just started to sit on the floor of the shower and do the best job I could. Whenever I tell people about this they look at me and ask, “why didn’t you get a shower bench?” I don’t know. Laziness probably. “Why didn’t you just take baths?” I don’t have hair, I have a mane that requires washing every fourth day in the shower. “Ew, you sat on the shower floor?” I am not an animal, it is cleaned regularly.

5. If my babies would be healthy. I am pretty sure any person who has ever created life inside their body understands this feeling. I was worried about the health of my babies with my first two pregnancies as well. But when you are having constant ultrasounds your mind starts to play tricks on you. I would get myself worked up for the two days leading up to each ultrasound, then have a sigh of relief once I was reassured everything was fine. I did have two minor complications with my pregnancies, and experienced the stress that followed. But it all worked out in the end. My advice: as much as you can, try to put those thoughts out of your mind and stay off the internet. For the most part, it is out of your hands. No amount of anxiety or worrying will lessen the chances. In fact, letting yourself get into a panic does not create the best environment for your baby. Talk about your fears with loved ones and your doctor.Twins 12 Week Ultrasound

Fraternal twins, 12 week ultrasound

6. The thought of how much sleep I was going to lose once my twins arrived. Every night, as I was going to bed before each of my three pregnancies, this fear would take hold of me. I would start thinking about how tired I was and that my nights of uninterrupted sleep, (even though the quality was never that good when pregnant), were numbered. By morning that fear would be gone. I eventually learned to tell myself, when those thoughts would arrive each evening, “put those thoughts out of your head, you will feel different in the morning.” Yes, I always lost a significant amount of sleep during the first few weeks with each baby, but here is a comforting thought; you will sleep again. You will fall into a routine and one night you will go to sleep and wake up after a much longer stretch than you anticipated. All babies and toddlers go through sleep regressions and rough patches, but sleep will surprise you when you are least expecting it.

7. Money. During my first two pregnancies, I was very particular about getting new items for my babies. But once I found out I was having twins, I suddenly became very frugal. I chose the new items I needed to buy and found them online at the lowest possible price. I bought second hand decor and furniture. I repurposed items. I got crafty and created decor and art items. We also hosted a diaper party for ourselves. Since these weren’t my first babies, I knew I wasn’t going to be thrown a big blowout baby shower. So my husband and I took it into our own hands. We  started planning, (along with our mothers), a big BBQ  for family and friends. Each person who arrived was to bring one box of diapers. The event was a huge success and helped ease the cost when our twins arrived.

8. Driving. As my tummy grew, I found it increasingly hard to fit comfortably behind the wheel. Although we tried to shop for a new car while I was pregnant, I had to put the search on hold because I was so miserable trying to figure out if I was comfortable behind the wheel of all of the different vans and SUVS. By 36 weeks, I started to have some scares while driving where I would get tunnel vision. I stopped driving myself anywhere for those last couple of weeks and relied on friends and family to drive me to my appointments.

9. If my twins would come early. It is very common for twins to be born premature, so understandably this was on my mind. Although there were days when I felt done, I knew I had to keep them in me for as long as possible. I did what I could including staying off my feet as much as possible and was able to make it to my scheduled C-section date of 37 weeks, 4 days. It was touch and go at times and often circumstances can take take this out of your hands during twin pregnancies. Anytime I would suspect that something felt off, or that one of my girls wasn’t kicking as much as I liked, I would rush to the hospital to be checked. Better safe than sorry.

10. The delivery. With my first two children I had very fast, easy and textbook vaginal deliveries. Because of this, my OB and I were really hoping I could have my twins vaginally. All we needed was baby A to be head down and we were good to go. Unfortunately after weeks of flipping around in there, baby A plugged the exit with her bum and baby B took residence in the most odd position that any of my ultrasound technicians had seen. She curled up just under my left ribs. By 34 weeks the final decision was made that I would be having a C-section. It took me a while to wrap my mind around this news, but eventually I found peace with it. I asked my friends who had experienced a C-section every detail about the process. Although nothing could have fully prepared me for the delivery of my twins, actually watching these two perfect little humans arrive was magical and made all of the worrying and stress during my pregnancy worth every second!Twins Delivery

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How Going Through A Twin Pregnancy Woke Me The ____ Up!

Twin PregnancyYour life is over. This will destroy your body. See you in two years. I’m glad it’s you and not me. You won’t be leaving your house for a long time. Say goodbye to showers. Your hands are going to be full. You are going to be one busy mama. I’m so sorry. This is terrible news.

These are just some of the comments I received during my twin pregnancy. Of course some people were over the moon and cheering me on, but many truly pitied me when I was pregnant with my twins.

I didn’t know what to expect either. Yes, I had two kids already, but twins? What the hell was I in for?

When I started to research twins online and follow other twin mom stories, the general impression I had of bringing twins into our world was that life was over. Twins would rule me, I would never sleep again and any sense of self would go out the window.

Due to increasing hip pain and heart strain I had to pretty much throw in the towel and live horizontally for the second half of my pregnancy. Let me tell you, when your mobility, independence and freedom are taken away, you start to think and reflect.

I would lay there, days on end, thinking about how I had lived my life up to that point. Never quite putting 100% of myself into projects I would take on. Since I can remember, as a child, I would avoid anything that would challenge me or require a lot of myself because I would doubt that I could do it or see it through. I cared a lot about what others thought of me. I hated that I was living life half assed, constantly giving up if I wasn’t able to do something perfect.

Something in the core of my being changed when I was pregnant with my twins. When I was in a pretty dark and discouraging place I vowed to myself that I would truly LIVE after my twins arrived. And I have.Twin Pregnancy Journey CollageI somewhat compare what I went though to a near-death experience. I walked right up to the edge, and looked down. I had everything stripped from me and then given back again.

I started preparing for my twins by endlessly researching logistics, such as tandem nursing, nursery set up and how to prepare my home. I read books, I watched videos on YouTube and I spoke to other twin moms. I was prepared for a twin apocalypse.

Once Mia and Everly arrived I soaked in every minute of their newborn days. I conquered tandem feeding, solo night feedings, going out with all four kids and everyday logistics.

Day by day my body healed. We found a new normal as a family and the dust settled. That’s when I switched my blog to writing about my journey, putting out the real emotion, details and triumphs in my twin mom journey that I so badly craved to read while pregnant.

Of course I have days that I am spent, I feel a little lazy or my patience wears thin. But that fear that resided in me as I went through life before my twin pregnancy is gone. I am going after what I want. The love that I have for the people in my life is more genuine because I am not forgetting myself along the way.

I am brave enough to not only say yes to opportunities, but more importantly I am brave enough to say no.

I go after my dreams and survive rejection without being derailed. I tackle my health and exercise goals in a loving way and am not devastated when I stumble.

People have commented that they see this shift in me. A confidence and a happiness from within, even when I am having a stressful day. Others ask how I am doing everything. The honest answer is, I am living a life that is in now in tune with me. I am on the same team as myself and there is no more conflict within. There is no more guilt that I could be disappointing anyone.

I am now living my life awake, confident and fearless. And it feels pretty damn good!

Mia and EverlyMia and Everly

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