The World Health Organization [WHO] (2013) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life in order to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Breastfeeding have numerous benefits for infants, and it is especially important in enhancing their immune system and resistance to infections (Coalition for Improving Maternal Services [CIMS], 2009). Since, infant’s own immune system is not fully developed until approximately 2 years of age; human milk provided an enriched source of white blood cells, which are transferred to the baby, helping to fight infections from bacteria, viruses and intestinal parasites (CIMS, 2009). Breastfeeding is extremely important in reducing ...view middle of the document...
The aim of this essay is to explore the implications and outcomes of breastfeeding twins and the role of the midwife in supporting and educating families.
IMPLICATIONS AND OUTCOMES OF BREASTFEEDING TWINS OR MORE
Twins or more are commonly born premature and/or low birth weight as a result of an over distended uterus or in utero growth issues, for example placental perfusion (Bennington, 2011). Twins or multiples are more susceptible in developing postnatal complications such as recurring sepsis, retinopathy of prematurity and necrotizing enterocolitis, therefore it is vital that breastfeeding and/or expressing of breast milk is commenced as soon as it is appropriate (Cinar, Alvur, Kose & Nemut, 2013 & Flidel-Romon & Shinwell, 2006). Breastfeeding twins or more requires a lot more work, time and dedication than feeding a single infant, the reason not only having more than one infant, but the majority of labors end up as a caesarean section (Bennington, 2011). Consequently this leads to a delayed in skin to skin and latching time because the infants were more likely to be taken to have the initial assessment to rule out any potential complications (Bennington, 2011).
Naturally, breastfeeding of premature or low weight multiplies require preparing the mother by educating her on how she should stimulate and maintain lactation (Kierbratowska, Cwiek, Preis, Mlinowski & Hofman, 2010).
Östlund, Nordström, Dykes and Flacking (2010), study found that a high percentage of mothers of twins initiated breastfeeding in the first few months, although a large number had weaned off before 6 months. These findings suggest, that mothers have found breastfeeding twins, time consuming and stressful, resulting in the decreased effects of oxytocin being released in times of stress and consequently having a negative effect on breastfeeding (Östlund et al., 2010). Furthermore, Östlund et al., (2010), suggest in order to reduce the stress and pressure on the breastfeeding mother, it is extremely important especially, with twin or multiple births that help and support from fathers to participate, encourage, and support the mother to breastfeed is being provided. In order to facilitate long breastfeeding duration with twins, good antenatal preparations, as well as psychological and practical support in the postpartum period for months of breastfeeding twins are crucial for success (Östlund, Nordström, Dykes & Flacking, 2010).
ROLE OF MIDWIFE IN SUPPORTING AND EDUCATING
Educating and training health care professionals on evidence based practice has been proven to have a positive effect on breastfeeding rates (Ebersold, Murphy, Paterno, Sauvager & Wright, cited in Henderson & Redshaw, 2010). It is important for midwifery practice that consistent b
Antenatal Preparation for Breastfeeding Multiples
It is important that parents who are expecting twins or more are informed about and encouraged to attend educational classes specifically on breastfeeding...