I Love Breastfeeding My Identical Twin's Baby

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

breastfeeding twins

Identical twins Eva and Zsuzsa have always been close but they believe breastfeeding each other's babies - known as cross-nursing - has created an even closer bond between each other and their babies.

Eva, 29, says she was delighted when she discovered that she and her sister were expecting babies just 10 weeks apart.

"It was wonderful to share all the excitements of pregnancy and birth with each other," Eva says, "We always felt that we'll play a special role in each other's babies' lives!"

On their 29th birthday in August 2013 Eva gave birth to a daughter, Alma. Ten weeks later, Zsuzsa's little boy Ede arrived.

Eva lives in Dublin while her sister lives in Hungary. The demands of new motherhood and making travel plans with small babies meant Ede was six weeks old before Eva saw him for the first time.

The sisters had joked about feeding each other's baby before, but one day the opportunity arose. Eva had her nephew in a sling when Alma awoke from her nap and began crying for a feed.

"We didn't really want to wake up Ede, so I suggested Zsuzsa give Alma a quick feed instead of me," recalls Eva. "It was quite exciting because she was already four months old, so we didn't know if she'd latch on with someone else!"

But Alma began feeding, with no resistance at all, and soon Eva and Zsuzsa discovered that their babies did not appear to be bothered which sister was feeding them. Thus began a regular occurrence of each auntie giving their niece or nephew a feed whenever it was convenient during Eva's stay of several weeks in Hungary.

There were many reasons why they cross nursed each other's babies - from allowing the other sibling to run errands without having to take a baby, to giving each other the luxury of a lie-in.

Cross-nursing helped in particular when either Eva or Zsuzsa had mastitis, a painful infection which can occur when breastfeeding. There was no need to pump their breasts to keep the milk flowing; the additional baby would simply do the job for them.

Living in different countries meant after there was a four month gap before Eva and Zsuzsa saw each other again - and they were intrigued to see if their then six and eight month-olds would feed with their aunt.

"Alma, in particular, gave us a couple of bewildered looks, so I think she knew what was going on," says Eva, "but she didn't resist and fed happily!"

Sometimes Eva and Zsuzsa would feed one another's baby for no other reason than to be mischievous.


"We love to take the other's baby in public, just to freak people out," laughs Eva. "It works every time!"


On one occasion Eva was at the hairdressers when Zsuzsa, Eva's husband and their babies were waiting for her in a cafe. Some nearby diners asked if Alma and Ede were twins. Zsuzsa said no, they were cousins...and proceeded to feed them one after the other.

Cross-feeding has more benefits than just convenience. It helps Eva feel closer to her twin sister, who lives almost 1,500 miles away. Zsuzsa even offered to stop eating meat, as she knew that Eva - who is a vegetarian - was raising Alma to also avoid meat.

"It was very comforting to be able to feed Ede," explains Eva, "because due to the distance I don't see him nearly as much I would like to, and breastfeeding made me feel like I was the most special auntie anyway. Also, it made me feel even closer to Zsuzsa; we realised that our babies look at us as their second mother."

In two weeks Eva and Zsuzsa will meet again. During their time together, they will share stories, cross-feed, allow each other the occasional lie-in...and take great pleasure in freaking out the general public.

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