š”I never expressed and bottle fed. It was always me doing co- sleeping and breast feeding.”

Jess is pretty much my attachment parenting idol.  She has done attachment parenting with all six of her children, including her triplets!  Jess said, “I never knew that it was attachment parent back then. But I felt strong instincts from the moment I found out I was pregnant with my first.” Jess had three boys before she gave birth (naturally!!) to her triplet girls.  The girls are now almost 18 months old and she is continuing to breastfeed them, bed share with them and be with them 24/7!  

Attachment Parenting Triplets, breastfeeding triplets

I asked Jess to tell me a little bit about what it’s like doing attachment parenting with THREE babies, turned toddlers!  First though I would like to go over how she actually managed to have enough breastmilk for ALL THREE of them.  She has breastfed them exclusively (so no donor breastmilk or formula given to them at all) the entire time! From birth!

Here are the things she identified as being crucial to meeting her goal of exclusively breastfeeding them…

“šLittle things make a huge difference; breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping/bed-sharing following safe guidelines, getting babies onto the breast asap after birth. By letting the girls decide when and how much they feed and being with me at all times, they’ve made my supply exactly what it needs to be. Because I listen to their needs and wants, they cluster feed to bring more milk on so I have enough to cope with their needs during a growth spurt. You would not believe how fast they can build it up by tag team feeding all day. In allowing my girls to have control over how much milk they needed, I didn’t have to stress about it. And less stressing over measuring feeds and having to think who was fed when means alot. I need to minimise stress where I can. I also find that if I can soothe their crying and give them comfort and spend quality time with them all by feeding them, it’s a win win!”

1. Breastfeed on demand

2. Bed-share or co-sleep

3. Offer them the breast at the first hunger sign. I never let it get to the point of crying for food.
{Note from Meg: Crying is the LAST sign a baby gives that they are hungry. Look for them sucking their hands, turning their heads, licking their lips or looking around.}

4. DO NOT follow a feeding schedule even if every other multiple mother you know is. {Note from Meg: Even if babies are fed on a schedule in the NICU, you can breastfeed them on demand once they are able to effectively latch on and remove milk.} 

5. Let them feed for as long or as short as they would like.

When I asked Jess to share with me some of her experiences when doing attachment parenting with her triplets, this is what she had to say…

“It’s hard attachment parenting with triplets because I really only have two hands. I find baby wearing harder with them now that they are toddlers and rarely do it because they all three demand to be on me and they want on and off and on and off.
Sickness is hard. Because I don’t get a moment. They all three need me all the time. And having three older boys is hard. But you really have to just push through. You have guilt over not being able to give enough a lot. They don’t know they are triplets and they simply want their mummy. Some nights I think I will die. I admit that. I don’t like swearing, but I have used words I never thought I would after trying to lay down and each time my head touched the pillow the next one woke. It can feel like torture. There are no words to describe the feeling of that severe sleep deprivation. But when they aren’t teething and they are well, it’s not too bad. If they wake they crawl across the bed (literally crawl over their siblings) and wedge themselves in and I just let them plug in and go to sleep. It’s very similar to watching puppies.”

The wonderful parts of it…

 “I have days I think weaning at least at night would be great. But it’s just not where we are at yet. They aren’t ready. Maybe it’s because they are triplets and can’t get the complete attention of mummy they needed, but they really really need to have that breast time still and are no where near ready to give it up. And to be honest, even if it’s hard, neither am I. The way they gaze up at you while feeding. Your the only person in their universe. They just tune into you and no one else exists. I love it.”

Her thoughts on breastfeeding on demand…

“I don’t find it amazing or special. I find breast feeding on demand easy. I don’t need to think. They tell me when they are hungry and thirsty, and I listen. No washing up or planning or storing. Honestly, not amazing, just find it easier.”

 

Attachment Parenting Triplets, breastfeeding triplets

Baby Wearing…

“Wearing them was a great way to feed in shopping centres. I used a sling mostly and fed while walking round doing what I needed to do while pushing a twin pram or trolley.”

and bed-sharing with them…

Attachment Parenting Triplets, breastfeeding triplets

“They are working on my supply at night, and I love having them in bed with me. I know they are safe. I wake at the slightest issue. I don’t need to worry about them being warm enough because I automatically wake to adjust blankets. I don’t need to worry about them being scared or choking, because they are right there. But the best thing is…. Sleep!!!! I sleep while they feed. I cannot imagine getting out of bed to feed and comfort my triplets. Wow! Now that’s amazing to be able to do that!!!!”

 

*The media LOVES to write up fear mongering stories on bed sharing and co sleeping, but there are safe guidelines that you can follow which decreases your baby’s risk of SIDS.  Many women around the world sleep with, or near their babies.

Attachment Parenting Triplets.sleep safe guidelines

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