EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEEDING TIPLETS?! YES! IT’S POSSIBLE!
Here are some awesome tips from triplet mums Davina, Chenoa and Jess. These tips apply to every breastfeeding woman though, whether you have one, two or three babies! I have added my IBCLC thoughts in pink 😆
Get through the first two weeks! They are soooo hard and can be so painful. Most women know that breastfeeding can be painful at the start. Often times this is due to an incorrect latch but there are other causes including thrush, dermatitis or tongue tie (among others). Seek help if you suspect the latch is not correct or you have something else going on. Often times mums to twins and triplets will birth their babies early. This can also cause difficulties with latch. Find a great IBCLC or other breastfeeding triplet mums for help! Don’t suffer alone. There are solutions!
Don’t focus on one day and get overwhelmed. Tomorrow is a different new day. And don’t make rash decisions.
Pump when you can to get a stash of ebm in the freezer. If you don’t end up using it – donate it.
As they’ll most likely be small, use rolled up baby wraps under their shoulder blades to lift them a little higher and drop their head back to encourage their mouth to open. Ask an IBCLC for suggestions on different positions and ways of feeding if you are having trouble. Sometimes just a change in position or using a blanket as in this suggestion, can help your baby attach.
Get organised – have everything within an arms reach (spew cloths, bouncer/swing/pillow, tv remote, toys/book for when they’re older, phone, water, food) you’ll be in the same place for a while!
Take your time. Believe in yourself and try to relax whilst feeding, it will help your milk let down.
Use a big pillow to lie the fed babies on, on their tummies to burp them while you feed the last baby.
If you feel like there is not enough milk during a feed, feed your baby again in half an hour. It WILL build up, and your baby won’t mind having split feeds. A well drained breast is a breast that makes more milk! If you are worried then feed very frequently so your breasts do not have time to “fill” back up. Once they are full again, your milk production will slow down. Keep on feeding! Pump if your babies are unable to latch on.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t! And pumping does not give any indication of how much milk you have. A baby can get out much, much more! It is not uncommon for women to pump a small amount out and then think that is how much their baby is getting. A pump is NEVER as effective as a baby.
Wet nappies and gaining weight means you have milk, not how full you feel! Have a look at my ARTICLE ON HOW TO KNOW YOUR BABY IS GETTING ENOUGH…
Cluster feeding is your friend, it’s there to build milk! YES! Some days you will literally just breastfeed. These days will not last forever! It’s just temporary.
And your baby knows if they just need a drink or a feed. Trust your babies! Follow their lead.
And why can’t you feed to sleep? Ignore those who tell you not to breastfeed to sleep. Breastfeeding to sleep is the biological norm. If your babies naturally fall asleep at the breast then go with it! Follow the lead of your baby…
Try using a breastfeeding pillow to feed them on. Feed them two at a time if that works, or try feeding them separately Some mums prefer one to the other. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Take brewer’s yeast tablets every day, eat cookies! Lots of cookies! Drink heaps of water.
Your babies will probably be early, they may have trouble latching, it is normal…stick with it. Skin to skin, skin to skin, skin to skin! Simply hanging out with your babies will help them to latch on and relax all of you.
Trust your body, you can make enough milk. Supply and demand! With three little breastfeeders demanding heaps milk between the three of them, if you can breastfeed as frequently as possible (at least as often as they ask for it) you will make enough milk for three.
If they are early and in NICU for a bit, pump every 3 hours day and night after your milk comes in to build a good supply (and a back-up stash!) Work with an IBCLC to help you get off to the best start. Are you currently dissatisfied with your IBCLC? Find another one!
Believe in yourself and not the doctors/nurses/friends/family/stranger in the street who will tell you it can’t be done. Your motivation, patience and perseverance is what will see you through to reaching your breastfeeding goals.
Have a good support system in place of other triplet breastfeeders, they are honestly the best people to turn to for advice and encouragement. There are many groups out there online of breastfeeding triplet mamas.
When your babies are on the breast, demand feeding is the best way to build and maintain a good milk supply. And when it doubt…whip it out!
Enlist the help of others once babies come home so that you can dedicate yourself to feeding and being with your babies…it takes a while to get the hang of tandem feeding, burping etc. Do not be afraid to ask for help with laundry, cooking, watching babies while you sleep, help overnight, cleaning, hang out with people who encourage and support the way you mother and breastfeed.
Make sure your hospital has a robust breastfeeding policy, no dummies (pacifiers), no bottles, no formula, and they use NG tubes to feed until breastfeeding is established. You are a part of the decision making process. You have a say in what happens with your babies.
STAY POSITIVE. KEEP PATIENT AND PERSEVERE. SEEK HELP FROM OTHER TRIPLET MAMAS AND AN IBCLC IF NEEDED…YOU CAN DO IT!
Here is a video that was put together by Chenoa, of breastfeeding triplets from all around the world. So awesome!!