Chenoa’s gorgeous triplets.

How does this mum of triplets stay sane while exclusively breastfeeding AND keep up her milk supply?!

 

 
 
We know that it is very possible to breastfeed twins, yet breastfeeding triplets is a task that many of us just cannot comprehend.

How does she have enough milk? How does she actually have time to sleep? What does she do to keep up her energy? To say I am impressed by Chenoa is an understatement. I have had three children (but not all at once!) so I know sleep deprivation, I know the utter exhaustion after having fed AGAIN for the millionth time in one day…how could one possibly do this with three all at once!?  Well, Chenoa has figured this out 🙂 

She is still currently breastfeeding her triplets and has been doing so for the past six months…and she has survived the very full-on early post-partum months. She is still alive to talk about it! Not only has she been breastfeeding her triplets but she has also managed to still mother her two older children as well…


I asked her a few questions to get an idea of how she does it…
 
 
 
 
 
1. Why did you choose to breastfeed your triplets?
 
There are many reasons that I chose to breastfeed, but mainly because I can! Breastfeeding isn’t easy for some, I am just very lucky that I have fast let down and a good supply. Of course breast is best too! Originally I wanted to get to 12 weeks, and that was easy! Now I’m heading towards 6 months and we’re all going strong.
 
2. How do you manage breastfeeding triplets?

 Sometimes I don’t know how I manage! Sometimes I don’t…..but we get there in the end. Whoever wakes first gets fed first, sometimes I end up single feeding all day, but they’re great feeders so it doesn’t take very long. It is rare that all 3 are screaming for a feed at once, maybe 2-3 times a week I’d say. I feed to a routine, which is more baby led than me dictating it. They sleep through the night now, so no more night feeds, but when they were waking at night I would generally wake another one up when one woke, then wake the third after they’ve finished otherwise I would end up feeding all night long. It was a little trickier when they started sleeping through, a bit hit and miss but we got through it! I use a ‘Milk’ breastfeeding pillow, which is great but is starting to get a teeny bit small now that they are a bit bigger. My husband, children, family and nanny are very supportive, always helping me by passing me spew cloths, or my water bottle or phone, and of course a baby when I need it.

3.How do you keep your milk supply up?

 I am lucky that I have a good supply, but to help it I do take herbal supplements. I take Herbs of Gold Breastfeeding Support (2 tablets/day), Brewers Yeast in tablet form (2 a day) and always try to have a stash of Lactation Cookies on hand (great with a cuppa!). I try to drink 4L of water a day but usually get 3L down. Generally my supply is a little lower in the evenings, so the 3rd baby generally has a fuss then I get another let down and they’re happy.

 

4. What is the hardest part?

The hardest part….probably when they all want a feed at once and they’re not happy! Luckily I have 2 very patient ones and 1 not so patient one! I suppose it’s hard when we are out as I am not going to drag my pillow to the park/shops/cafe with me and I have to single feed them all. In saying that, they feed quick so it’s not too bad. I can’t wait until they can just sit on my lap and twin feed 🙂

Here are some tips and suggestions from La Leche League’s, “Breastfeeding Answer Book” on breastfeeding multiples.  If you are currently pregnant with multiples or are breastfeeding multiples, it is important to remember that every mother and baby (or babies!) are different. What works for some mums will not work for others.  Please try the tips and suggestions and just use what works for you and your babies…

1. Try to avoid pacifiers and bottles, as this will help to establish a great milk supply and allow them to get used to breastfeeding and sucking effectively.  *It is important to note here that even if your babies started off with bottles you can encourage them back onto the breast! Heaps of skin to skin, frequent offering of the breast and trying different positions are just some ways to encourage babies back onto the breast.

2. Some mums find that using a chart helps them keep track of which baby did what when! How many poos, pees, feedings etc. I asked Chenoa if she used a chart in the beginning and she said, “Nope! No charts, but it did get confusing though!”  Each mum and baby (or babies) are so different and while some mums find charting really useful, others are able to manage without keeping one. Just experiment and see what works best for you and your babies.

3.Find out what kind of breastfeeding pattern works for you and your babies.  Some women will feed their babies together while others will feed them individually. Just remember that your milk supply works on a, “supply and demand” system.  The more you breastfeed the more milk you will make. This is the way it works regardless of how many babies you have! 

4. Sore nipples are not caused by frequent breastfeeding.  The most common cause of sore nipples are positioning or an improper latch.  If you can fix how your baby is latching onto your breast, you should feel relief very quickly and your nipples should start to heal within a few days if the latch is correct. Please contact me if you need help with this. You can also head over to my blogpost on various breastfeeding positions so you can see some different ways to hold your babies while breastfeeding.  Some mums find one particular position easier than another to get their babies to latch on properly.

 
 
 
 
 
5. Ask for help! The most important thing to do is LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. It is not possible for you to breastfeed one, two or three babies and stay healthy mentally and physically unless you look after yourself. Go for walks, eat well, drink water to thirst and take some, “me time” in the day even if it is just for five minutes. Do what you can each day to care for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help with laundry, cleaning and cooking.
 

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