Breastfeeding one baby can be challenging, but can you imagine three? We were curious what it's like to breastfeed multiples, so we sat down with our friend and supermom, Michelle, to ask her a few questions on how to successfully breastfeed triplets. Michelle is a labor and delivery nurse, and loves everything related to birth, babies, and breastfeeding, so it's only fitting that she was lucky enough to score herself three cute baby girls on her first pregnancy!
Were you surprised when you learned you were going to have triplets?
It was the biggest surprise of our life!Even though multiples do run in our family, it was still a shock! Now they run all over our house!! :) Two of our girls are identical and one is fraternal...or as we say "two the same and one a little different!"
Did having triplets affect your decision to breastfeed? How did you prepare to feed three babies after birth?
When I found out I was having triplets, I knew I was going to have to have an open mind on how I was going to feed them. I knew my trio would be born early, so pumping was going to be a part of my breastfeeding journey. As soon as I was able to, after they were born, I started pumping...10-12 times a day!
Describe the first days after birth, what was their feeding schedule like?
The first few days after birth were filled with pumping and skin to skin as much as I could. They received my pumped milk through little feeding tubes. It wasn't until they were 2 weeks old that they were finally strong enough to try breastfeeding and they were great little breast feeders too! I would breastfeed them one by one and by the time I was finished with the 3rd baby...it was almost time to start feeding the 1st baby again! Due to this schedule, I did not breastfeed at every feed, we did a combination of bottles and breastfeeding.
Can you successfully breastfeed multiples? What advice would you give an expectant mother of twins/triplets?
It's absolutely possible! It's important to join support groups for breastfeeding multiples, because it has its unique challenges. Many moms exclusively breastfeed their multiples, while others do a combination of breastfeeding, pumping and formula. For me, I breastfed and pumped until my babies were 5 months then moved to exclusive pumping until they were 14 months. I was lucky enough to have an abundant supply of milk, but not every mom does and that's OK. It's important to remember that a fed baby is a happy baby, however they get fed!
Share any tips you have for feeding and sleeping schedules the first few months after birth.
I can barely remember the first few months!!! At night for the first few months, if one woke up to eat, I woke them all up to eat until they started sleeping longer stretches. I found it faster and easier to pump at night and feed them bottles, I would set the girls up on their boppy lounger pillows and bottle feed them while I used a hands free pumping bra to pump. Then everyone got back to sleep quicker!
If there was one bit of advice you could give parents of multiples, what would it be?
Having multiples is HARD, REALLY HARD!! But it's also extra rewarding and double/triple the fun!!! In the early days it's OK to not enjoy every moment, it gets easier!!!
What are your favorite baby products for multiples?
We couldn't have survived without triplet table for eating and triple wagon! We barely used a stroller! We also loved our 3 boppy lounger pillows and bottle props.
Well, Michelle, you are one amazing mama! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. <3