Breastfeeding triplets or more can seem impossible, as most mothers have problems keeping up with just one! The good news is that many mothers have proven that it can be done.
Busy times will be ahead, but the rewards are more significant than any sacrifices made.
Advantages of Nursing Multiples
- Usually, one or two babies are vulnerable from birth due to sharing the womb. Breastfeeding can give these babies the needed upper hand and a fighting chance needed. Breast milk has an immunological protective function that is especially helpful to premature babies.
- It can save parents a lot of money. Formula is expensive, especially when buying more than one.
- Mom can lose her postpartum weight quicker.
- It is time-saving. You don’t need to get bottles ready or clean them afterward, which can be quite a job if you have three or more babies.
- Learn more about all the advantages of breastfeeding.
Can You Produce Enough Milk for Triplets, Quads, or More?
- Yes, the basic rule of breastfeeding is: The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will produce. In other words… SUPPLY = DEMAND.
- The extra stimulation at the breast when three or more babies breastfeed from you will signal your body to produce the right amount of milk needed.
- This is why mothers of multiples should not worry about not having enough milk when the babies seem hungrier or fussier than usual. Your breast milk supply will adapt to the needs of your baby.
- To understand how all this is possible, learn more about the process of milk production and the anatomy of the lactating breast.
Different Schedules That Can Be Used
- If the babies are in a hospital, on tubes, and unable to breastfeed, the mother can pump the breast milk for them until they can breastfeed. To reduce the occurrence of nipple confusion, mothers can consider using alternative feeding methods.
- A rotating feeding schedule: Baby 1 & 2 breastfeed at the breast while Baby 3 receives a bottle of expressed breast milk. Baby 2 & 3 is nursed at the next feeding, and Baby 1 gets a bottle. On the third feeding session, Baby 1 & 3 is at the breast while Baby 2 takes the bottle…and so forth.
- Tandem breastfeeding: Breastfeed the babies after each other - two at a time. This is an excellent way to increase the milk supply.
Tips ~ Breastfeeding Triplets, Quads, or More
- Drink plenty of fluids and eat well. Find our breastfeeding diet guidelines here. If you don’t drink enough water, your supply will not be as much as it could be.
- Try to get into a breastfeeding routine so that your babies have synchronized feeding and sleeping times.
- Always ensure you are not breastfeeding from one breast more than the other; this could result in one breast becoming less full than the other.
- Try keeping a written diary of when you breastfeed each baby. This will ensure that each baby gets the bonding and nutrition needed on the breast.
- Try to alternate breasts with each baby. This is so the babies don't become accustomed to only one side and prevent lopsidedness, which could occur if one baby sucks a little stronger than the others.
- Remember, each baby should take in a combination of hindmilk and foremilk. A baby that only receives foremilk will become fussy, gassy, and colicky.
- If one or more of your babies have a weak suck and struggle to get your milk flowing, you can...
2. Hand express some milk before you breastfeed.
3. Learn more about slow milk let-down reflex.
Breastfeeding triplets and more ~ Interesting fact ~ The chances of having triplets are 1 in 945, the chances of having quadruplets are 1 in 17 700, and the chances of having quintuplets is 1 in every 156 000
Breastfeeding Triplets - Yes, It Can Be Done!
Some mothers feel that they cannot handle breastfeeding multiples. If this is you, you can consider exclusive pumping. Any amount of breast milk is precious, even if it is given in a bottle.