Monday, October 14, 2013

Adventures in nursing triplets

Making the decision to induce lactation is, I think, the best decision I've made in a long long time.  As any mothers reading this blog can probably imagine, breast feeding triplets is no easy task!  Sometimes we nail it and other times we flop.  And when I say we, I mean the five of us collectively. The babies each have their individual strengths and eccentricities about nursing. Ellie, for example, really likes to have her hand up over her face like this when she's nursing. :)
 Michelle and I are both still learning and trying to find our stride with this new skill.  So having three different babies who all need to eat at roughly the same time is challenging. It's definitely easiest to have each of us just nurse one baby at a time and have the third baby eat after the first two. But sometimes whoever is the third baby has other plans. We've both had success some times with tandem nursing in a variety of ways, but it's tricky sometimes, especially when you're having to work to keep babies awake which usually involves using your other hand to move their arm or stroke their neck.  At this point we need another person to shuffle babies and/or equipment in/out of position to successfully tandem nurse.  The twin pillow we got from Meredith & Elise works pretty well for the tandem football hold but is pretty big and needs to be set up in advance.  I've had some luck with less traditional positions, all discovered by accident, and haven't been able to successfully repeat any of them. These discoveries happen when I'm already nursing one and get handed a second hungry baby. Or as in this picture, I was nursing two & Michelle needed a place to put the third for a minute while she got ready! :)

As I mentioned in another post, the kiddos all still need some supplementation beyond what they're able to get directly from the breast because of their low endurance. So as if breast feeding three babies wasn't tricky enough, we have to try to juggle the supplement contraption and try to slyly sneak the tube into the "just right spot" in their mouths without them noticing. It often takes more than a few tries to find the sweet spot where their suction actually pulls the supplement into their mouths.  And this is completely impossible to do when trying to nurse two at once!  Oh, and I forgot to mention the poor Michelle also has to juggle a shield that makes it easier for their tiny little mouths to latch on.
We've both had our moments where we've been in, or on the verge of, tears but even when it's hard we have been keeping a pretty good sense of humor.  Our favorite lactation consultant at the hospital said if the kiddos are too sleepy just put them on our chest "in the breastaurant" and they'll let us know when they want to eat. So we repeatedly joke about the "breastaurant," which helps, particularly when things are not going well.  And those moments when everything clicks are so priceless that it's all worth it.


  1. Learning to breastfeed one baby was the hardest thing I've ever done. I imagine it's more than three times harder learning how to feed three little ones at once. You all are superwomen - doing the impossible!

  2. I agree with the above statement!!! The first two weeks with Trevyn I had a horrible time and with Milana I actually could never even get her to latch on once we left the hospital. Tried and tried but no luck so I finally had to just give in and pumped for almost a year for her. You both are doing amazing!


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