Breastfeeding Triplets

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.

There are going to be busy times ahead, but the rewards are greater than any sacrifices made.

Advantages of Nursing Multiples

  • Usually there are one or two babies that are vulnerable from birth, due to sharing the womb. Breastfeeding can give these babies the needed upper hand and 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 for 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.
  • Read other advantages of breastfeeding for all babies.

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 with the needs of your babies.
  • To understand how this is possible, read 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 hospital, on tubes and/or are unable to breastfeed, the mother can pump the breast milk for them, until they are capable of breastfeeding. 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. At the following feeding, Baby 2 & 3 is nursed and Baby 1 receives 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 all after each other and two at a time. This is a good way to increase milk supply.

Tips on Breastfeeding Triplets, Quads or more

  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat well. Read more about breastfeeding diet guidelines. 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 make sure you are not breastfeeding from one breast more than the other, this could result in one breast becoming less full than the other one.
  • 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 that the babies don't become accustomed to only one side and to prevent lopsidedness, which could occur if one baby sucks a little stronger than the others.
Breastfeeding triplets and more

~ Interesting fact ~

The chances of having triplets is 1 in 945, the chances of having quadruplets is 1 in 17 700 and the chances of having quintuplets is 1 in every 156 000

  • Remember each baby should take in a combination of hind milk and foremilk. A baby that only receives foremilk will become fussy, gassy and colicky. Read more about foremilk and hind milk imbalance.
  • If one or more of your babies have a weak suck and struggle to get your milk flowing, you can...

1. Use breast compression.

2. Hand express some milk before you breastfeed.

3. Read more about a slow milk let down reflex.

Breastfeeding Triplets - Yes It Can Be Done!

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Some mothers feel that they cannot handle breast feeding 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.

Other pages on “breastfeeding problems" in connection with this page on breastfeeding triplets and more

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