Perhaps you have breastfed 1 or 2 children. Perhaps you are newly pregnant and looking forward to breastfeeding your baby. Maybe you are pregnant with twins or triplets. Wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey, you will really enjoy reading about Brittany Yankowski, mom of 5 children, the last 3 being triplets. Who she has breastfed for a year plus.
Brittany certainly had her struggles with her first 2 children and breastfeeding. When she realized she was pregnant with triplets, she really looked forward to taking the knowledge that she learned with her other 2 breastfeeding experiences and apply this to her upcoming journey of breastfeeding triplets. At this point, she knew about position and latch, how to prevent painful breastfeeding, how you can increase your supply if it is low and she knew all about pumping. She was experienced enough to know that it may take her milk a few days to perhaps meet her babies needs or there might be early breastfeeding struggles with triplets. She prepared for this by pumping colostrum during her pregnancy. She pumped and froze this milk so it would be available if needed in the early days postpartum.
I do have to interject here that this is not something I would personally suggest as an option to all moms. Each situation is different and there is good cause to proceed with caution as some degree of pumping may send a signal to the body and release hormones that may put a mom into labor sooner than she should be.
For Brittany this worked out well and as it turns out, she did use this milk to bottlefeed her babies during her hospital stay. Her triplets did spend time in the NICU for weight loss and temperature issues. The neonatologist assigned to her babies was quite rude, lacked bedside manner as well as breastfeeding knowledge. This physician questioned her reasons for breastfeeding triplets and stated that he did not think she could produce enough milk for her babies.
What could he have done differently? Why, he should have followed his own organizations policy of strongly encouraging Brittany to breastfeed, be knowledgeable about how the breasts make milk and let her know what the literature states. Which is, that human milk is exactly what her babies need and that she should do whatever it takes to provide all her milk for them. If they are unable to directly breastfeed or get enough, then to encourage her to pump. Once he found out that she had pumped milk frozen, been very excited about this and strongly encourage her to feed her babies this milk, instead of giving them any formula.
Thank goodness Brittany had several years of breastfeeding babies under her belt. Thank goodness she had pumped frozen milk to feed her babies. Even still, she followed the care plan with the goal of being discharged as soon as she could, so she could take her babies home as soon as possible. Even though she had 2 other young children to come home to, she just knew that she could focus on breastfeeding better, once in her own environment.
Brittany also had the experience to know that she should make plans for household help and breastfeeding support, well before she gave birth. She now knew the name of a local lactation consultant to call upon for help. She had help from her grandmother who came to watch the other kids and help out during the day. Brittany was also happy to accept meals and any other help offered during the early weeks. She put herself in a position of being empowered about what she needed, of being able to ask for help, and for being knowledgeable about what the expectations for her triplets growth and weight gain should be. Brittany took advantage of a local breastfeeding support group where she could weigh her babies before and after feeds so she could monitor their progress and report to their pediatrician.
Brittany states that it took a while to work out some of the kinks of breastfeeding triplets. She tells us how she evolved as far as knowing which baby to feed. The logistics of knowing this as well as nursing 2 at a time, which she says she has some cool Ninja moves to accomplish this goal. I interviewed Brittany for the All About Breastfeeding podcast. Click her so you can enjoy her whole interview.