Breastfeeding is considered one of the most rewarding experiences for mothers and their babies. However, many mothers may struggle with breastfeeding due to issues with latching, oral anomalies, and other reasons. To feed their newborn baby well, some moms may consider using the triple feeding method.
What Is Triple Feeding?
The triple feeding method is a three-step process that requires a mother to directly nurse her baby as much as possible, pump her remaining breastmilk, and then bottle feed this milk to her baby. This method takes a lot of effort on the mother’s part and can be quite difficult to stick with since it must be repeated multiple times every day. However, as the famous character Frank Costello in the film The Departed (on Hulu) would say, “When you decide to be something, you can be it.” And, for mothers looking to try the triple feeding method, anything they decide to do, they can certainly do it. Triple feeding is performed about once every two to three hours for a newborn baby though these times can change based on every individual baby’s signs of hunger. During this process, a mother should nurse her baby for about 15 to 20 minutes, then pump her remaining milk for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then feed all or part of the pumped breastmilk to her baby immediately after for about five to 10 minutes.
Who Should Do It
Many mothers who try triple feeding have been told by a physician to do so. The process of triple feeding is often started in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) immediately after birth for babies who have a low birth weight. However, triple feeding can be started at any time for any reason, including:
● To encourage an infant to consume more nutrition
● To manage a mother’s low milk supply
● To help a mother and an infant with latching issues during regular nursing
Tips to Make Breastfeeding, Pumping, and Nursing Easier
Take a Break from One or Two Steps
Triple feeding can be exhausting because it has to be performed about eight or more times a day, and not every feeding session will go exactly as planned. That being said, don’t expect to get all three steps of the triple feeding process completed every time. It is perfectly fine to skip one or two steps a couple of times a day, especially if you are feeling physically or mentally tired.
Invest in a Hands-Free Breast Pump
Traditional breast pumps require the use of your hands to run, and these were the only option for nursing mothers for many decades. However, modern technology has made it possible to pump breastmilk automatically, and there are plenty of hands-free pumps out there that are quite inexpensive. Save The Milk recommends MomMed wearable pump. By using one of these pumps, you can not only avoid hand cramping while pumping but also make it easier for yourself to relax while pumping your breastmilk.
Ask for Help if Available
While nursing and pumping are steps only a baby’s mother can perform, bottle feeding is a step that anyone can help you do. If possible, ask someone else to bottle feed your baby while you pump to save time and give you a break. Alternatively, if you don’t have anyone around to help, consider bottle-feeding your baby while you pump, especially if you use a completely hands-free breast pump.
Perform Triple Feeding Only as Long as Needed
Triple feeding is usually recommended to be a temporary breastfeeding method, and it is often used just as long as it takes to get a newborn’s weight up to a healthy state or to fix a latching issue. Once the goal of triple feeding is reached, a mother can choose to wean her baby onto a regular nursing or bottle-feeding schedule, which will likely be much easier to follow. To wean a baby from triple feeding to exclusive nursing, slowly give your baby less and less during the bottle-feeding step. You can also gradually wean yourself off of pumping, and your body will adjust as you pump less and less. You may wean your baby off of nursing and switch to exclusive pumping and bottle feeding in the same way.
Many mothers experience challenges when it comes to breastfeeding, and triple feeding is one solution that can ensure adequate milk for their babies. While it can feel exhausting, the right planning and support can make things easier. Triple feeding does not need to be performed forever and the goal is to return to exclusive breastfeeding once the underlying issues have been resolved.
If you need assistance learning all there is to know about pumping, Save The Milk offeres 1:1 breast pumping consults or you can access the private Pumping Pretty Support System and accessed it at any time.