All Blogs | Triple Feeding: Why It’s Worth It

All Blogs | Triple Feeding: Why It’s Worth It

Triple Feeding: Why It’s Worth It

Breastfeeding is a remarkable journey that allows you to nourish your baby while building a unique and loving bond. However, this beautiful experience can sometimes be accompanied by challenges that require additional feeding methods, and that’s perfectly okay! Enter triple feeding, a powerful approach that has helped countless breastfeeding mamas overcome obstacles and thrive. In this article, we will explore the concept of triple feeding, celebrate its benefits, and empower you to embrace this method as a valuable tool as needed on your breastfeeding journey.

What is Triple Feeding?

Triple feeding is a temporary feeding method and routine that combines breastfeeding, pumping breast milk, and supplementing with expressed milk or formula to ensure your baby receives the necessary nutrition. It’s often recommended for moms who are facing a hard time with their breastfeeding journey. Some signs of breastfeeding challenges include low milk supply, slow weight gain in their babies, or difficulties with latching. Triple feeding means you have the opportunity to provide your baby with both breast milk and supplements, maintaining the breastfeeding relationship while ensuring their nutritional needs are met.

Some breastfeeding mamas hope to exclusively breastfeed their babies and may feel guilty for needing to pump or incorporate triple feeding into their routine. It’s important to remember that breastfeeding remains at the heart of the triple feeding journey, ensuring that you maintain a strong breastfeeding relationship with your little one. Pumped breast milk allows you to supplement breastfeeding sessions and store reserves for later use. The expressed milk or formula then becomes a loving bridge, guaranteeing your baby receives the necessary nutrition while affording you some well-deserved sleep and peace of mind.

An infographic showing the steps to triple feeding method for breastfeeding

The Empowering Benefits of Triple Feeding

If you’re hoping to triple feed your baby, there are a bunch of benefits you could look forward to in the process. Amplified milk production is one of them. Triple feeding acts as a catalyst for boosting milk production. By breastfeeding on demand and pumping after each feeding session, you actively stimulate your breasts to generate more milk. This powerful combination of direct breastfeeding and pumped milk encourages your body to meet your baby's needs more effectively by enhancing your milk supply.

Triple feeding also provides optimal nutrition for your baby. It ensures your little one receives the necessary nutrition even if your milk supply temporarily fluctuates. When you supplement with expressed milk or formula, you can support your baby's growth and weight gain, alleviating concerns about inadequate nourishment and your baby losing weight. This approach empowers you to closely monitor your baby's intake and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

For moms who are deeply committed to breastfeeding but face obstacles such as low milk supply or latching difficulties, triple feeding can also become a vital tool in sustaining your long term plan and goals for breastfeeding.

Additionally, triple feeding invites flexibility into your journey by embracing breastfeeding, pumping and bottle feeding. This empowers you to share feeding responsibilities with your partner, family members, or caregivers. Not only does this grant you precious moments of rest and rejuvenation, but it also allows your loved ones to forge deeper bonds with your baby during feeding sessions.

Why Triple Feeding Can Be Challenging

While triple feeding can be a valuable feeding method for breastfeeding moms who were planning to exclusively breastfeed, it's important to acknowledge that it can come with its own set of challenges. Understanding these challenges can help you prepare and navigate them more effectively. Here are some reasons why triple feeding can be difficult:

  1. Time and energy commitment: Triple feeding requires a significant investment of time and energy. It involves breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle feeding and can be physically and mentally exhausting, especially in the early weeks when feedings are more frequent. The constant cycle of feeding, pumping, and cleaning can leave you with limited downtime, leading to depleted rest or sleep.
  1. Logistics and organization: Coordinating breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle feeding can be logistically complex. Managing multiple feeding methods, sterilizing pump parts, storing and handling breast milk or formula, and tracking feeding times and amounts can feel overwhelming. It may take some time to establish a routine that works for you and your baby.
  1. Emotional toll: Triple feeding can sometimes take a toll on your emotional well-being. It can be super disheartening if you're struggling with low milk supply or if your baby is having difficulty latching. Feelings of guilt, stress, or inadequacy may arise as you juggle the various aspects of triple feeding. It's important to seek support from your partner, loved ones, or a mental health professional to address these emotions and maintain your mental well-being.
  1. Potential for nipple confusion or bottle preference: Introducing bottle feeding alongside breastfeeding can sometimes lead to nipple confusion or bottle preference in some babies. They may find it easier to bottle feed due to the faster flow of milk or the different sucking mechanism required. This can make it challenging to maintain a strong breastfeeding relationship and may require additional strategies to encourage breastfeeding.
  1. Limited sleep and self-care: The demands of triple feeding can leave you with limited opportunities for rest and self-care. Frequent nighttime feedings, pumping sessions, and the added tasks of bottle feeding and cleaning can disrupt your sleep schedule. It's important to prioritize self-care, ask for help when needed, and find moments to recharge your energy.

How Can You Make Triple Feeding Easier?

A woman sits at a table while bottle feeding her baby.

Triple feeding may seem overwhelming at first, but with a well-structured plan, you can navigate this feeding method with confidence. Here are some tips to help you triple feed with ease:

  1. Create a feeding plan: Establish a structured triple feeding plan that includes designated times to nurse, pump, and bottle feed. Create a detailed plan that outlines your breastfeeding schedule, pumping sessions, and supplementing routine. Having a schedule in place can provide a sense of routine and make it easier to manage your time effectively. This will also help you stay organized and ensure that all aspects of triple feeding are properly addressed.
  2. Use a high-quality breast pump: A reliable and efficient breast pump is a key tool in your triple feeding journey. Investing in a hospital grade pump or a reliable portable pump is essential for efficient milk extraction during your pumping sessions. A good pump will help stimulate milk production and ensure you can express an adequate supply of breast milk. A hospital grade pump or a portable pump will also allow you to express breast milk conveniently wherever you go.
  3. Utilize breast compressions: During breastfeeding and pumping sessions, incorporate breast compressions to maximize milk flow. Gently compressing your breasts while your baby is nursing or while pumping can help stimulate milk production and ensure effective milk removal.
  4. Simplify your pumping routine: Streamline your pumping sessions by preparing your pump equipment in advance, creating a comfortable and relaxing environment, and employing techniques such as breast compressions to maximize milk flow. Additionally, consider using a hands-free pumping bra to free up your hands and allow for multitasking.
  5. Explore a supplemental nursing system: Supplemental nursing systems, such as the use of a thin tube that delivers supplemental milk while your baby is latched, can be a valuable tool in maintaining your baby's breastfeeding skills while ensuring adequate nutrition. Discuss these options with a lactation consultant to determine if they are suitable for you and your baby.
  6. Get assistance from a lactation consultant: At the end of the day, consulting with a lactation consultant can be immensely beneficial in guiding you through the journey to triple feed your baby instead of guessing along the process. They can offer advice specific to your situation on proper latch techniques, suggest breastfeeding positions that facilitate milk transfer, and provide tips for successful pumping sessions.

More Ways To Navigate Challenges and Embrace Success

Despite the challenges, many moms find that the benefits of triple feeding outweigh the difficulties and offer benefits that exclusively breastfeeding can’t. Here are some empowering tips to guide you toward triumph:

  1. Seek unwavering support: Surround yourself with a network of lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, and experienced mothers who can provide invaluable guidance, unwavering encouragement, and a safe space to share your journey. Seek support from loved ones and consider talking to a therapist or counselor who can provide guidance and help you navigate any feelings of stress or overwhelm. Remember, you are never alone.
  2. Craft your personal rhythm: If you plan to triple feed, create a feeding schedule that aligns with your unique needs and your baby's cues. Carve out dedicated moments to breastfeed, pump, and bottle feed to establish a consistent routine that nurtures both of you and preserves your breast milk supply.
  3. Prioritize your mental health & nurture self-care: Triple feeding can be a whirlwind, so prioritize self-care and self-compassion. It can be physically and emotionally demanding, so it's essential to prioritize your mental well-being. Nurture your body with nourishing meals, stay hydrated, get sleep whenever possible, and engage in activities that replenish your spirit.
  4. Address low breast milk supply concerns: If you are experiencing low milk supply, consult with a lactation consultant or healthcare professional who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation. They may recommend additional strategies, such as herbal supplements, lactation-promoting foods, or specific pumping techniques, to help boost your milk production.
  5. Managing bottle feeding preference: As mentioned previously, some babies may develop a bottle preference for the bottle due to the ease of feeding or the faster flow of milk. To encourage continued breastfeeding, experiment with different nursing positions, engage in skin-to-skin contact, and offer the breast when your baby is calm and relaxed.

    Remember that every breastfeeding journey is unique, and it's okay to reach out for support and make adjustments along the way. Celebrate your perseverance, the love you pour into nourishing your baby, and the remarkable journey you are undertaking as a breastfeeding mom.

    How Do You Increase Your Supply for Triple Feeding?

    If you're facing concerns about low supply while triple feeding, there are steps you can take to help boost your milk production. As a first step, try to nurse frequently and effectively. Nurse your baby on demand, aiming for frequent nursing sessions to stimulate your breasts and signal your body to produce more milk. Ensure your baby is latching correctly and effectively removing milk from the breast. You can also pump after breastfeeding. After each breastfeeding session, spend some time pumping breast milk to further stimulate your milk supply. The combination of direct breastfeeding and pumping helps to establish a healthy supply-demand cycle.

    Also, remember to stay hydrated and nourished. Proper hydration and nutrition are crucial for maintaining an adequate milk supply. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, consume a well-balanced diet, and consider incorporating lactation-promoting foods such as oats, fenugreek, and fennel into your meals.

    Another way to enhance your milk supply is by adding a Milkflow drink mix into your daily routine! Not only are the flavors simply delicious to drink. they also contain lactation consultant-recommended ingredients, like fenugreek and moringa, to help support your breast milk supply.

    As mentioned previously, taking care of your mental and physical well-being can have a direct relationship with how your body performs. Similarly, mental health plays a significant role in milk production. Reducing stress, getting enough rest, and practicing self-care can positively impact your milk supply. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, seek support from loved ones, and consider joining support groups for breastfeeding moms.

    Remember, increasing your milk supply takes time and patience. If you have concerns about your milk production, consult with a lactation consultant who can provide personalized guidance and support.

    A woman and man embrace while their baby looks over the shoulder of its mom

    Ready to Take on the Journey to Triple Feed Your Baby?

    Triple feeding is a powerful temporary method that allows breastfeeding moms to overcome challenges and continue their breastfeeding journey. By combining breastfeeding, pumping, and supplementing, you can ensure your baby receives the nutrition they need while maintaining a strong breastfeeding bond. With careful planning, support from lactation consultants, and a focus on self-care, you can embrace the benefits of triple feeding and celebrate the milestones along the way. 

    Celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small. Whether it's successfully latching your baby during a breastfeeding session or pumping a significant amount of milk, each step forward is a triumph. Be kind to yourself and recognize your dedication, resilience, and the love you pour into providing the best nourishment for your baby. You’re doing great, mama.