A mother of triples has revealed the incredible amount of breastmilk she has to produce to feed her three babies while sharing the discouraging comments she received from hospital staff and strangers online who thought it couldn’t be done.
Nina Dufrenne, 27, from Missouri, was 29 weeks pregnant when she welcomed her children Aubree, Emma, and Louis in January. The premature babies were taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and intubated after they were born.
‘I couldn’t touch them,’ she told Today Parents, saying she felt helpless while watching them in their incubators. ‘The only thing I could do for them was provide milk. So I think I kind of emotionally attached to it.’
Wow: Nina Dufrenne, 27, from Missouri, has gone viral after revealing how much breastmilk she needs to product to feed her triplets
Dedicated: Dufrenne was 29 weeks pregnant when she welcomed the premature babies, who were taken to the ICU. The mom would pump breastmilk and deliver it to the hospital
Dufrenne shared a vido chronicling her breastfeeding journey last month to celebrate her six-month ‘nurserversary’ with her three babies.
The footage shows her pumping breast milk and delivering it to the hospital, where her babies had feeding tubes for the first five weeks of their lives.
The mom listed some of the negative reactions she received for wanting to try breastfeeding her triplets.
‘We don’t really see triplet moms successfully breastfeed, but you can try,’ one comment read, while another said: ‘Being good bottle feeders will get them out of the NICU faster. I would just stick to that.’
Strangers doubted that the babies would be able to ‘learn how to latch’ after being on feeding tubes. They also questioned if it was ‘really possible to make enough [milk] for all three.’
Incredible: Dufrenne shared a TikTok video chronicling her breastfeeding journey last month to celebrate her six-month ‘nurserversary’ with her three babies
Naysayers: Dufrenne listed some of the negative reactions she received for wanting to try breastfeeding her triplets — while showing off her fridge filled with breastmilk
Full-time job: The mother of four was pumping every two and a half hours for 25 to 30 minutes and then nursing each baby every three hours for a half-hour in between
Others discouraged her from breastfeeding by claiming she was ‘never going to sleep again’ because her babies would want her all the time.
However, the video shows Dufrenne successfully nursing each one of her babies while her refrigerator was filled with stacks of breastmilk she had pumped.
‘Feeding isn’t a one lane road. The message is never doubt a determined mother. Just let us feed our babies,’ she captioned the clip, which has been viewed more than 1.1 million times.
Thousands of people shared messages of support in the comments.
‘That freezer stash is the stuff of legends. You are seriously a champion!!’ one person wrote, while another added: ‘Beautiful job mama. You should celebrate every ounce and every moment.’
Story: Dufrenne was initially pregnant with quadruplets and miscarried her fourth baby
Candid: The mom explained that producing breastmilk for her babies was important to her because she felt helpless watching them in the NICU, and it was the only thing she could do
Growing babies: In a follow-up video, she explained that she and her husband Nick are now supplementing with formula to keep up with the triplets’ feedings
‘This is amazing,’ someone else gushed. ‘[It] brought tears to my eyes because I know you poured so much effort and love into this for your little ones.’
The mom has been candid about her family on her TikTok account, where she revealed she was initially pregnant with quadruplets and miscarried her fourth baby.
Dufrenne and her husband Nick also share a two-year-old daughter, Elle, who is a doting big sister.
In a follow-up video, she opened up about her decision to nurse her triplets, saying they are now supplementing with formula to keep up with their feedings.
She explained that she was pumping every two and a half hours for 25 to 30 minutes and then nursing each baby every three hours for a half-hour in between. She would get about a 15-minute break before she would have to start pumping again.
‘It was a full-time job. I was never not feeding a baby,’ she recalled, saying she was ‘eating and drinking around the clock.’
Party of six: Dufrenne and Nick also share a two-year-old daughter, Elle, who is a doting big sister
Message: ‘I don’t think love is measured in how you feed your baby,’ she said. ‘I think you’re a good mother no matter how you choose to’
Dufrenne said she is still doing a great deal of nursing and pumping, but they are also bottle feeding the babies formula.
‘They’re taking about 16 ounces every two and a half to three hours, and I’m not making that anymore,’ she said. ‘It was a lot of work to make that in the beginning.
‘I don’t think love is measured in how you feed your baby,’ she added. ‘I think you’re a good mother no matter how you choose to. This is something I just really wanted to do.’
Dufrenne told Today Parents that breastfeeding has not always been easy for her because she has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects women’s hormone levels and can make breastfeeding difficult.
During the weeks that she was unable to produce enough milk, she would use the breastmilk she had stored in her freezer.
‘When I was pregnant, I had a hard time finding sources to teach me how to breastfeed triplets,’ she said. ‘wanted to show other moms that it’s possible and it can be beautiful.’