Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mom of octuplets plans to breastfeed them all!

A woman in California delivered octuplets (6 boys and 2 girls) today via C-section. The babies were 9 weeks premature and each weighed between 1 lb 8oz and 3 lb 4 oz.

From the article:

The babies will be in incubators for at least six weeks and the mother is planning to breast feed them all, the hospital officials said.
"She is a very strong woman, so she probably will be able to handle all eight babies," said Dr Mandhir Gupta.

I have to say, I applaud this woman's desire and effort to breastfeed all 8 of her children! However, the cynic in me wants to know how realistic her goal is. I spoke to IBCLC Tanya Lieberman of The Motherwear Breastfeeding blog and she told me that nursing preemies is challenging and nursing multiples is challenging, so of course this scenario will be hugely challenging. The babies will be in the NICU for the next few months, so this mom will have to pump until the babies can coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing. There is no guarantee that all of the babies will even learn how to latch. Also, you can never know what kind of milk supply a mom will have until you get things going.

Tanya also reminded me of the incredible story on Oprah last year about a mom of sextuplets who went on to breastfeed them all, pumping between 50 and 60 ounces per day! Breast milk is made on a supply and demand basis, so the more this mom pumps and nurses, the more milk her body will make.

This couple is going to need a lot of help over the coming months and I salute their commitment to breastfeeding. For now they are being extremely private about the birth of their babies and haven't released any personal information. Maybe we'll get an update on how the nursing is going. Until then let's wish these new parents a lot of luck and send milk vibes their way.

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