Nina Dufrenne remembers looking at her triplets in their NICU incubators and feeling helpless.
“I couldn’t touch them,” Dufrenne, 27, told TODAY Parents. “The only thing I could do for them was provide milk. So I think I kind of emotionally attached to it."
The Missouri-based mom began “pumping around the clock” to feed Aubree, Emma and Louis, who were born at 29 weeks gestation in January.
“There were a lot of doubters. People said stuff like, ‘They probably won’t latch because they're on feeding tubes,’” Dufrenne revealed. “But I was determined to try.”
Last month, Dufrenne and her babies celebrated their 6-month “nurserversary.”
In a powerful video on TikTok, Dufrenne shared a series of photos and clips chronicling their successful breastfeeding journey. Using on-screen captions, Dufrenne revealed some of the negative comments she received from hospital staff and strangers online.
“We don’t really see triplet moms successfully breast feed, but you can try.”
“Your hands are going to be way too full to pump.”
“You’re never going to sleep again.”
“They’re going to want you all the time.”
Dufrenne’s post has been viewed more than one million times and counting.
“When I was pregnant, I had a hard time finding sources to teach me how to breastfeed triplets. I wanted to show other moms that it’s possible and it can be beautiful,” Dufrenne said.
But it wasn’t always easy. Dufrenne has polycystic ovary syndrome (PSOC), a condition which can disrupt a woman’s hormones, menstrual cycles and weight. It can also affect milk supply.
“I had to teach myself not to get discouraged,” Dufrenne said. “Sometimes I was making more milk then I thought possible, but then the next week I was struggling tremendously. So that freezer stash you saw in the video, came in handy.”
Comments continue to pour in on Dufrenne’s TikTok, with many women saying the video brought them to tears.
“Our bodies are amazing. And so are our babies. I was told I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed my daughter because she was a preemie. She latched instantly,” one person wrote.
Added another, “I don't understand why anyone thinks they could ever underestimate or doubt a determined MOTHER!"