I can’t believe that she’s 12 weeks.
She’s cooing, smiling and dare I say that she’s on the verge of laughing. I can’t WAIT for her to laugh. In saying that, this week I’ve had the realisation that she’s no longer a newborn…she’s an infant. Gah!
The Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) is a feeding tube device to provide babies long-term supplemental feedings at the breast. When a baby is at breast over a period of days or weeks, a hormonal mechanism is triggered that causes milk to be produced.
The SNS can also be used for:
- Inducing lactation
- Keeping special-needs babies at the breast
- Premature babies
- Weak, ineffective or lazy nursers
- Failure-to-thrive babies
- Impaired babies
- Low-milk supply mothers
- Relactating mothers
- A teaching tool to “fingerfed” babies who have had difficulty latching onto the breast
I had some sort of hormonal whim two weeks ago after joining the IGT/Low Supply facebook group. *I highly suggest this group for ANYONE struggle with low supply, PCOS, IGT, etc. Amazing wealth of knowledge and support* After I found this group, I bought an SNS, started on herbs (Goats Rhu is a must!) and then joined another AMAZING Facebook group: Supply Line Breastfeeding Support Group Australia (you do NOT have to be in Australia and/or Australian to join) Amazing group of women. Amazing.
How did I re-lactate?
- Started pumping as much as I could during the day
- Started motilium at 90mg…gained 3lbs/1.2kg in a week. My supply was only about 60mls/day so I’ve weaned off because the weight gain isn’t worth the output.
- I started taking herbs, with no real benefit. Then I found this local health food store that makes a “lactation formula” –what I call “liquid nursing potion”…that is revolting in taste, but it’s totally working. It’s working so well that even though I’ve decreased my motilium I’ve maintained my supply.
- Got an SNS and breastfeed on demand. Pumped after some feeds.
- Feed on both sides.
- Am trying Paleo after reading from IGT support group about insulin resistance — which I think I do have — and linking to low supply. Paleo helps with both.
How did I re-latch?
I offered in this order almost always: boob, nipple shield, newborn bottle teat/nipple, Medela Calma nipple. She was only ever bottle fed with the Medela Calma nipple. For the first day I had to put the calma nipple of my nipple and thread the SNS tube through the end of it. Then I weaned her off of that and used the newborn nipple over my nipple with the SNS on the outside. Then I offered nipple shield (Medela) with the SNS tube on the outside. We tried with it through the inside but I couldn’t get a good suction. I would bounce back to teats if she wouldn’t take the nipple shield.
Then she took the nipple shield without any bottle teats. Day 2-3
Then she took my bare breast..for a FULL FEED!!! I cried. Day 5.
**I am NOT going to lie, this has been emotionally exhausting. There have been episodes of frustration on both of our parts. There have been times when I’ve wanted to give up. I did feel anxiety around “the struggle of the next feed**
It’s gotten SO much easier. She has her latch back (thank heavens), I have more milk then I thought I’d have. We’re giving between 50-165mls of supplement (my express milk after feeds, donor milk and/or formula) in the container. I’m grateful for the bond, I’m grateful that we’ve been able to do the almost impossible, I’m grateful I didn’t give up.
We’re still getting donor milk (Thank you donors) and I was recently interviewed by the local news station about milk donation and SNS. “We want people to know about it”. They then told me they are going to try and push for the story to go national…YIKES! I should have gotten my hair done.
What a wild, beautiful, messy, grateful ride.
If you have any questions please leave a comment and/or e-mail me michellegay (at) gmail.com –> happy to help whenever I can 🙂 I’m not a licensed Lactation Consultant, but I’ve been working with one. I highly suggest you seek professional advice if you’re having supply, feeding issues and/or thinking of using an SNS. What we did is unorthodox, but it worked for us. Always follow you’re mama gut 🙂 xo