Relactating with use of the SNS

An area to discuss relactation and adoptive breastfeeding.

Relactating with use of the SNS

Postby mum2ruby » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:32 pm

Hi everyone, I have just read some of your very inspiring journeys. My daughter is almost 5 months old, after being told by my maternal health nurse 2 months ago that my milk was drying up due to my bubs being very fussy it was advised that i start giving her a bottle. I was broken hearted, i felt as tho i was grieving and was not at all ready to end our nursing relationship. I keep persevering but then she began refusing the breast altogether. She has not fully breastfeed for 2 months now and im still feeling complete sadness every time i give her a bottle. so i have ditched my very unsupportive local health system and have obtained the support of the ABA to get us back on track and get my babe back to the breast. I've hired an electric pump to begin stimulating my breasts again and have just purchased an SNS. Its very fiddly and when i pump im lucky to get a few drops if anything at all I know its early days and im 100% commited so im staying positive.

Would really appreciate some feedback on how long it can take to re establish supply and how long id be looking at using the SNS before she'll be feeding exclusivly from me.

Thanks heaps, and good luck to you all!
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Postby ngyuntju » Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:12 pm

No advice sorry, I just wanted to say good on you! :smt023

Welcome to the forum, i'm sure that someone will be along with some great advice soon. I hope it all goes well for you! :-)
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DD - January 2012

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Postby crystals83 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:35 pm

I also dont have any advice, but was interested in your story as i am also currently attempting to relactate my 4 month old.
She hasnt been breastfed since 6 weeks, and i stopped expressing when she was 8 weeks. A whole heap of reasons-but mainly because the first 3 months were very difficut.
I have purchased a SNS and am waiting eagerly for its arrival. Hopefully will get it monday. Am also hiring a double breast pump.
I still have a few drops, so am happy that i am not starting completely dry.
Have tried latching her on. 5 times she has fought and not wanted a bar of it. Once she latched on and stayed there for a few minutes. I am hoping that she will be happier to go to the breast once i have the cupply line. I am hoping i can realistically breast feed her 3 out of 5 of her feeds a day, but am determined so am willing to put in the time and effort of expressing. Would love to hear how you are progressing
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relactating with an SNS

Postby mum2noah » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:53 pm

I am so glad to hear that there are other mothers out there doing the same as me. My son is 10 weeks and since day dot I have been combination feeding my milk supply got really low as I did not breast feed as much as I should have and other problems arose. I am really hoping that this will work as it is my last chance to do so. I also have a few drops so am not starting from scratch. I have medela nursing tea, fenugreek and medication to help me also. I will be trying my SNS tomorrow for the first time and hope it goes well. Noah only latches on for a few minutes at the moment so hop that this will improve. I have been told it should take a couple of days to a few weeks before the milk supply comes back. lets hope things work well for us but I am glad to have the support.

All the best ladies, look forward to going on this journey with you.
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Postby mummysairsair » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:56 pm

Wow, how wonderful that 3 of you are all going through the same thing at the same time! I used an SNS for a while for low supply, and although they can be fiddly it was great to have DD feeding at the breast which in turn stimulated my supply. I found the following information really helpful in building up my supply from basically nothing to fully feeding, hopefully you will all find them helpful too :)

Use a hospital-grade pump.
If you are taking galactagogues (foods, beverages, herbs, or medications), pump within 45 minutes to one-hour of taking the galactagogue.
Place a picture of your baby and an item that your baby has worn or had near their body (like a blanket) beside you to help you get a good let-down. Many mothers pump with their babies right there, next to the pump. If possible, you can pump one side while your baby nurses on the other side, using a manual hand pump or an electric pump as long as baby is comfortable with the increased flow that the breast stimulation causes.
Pump after every feeding, immediately following the end of the feeding. Many mothers find that it works well to nurse, supplement, and then pump.
Pump for at least 20 minutes per session. If you are pumping less frequently than after each feeding, pump for a longer period of time if you are not completely empty at the end of 20 minutes. If you are pumping after every feeding, pump for only 20 minutes.
Feed the baby on demand, as often as the baby indicates. Do not go more than two hours between feedings, even at night. This means that you are also pumping every two hours. Every few days try for a 4 hours stretch of sleep. The sleep may come in the early morning or evening or midday, not necessarily at night. It is amazing how rest can help a milk supply as well as a mother’s mood.
Make or buy a hands-free setup for your pump.
Buy multiple horns/pumping kits so that you don’t have to wash them after each pumping session.
Be kind to yourself. Pump with the attitude that “any amount that I make is good and I will not be judgmental about quantity or the lack thereof.”
Keep a journal of your amounts pumped. This will help you to see your progress. The difference between producing one half of an ounce, total yield per day, and one ounce, total yield per day, may not seem very great, but you have doubled your output! If you were making 20 ounces per day and doubled that amount, then you would be making 40 ounces, a huge difference. The rate of increase is the same, but the results seem much more dramatic with the 20 ounce per day starting point. Some mothers prefer to not keep a journal of amounts pumped, and this is fine, too. Do whatever works best for you, your unique situation, and your personality. ... x#increase

Also, relactation boot camp! It's tough, but definitely works :)

It sounds like you are all in for a tough couple of works, but by keeping your eyes on the goal and supporting each other you will get there! Good luck :)
Patience.. It's what parents have when there are witnesses ;)
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Postby mum2noah » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:39 am

Hi Ladies,

First attempt at using the SNS went very well and fed for about 20 min will keep you updated on the progress. If any one has any problems try using a nipple shield it works very effectively.

See you

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Postby Squip » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:17 pm

Good to hear Francesca :) well done
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Postby crystals83 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:06 pm

Oh-so glad it worked for you! How long was he off the breast for prior? i have a meeting with a lactation consultant tomorrow morning. Will also be my first sttempt using the SNS. Will also get some help with latching her on. Hired double breast pump today. Got about 3ml's from left, nothing from right. But if i squeeze can always get a couple of drops. Am drinking the tea like crazy and am also getting a script for the medication to increase supply and going to start taking some more supplements. Still no luck with having her attatch-she just fights and gets angry. Avoiding doing it too much as dont want her to completely reject it.
When have you found is a good time to latch him on?
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Postby mum2noah » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:36 pm

Hi Crystals83,

he was off for about 2 weeks. I used to feed him breast first and then bottle but my period arrived and he didn't want to latch on at all. When I started to express I found the most I could ever get was 2 ml. I still only manage about a drop or two on each side when I pump but when I hand express I can see alot more. The SNS didn't work for me today and I managed to get him on for a few minutes using a bottle and then changing to the nipple but then he sucked for a few minutes afterwards. I really hope my supply increases soon because I am getting very frustrated and tired. Mornings are the best time to get him to try and nurse. Night times are a disaster. All the best with the lactation consultant look forward to hearing how things go. Tomorrow is another day hope things get better. He also slept badly waking every three hours.
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Postby Bailey's Mum » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:47 am

Hi girls - wow! It's so encouraging to see you all trying the SNS - we're a rare breed, believe me! I have literally YEARS of experience - DS2 was comp fed via supply line from 6wks-26mths (at EVERY feed). DS3 had SNS until just short of 9 months (and continued to bf until he self-weaned at 26 months) and DS4 chose to have his last SNS feed at 8 months (and is still bf).

If you search my posts for "SNS" as keyword, you'll find heaps of stories and some hints and tips. I'm also happy to offer tips here if I can, although I don't check this section very often, so you might need to PM me if it's more than a couple of days and I haven't replied.

I am one of the 1% - my body can't produce enough breastmilk to exclusively feed a newborn despite me following all the "rules" and then some. So I understand the frustration and helplessness of having to give comp feeds - I used ABM with DS2, HR ABM with DS3 (he was always one reaction away from needing elemental by prescription - CMP allergy) and donor EBM with DS4.

All the very best - it's a difficult journey, but so rewarding and worthwhile.
DS1 born sleeping
DS2 BF 2y2m (using supply line)
DS3 BF 2y2m2w2d (because we like patterns - 9 months with SNS)
DS4 BF 3y10m3w4d (8 months with SNS)
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Postby crystals83 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:26 am


Appointment with lactation consultant went well. I was suprised that she initially seemed quite pessemistic about relactation, but i think it may have been because she didnt want me to get my hopes up as said that the success rate wasnt high as people find its alot harder than they imagine. She was more supportive when she saw that i had done my research, was determined and had purchased an SNS. Indi didnt readily take to the breast. We gave her a bit of a bottle to take the edge off her hunger than attempted her with a makeshift supply line. She didnt want a bar of it, so she popped a few drops of milk into her mouth, and when she opened up, in went the breast and she stayed there for a good 5 minutes. Most success yet! We continued doing this over the course of her feed. The LC was alot more supportive once she had seen Indi latch on as i know thats half the battle. I'm also having to re-learn how to hold her whilst breastfeeding as the only way i know is the way i was taught when she was new born. i had to keep being reminded shes a 'big baby' now, and doesnt need so much support. We'll get there. Am drinking lots of tea, on meds 3 times a day and am manually expressing as find it more effective than the pump. Still waiting for my SNS to arrive, so using makeshift one in the meantime. Its a bit fiddly, and shes on reflux formula-and that doesnt fit through the tubing!
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Postby DellaWellaWoman » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:34 pm

That sounds like great progress crystals!! And yes, doing your research, and having a baby willing to latch on makes it all the more possible :)
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DD2 still going at 5 years :D
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Postby mum2noah » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:07 pm

Excellent news Crystal,

Where did you find your lactation consultant. Sounds like she is a great help.

All the best for the future

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Postby crystals83 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:49 am

Hi Francesca.
The hospital i gave birth at has a lactation clinic attatched to it. They generally only see babies up to 12 weeks, but as i had previously been with both children, i got in. I also googled a list of lactation consultants in Perth, and have spoken to a few from the ABA. Would prefer home visits as then am not restricted by time and its difficult if she is not actually hungry.
Am still waiting for my SNS to arrive, but we used the makeshift one this morning and there was more success. She took almost half her feed from it (rest from bottle). Doesnt seem so anti0boob anymore, but still puts up a fight now and then. Is definately taking to it more readily.
Am continuing to manually express, but cant yet see any increase in supply (4-5 ml tops)
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Postby mum2noah » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:07 pm

Hi Crystal,

Looks like you are having more success than me. I don't know why but I am unable to express that much using the electric pump. I see drops but that only leads to a little bit in the bottle. As far as the SNS goes I asked my husband if we can try it on the weekend as Noah only used it when he was there helping me and is so far refusing to breast feed when I am on my own.

This is my third day on medication and hope to get some results soon. When I hand expressed to get the milk started on saw a squirt and thought this was fantastic but it didn't result in much at the pump. When you say you manually pump what do you mean. Is this hand expressing if so how do you collect it I think this is more effective. Looks like the make shift SNS is doing well with you what was it consisting of.

Any way good on you for a great effort I am glad we are going on this journey together.
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