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sucess relactating with the use of SNS!

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:12 pm
by mum2ruby
Hi everyone my name is krystal, I am mum to my beautiful baby girl ruby who is 5.5 months old. Breast feeding came very naturally to us from birth up until 15 weeks of age, she was quite the little piglet from day dot and i had a very well established supply. week 15 came along and bubs was very fussy at the breast, and was just not a happy camper at feed time. I approched my maternal health nurse, she said i had low supply issues and unless i could get ruby to feed on a more regular basis for a few day id have to offer her a bottle instead. 2 days later i still had a fussy and very hungry baby, she was feeding but not being forfilled, i contacted lactation consultant and booked in for a day stay at my local hospital, this was unsuccessful, my bubs was now refusing the breast altogether. i was devisitated, i felt as tho something very dear to me had been taken away and i had no options left. i cried to the nurse and she bluntly told me i couldn't breastfeed and that ruby would have to be put on a bottle immediately. I was not giving up and although bubs wouldn't take the breast id express after every bottle i gave her. she was having 150ml every 2.5 hours. I had huge problems with expressing, i dont ever let down when using a manual or electric breast pump only when i hand express but i cant manage to get it in a bottle for her so i couldn't even offer her breast milk in her bottle.. again devistated. i kept offering her the breast before every feed but she just wasn't interested.

next challenge was facing that ruby got attached to her beloved bottles and now assosiated food with bottle not boobie! how do i get my baby back to my breast i pondered, i asked everyone i knew for advice but not having many friends or family who had breastfeed made this difficult and my local health care system just told me to give her a bottle and offered no further support. I kept a fairly strict pumping schedule and although i only ever got a few drops i knew i was still stimulating my breasts correctly. kept offering her the breast before bottle.

every feed i attempted to offer her my breast, we had alot of skin on skin contact and i exhausted very piece of advice id been given. I felt helpless and was sure my baby would never go back to the breast!
my lil ruby was now 4.5 months old, and had been bottle feeding for what seemed forever now, i was still pumping but had stopped offering her the breast as she began to become extremely distressed at the sight of it, you would swear i was offering her poison the way she reacted to it! one day i was doing some research on the net and came across the aba, why wasn't i told about this service by my local maternal health nurse, i could have used all this valuable information months ago, i was upset but called the ladies immediatly and told them my story. the ladies were so helpful and supportive, i felt like i had a friend on the other end of the phone. the suggested i purchase an sns system and try getting ruby back to the breast this way, i did just that! she wouldn't have a bar of it tho, i tried for 2 weeks but all i ended up with was a really unhappy little girl, i called the aba immediately and they suggested i try using a nipple shield as well as the sns as ruby had obviously gotten a liking to the bottle teat and the silicone on the nipple shield might trick her into thinking it was a bottle, IT WORKED!!! I cried as i held my baby in my arms nursing her from my breast. it was wonderful, i felt so proud of both of us! progress had finely paved a way! the next feed was not as successful but i kept trying, feed after feed varied in how she reacted, she doesn't particualy appreciate having to work that bit harder for her tucker but with the positive result i seen the very first time she accepted my breast i was adament we would get there!


Last tuesday i did as i always did and filled her sns bottle at 6am with 150 ml, we feed really well all day, she was happy, content and sleeping for long stretches at a time, we had 2 very loose bowl movements and 5 wet nappies, at around 6pm i feed her then put her to bed, thought i better rinse out her sns bottle and nipple shields, i was horrifed at myself when i realised i hadn't changed the milk all day, i looked at the bottle and noticed only 30 ml had been taken, hang on i thought only 30 ml all day, whats wrong, i didn't even register that she'd taken all her milk from me until i called jill from the aba and told her what had ahppened with the 30ml allday. she went quite then said krystal YOU@VE DONE IT!!!!!! you have relactated for ruby!!! i was in shock, after everything we'd been though we had finally done it! i kept asking her are you sure?? maby she just wasn't hungry?? she assured me that the wet nappies indicated she'd recieved enough milk all day and that her looses poo's was from the breast milk. i couldn't wipe the smile off of my face! i gave her a dream feed strait away, and before i went to bed! i was so happy with her and myself! i felt on top of the world knowing she'd recieved my milk!

the next day ruby woke with a cold and was off her food for 5 days, it could not have come at a worse time, she wouldn't take breast, sns i even tried a bottle, she'd only have small suckles around day 2 and 5 of her cold. i pumped like a crazy woman and i was actually expressing milk, around 25 ml per session, some how my body had decided it would let down when pumping, this made me feel alot better about bubs not being at breast due to her cold! i tried feeding her eb by bottle and sns, she loved it! yesterday she began feeding properly again, although now she's taking around 50 ml from the sns, im a little confused but will call jill from aba this afternoon for some advice!!!

Our journey is still continuing at a very positive pace, i just wanted to share my story with any re lactating mother or adoptive mothers. its hard work but the moment they attach and take even just one drop of your special milk it makes everything so worth the hard work!
my advice to anyone wishing to re lactate is to have support and surround yourself with lots of breastfeeding information, the education really helped me. be gentle to your self and reward yourself for your efforts!!!

id also really appreciate any feedback, and advice on anything to do with breastfeeding, nipple shield, sns usage im about to introduce solids and scared its going to interfere with her feeding all over again. so any helpful hints would be so appreciated!

oh iv just noticed iv written a mini novel, i best sign off from here!!! thanks krystal!!!

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:24 pm
by mooki
awww im all teary eyed. What a beautiful positive story. Congrats and I hope things keep looking up for you. What determination. Im sure your experience will benefit many people greatly.

Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:43 pm
by mrserin
Wow what a wonderful story! I am so impressed by your determination, what a lucky girl Ruby is to have you for a mum :)

Well done and congratulations. I hope things keep improving for you.

I don't have any info on the SNS or shields for you but re the introduction of solids, we did Baby Led Solids and found it didn't interfere with breastfeeding at all. Also, someone once told me "Foods for fun, until they're one" and that really helped me not stress about how much they ate.

Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:37 pm
by snowie
Hi Krystal
What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing with us. I don't have any experience with using a sns, but I found that introducing solids to my DD definately didn't interfere with breastfeeding. She was still feeding frequently i.e. every 2 hours during the day when I went back to work when she was 11 months old. In fact she wasn't really too interested in solids, and I took comfort from the saying that Erin81 wrote "foods are fun until they are 1"

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:13 pm
by mum2noah
Congratulations Krystal,

I really had alot of faith in you and you should be proud of yourself.

I really hope Noah and I will get some excellent results soon too.

Kind Regards


Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:15 pm
by mum2ruby
Thank you all for your support, its so much appreciated, before the aba and this forum i felt very alone with my challenges and this journey. we have had a really tough couple of days as the beautiful girl has something going on and all i can out it down to is teething, her colds cleared up but she's completely off her milk, although i did introduce baby rice cereal and shes very happy to have that. now on top of our feeding struggles im worried as she wont drink, shes def not dehydrated but surely she's hungry for her milk. we'll see how she goes tomorrow.
Im still expressing when she's not having the boob to keep my stimulation process happening.

Francesca I can only offer you my 100% support and that i am always here to talk if you just need to vent about this challenging journey. its hard work so make sure you reward yourself for any achievements made! i have complete faith you will succeed!!! just persevere and believe in yourself and your capable bubba! sending all of my love ! xoxox please stay in touch!

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:28 am
by mum2noah
Hey Krystal,

I am so sorry that little Ruby is unwell. It is a great idea that you are still expressing so that you can keep up the great work you have already achieved. I tried to put Noah on the boob but he started screaming so I thought the stress wasn't worth it. At one stage he was quiet but didn't really latch on just had my nipple in his mouth and that was it. At least he was quiet though. I am still expressing and giving him everything I can express so he gets about 1-2 ml a day. i don't know if this will increase. Here's hoping it will but I am sure he will not get back to using the SNS. At least i have it there whenever I have a free weekend to try it. Thank you so much for your support it means a great deal to me.

Take Care