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Thread: Advice on making supplemental feeding easy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    NY, NY

    Default Advice on making supplemental feeding easy

    Hi there. I'd like tips on making the supplemental feeding adventure an easy one.

    Ok - I have some logistical questions.

    I am hoping to induce lactation without drugs to breastfeed my future adopted baby. If I do - I will most likely have to supplement with a SNS.

    But when it comes time to actually feed my little bundle of joy, it seems like I'm going to have a million bottles/bags/tubes/ etc. Can someone help me understand how this is all going to work?

    1st I'll get supplemental breast milk either from a bank or from a generous mom. That will be frozen in a bag. (?)

    2nd I will have to thaw the bag of breast milk by letting it defrost in the refrigerator - making sure to use the oldest in the supply (but of course, not expired.)

    3rd I will have to feed that thawed breast milk into a SNS device (I'm looking at the Medela and the Lact-Aid). So with the Medala I'd be pouring it into the tiny bottle... and with the LactAid, I'd be pouring it into the "special" plastic bags that LactAid has?

    That seems cumbersome.

    With the Medela I'd have to buy separate bottles to make it a bit more convenient??

    But with the Lactaid I'm buying more plastic bags? to replace the other plastic bags?

    Is there a system that uses the same plastic bags that you freeze the breast milk in?

    If I ask my friends or sister to provide me with extra milk - I'd like to give them the bags to store and freeze their milk in. But it seems like I'm going to be inundated with tiny bags (freezing and feeding) and a bunch of bottles and parts that I have to sterilize.

    Has anyone figured out a simpler way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Advice on making supplemental feeding easy

    SNS is a pain, it's true. i only used it for 2 feedings so hopefully someone else will have longer-term suggestions.

    but you do not have to sterilize anything unless your baby has a weak immune system. so that'll cut down one major step!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Advice on making supplemental feeding easy

    I'm kicking myself for not coming here for so long, so I could have seen your question right away! I'm still going to answer, hoping you'll come back, or maybe someone else with the same questions will get something out of it. I am a grandmother of three, now, but I nursed six adopted kids, born between 1983 and 1995. My success was limited, with the first two, but the last four self-weaned. I didn't use meds, just started nursing on demand with the Lact-Aid when the baby got home. I produced up to 40% of their needs. I usually had a little bit of donated milk, too. I would have loved to have 100% breast milk, but I saw huge benefits over total formula feeding, and the relationship was the same as if I wasn't supplementing. I also used fenugreek and fennel tea, with my last kids.

    I have heard of moms who have attached the Lact-Aid to a plastic bag that was designed for the Playtex nurser (before they put the rim on top of them). It wasn't as secure, but worked for them, so you may be able to use the bag the milk was frozen in. I wonder if a rubber band would help keep it secure, too. I would just get a Lact-Aid kit and one of those bags and play around with it and see what you can do, while you are waiting for the baby. If you can't get it secure, though, it would probably be easier to just use the bags designed for the Lact-Aid, in the long-run. I've had them fall apart before (which is less likely, now, because of some improvements) and you don't want to have to deal with that! If you decide to transfer the frozen milk into the LA bag or SNS bottle, it would be best to warm the milk, first, so that you can get it recombined real well and not have some of the cream left sticking to the bag or bottle.

    Most of us reuse the LA bags, although the manufacturer doesn't recommend it. I would just refill them, once, right after I got done with a feeding, but only if I could get it refilled right away and not after it had sat at room temperature for a while. I kept the ones on the second use separate from the new ones, so I didn't lose track, and only reused them once. Some moms wash them out and then hold them open with a chopstick or something, so they will dry. I think it might be better, as far as preventing bacteria, to just do a final rinse in clean water, then refill them immediately and put them in the fridge, rather than trying to get them dry, first. If you reuse, be real careful not to puncture the neck of the bag with your fingernails. Mine are natural, and kind of sharp and I punctured a few!

    Another thing you can do is use the Lact-Aid with the bottle from the SNS. An ingenius mom figured it out and posted it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzhyE...eature=related It looks to me like it would work great, although it would need to be right-side up. The bottle is a bit challenging to clean, but you can do it with a good bottle brush with soft bristles, to get into those corners by the opening. The SNS, itself, is much more challenging to use than the Lact-Aid. I haven't known many moms who have used it a lot and no one who has used both for a significant amount of time and preferred it over the Lact-Aid. The Lact-Aid is the original, and has been on the market for close to half a century. They have always functioned the same, although they have made quite a few improvements over the years that make them easier to use. I think the SNS is overdesigned. The "Starter" SNS is even more overdesigned. Don't waste your money on the latter!

    This is a very good presentation I just saw today, and added several comments to. I'm aMarinedaughter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mDeRb_iGD4 There are several others. Just so you know, the ones demonstrating how to insert a lactation aid into the mouth of a baby all ready on the breast doesn't mean using the Lact-Aid or SNS, which the baby latches onto along with the breast. It is using a medical feeding tube, which is much stiffer, as a temporary measure. I've tried inserting the LA tube later, but always broke the baby's latch.

    I'm sure you can induce lactation, without meds, like I and many other moms have! You may need to supplement until your baby is on other foods and liquids, but there is nothing wrong with that! Of my four that self-weaned, two were willing to stop using the LA and keep nursing without it and two insisted on having it there, even when they didn't need it any more, including the one I produced the most for. Some kids are picky, and want what they are used to, whether they need it any more or not! I have seen as little as four ounces of breast milk a day, in addition to formula, make amazing improvements in a baby's health. Some of mine were older when I got them, and had had a chronic health problem that cleared up as soon as they started getting some breast milk.

    Well, I will close for now, but if you have any more questions, I can give you an opinion on them. Here is my email address so if I forget to come back for a while, you can email me and remind me to get back here OK?

    Good Luck!
    Darillyn Starr

    By SNS, I mean the Medela Supplemental Nursing System. Sometimes SNS or Lact-Aid are used as generic terms for an at the breast supplementer, which gets confusing, but they are actually names of specific products.

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