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Thread: How to wean off SNS supplement, help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default How to wean off SNS supplement, help!

    My five week old and I got off to a bad start with breastfeeding...the lc in the hospital told me that i didn't have very good breasts, and that breastfeeding would be iffy. Well, my milk did come in, and she was feeding, but we were supplementing her (partly because the nurse in the hospital recommended it) and because as first time parents, we assumed she was still hungry... None the less, it got of control, and my nipples were sore, so i allowed her to take formula from the bottle and any milk i pumped.

    Realizing that this was not the path i wanted to take, i saw a lc out at 3 weeks, and she told me that my milk levels/flow were low, and that we should supplement with sns. (i have done this in the hospital to supplement until my milk came in). So it's been about two weeks, and she is feeding well off the breast as long as the sns tube is going. I will start her on the breast without the sns and she will go for maybe 3 minutes. Even with massaging during the breastfeeding, and i can't get her to keep sucking.

    I've been taking mother's milk to help increase production, and pumping after feedings when i can. I'm not sure that my milk production has increased, seeing as she isn't thrilled to take the breast. but i'm also afraid that it has, and she's getting too much supplement during the feeding, and not enough from the breast? if that is possible?

    Any recommendations to help wean her off sns feeding. I really enjoy breastfeeding, but am starting to feel hopeless that 1. i'll never be able to go out in public and feed her without supplement, and 2. that i have enough milk to do it :/

    help please!!!

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to wean off SNS supplement, help!

    It sounds like weaning off an SNS is difficult and extremely frustrating for a lot of moms (see this thread from 2008!). You're not alone.

    I understand there are different sizes of tubing for the SNS. So one idea is to switch to a smaller tube so she gets used to working a little harder before trying to go without it.

    I've also heard of pinching the tube to stop the flow once your milk lets down and releasing it periodically as a reward for active suckling.

    I'm wondering if it would help at all if you pumped for a few minutes before nursing. If you could get the milk flowing first, she'd get an instant reward when she started suckling without the SNS. Maybe that would encourage her.

    I'm hoping we've got someone with experience with the SNS who can chime in!

    Hang in there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How to wean off SNS supplement, help!

    Good advice from Karen about crimping the tube and switching to a smaller gauge of tubing!

    I just wanted to suggest really working the pumping angle of your nursing issue. Teas and other supplements and the SNS are good tools for increasing supply, but in my experience they are not a substitute for frequent milk removal using a high-quality pump and correctly-sized shields. When I had supply problems, I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night using a hospital-grade pump, and I saw good results very quickly.

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