Tag Archives: breastfeeding
It was only recently, thanks to Adele from Circus Queen’s guest post on Plus2point4’s Breast Mates Breastfeeding Stories that I learned of the existence of Supplemental Nursing Systems (SNS). Simply put, it is a container which you can fill with breastmilk or formula and a couple of tubes which you position the ends of on your nipples so that when baby suckles, they receive the supplement in addition to your breastmilk from your breasts. Sound a bit complicated? This picture will help…
And this picture from PoshMums illustrates perfectly how you set up and wear an SNS…
They can be a bit fiddly to set up but can also be a really useful in helping overcome breastfeeding difficulties.
If, for any number of reasons, you are not producing enough milk for your baby or if they are ill and too weak to latch correctly an SNS is a great short-term solution. You can even use them if you have an adopted baby and you are embarking on induced lactation or you stopped breastfeeding a short while ago and would like to re-lactate. There are in fact a whole host of circumstances in which you might find an SNS useful.
A drop in supply is most commonly related to baby not feeding effectively. They might have a tongue tie (ankyloglossia) or weak latch. Milk is transferred easily from the SNS by baby suckling at the breast and eliminates the need for bottles. It is also vitally important, especially in the case of low milk supply, that your breasts are stimulated by either nursing or expressing and the SNS allows you to feed your baby whilst your supply is low AND still stimulate your breasts much more effectively than hand or pump expression.
If baby is ill or premature and/or small, the act of breastfeeding is very tiring for them. The SNS ensures a steady supply of milk without interrupting breastfeeding.
The SNS is a great tool for continuing breastfeeding through some pretty tough times and will usually be a short-term measure until baby is well again or your supply is back on track.
Mum of two, Cody was extremely thankful for the support an SNS gave her when her baby daughter was taken ill…
“June 1st was a big day for my family and I, it was the day we found out our 7 month old baby girl had IB (Infant Botulism). IB Attacks the nerve endings in the body not allowing the messages that your brain sends to all parts of your body to be received. A most commonly known form of getting IB is from honey or even from canned foods that were not prepared or stored correctly. This isn’t how she contracted IB. Something that is not commonly known is that the Botulism spores are in the soil. Places like construction sites where the soil is broken up and moved around are where you will find these spores. Where we were living at the time (and had just moved into) was an apartment complex that was remodeling everything.
I am a firm believer that “Breast is Best”, and was heartbroken when my baby girl was unable to eat. She was exclusively breastfeed up until this time when I was unable to pump hardly any milk for her Nasogastric tube feedings. Even though I was unable to produce the amount of milk that was needed, I was pumping to help. I knew that I wasn’t going to make enough milk for her to sustain her calories she needed per day and accepted that she would in fact need to have formula. As a mother who has always exclusively breastfed, it was hard but I knew it was more important for her to have formula than to wait for my milk to finally produce. Once she was moved from the PICU and onto the floor it seemed that there was a light that was finally peeking through at the end of this tunnel. I was finally starting to be able to pump enough milk for 2-3 feedings. Eventually when she started passing her swallowing tests, we worked on her nursing. She still was unable to latch and it was discouraging. Thankfully Medela, has a fun little helper called the SNS. I am so thankful for it till this day! After using the SNS for almost every feeding, my baby girl was starting to latch more and more. This also meant that the IB was starting to clear out of her little body and I could see she was starting to get back to her bright happy self. The SNS allowed her and I to have our bond of nursing back. Something we didn’t have for weeks. She was happy and I was happy. I am not sure how long it would have taken her to get back her ability to nurse if we hadn’t been able to use the SNS by Medela but I know that it was good practice and comfort for her. I would recommend the use of SNS to anyone who is having difficulty with nursing their little one, or even those who aren’t able to breastfeed but would like that amazing special close bond that a mother and child get from nursing”
Cody DuBois from Groveland Ca, USA. Currently residing in Dixon Ca, USA. .
The more I think about it, I realise I might have been able to use an SNS to continue breastfeeding Spud after I contracted the Norovirus. I tried to feed him after 4 days of not doing so (due to incorrect advice) but predictably, my supply had dropped dramatically. Spud was fussing and frustrated at the lack of milk when he tried to feed. If I’d known about the existence of the SNS then I probably would have been able to use it whilst getting my milk supply back up and who knows how long Spud and I would have carried on nursing for.
Circus Queen has written about her experiences of using an SNS when she encountered supply problems and has shared the experience of others to produce a really great post full of practical hints and tips on using an SNS. Please pop over and read ‘Practical Tips for Using a Supplementatl Nursing System‘
If you’ve never heard of the infamous American Reality TV star Snooki then let me enlighten you. She is a founding cast member of Jersey Shore, a reality show which sees a cast of young men and women house-sharing with plenty of high jinks, drinking, brawls and serial one-night stands. I’ve never actually seen the show myself but have watched the UK equivalent Geordie Shore which has been described as ‘tame’ compared to the highly popular US show.
It’s not the kind of lifestyle which has ever appealed to me but each to their own and it has been extremely lucrative for Snooki who reportedly earns $150,000 per episode. If you are the kind of person who isn’t easily embarrassed and not ashamed to hang out your dirty washing in front of millions then you can set yourself up for life.
There is no doubt more to Snooki than her Jersey Shore legacy but if you put her name in to a search engine, this is all that comes up. All that changed a few days ago when she gave birth to her baby boy which is the reason she has been registered on my radar.
Despite airing her concerns about breastfeeding when she was pregnant, she is indeed nursing her son.
Now, the fact that she is breastfeeding does not make her a better Mum than the next. It doesn’t erase the controversy which has surrounded her since she first hit US screens. It does however show the huge number of her young, impressionable fans that breastfeeding is an option and the fact that she is being loud and proud about her love of motherhood and breastfeeding is great.
Breastfeeding rates in America and the UK are pitiful. This is largely due to lack of good breastfeeding support once women give birth but the reason most women and especially young mums don’t even consider the alternative is the might of the formula companies. Artificial feeding is the norm and it is portrayed as such every day, on every tv, in every magazine and even on supermarket shopping trollies!
Dolls are sold with bottles for feeding, myths that breastfeeding is painful, hard work, is unachievable with multiples or large babies, that babies should be sleeping through at a few weeks old, that breastmilk does not provide enough iron are fed to us every day by said companies whether it be through aggressive marketing or in articles which are seemingly written by well-meaning experts in our newspapers. To women who are not embroiled in the politics of breastfeeding, these subtle underhanded tactics pass them by and shockingly inaccurate portrayals of breastfeeding/formula feeding are taken as fact.
This is where celebrities come in. The modern world is obsessed by what these ‘stars’ are doing in their every day life and companies are clamouring to secure lucrative advertising deals which can make or break their brand.
Breastfeeding is no different. The influence reality stars have over our teenagers in particular is immense. You might find it sad that an awful lot of our youth of today are dreaming of fast cars and mansions and longing to be harassed by every Tom, Dick and Harry for autographs on a simple trip to the supermarket but that is the way of the world we live in.
So when someone as influential as Snooki brings breastfeeding in to the limelight for however long, it really could influence her fans to at least give it a go. The fact that she was brave enough to express (pardon the pun) concerns over breastfeeding and then opted to give it a go when she wasn’t entirely comfortable IS to be applauded and it’s great she is obviously receiving some brilliant support.
You all know by now that I am an avid breastfeeding advocate and would love nothing more than every woman to be free to make an informed choice with regards to feeding their baby and to receive the help and support they deserve.
At the moment, formula companies and the myths surrounding breastfeeding are making this ideal impossible in the UK. Practical and emotional support is also hit and miss depending on where you live and how good the health professionals you come in to contact with are with regards to their knowledge of breastfeeding.
In addition to supporting local women on my local maternity ward and at my local support group, I am trying to reach more and help bust the myths which stop women even consider breastfeeding without looking in to the full practical and health benefits.
Women and babies are being failed every day by the media, society and each other by the wide spread perpetuation of these myths.
This is why I am embarking on a mission to tweet a breastfeeding tip or fact every day from now on. Please spread the word and see if we can get the message to as many people as possible.
Please follow me on @DailyBFTweet and share and retweet when you can…
- A Confidence Boost (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)
So, Pooh Bear is still breastfeeding at almost 16 months and I think we are going to try for the golden two year mark. I say ‘golden’ since it is at least the age at which the World Health Organisation says you should aim to breastfeed to in the western world.
I have been wondering if we should be offering him more alternative drinks to my milk in a bid to encourage self-weaning. He has water and juice throughout the day like his older brother and he has the very, very occasional couple of ounces of cow’s milk every now and then. He rarely feeds in public as he’s too busy bombing around to snuggle up to Mummy but he does have a good feed at any support groups I attend. I think this is because of the ‘Corrie Effect’ as I call it. What, you’ve never heard of the ‘Corrie Effect’?
Cor-rie Eff-ect 1. When the phrase “I’ll make a brew” is uttered on Coronation Street thus making the viewer crave a cup of the good stuff themselves.
They’re always catching me with that and babies it seems are the same. They see one breastfeeding and they all have to do it!
I have been feeling more and more nervous about having to feed him outside of the safety of the groups and our home in case we attract negative comments in public. I’m not sure how I would react and I know it would upset and anger me if anything out of turn was said. It would be one of those infuriating moments where you just sit there quiet and gobsmacked then think of a witty retort 3 hours later and forever play it over in your head torturing yourself.
Anyway, the point of this post was to say that I had two absolutely, genuinely lovely comments about me continuing to feed Pooh Bear. Where all around you, breastfeeding is not seen as the normal way to feed your baby and god forbid you feed them much longer than six months, it was a real confidence boost and has spurred me on to continue as long as Pooh Bear wants.
We HAVE to keep reminding ourselves that they are only small for such a short time and it is no big sacrifice to keep going a bit longer. There is always the risk of attracting negative comments but that is true of so many parenting issues. And anyone who says Mums are selfish for continued breastfeeding really have NO clue what it is like to feed a toddler. Mostly rewarding yet frustrating, tiring and sometimes painful (See my earlier post, Twiddles, Fidgets and a Kick in the Face)
I also feel it is important for people to see Pooh Bear feeding. I would never have thought about feeding a toddler before I had children so by seeing toddlers feed in support groups especially, it is empowering other women to themselves feed as long as they and their children want and not how long society thinks is best.
I’m also pretty stubborn and if someone says I shouldn’t be doing something I want to blow a raspberry in their face and do it anyway. Perhaps not the best reason to continue to breastfeed but since it’s not damaging anyone, and in fact has major health benefits for both of us, why not!
If you are looking for some support with regards to continued breastfeeding there are some lovely bloggers and online support/information groups dishing out confidence and support in spades.
If you think breastfeeding ONE toddler is a challenge, you MUST pop over to Twinkle Mummy who is enjoying the trials and tribulations of feeding her twin boys Spud & Sprout
Circus Queen - Breastfeeding Beyond One is Not Just for Mum
Plus 2.4 - When Should Extended Breastfeeding End?
My Mummy’s Pennies - Breastfeeding, a Mother’s Choice
Breastfeeding in England – The Highs and Lows of Tandem Nursing
- A Kickboxer, An Air Stewardess, A Speech Therapist and A Wannabe Playboy Bunny! (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)
- The Key to Breastfeeding Success (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)