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Old 06-19-2008, 12:00 PM   #1
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Need help weaning from SNS

Does anyone have experience weaning a baby from supplemental feedings using a SNS?

This is my third baby, the other 2 were exclusively breastfed. Combination of mastitis and the fact that my baby is so laid back and content led to low supply. Tried everything - marathon nursing sessions, pumping, herbs - and her weight didn't budge. I've been using the SNS for about 12 weeks now and have weaned her from 12 extra ounces to 8 ounces a day, and she's still gaining weight so clearly my body is adjusting and supplying the extra milk.

Should I continue to slowly reduce the amount of pumped milk she receives via the SNS?

I am confident my body can exclusively nurse a baby, as I've done it twice before. However, she went from the 90th percentile for weight at birth and is now in the 20th percentile... I just don't want to see her drop much weight - some days I think about going cold turkey and just dropping the SNS all together but I'm afraid of her weight dropping.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

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Old 06-19-2008, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: Need help weaning from SNS

I have weaned from the SNS. I think that gradually cutting back the amount of supplement is the way to go. I also recommend that you nurse bare before nursing with the SNS, to make sure she is emptying the breast as efficiently as possible. It is best to supplement with a smaller amount more times a day, rather than a larger amount fewer times a day (even though that is more convenient.)

While you are cutting back, can you take her somewhere (like the ped. office) and get her weight checked weekly?
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: Need help weaning from SNS

I actually have a scale in my house - I usually weigh her first thing in the morning although I do tend to gage her weight gain weekly.

I spread the SNS feedings out over her six main feedings during the day.

I have been recently offering just the breast (w/o the SNS) to try to satisfy her with that first. She has been getting a little annoyed when the flow slows down and then she pulls from the breast. Do you think this will pass? Unfortunately the LC didn't tell me about offering the SNS after the baby drains the breast when she first set me up with the SNS- so I think now she is used to it.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Need help weaning from SNS

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm0302 View Post
I actually have a scale in my house - I usually weigh her first thing in the morning although I do tend to gage her weight gain weekly.

I spread the SNS feedings out over her six main feedings during the day.

I have been recently offering just the breast (w/o the SNS) to try to satisfy her with that first. She has been getting a little annoyed when the flow slows down and then she pulls from the breast. Do you think this will pass? Unfortunately the LC didn't tell me about offering the SNS after the baby drains the breast when she first set me up with the SNS- so I think now she is used to it.

Thanks for your help!
It sounds like you are doing a great job. I know what a chore it can be to nurse with the SNS that many times a day. When she gets annoyed with the slow flow, you start her back with the SNS on right? I think that as your supply catches up, that will get better. If you are not already, you can also try and slow down the flow. Using the smallest tube and keeping it low to reduce the flow.

It's a shame that the LC didn't tell you to start off nursing bare first. I think that w/o doing it that way, you may have ended up supplementing more than you needed to. But, it will average out in the end. You could pump a little extra immediately after some feedings, if you wanted to try and get your supply to catch up more quickly. Without sending that message to the breasts that you need to make more (the amount you are supplementing) it can take longer to get off the SNS completely.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
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Re: Need help weaning from SNS

Thanks for replying again. Brigid will usually only nurse 4-8 minutes w/o the SNS before she gets frustrated. Then I use the SNS. I've just been trying to get her to nurse longer w/o the SNS.

During the day I pump after each feeding for about 5 minutes. We're going on vacation next week, so I'm thinking about adding a pumping session or two during the day for that week to increase my supply even more. (We're going to the beach w/ family, so I'll have more time to do this)

I also think that Brigid is not an efficient nurser. The other thing throwing me for a loop is that she's NOT a comfort nurser (my other two were) and she sleeps relatively well at night (nurses maybe once between 11-7). The other two CONSTANTLY nursed at night.

I'll keep plugging along. I just KNOW my body can do it, I'm just hoping I have the ability (and the time!) to do everything I need to do to get my supply back up.
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