"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston Churchill

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


She only took FOUR OUNCES of formula today! And she was peeing normally, she was happy, she wasn't sleepy, WE ARE DOING IT! WE ARE DOING IT!!!!!!
I don't expect every day to be this good, but WOW! I am amazed.

Oooo-weeee! What's up with that? What's up with that?

Lola still hasn't had more than an ounce and a half today, and she's alert, happy, and wetting normally. I've been nursing her first, and then offering to nurse with the SNS, and she doesn't want it! Totally different from yesterday, when she took 9.5 oz, but I wasn't nursing first, just nursing with the SNS for almost every feeding. She's been "refusing" the SNS since late afternoon yesterday, except at bedtime, when I snuck in an ounce and a half while nursing her to sleep.
I've also re-added Mother's Milk Tea and fenugreek to my regimen, but I'm out of MMT now, and won't have a chance to get it until tomorrow.
It's almost 2 o'clock, and Lola has taken less than 2 oz. of formula today. The SNS is WORKING! We are building a better supply! (Although some days, she is hungrier than others.) Still a victory!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


2 nights ago, Lola nursed EVERY. HOUR. That's not what I'm excited about. I'm excited that my BODY RESPONDED to that. Last night, she went back to her nursing every couple of hours. I was engorged, again! My body is responding the way it's supposed to! Today, I'm taking another log of how much supplement she's getting. Even if it's the same amount as last week, she's starting to stretch out her feedings a little more. Joy!
EDIT: "A lot more" = 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Maybe that doesn't seem like a long time to you, but after feeding her every hour to hour and a half for MONTHS, it seems like a long time for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Using Your Double Strand SNS

Make sure everything is as flush as you can get it to avoid leaks.

I have to push the white part of the tubing down from the other side to ensure it's flush.

Having an air tube makes it easier for baby to suck the milk out. You can leave it closed if you want baby to work harder (building up a milk supply.)

Release both tubes. (Unless you're leaving the air tube closed.)
I hold the bottle like a phone against my neck. I can HEAR the bubbles as the milk is flowing. If I don't hear it, I check the position of the tubing.

The best instructions I've found for using the SNS are here.

Photo How to Use Medela's Starter SNS

I use the Starter SNS when we're out and about because it's more compact and only has one tube. Using an SNS can be extremely frustrating at first, and these instructions are in no way the end all, be all of using the SNS. The most important thing is finding the groove that works for YOU.

Assemble your SNS:

Gently squeeze the "teat" until a small amount of supplement is inside.

Don't fill it too much.

Tape tube to nipple so the end of the tube is just about even with the tip of the nipple. You want the tube to be positioned in the roof of baby's mouth.

Prime the line by gently squeezing the teat again to remove any air from the tubing.

Get comfortable! Feeding with the SNS can take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes. 

You'll know baby is getting a good flow of milk if you see bubbles forming at the top of the supplemental fluid, and a trickle into the "teat" area that corresponds to your baby's suck and relax pattern.
The trickle.

For more detailed instructions check out Mari's Supplemental Nursing System Instructions!

Next up: Using Medela's "Long term" SNS Instructions

My sweet little nursling.

She looked so sweet nursing down for a quick nap, I had to snap a few pictures.

You can really see the "tubular" shape of my breast here.

Excellent latch.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lola won't nurse from the left side if we're sitting up. Time for a chiropractic adjustment! She SCREAMS if I try and nurse her on that side if we're sitting on the couch, but will nurse just fine if we're lying down. She also nurses just fine from the right side. Weird.
And, she no longer needs to nurse to sleep. If I nurse her, lying down with the SNS, and she finishes nursing, when I go to wash the SNS and come back, she's sleeping! Wow! After 3 months of nursing her to sleep every night, she doesn't need me to fall asleep. No crying involved!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lola won't even take MY pumped milk through the SNS if it takes on that grassy smell. Guess I'll have to use it to clear my face, ha!
4 pumping-after-feeding sessions, and I almost have enough for ONE supplemental feeding. Let's hope I see an increase in pumping out-put!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pumping again

Pumped just under an ounce after feeding Lola. Since we've been using the SNS, she's mostly been nursing off just one breast at a time, so I'm hoping double pumping for 10 minutes after feedings will do some good.
I ordered more tubing for my SNS. Thankfully, I had another set of tubing, and, although not Lola's favorite, she's been taking it just fine. *Phew!*
And, now that it's clear Lola is taking ALL her supplements at the breast, I'm going to start pumping again. I haven't pumped since we moved into the new house, but I think it's time to start again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ordered some extra tubing for the SNS. I can afford THAT right now, anyway. And I have some medium tubing left, she just doesn't love it. But, she'll have to deal for now.


The tubing to my "long-term" SNS just BROKE. Thank goodness I have my "short-term" use SNS for now, but how long until THAT breaks?
Now I need 62.50 to order the lact-aid, which I totally don't have right now. :(

Monday, June 20, 2011

So, using the SNS still has its ups and downs, but it has been getting easier.
For the past couple of days, I've been keeping a log of all Lola's feedings, and wet and dirty diapers.
We're doing great! She's having more than enough wet diapers, and she's actually pooping MORE! And she's only getting about 8 oz. of formula a day! I'm ecstatic! And I really do feel more like a "real" breast-feeder this way. She's getting all her nutritional needs at the breast!
To any moms out there suffering with low-supply, give the SNS a chance! The learning curve may be steep, but the rewards are great!
In a few weeks, I'm going to order the lact-aid. I have the medela SNS, but I've heard rave reviews of the lact-aid. And it would be great to have a back-up.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SNS nursing pictures.

Oh, hello.

Twiddling with the tubing.

Big eyes.

Okay, that's enough pictures, Mom.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Growth Spurt

Nursing with the SNS during a growth spurt is CUH-RAZY. Prepare bottle, tape myself up, nurse, dump bottle, rinse bottle, wash bottle, clean tubing, flush tubing, take a part, dry, slowly remove tape from myself, wait 40 minutes, begin again.
I've found I HAVE to put the tape on my areola if I want her to latch with the tube in her mouth. Using virgin coconut oil, left to sit a few minutes on the tape makes it easier to remove, but it's still a little painful.
Also, I'd been using the SNS tubing in the corner of her mouth, which I'm actually not supposed to do, according to the instruction manual. Whoops. It's suppose to go on the top of the nipple so it's right in the roof of her mouth, the instructions specifically say not to have the tubing going in the side of the mouth. Silly me.
I'm really very happy that she's only using the SNS now to supplement. I feel more like an actual breastfeeder this way. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bronze boobies.

Happy 3 months, Lola! I can't believe it's only been/already been 3 months. I love you more and more. Thank you for being such a good nurser, and for showing me you love nursing so much that you won't even take a bottle any more. Thank you for continually giving me reasons to keep at it. Thanks for taking away my "easy out" option (bottles.) Here's to the next 3 months. And the next, and the next, and the next (and then we'll see where things go.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Haven't been able to access my blog in a few days...

Lola is now taking all supplements at the breast, via the SNS.

I finally received my order of domperidone that I've been missing.

I went today and got acupuncture for insufficient lactation, and Chinese herbs to help with milk production (which I tried to take on the way home without water. Tasted a bit like ground up cherrios and dry cat food. And yes, I know what cat food tastes like.) . I have little pins in my pinkie fingers near the nail-bed. I can now say I have tried EVERYTHING. :) While I was receiving my acupuncture therapy, Lola nursed and nursed. We came home, and she nursed and nursed some more. Now she's napping.
I kept track of her intake and output yesterday. (It's easier to keep an eye on her urine output in cloth diapers, I think. We recently made the switch to all cloth.) Anyway, she took in 8.25 oz. of formula yesterday, and had 1 1/2 poopy diaper and 7 wet diapers (two of which were VERY wet, first thing in the morning and after a 3 hour nap.) So, she's taking in just enough to meet her needs. I don't think she's going to double her birth weight by 4 months, but she's gaining steadily; she's happy and alert, she sleeps well, she's doing just fine.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Using the SNS has become a bit tiresome. She only takes about an 1 oz. and a half at a time, and then I have to clean it thoroughly, hang it to dry, and 45 minutes later, she wants more. Fill it again, tape it up, repeat, repeat, repeat. Ex-haus-ting.
On top of that, I had a relative in town to visit, and she doesn't understand at all the struggles I've gone through the last 3 months and was hurt that I didn't let her bottle-feed Lola, when Lola's been rejecting the bottle. Also, I should "just pump my milk and just give her a bottle." And I "should make her take a pacifier because then she'll be used to taking an artificial nipple." Or something like that.
Um, no. That isn't good advice for a mom with a good milk supply, but it's CATASTROPHICALLY bad advice for someone like me to take.

Friday, June 10, 2011

SNS is here to stay.

Lola has been refusing pretty much all bottles because she'd rather nurse. I know she's still not getting enough from me, because she does stop wetting diapers if I don't supplement. So, we've been using the SNS now for every supplemental feeding (every other feeding.) It's getting easier. But it's a pain in the neck to clean so many times a day. I'm going to order another one, soon.
My baby girl LOVES the BOOB!
I also FINALLY got a shipment of domperidone today. Even if it doesn't do much to boost my supply, it should keep my period at bay (which tanked my supply pretty much for good when I got it after Lulu's birth).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My computer has been acting weird, and I can't always go online. Just so you know.
We used the SNS TWICE yesterday. I can NOT put the tape on my areolas, because it hurts SO much to take it off.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SNS Pictures

I hold the bottle with my chin.

Inserted after she'd latched, unlatched, and latched again.
 We haven't used it today. It's still a pain in the neck, so we'll probably only use it when necessary.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rediscovering the SNS.

Tonight, I used my SNS for the first time in a long time. It went MUCH smoother than it used to. She's a much better nurser now than she was when I was trying to use it before, though. I gave it to her because she'd nursed, was obviously still hungry, but kept choking on the bottle, refusing the bottle, nursing and getting frustrated. Luckily, I'd just cleaned the SNS and tubing the day before, so it was ready to go. And the tape didn't tear me up like it used to, either! Looks like we'll be using the SNS more often now.
Oh. And, despite not taking anything to increase my supply, she took 9 oz. of formula today. NOT BAD!
I'm not taking any galactagogues or medications to increase my supply, and it seems to be holding steady. (I ran out, and don't have the money to replenish my stock of herbs right now.)
So, I guess, basically, no matter what I do, I make the same amount of milk.
It amazes me that, after 3 attempts at breastfeeding, I still look up "IGT and hypoplastic breasts," hoping to find something I haven't tried yet.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No Domperidone Day...4?

We're doing fine!
She doesn't seem to need any more supplements than when I was on the dom.
I'm relieved. And happy.