Friday, July 1, 2011

Supplementing at the breast

K won't take a bottle.  In some ways, this is good since I am ending up supplementing her at the breast so she is getting breast milk in addition to the formula and hopefully stimulating my breasts to produce more.  She also nurses at night without the supplementer.

What we are currently using is a gerryrigged version of an SNS (supplemental feeding system).  It's a feeding tube (5 French) attached to a 12 ml syringe.  I make up two 9 oz bottles of formula each night  and put them in the fridge.  I then pour an ounce or two at a time into a smaller bottle (K is very inconsistent about how much she takes at a feeding) and draw it into the syringe.  The tubes are tape on each breast basically right at the nipple.  K latches on and I make sure the tube is in her mouth. I push the syringe based on how quickly she is swallowing.  It's a bit messy and cumbersome, but it gets nourishment into her and hopefully avoids reducing my milk supply any further.  I may consider getting a manufactured SNS after we see how long we might need this.

If anyone has been able to wean off formula back to just breastmilk, I need some ideas for talking to my doctor once we can get her weight gain where he wants it.  I am pumping, but feeding is so timing-consuming I don't get to pump much and I haven't gotten my new pump yet.  Right now I'm getting about 3 oz a day if I'm lucky.  I am considering donated breastmilk.


  1. Just keep pumping, no matter the amount, the pumping will continue to stimulate the milk flow. I am so sorry you're going through such a rough patch, you are working so hard. Oh and if you haven't already done so, you can purchase a bra that will work with most pumps so your hands are free. Maybe you can try pumping one side while doing the supplemental feeding with the other? I'm not sure if that's possible but that way you have more time to pump.

  2. I also used a SNS for feedings during the day, once L. was up to the weight they wanted I dropped using it a one feeding, when he was still good at the next weight check ~ dropped another 2, leaving us with twice ~ then at his four month appt they said I could just stop it I wanted. Hang in there, prayers.