Experience with SNS systems?

  1. Does anyone here have any personal, or on the job experience with supplemental nursing systems? Are there any LC's on this board?

    A little backround:
    I found out I am unexpectedly pg with #3. Successfully nursed 1 and 2 for extended period of time. Breastfeeding is very important to me! I am an LPN, and currently in the beginning of an LPN to RN (ADN) program. It ends the first week of may. I'm set to deliver about 5w before that! Eeek! My husband and I are thinking, he can take paternity leave and I could actually finish out the program since by then it will just be online stuff, with 2 clinicals a week (7 hrs long each day) and tests in class. I will be able to do most everything else from my home computer as this is a hybrid class.

    My issue is, I am worried a newborn baby could possibly develop nipple confusion (or technically, preference for bottle since it's easier) if I am gone those two clinical days each week. I know it's not too likely, but there is a chance. And I really don't want to upset the nursing relationship between my newborn and I.

    So I am looking online about these different types of SNS products. I see different types of finger feeders, cup feeders etc. My husband is 100% willing to do this. He also is going to drive baby to me during my lunchtimes at clinicals so I can nurse once a day while I'm gone (and I will buy a good pump to pump twice a day, I'm pretty quick at pumping.)

    I guess my main questions are, can a newborn actually develop preference for one of these feeding systems over the breast? Are they worth the time and trouble over a bottle?

    I would love to hear personal experiences of use, or maybe experiences you've had with patients.

    I'm wondering if there are any LLL leaders who post on here or LC's who possibly have useful internet or resources I could search out?

    THANKS SO MUCH! Sorry for the longwinded post.

    Rebecca
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   MS Kathy
    I don't have personal experiense with the SNS and finger feeding.
    It is always possible that the baby will have a preference for any of the alternative feedings. And really each baby is different as to if he/she will become nipple confused.

    I have one friend whose husband fed all three of their children expressed breastmilk with a cup.

    So being knowledgeable about the different options is a great starting point!
    One suggestion I have always loved when newborns are faced with altering modes of nutrition is skin-to- skin contact. It seems to help with a lot.

    So once the baby gets here, if you feel like you are having problems get help right away before it has time to progress. And yes, I always suggest going to a LLL meeting :-)

    Congrats and what a lucky baby :-)


    Oh good websites (not their full addresses so you may have to google

    LLLI
    kellymom
    bfar.org ????
    Kathy
    Last edit by MS Kathy on Aug 17, '06
  4. by   GooeyRN
    Congrats on your pregnancy! I would suggest not using bottles until baby is somewhat older. Mine developed a nipple preference then refused the breast completely at 3 months old. But she was not a good nurser and had some pretty bad latch issues so that was my fault for introducing the bottle. I wont do that next time! I will wait until the baby is nursing very well. I have been exclusively pumping and bottle-feeding since. (Now almost at the 10 month mark!) Finger-feeding is supposed to be a similar motion to BFing. I had to teach my dd how to suck that way. (she early and had minor issues-we had major BFing diffiulties!) Many babies do not have a problem switching back and forth between breast and bottle. If you choose to use a bottle, just be sure to watch for early signs of nipple preference. Good luck!
  5. by   hospitalstaph
    Check out Dee Kassing's article on using bottles to reinforce breastfeeding. It is available on Kellymom.com.

    Best of luck!

    T
  6. by   Jolie
    I'm not a LC, but have many years experience of assisting moms and babies with BF, as well as my own babies.

    While nipple confusion/nipple preference can occur, it is my personal belief and experience that it is far less common than people think. I agree with Gooey that most babies who develop a preference for the bottle were poor nursers in the first place, and would have benefitted from methods of supplementation other than the bottle until nursing was well-established.

    If your baby turns out to be a good nurser, I seriously doubt that it will matter a whit how you choose to supplement during the rare times that you are unable to nurse. If your baby is a poor nurser, then a consult with a LC will probably be your best bet to get you thru those few weeks.

    I had the opposite problem. Both of my girls were good nursers from the start, so I had Hubby give each one bottle a day so that I could (theoretically) go out on occasion. They both went on "bottle strike" at a few weeks of age, absolutely REFUSING to suck from a bottle, so I was never able to leave them for more than a few hours at a time.

    Babies are just so good at waylaying our best plans!
  7. by   CEG
    I don't have experience with SNS, but I do know some babies will change their eating habits. When mom and her boobies are not around, they will sometimes not want to eat at all, preferring to wait until they can get it straight from the source. You could try topping baby off before you leave, nursing at lunch, then as soon as you are home. Your DH could have a bottle or cup/finger feeding in reserve but you may fnd it is not needed. I think Dr Sears' website has a lot of good info on SNS.
  8. by   heyabo
    [FONT="Fixedsys"]Hello!
    I have been an OB?L&D nurse for 19 years and I think that there can be cases of nipple confusion but they are rare. If your child is a good nurser than you should not have any problems with giving two bottles a day.
    At my last job we used SNS that you could tape onto your nipple for mothers who are not producing milk or they could be held on the finger and the infant can be feed that way. It looks like a baby bottle with a nipple and almost tlike an NG tube on the nipple. They seemed to work the best in my opinion.\
    Good luck
    Quote from PhoenixGirl
    Does anyone here have any personal, or on the job experience with supplemental nursing systems? Are there any LC's on this board?

    A little backround:
    I found out I am unexpectedly pg with #3. Successfully nursed 1 and 2 for extended period of time. Breastfeeding is very important to me! I am an LPN, and currently in the beginning of an LPN to RN (ADN) program. It ends the first week of may. I'm set to deliver about 5w before that! Eeek! My husband and I are thinking, he can take paternity leave and I could actually finish out the program since by then it will just be online stuff, with 2 clinicals a week (7 hrs long each day) and tests in class. I will be able to do most everything else from my home computer as this is a hybrid class.

    My issue is, I am worried a newborn baby could possibly develop nipple confusion (or technically, preference for bottle since it's easier) if I am gone those two clinical days each week. I know it's not too likely, but there is a chance. And I really don't want to upset the nursing relationship between my newborn and I.

    So I am looking online about these different types of SNS products. I see different types of finger feeders, cup feeders etc. My husband is 100% willing to do this. He also is going to drive baby to me during my lunchtimes at clinicals so I can nurse once a day while I'm gone (and I will buy a good pump to pump twice a day, I'm pretty quick at pumping.)

    I guess my main questions are, can a newborn actually develop preference for one of these feeding systems over the breast? Are they worth the time and trouble over a bottle?

    I would love to hear personal experiences of use, or maybe experiences you've had with patients.

    I'm wondering if there are any LLL leaders who post on here or LC's who possibly have useful internet or resources I could search out?

    THANKS SO MUCH! Sorry for the longwinded post.

    Rebecca
  9. by   NJNursing
    Rebecca,

    Congrats on the pregnancy! I, myself, exclusively pumped for my daughter for 10 months (when work interefered with my supply :-( ) because I tried to breastfeed and she was just a poor eater from the start. I tried to use the Avent bottles which are supposed to reduce nipple confusion, but finally after about 2 weeks where she lost so much weight that I was concerned, I went to pumping and bottle feeding. This way more people could feed her and she was still getting breastmilk and I could pump for a good 20 minutes and get the good hind milk.

    I just used an SNS system on a new mommy who's preemie twins were having a hard time getting the hang of breastfeeding. It was where we taped the tube to her nipple (like a thin NG tube) where the baby was getting colostrom and supplemental formula at the same time. The babies had lost a lot of weight and their bili levels were getting too high and that's why we went with that system.

    I have heard (but haven't experienced) that finger feeds do well and also having them sip basically out of a med cup (which I have experienced) . They'll lap it up like kittens. It's amazing actually.

    It's good that the hubby will bring the baby to you. It's so easily to become engorged at about the 3 hour mark (at least IME). When I went back to work I was pumping like every 2-3 hours (because that's how often my daughter was eating and I wanted to pump at her schedule to keep up the supply). When I went to work, I had time to pump before walking out the door then not again until 4 hours later (or so) and then not until I got home from work which could be about 5 hours later. Then make dinner and get to bed and I wouldn't pump all night, so I'd only be pumping like 5-6 times in a day. Not good for supply. After that I was supplementing so much that the 1/2 ounce I was getting out of each pump (after I got used to 2 ounces per pump) I was so discouraged and disheartened that I gave up. I'm very thankful for the 10 months I did put into it. My daughter has a great immune system and is incredibly healthy. She's now 5 and if/when I have another I'll give it another go with breastfeeding and our hosptial has a pump room for bf-ing moms. :-)

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