|My SNS components|
I've been able to nurse my daughter for 11 months!!!! I'm still a little in shock even though I'm living it. With our first two, I didn't have the proper support (even being told I'd fail by the lactation consultant at the hospital with #2), I didn't have the knowledge, and the thought of asking for breast milk never crossed my mind. My first babe did fine on formula, thankfully. My second babe, not so much. She had terrible issues with ALL formula until we finally switched her to raw goat's milk when she was about 7 months old (if my memory serves me). Still not human milk, but what a relief. So, with Lydia, it has been an absolute joy to keep her at breast for this long. I had an amazing support system and moms who stepped up and provided us with milk before I even asked. I know that there are days in this journey that if I didn't have women (and my amazing husband) 'fighting' for me, I would have given up. I plan to nurse for as long as she would like, our SNS has made that possible.
There's no way to get around saying this: I've got small breasts. So putting a bag between them with about 3-4 oz of milk in it tends to get noticed. Probably not too often, but enough. I think the most obvious part is when I don't have a high collar shirt on, the top of my apparatus shows. I always wonder if people think it's a pacemaker or something and that's why they don't ask about it. So there's a fun bulge between my breasts and a plastic piece sticking out of the top of my shirt. Maybe I'm turning into some sort of new age bionic woman? Maybe I'm growing a third, more giant boob? We'll never know.
|My sweet little Lydia|
And one time, the unthinkable happened, my tubing got a hole in it! This is why the company recommends you buy their package with two tubing sets in it (oh, my bad). So while we waited for our new tubing to come, we had to use bottles (well, not HAD, but it was the easiest option and worked out fine). When the tubing came, I had ordered the wrong part! I called the company, crying, and he expedited the right part. We were without our SNS for a little over a week. In that time, I realized how happy I was that we had an SNS in the first place. Which definitely makes all of this bad and ugly stuff sort of disappear.
So no, it isn't a cake walk to use an SNS. It might not be the right option for all families, for all situations. But I'm grateful that we have it, even if I do want to set it on fire every now and again.
Interested in knowing more about supplementing and donor milk? Check out these pages:
Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer System (this is where I got my SNS, I haven't tried another system, but heard good things about this one before ordering.I didn't have a ton of time to research. I'm very happy with my choice and this company!)
Human Milk 4 Human Babies I just recently became an admin for our state's HM4HB page. Amazing network. I'm grateful I've never had to ask for milk on this page and that my community just stepped up to the need. Lots of good information on informal milk sharing.
Eats on Feets Another informal milk sharing group.