Making my peace with formula

I cleared the last couple of baby bottles out of my kitchen cupboard today. My supplemental nursing system (SNS) went to the breastfeeding group some weeks ago as a demo aid for mothers struggling with milk production. These pieces of kit powerfully remind me that I cannot claim to have exclusively breastfed my daughter. Big deal, you might say, especially since I’m still breastfeeding her now at 22 months. How dare I feel any regret when so many don’t manage to breastfeed at all? Well, OK. I’m being real here. There’s nothing wrong with what I feel. Every time I…

View Post

Practical tips for using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS)

Thirteen months ago, when I first blogged about using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) also called an at-breast supplementer, a lot of people mentioned that they’d never heard of one and just assumed that the only options for feeding a baby were breast or bottle. I wouldn’t have known about it if not for the brilliant lactation consultant who supported us. There are, of course, a range of other options for supplementing if the need arises – cup, syringe or spoon – but we felt these were too time-consuming for us when coupled with our pumping schedule. Everyone has to…

View Post

Breastfeeding without Domperidone: the drugs do work but I don’t need them anymore

I was cleaning up the kitchen last night when I came across an empty Domperidone box, which I binned. My breastfeeding days with this drug are over. I no longer need it. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure when I stopped needing it but I found weaning off it slowly the best way to stabilise. I’d been taking it to increase my milk supply after trying everything else (pumping, compressions, an SNS). It’s actually meant for nausea but as a side effect increases milk supply by blocking dopamine which then raises your prolactin levels. Now that I no longer…

View Post

Seven surprises about breastfeeding an older baby

I feel privileged to be breasteeding my ten-month-old. It shouldn’t be a surprise as it was for the health visitor who visited us a couple of weeks ago. After all breastfeeding, particularly if your baby is under a year, is nothing if not normal. But for me it is a surprise. A delightful one. With a tongue-tie and low milk supply, I was pretty sure our breastfeeding journey was near its end over six months ago. I’m glad we were able to keep going. These are some of the things I would have missed out on otherwise. 1. The distraction…

View Post

The real boob tube: Learning to feed my baby with an SNS

Had someone told me I’d be pouring milk into a container, hanging it around my neck and taping the tubes attached to it to my breasts I’d not have believed it. I’d tell them: “Bring on the bottle, mate.”

View Post

Formula for the breastfeeding relationship

I had said I was open to combination feeding if need be and after all the stress involved in making the decision to supplement with formula and expressed milk, I was actually surprised at what I felt giving her the bottle.

View Post

Baby’s got milk…only just

A visit from a lactation consultant confirmed what I’d thought from week one. I’ve got a low milk supply.

View Post