SNS - having a hard time using it properly - any tips? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-27-2004, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm having difficulty getting the proper latch with my DD while using the SNS.
Half the time it is impossible for me to get a proper latch AND get the end of the tubing in her mouth at the same time. When I mamage to get the end of the tubing in her mouth the latch position is usually not ideal.
Also, when she is crying and thrashing about she often pulls the tubing and tape off with her flailing arms, and so I have to put her down to retape everything, further frustrating us both! I try to wrap her up good first, but when she's crying she can wiggle those arms out of the blankets often anyway...
And I don't have enough hands to hold her neck supportively, hold my breast up properly, keep the tubing in line, keep her arms and hands clear, and unclamp the tubing to begin the flow all at the right time...
What I end up with is a screaming, unhappy baby, and a frustrated self! Anyone have any tips or ideas?
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#2 of 13 Old 02-27-2004, 01:03 PM
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Hi there Mama,
I don't have any personal experience with the tube but I do know even without an extra "thing" to position and do, the first feedings are cumbersome. It sounds like you need an extra pair of hands. Hopefully, there is someone that could help out. It is really important for that little one to have a good latch. You might want to give the babe a dropperful of breastmilk first if the baby is really hungry. That way the babe won't be so frantic and or frustrated.

Good luck to you both. Hugs.
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#3 of 13 Old 02-27-2004, 05:34 PM
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My first thought is that if I were in your shoes I would be on the phone to my LLL leader asap. You can find a local leader if you call 1-800-LALECHE. They are really great about helping you over the phone and can refer you to a good IBCLC if necessary.
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#4 of 13 Old 02-27-2004, 08:48 PM
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If I remember right, the sns book says to tape to the top of the breast and nipple. I found if I attached it toward the side or bottom it worked better, less likely to get knocked off.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#5 of 13 Old 02-27-2004, 09:17 PM
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I hope this isn't too off topic, and I've never used the SNS, but for whatever it is worth to you I've heard that people find the Lact Aid system to be easier to use compared to the SNS. The main thing that I know about it is that the tube does not need to be taped to the breast and the tubes are softer. Good luck.
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#6 of 13 Old 02-27-2004, 11:56 PM
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I had trouble with it also. My dd had a very shallow latch at the start due to a high arch to her palate - she couldn't draw the nipple back far enough into her mouth. She probably wasn't a good candidate for an SNS anyway - to use it, the baby should have a decent latch normally. My dd would just suck the tube in and completely bypass my nipple.

It's very hard to feed an upset baby by any method. If she's upset cause she's hungry, syringe feed her some milk first. She might calm down enough to try and latch on. I used to swaddle dd also, it's amazing how strong they are when they're upset.

I assume an LC has recommended you use the SNS? I don't know how long you've been trying cause it does take a bit of practice. But if it's really not working out then I'd recommend going back to the LC. There are other feeding methods you can try.
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#7 of 13 Old 02-28-2004, 07:58 PM
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im currently using the sns, and found the football hold is the only way i can do it. i tuck his inside arm down by my side and then i only have one arm to contend with, but im lucky as he likes to relax and gets sleepy when feeding.

i had to experiment with the way i taped the tubes, i find has to be center of breast with not too much overhanging the end of nipple otherwise he gags. i also find with the football hold i dont have to hold my breast to get him to get a good latch which leaves me my hand free to cope with everything else. also lots and lots of pillows to lie him on so at correct height to get at my nipple!!

if u have any questions or wanna talk about the whole sns thing (i have my bad days excepting whole thing too) pm me.
hope this helps
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#8 of 13 Old 02-28-2004, 08:26 PM
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I am now using an sns with my third baby. So I guess I'm pretty experienced. First I would say to use really good tape. That thin filmy stuff that comes with the sns is pretty useless. I got a roll of tape from my LC that is great. It is clear plastic, rather thick and looks like it has tiny holes poked in it. On the inside of the roll is says, "3M Transpore". It holds really well so I don't have to worry about my ds tearing it off.

I will also nurse my ds without the sns if he is really impatient so that he gets something to start with, then break the suction and attach the sns when he is a little more calm.

You can also try putting the sns tube in after your baby is already latched on. Sometimes it works to push the tube in at the corner of the baby's mouth and then you know that it is working when you see the bubbles going up.

That's all I can think of right now. It really takes alot of practice.
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#9 of 13 Old 02-29-2004, 03:20 PM
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I have used the SNS, but as someone else suggested, I much prefer the Lact-Aid. There's less set up involved. I would get so worked up trying to quick tape on the SNS while ds was screaming. Now with the LA, I just put it around my neck and off we taping required.

But with either device, there is steep learning curve. The football hold is good--keeps the hands out of the way. I always nurse "bare" first and then add the SNS/LA after it seems that he has taken all he can from my breasts. Although sometimes he's super hungry and I have to start with the LA off the bat.

Something you may want to consider is feeding more often so your little one isn't so starving and screaming when you start feeding. That has worked really well for us. I offer the breast about every two hours during the day.

Hope that helps! Just know you're not alone!

~ deb, BFAR mommy to ds1 Dec 7, 2003, Jan 08, ds2 Sept 20, 2009
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#10 of 13 Old 02-29-2004, 05:29 PM
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i used an sns with ds... i second the suggestion for a different medical tape. also here is your local lll nUMBRE

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Mericia (808) 672-5789, e-mail

l, <>< wife to my sweetie, proud mama to 3 cubs, 2 who clw & 1 that i i ep for . baby was evicted early by induction due to severe pre-e/hellp syndrome
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#11 of 13 Old 03-01-2004, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to all who've replied so far!
It's nice to know you all are out there and so willing to help !
This is my second baby that I am attempting to use the SNS with, and I hope to get the hang of this better than I did with dd #1. I'll definitely use the info al lof you have given.

Thanks so much! -gogirl808
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#12 of 13 Old 03-02-2004, 03:02 AM
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I know how frustrating the SNS can be! I usually begin before the baby is really hungry and fussy and therefore, less likely to cooperate. The football hold is great so you can control their arms and take care with your latch. I've found that I get sore nipples when I use the SNS because I am so busy trying to position that darn tube.

I also don't use it during the night because its just too hard! Try to settle yourself down before you start, buy a better tape and pray for patience!
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#13 of 13 Old 03-02-2004, 03:57 AM
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When I used the SNS I just left it unclamped. The type we used how I set it up it didn't flow until ds sucked on it, and then it was one less thing to do. Another thing that freed a hand was a recieving blanket rolled up under my breast. I still use them almost everytime I nurse. I've got like 15 recieving blankets rolled up with soft hair bands on either sides strewn all over the house! It was hard to use the SNS in the beginning. I found taping the tubes towards the inside of my breast worked better, and instead of taping across the tubes, I would tape vertically, it would keep more of the tubing out of little flailing hands. Luckily my ds has a good latch, so we didn't have to work on both latch issues AND the SNS. It was tough enough. I feel for you! Hope that helps and I'd be glad to offer any other assistance if I can!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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