What are SNS systems?
SNS stand for supplemental nursing system. It can also be called, feeding tube at the breast, lactaid, lactation aid, supplemental system etc.
It is a feeding tube placed right at the breast while baby latches on and supplemental food such as formula, expressed breast milk or donor milk is provided for baby at the breast. It is a method often used for babies who are in need to be “topped up”.
It is also used for babies who does not latch on the breast or having difficulty staying latched.
Why use an SNS system?
By supplementing right at the breast we are creating a nice consitent flow, which entices the baby to not just to stay at the breast but to suck much more efficiently. It also keeps baby alert and active. Remember babies tend to fall asleep at the breast when the milk flow slows down. With the SNS system baby is actively feeding. If baby is struggling to come and stay at the breast the flow from the SNS helps those babies as well. Babies love a good flow and sometimes we need to create that flow with the help of supplements.
SNS system is not for everyone. It can make feeding better or more ackward. Feel more tied down or getting the freedom to leave the house. Some mothers get the hang of it within a couple of feedings others struggle with it. But, I do is encourge you to at least try it.
One thing that you will need to keep in mind. For the SNS system to work baby has to have a deep latch with a slighty extended neck. If baby’s chin is tucked in, if the nose is touching the breast, baby will have a shallow latch and the system will not work or not work well leading to frustration from both mother and baby.
If for whatever reason you need to supplement your baby try the supplemental nursing system, whichever kind you choose. If you feel you need help and support contact a qualified IBCLC.