Can you breastfeed when you have no milk? Or a low milk supply?
These photos show a variety of very cool moms (I am proud of all of them) coping with a low milk supply and/or poor weight gain. Most of these situations are temporary. The supply issues were very frustrating for all these moms, but the ability to keep the baby at the breast brings out the smiles on both mom and baby. Several of these babies show great eye contact and all the babies are very peaceful being fed this way.
She is using a Medela SNS. The baby grabs the tubing like it's her best friend! She had poor weight gain.
A medela SNS is recommended for 24 hour use, but these two babies used their apparatus about two weeks. Medela has a supplementer designed for longer term use. (I don't show a photo of it.) They both are very busy toddlers, now!
This is a close up of showing the tubing going in the baby's mouth.(click on photo to see it better.)
This one is called a supplemate. Most of these systems are filled with formula. Expressed breastmilk can also be used. Baby is three days old. The pediatrician also was concerned about jaundice. The pediatrician recommended supplementing formula in a bottle. I want to show mom away to avoid interrupting breastfeeding. Mom has had gastric surgery. I wasn't sure about the impact of bariatric surgery on on breastfeeding, so I was eager to show her this technique before feeding issues and weight became critical as the examples of older babies in the above photos.
This is another supplemate. It is recommended for one time use. We wrapped a rubber band around it, so mom could slip her finger through it and free her hand. We could also clip it to her shirt so her hand is completely free (see top photos). Mom wants to build her supply while keeping baby at the breast.
This system is called a lact-aid. This baby is much older than all the other babies shown above. This system is for long term use. Many adoptive mothers use this system. This mom said she could nurse lying down without spilling formula. This system allows you to prepare and fill many bags ahead of time. The other systems can only be filled one at a time. He also had significant weight loss before we discovered it was the milk supply. I really did not think she would be able to breastfeed. She proved me wrong! It brought tears to my eyes when she wrote me a few months later, "I am so glad I didn't give up. I am enjoying breastfeeding so much."
I loved this series of photos I took of this mom. There is formula in that bag and this baby never got a bottle (ever!). He received all his formula supplement at the breast. As I watched this baby twiddle with his bag of supplement it reminded me of how my son twiddles with my "other" breast. I am so proud of this mom for keeping her baby at the breast (he's almost a year old)despite her true low milk supply issues. Her baby acts very attached like any exclusively breastfed/sling carried baby. He is very healthy.