Nipple Preference / Low Milk Supply / Supplemental Nursing System / Hunger Strike

by Shuzna

My three months old baby is undergoing nipple confusion.

I have been giving her mixed feeding (breast feed + bottle feedings) since birth. She developed nipple confusion at the age of 2 months one week, but unlike other cases, she prefers breast over bottle.

The thing is, I have a low milk supply, and my baby is underfed now, and she is not gaining weight either. We are having a very very hard time now.

Do you think the supplemental nursing system could erase the confusion? Sometimes my baby also goes on for a hunger strike as well. Please help.

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Apr 08, 2012
low milk supply
by: Tracy


My milk supply has always been a bit on the low side; I started using a herbal mixture which more than doubles my milk supply. It would be best for you to try that before trying the SNS.

Your milk supply should increase after the first cup of tea within a few hours.

If you are on any medication, first ask your doctor before taking this...

Here is the recipe (you can drink three to four cups daily)

2 parts Alfalfa
2 parts Blessed thistle
2 to 3 parts Fenugreek seed
1 part Anise seed
1 part fennel seed
1 part milk thistle

mix all these ingredients (I usually buy in bulk)

Take two heaped tablespoons of the dry mixture in a pot with 2 liters of water. Boil for 5 minutes and steep for 5 minutes, then strain with a cheesecloth or clean shirt.

drink hot with lemon juice and raw honey to taste.

The tea can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Also, try using breast compressions while breastfeeding, this will help with milk flow and increase your milk supply.

Let me know how things go with this if things don't improve we can talk over a few other options.

Apr 04, 2014
nipple preference
by: Kay


It's always a great idea to try a supplemental nursing system. THis allows you to supplement while the baby is stimulating milk production!

How are you and baby now? I see this post was posted a while ago.

Aug 11, 2014
by: mari

Hi Tracy. I want to make your recipe to help me with my milk supply, but I'm not sure what do you mean when you used the word part?

Is a cup or 1/2 of the stuff you put down? Please please n please let me. I need your help. Thank you

I don't know what else to do, and I don't want to stop breastfeeding :(

Aug 13, 2014
To Mari
by: Anonymous

Hi Mari

One part is any measurement you would like to use. Say for example you bought a 200g packet of fenugreek seed. Then if you wanted only to use 100g, you would use that as your "part."

So, if you are using 1 part fenugreek seed (100g), then you would also use 1 part (100g) of fennel seed.

If I said 2 part fennel, then you would have used 200g of fennel seed.

Understand? In other words, because I said one part would use any amounts, as long as they weight the same.

This is what the recipe would have looked like if I had used exact amounts...(but you could make lessor or larger amounts with the same ratio)

200g Alfalfa
200g Blessed thistle
200g to 300g Fenugreek seed
100g part Anise seed
100g part fennel seed
100g part milk thistle

The herbs stay fresh longer in a sealed container, so I usually combine larger amounts.

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Refused my breasts due to nipple confusion

by Jumana

My son is 15 weeks now and on a combination feed.

Like most mothers here I always wanted to exclusively breastfeed my son. I just assumed it would be the most natural process and never imagined otherwise.

I had no milk for the first three days, and my son was just continually crying. I persisted in having him latching on in spite of terribly sore nipples.

At one point my son was taking in blood from my nipples, that's when my Doctor advised me to give him some formula as a temporary solution until I started producing some milk. I did just that, and my baby was happy.

I started to work on getting my supply going by pumping and finally I managed some milk but still not enough to satisfy him completely. So I would keep supplementing him with formula.

All was going well until the 12th week when my son started to completely refuse my breasts due to nipple confusion. I was making a good amount of milk, but he got so used to the easy flow of the bottle that he wouldn't breastfeed. I had to stop giving him the bottle completely, and he started losing weight.

I was a nervous wreck. That's when I discovered SNS, and it has been genuinely working wonders for me so far.

Like most women here I too really feel we need to be made more aware of the complications of breastfeeding and that it may not always work.

Formula should not be considered a taboo as convenience may not be the only reason to choose it. Also, websites along with encouraging to breastfeed, giving various methods to increase supply, should have a P.S. at the bottom saying that its okay if none of the above work for you n you may need to resort to using formula.

To all mothers out there, please remember that the priority is a Happy and Healthy Baby :-)

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Nov 07, 2011
I sympathise with you
by: Michelle MOLESWORTH

I congratulate you... you have done so well in your efforts.

Using an SNS is not something many people do. I did not make enough milk and had to supplement with an SNS.

I did this for the first three months before I decided it was too much and went exclusively to formula.

I am glad you seem not depressed that you cannot breastfeed. And you shouldn't be. As you say, everything you read only advocates breastfeeding.

I am glad there is this website where I can read stories like yours, and we can feel not alone.

PS, for your information for future reference (if you have future babies!), if your baby is drawing blood from your nipple, it sounds like he is not attached correctly. I had troubles until I saw a lactation consultant and realized attaching is a real art.

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