Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Sometimes breastfeeding looks a little different. If Mom is having out of the ordinary issues with breastfeeding then we must use out of the ordinary solutions for Mom and baby.
There are multiple ways to feed your baby…If you want to exclusively breastfeed while protecting your supply and your baby has not or cannot latch on just yet….try cup feeding, spoon feeding or syringe feeding or tube feeding !! Unless there’s a medical condition with mom or baby we suggest waiting at least 4-6 weeks before introducing a bottle. #bottlesneednotapply
It takes more work for baby to learn and begin sucking. Some babies for instance who might have been born prematurely still need time for facial muscle development to practice sucking. If you are able to express milk try cup feeding to avoid nipple preference. When you offer a bottle before breastfeeding is established baby will get used to feeding from a bottle which is easier than sucking from the breast. I like to use the analogy of dining out…Which do you prefer?? Buffet style (breast) or sit down and serve me (bottle) Most people pick the sit down and serve me, so what do you think baby would chose.
Here are the resourceful ways to feed your baby breast milk:
1. Cup feeding
A small (shot sized) cup or bowl is used to introduce your breast milk to your baby’s mouth. Never pour milk into your baby’s mouth like an adult would drink but instead you should tilt the cup and bring the milk to edge of the cup and your baby can then sip the milk. Make sure your are supervised during this technique with a professional until you are comfortable enough to do it alone.
2. Spoon Feeding
Using a clean, sterile spoon this method is similar to cup feeding but with smaller volumes. I suggest this method when mom’s first have baby and they are giving colostrum to baby, It also serves as a guide as to how much milk baby needs after deliver. A normal amount of expressed colostrum is about a teaspoon.
This method is often used when moms are not confident cup feeding baby directly from the cup. Simply pick up a small amount of milk on the tip of the spoon and slowly drop into baby’s mouth. Spoon feeding encourages your baby to stick his tongue out and forward like when they breastfeed as the motion is similar to putting baby to breast.
You dont need a special spoon to feed your baby but we recommend a BPA free, soft and flexible spoon.
3. Syringe Feeding
This method is intended for small volumes of milk for short-term use (3-4 days). Perfect for giving baby colostrum as well. This method is also is similar to the two previous methods used as milk is introduced to the baby’s mouth.
Droppers use the same method but require gentle pressure from your baby’s mouth to release the milk. These methods are highly recommended for babies who have a weak suck including preemies, babies with oral or facial problems.
4. SNS System
I do not recommend this method for frequent or casual feeding. Explore the first three options first. Usually, SNS is used when your baby is premature or has great difficulty feeding.
The system itself is usually a bottle or bag with two long thin tubes. One tube is used to control airflow in the system by creating or release the vacuum. The other tube is attached to mom’s index finger and milk is released as baby sucks. You can also tape the tube to attach to the breast so that your baby is attached to the nipple, but milk is released from the SNS. This way baby mimics breastfeeding, so you nipple adjust to suckling which in turn stimulates moms milk supply.
To view alternate feeding methods click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrrrC5NyNnQ#action=share
As always, this blog is not meant to be a substitute for a healthcare provider or to overuse the care plan of your doctor. Please consult with your doctor before taking any medications or supplements.
How can I help you achieve your goals today, honey?