Alternative Feeding Methods
If you need to supplement, you are having trouble getting a good latch because your baby thrusts their tongue forward, or the latch is painful because the infant cannot extend their tongue very far, or you're having trouble getting baby to take a bottle, there are some alternative methods for feeding baby besides a bottle that do not interfere with breastfeeding. In addition to pumping, hand milk expression is a great way to express more milk for supplementing with one of these methods. Check out this video to see how!
At the breast feeding is the preferred method, because it stimulates milk production and encourages strong latch and suck skills in the infant. This can be done with a Supplemental Nursing System, or SNS. An SNS can be somewhat complicated, but it can be a wonderful tool if a baby must be supplemented with formula early on. It can also be used during Finger Feeding, which a spouse or other support person can help with and does not interfere with breastfeeding. Please contact me if you need help with this!
Spoon or Cup Feeding
Spoon and cup feeding can be very therapuetic to an infant who is having difficulty with latch, has trouble extending his tongue forward, or thrusts his tongue forward pushing the nipple out of his mouth. This alternative feeding method encourages the infant to produce the tongue movement necessary for an efficient latch and suck.
A sterile dropper or feeding syringe is one way to feed a very young infant who is not latching, or to supplement an infant at the breast. To feed the baby at the breast, gently put the syringe into the corner of baby's mouth and slowly dispense mother's milk or formula while the infant is nursing.
More information on Alternative Feeding Methods can be found at http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding-tools/alternative-feeding/#atbreast and at http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/breastfeeding/faqs/alternatives-bottles
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