Alternative feeding methods

Situations may arise that require you to use an alternative feeding method for a short time to help build your milk supply. With the goal of exclusively breastfeeding you should practice any of the following methods only under the guidance of your doctor or lactation consultant.  These methods should only be used on a temporary basis to correct breastfeeding problems as they are not viable long term solutions.

  • Cup feeding – a flexible 1-2 ounce cup is filled with milk and held to your bab’s lips. The baby is held upright and allowed to lick at the milk. DO NOT POUR!  Do not use this method when your baby is crying.
  • Spoon feeding – similar to cup feeding but uses a soft and flexible spoon. This is a more tedious and time consuming method, but effective.
  • Syringe or eye dropper – milk is dripped into the mouth of the upright child.  A syringe with a long tip can be used to feed  at the breast.
  • Finger Feeding – The tub of a supplemental feeder is held to a clean adult finger. The baby sucks at the finger and get milk through the tube.  Effective.
  • Supplemental Nutrition System – Used when the baby can effectively latch but needs additional nutrition. A reservoir is worn about the neck with a small tube that is inserted into the baby’s mouth to provide additional nutrition.
  • Haberman Feeder – A special bottle with a long nipple and valve that rewards any level of suckling.  Designed for babies with developmental delays or facial abnormalities.

Related Reading