Sunday, February 17, 2013

Alternative ways of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is still prevailing way of feeding. It is supplemental feeding, when breastfeeding is not sufficient. The best is to use these methods until the time the baby is 6 month old or until it is the right time for first supplemental feeding using solid food. Good practise to breastfeed properly, the child should never be fed from the bottle. Sucking from the bottle and breast are different, the child learns to suck two different ways, which is confusing for them, and soon begins to prefer the bottle from which is easier to drink.
For premature infants the alternative ways of breastfeeding are particularly preferred, because it helps the fat metabolism in oral cavity. Another advantage of this is that it requires an active tongue movement, which is so important for successful breastfeeding.


  • More suitable for smaller amount of complementary foods (about 40 ml)
  • Suitable for the child actively trying to suck and pull the plunger itself (otherwise the milk slowly spray, but never let the milk just slowly flow into the mouth)
  • The child should have head higher than the body, also for better swallowing

Dropper, dispenser

  • Suitable for small complementary foods (about 20, 30 ml)
  • The child´s head is pressed gently down to his chin and his chest, afterwards the dropper is put into the child's mouth

Syringe using finger

  • By inserting a clean finger into the child´s mouth and touching upper palate the sucking reflex will be provoked               
  • Suitable for small and bigger complementary food (about 60 ml)
  • Suitable for shorter period of time (week or two)
  • Suitable for regular use (approximately three times a day)

Syringe with catheter

  • The finger is put into the child mouth with the small tubule, which is laid on the top or besides the finger.
  • It is ideal to use catheter for feeding newborns (you can find it in health accessory shops or in nurseries and hospitals. The price is about 0,5GBP per piece)
  • Suitable for smaller and bigger complementary foods (about 80 ml)
  • For regular use, several times a day, more than three weeks (if the situation even after this long time doesn´t change, it is necessary to look for some different alternative ways

Feeding beaker, mug


  • We touch the upper lip with tilted beaker. Reaction to this stimuli is the tongue protrusion and its twist to the shape of a cup which helps the child to reach the milk from the beaker
  • This technique is very suitable for children from the age of 30 weeks of gestational age.
  • Beaker feeding is very appropriate for children with split lip and palate, if breastfeeding is not possible.
  • Feeding beaker is well received by children with impaired coordination of sucking and swallowing by supporting factors necessary for coordination of sucking and swallowing (movements of the tongue, lips, tone, speed muscle movements).
  • Can be combined with a gastric tubule.

Feeding using suplementor

  • Main advantage, the child still sucks from the breast using the catheter and thus stimulates the milk production.
  • This is also very suitable procedure for extended use (with strict procedure, can achieve full lactation)


Suplementor is a tool designed for nursing mothers to alternatively feed complementary foods to the children using own breast milk from stored breast reserve.
This method provides an alternative complementary foods and the child receives milk from the bottle hanging on the neck of the mother while breastfeeding.

What suplementor consist of?

Suplementor consists of two bottles for supplementary food and two small tubes. Whole suplementor is sold and it´s use is easy.


Child will attach to the breast and to the catheter, which runs along mother’s breast and nipple. The better the baby attaches to both the easier the supplementor is used. The better attachment method you use the sooner child won´t need the supplementor feeding. That’s why the child attachment procedure is a key process in a supplementor feeding.
Catheter doesn´t necessarily needs to be placed to the end of the nipple but to make it work properly it is necessary for the catheter to come up to the child´s gums. It seems that this technique works better when you put the catheter to one of the edges of child´s mouth and comes up to the mouth right above the tongue in the direction of the child palate.  
Sometimes it helps when mother holds the catheter in one place using the index finger because some of the children tend to squeeze out the catheter with their tongue.
The bottle with the supplementary food should be higher than the child´s head. If the suppplementor works only when the bottle is held above the child´s head there is something wrong.
Supplementor should be used in every feeding during night or day.
It is possible to stick the catheters to the breast if the mother wishes to do so.
If everything is all right the baby drinks the necessary amount of mil from supplementor in 15-20 minutes or less.
Put the baby to the breast and watch out if it drinks effectively. Let him to be attached for as long as it want´s. Repeat the whole process on the second breast as well. Baby can be put to one breast and then the other.
Putting baby off the supplementor can take several weeks (2-8) or just a few days. Don’t lose the patience and don´t rush it.

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