breastfeeding "tools" other than bottles... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-29-2010, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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so I'm aware that introducing babies to bottles too early is definitely not good for breastfeeding success but say my baby is born in a couple weeks with complications of any kind and he/she is having trouble breastfeeding?  I've heard that using a cup dropper, syringe etc. is much better than a bottle, but where do I get stuff like that, should i order it online or is there somewhere i can buy the right things?  I'm 37 weeks already so my baby won't be born too early and im delivering at a birth center so hopefully i wont have to worry about this situation, i just want to be prepared just in case!

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#2 of 8 Old 12-29-2010, 06:44 AM
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This is a good page on alternative feeding methods

There isn't anything there that you would have to buy before hand, a large majority of babies won't need any breast milk supplementing starting off in a helpful and supportive environment! For instance you can use a small paper cup (think like a dixie cup), a medicine dropper, a small spoon.. those things you can find at a 24 CVS/Drugstore type of place. The other things like a supplemental nursing system or a tube and syringe would be something you'd need after a time of trying to get baby to the breast by other means or for a sick baby or one with complications like a cleft palate. 

Jessica, wife to Greg since 7/04, mama to the rainbow1284.gif Gman 7/06, 3 brokenheart.gif , rainbow1284.gif Asher 1/11 and a wonderful surprise due in August!

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#3 of 8 Old 12-29-2010, 08:04 AM
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I agree w/Jessica; there's nothing to buy beforehand. It's best to plan for a supportive birth center, and find some support for bfing. If there's a local La Leche League, that's a great way to feel more confident and have a place to ask questions. Also, you might consider scoping out any local IBCLCs ( to find one that you like so if an issue arises you can go see her!

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#4 of 8 Old 12-29-2010, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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ok thanks sounds like i should expect the best and only worry about it if somethings really wrong:)

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#5 of 8 Old 01-04-2011, 11:18 AM
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My first had trouble latching on at first and I was feeding him expressed milk. I used a syringe (my aunt who is an RN brought them). Then the Birth Center nurse came for my day-three-visit, and when she saw what was going on she dipped into her bag and came up with a thin catheter and something to attach it to the syringe I had - voila, a homemade SNS.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-04-2011, 11:22 AM
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I agree that rather than any kind of supplies, you should have the number of a lactation consultant on hand so that if you need help, you can get it quickly. They will be able to refer you to whatever you might need--and teach you how to use it.


Also, is there a nursing moms support group or LLL in your area? Can you go to a meeting before baby is born?

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#7 of 8 Old 01-04-2011, 11:50 AM
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My son had trouble the first few days. I was lucky that I delivered in a baby friendly hospital with access to an incredible LC and a bf supportive mom and dh.... so I had a lot of support. After seeing one of my friends struggle terribly I would give the following advice:


*educate yourself *and* your dp/mom/sis whomever on the basics of latching. I had read for years... but after the birth my brain was fried. My husband knew enough to refuse paci's/sugar water/bottles etc, and was able to listen and comprehend what the LC was saying when she did visit. And he would even remember it later. I on the other hand was in pain, v. emotional, on painkillers, basically a wreck. It was a huge help to have him on board, present and involved.


*Get a pump or know how to get a pump-- especially if you are planning on being home for the first  few days. And by pump, I mean a good, double electric pump. Make sure your husband/mom/best friend knows where to get one, and which one to get, whether that be renting from a hospital, or buying from babies r us.  I know that they are expensive, and I don't particularly recommend pumping immediately if there is not a problem. But having/using one *if necessary* those first few days can make or break a bf relationship if it's not going well. Learn how to use a pump, whether this is by watching video's, asking a mw, or what have you.


*Educate your self about finger feeding/syringe feeding. Know how to get a syringe and/or tubing (talk to your MW abt this). I did not know this was an option, and had it not been for our great lc, we would have been bottlefeeding on day 2.


*Get the number of 2 great, highly recommended IBCLC's that will come for a home visit. If the first one isn't helpful, go with the second.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#8 of 8 Old 01-04-2011, 06:20 PM
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I know I had a really easy breastfeeding relationship, so I don't mean to be dismissive here. But what kinds of complications are you expecting that your baby won't be able to nurse? You don't need pumps and cups and droppers and stuff. I'd suggest reading "Bestfeeding" and spending the breast pump money on juice boxes and granola bars.

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