Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation

Supplementary Feeding Device

There are two basic types of supplementary nursing systems on the market. Basically, this is a bottle or bag, filled with expressed breastmilk, banked breastmilk or artificial infant milk, that is worn around the neck or clipped to clothing or hidden in a shirt pocket. Thin tubes leading from the bottle or bag attach to both breasts. The baby then breastfeeds from the breast normally. This is an excellent way to supplement the baby’s feedings until the mother is able to bring in her milk supply, and to take the pressure off her, if she does need to supplement her baby’s feedings once her milk supply comes in. There is an alternate homemade feeding tube devise occasionally described e.g. pp 80-81 of “The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers” by Dr. Jack Newman.

Once the mother’s milk supply is starting to come in or is established. The best way to use the supplementer is to allow the baby to feed on each breast with the supplementer in place but not flowing until the baby doesn’t drink anymore. The mother can tell because the baby will stop the suck>pause (downward motion of chin)> suck motion. The mother can use breast compression to get as much breastmilk to her baby as possible from the first breast and when that stops working and her baby stops drinking, she can then switch sides and do the same thing. The mother should allow the supplement to flow only when the baby has done both sides at least. That way, if the baby doesn’t want any more, the baby won’t take any more and the mother will know that her baby had as much breastmilk as possible.

Newman-Goldfarb Protocols. © Lenore Goldfarb, B.Comm, B.Sc, IBCLC
and Jack Newman, MD FRCPC, November 2002