A supplemental nursing system is a feeding tube attached to a
bottle that contains either formula or breast milk for supplementary
feeding at the breast. This allows mom to breastfeed baby even though
baby is being supplemented.
Using a supplementer is a great way to get a mom to still benefit from the bonding experience even if mom has no milk at all.
Has to feed baby extra supplements for any reason.
Baby is neurologically impaired
Baby is a very low weight
Tips on using a supplemental nursing system
- Before deciding on using a lactation aid, you should speak to a lactation specialist, she might have good advice and will be able to show you exactly how to use it and latch on properly.
- Try expressing milk for the lactation aid. If your milk supply is low
you can pump in-between feedings to build your supply further. If you
are unable to produce milk you can contact a
, they can provide free breast milk (you will only need to pay for shipment)
- Place the bottle so that you are comfortable, some moms put the bottle
under their arms or hang the cord around their necks for comfort. You
can place the bottle in the pocket of your shirt too. Find whatever
works for you.
How to increase the flow of a lact aid
- Warm up the breast milk or formula before adding it to the bottle (just make sure it's not too warm that it burns baby)
- Raise the bottle higher, the higher you raise it the faster the milk
will flow…careful that you don’t raise it too high as baby might choke
if the milk is flowing too fast.
- Using a larger feeding tube size can increase flow.
- Moving the feeding tube a little further into baby's mouth.
Why is a lactation aid preferred against other alternative feeding methods?
- Babies and moms get practice at breastfeeding
- Moms milk supply is stimulated even while baby is being supplemented
- Baby is still receiving breast milk, even if it is just small amounts.
- It prevents nipple confusion later on
- There are other benefits like bonding and jaw development.
How to use an SNS breastfeeding system
- Make sure that baby latches on correctly. This will ensure that mom
gets the best stimulation possible and also helps guard against sore
- The tube can be inserted at the corner of baby’s mouth once latched
on, the tube should be pointed slightly upward towards the roof of
- You will know when SNS breastfeeding is working when the milk starts
to flow down the tube. You do not need to fill the tube with milk before
giving it to baby.
- The feeding tube can be taped down on mom’s breast if it gets in the way, but this is not always necessary.
- Mom can hold the tube in place with her fingers.
- NB ~ Do not cut the end of the feeding tube…the end could hurt baby if it’s sharp.
How long should it take for baby to drink with a lact aid?
It takes roughly twenty to forty minutes to breastfeed with a
supplemental nursing aid, if it takes longer than an hour mom should
make sure that the tube is positioned properly and that baby is latched
How to clean a lact aid device
Clean the bottle as per usual, the lactation aid tube can be rinsed
through with hot water straight after using it. Do not boil the tube.
Weaning from an SNS feeding device
- Have patience, it could take a few weeks before baby is weaned from the Supplemental nursing system completely.
- You can start off by breastfeeding without the SNS first and then
offering the lact aid afterwards to see if baby is still hungry.