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Supplementing the Breastfed Baby: Lactation Aid Feeding Tubes vs Supplemental Nursing System & Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer

     In my practice as a board certified lactation consultant, there were times when it was medically necessary to supplement.  Whether it was due to a poor suck or mismanaged milk supply, we need options when recovering from these issues and getting back to breastfeeding.  Many times, I would recommend finger-feeding with a syringe to keep moms from using a bottle nipple.  I would have rather recommended a Supplemental Nursing System which has a container with tubes that runs to the breast; but I didn't want to see mom spending the extra money when her budget was so tight.  At that time, the only options were the Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) by Medela and the Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer.   These cost mom $50 or more and had small tubes to be cleaned which were cumbersome.   Now, with more options available, Moms can use a short-term feeding tube which accomplishes the same thing and can be cleaned for a few days before disposing of it.  It is a small investment in comparison to the commercial systems.  While moms who are adopting babies and inducing lactation, rather than just building milk supply may still want a commercial unit; the Lactation Aid Feeding Tubes are the best course for the short term situation.  Thanks to IBCLC, physician and lactivist, Dr Jack Newman videos and instructions are available for using these feeding tubes.  You simply cut a slightly larger hole into a bottle nipple.  Insert the adapter end into the bottle and feed the tube into the babies mouth while he is latched on.  You may also use medical tape if you prefer to have the tube in place prior to latch.  These can be purchased from the International Breastfeeding Center in Canada, but due to the long ship time of up to three weeks, we have added them to our selections at Lactation Connection.  Sold in a two pack for under $10, these will last up to two weeks while mom is re-establishing milk supply or training a baby with a weak suck.  Each tube is in an individual sterile pack ready to use.  Instructions are included with the feeding tubes when purchased here:
     Dr. Jack Newman also has a helpful instructional video on YouTube.  I encourage you to view it and encourage lactation consultants and breastfeeding counselors to recommend and use these feeding tubes for short term situations of supplementation.
     It is also important to recognize the appropriate amount of supplementation.  Always assess milk supply first, then only give the difference of what mom is producing and the actual need of the baby.  This is to say that you supplement not how much the baby will drink, but the need of a baby of that weight.  Here is a link to a chart for appropriate milk intake to show how much to feed per pound of body weight:  For example, a 7lb baby who is older than 6 days needs 2.25oz eight times per day.  If mom is making 1.25, then the appropriate amount of supplementation is 1 oz. per feeding.  Contact you local lactation consultant for further instructions on supplementation or give us a call at 254-728-3627 9-5 M-F CST. 

Lactation Aid Images: 


  1. nice blog !! i was looking for blogs related of feed supplements. then i found this blog, this is really nice and interested to read. thanks to author for sharing this type of information.


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