Alternative baby feeding methods play a vital role when a baby cannot effectively breastfeed or when a mother is not in a position to breastfeed. Doctors recommend the use of syringe feeding to families whose babies need short–term supplementation while they develop breastfeeding skills. New mums with babies who find it difficult to breastfeed can also employ this method. You can express your breast milk by hand to ensure a good supply of milk to your newborn and feed them using a small 1ml syringe. Always make sure you sterilize the syringe to prevent infection caused by disease-causing germs.
Syringe feeding often involves a pediatrician or a specialist, and it incorporates oral exercises. It is recommendable to use tipped periodontal syringes available for sale in 10 – 12 volumes of 1/3 ounce. The syringes you select to use should be an estimate or precision measured. The syringe can also be attached to a fine tubing and sucked alongside a finger like a straw. However, if there are no complications with the mother or the baby, syringe feeding is not appropriate because newborns need to bond with their mothers.
The Procedure Of Syringe Feeding
The first step is filling the syringe with expressed milk or formula in cases where supplementation is required. Always wash your hands before syringe feeding and ensure all equipment is clean and sterilized.
Sit the baby in an upright position on your lap at a 45-degree angle or taller to support their head. Avoid laying the baby flat on the back. Alternatively, you can place nursing pillows across your lap and prop your feet to ensure your baby`s head reaches the level of your breast without holding it up.
Stimulate the gape response by gently stroking the baby`s face. Drag a finger down from the tip of your baby`s nose to the chin. Offer a finger to suck the pad side up when the baby opens its mouth wide and ensure the baby sucks it.
Introduce the syringe to the corner of the mouth to point the tip of the syringe into the cheek. Ensure the syringe tip does not touch the gums because it is rigid and might injure the baby.
As the baby is sucking on the finger, responsively depress the plunger because the baby can only swallow small amounts. One milk pulse should be followed by a swallow and two to three sucks because the baby needs time between pulses of milk to coordinate breathing. Repeat the process until feeding is complete.
Ensure you are always watching your baby as he feeds, and if it looks like he`s choking do not continue pressing the syringe.
Reasons For Syringe Feeding Application
The first days of life for babies can be troublesome before they learn to latch or breastfeed effectively. A newborn primary food is his/her mother`s milk which provides essential nutrients for it to add weight. A child that does not feed well cannot add weight and can have poor physical development. The baby’s ability to suck and remove milk is affected by certain factors that include: heart disease, infection, jaundice, prematurity, and others. The baby can also have other mechanical issues such as cleft palate, cleft lip, or tongue tie that alters the baby`s ability to use their mouth`s structure for correct feedings.
Syringe feeding is also ideal for training the baby to suck well, and you should seek help from a professional. The method is only applicable until the baby learns to latch or breastfeeds efficiently.
In cases where the mother develops complications after giving birth, syringe feeding is used to feed the baby until she recovers. It is also applicable for mothers who have swollen breasts on the first days of lactating.