The “natural way” doesn’t always work out for every new mom. There are so many things that can go wrong. From a lack of supply to inverted nipples and troubles with latching, the list of complications goes on and on. So what do you do when you don’t want to or can’t breastfeed? You turn to breastfeeding alternatives, and there are OODLES of them. Although your options stretch far and wide, here are some of the best alternatives to the breast.
Breastfeeding alternatives for new moms
A Supplemental Nursing System is a thing feeding tube that’s attached to a bag or bottle of milk or formula. The tube is placed next to your nipple during baby’s feedings. So with the tube in place and a secure latch, your baby gets milk from the breast as well as the tube. Yeah, this isn’t exactly a breastfeeding alternative; it’s actually more like an additive to breastfeeding. This solution is great for moms that are trying to breastfeed but have low milk supply. It also works for babies that need additional nutrients and adopted babies. It’s really great if you still want to ensure you establish that bonding experience.
Nipple shields are magical little silicon pieces that cover your nipple during a feeding session. This protects the nipple and might help solve any latch issues your baby has. For a lot of moms, shields can prolong breastfeeding, which is great. These little silicon wonders are great for sore and cracked nipples when used with some lanolin or another good nipple cream.
If you exclusively pump, you use a breast pump (on a rather strict schedule) and express your breastmilk as your baby’s only food. Although your baby doesn’t get the milk from your breasts, you’re not supplementing with formula either. Exclusive pumping works for moms with babies that have serious latch issues and those that just don’t lie the way breastfeeding feels. Exclusively pumping can also be a great way for dad and the rest of the family to pitch in and bond with the baby.
Human Donor Milk
There are quite a few milk banks around the world that help moms who aren’t able to produce their own breastmilk. This can be one of your best breastfeeding alternatives. All of these banks stock donated breastmilk which comes from moms with an over-abundance of breastmilk. This solution ensures that your baby still gets all the benefits of breastfeeding without actually breastfeeding. It also ensures that dad (or other family members) can feed the baby and experience that bonding during feeding times.