A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine emailed me for a favor. In her email she mentioned she had a week old baby who was struggling to nurse so she was finger feeding. Since finger feeding wasn't anything I had heard of before having my own baby, I thought I'd do a little post about it.
Finger feeding is a technique developed by Dr. Jack Newman and can be useful if you need to teach a baby to latch and don't want to use artificial nipples or a nipple shield. My friend was nursing as much as she could and also pumping to establish her supply. The baby wouldn't latch much of the time, so they were fingerfeeding the pumped milk when the baby refused to latch. Kellymom.com explains that using a finger can be most breast-like than a bottle
Finger feeding is much more similar to breastfeeding than is bottle feeding. In order to finger feed, the baby must keep his tongue down and forward over the gums, the mouth wide open (the larger the finger used, the better), and the jaw forward. Furthermore, the motion of the tongue and jaw is similar to what the baby does while feeding at the breast. Finger feeding is best used to prepare the baby who is refusing to latch on to take the breast. It should be used for a minute or two, at the most, just before trying the baby on the breast if the baby is refusing to latch on. Cup feeding is usually easier and faster when the mother is not present to feed the baby and is better to finish the feeding, if finger feeding is slow.Kellymom.com also mentioned the cup. Newborns- even premies- can eat from a cup or spoon or medicine syringe. There are even products out there especially for the cup feeding of newborns and premies- who knew?
Anyway, I thought I'd share this. Look into finger and cup feeding. It's something I didn't know about and I thought you all might not know either.