Supplementation While Breastfeeding

December 4, 2023

Neotech Products, Neotech Bridge, supplementation while breastfeeding

This article is sponsored by Neotech

When it comes to your NICU baby’s feeding journey, there are many routes you can take. When you have a baby in the NICU, feeding can look very different. For parents who are experiencing breastfeeding difficulties in the NICU or at home, supplementation while breastfeeding can help.

What is supplementation while breastfeeding?

Supplementation while breastfeeding is a system that provides extra milk while the baby is breastfeeding. This extra milk feeds through a tube placed at the nipple, allowing the baby to take in milk from the breast and the supplemented milk at the same time. The supplemented milk flows from a container, through the tube, and into the baby’s mouth as they nurse. This extra milk fed through the supplementation system could be breast milk the parent has pumped, donor milk, or formula.

Why would a baby need supplementation?

Neotech Bridge, Neotech Products, supplementation while breastfeeding, supplemental nursing systemA baby may need supplementation while breastfeeding for a few reasons:

  • If the mother is experiencing low milk supply, which is not uncommon in the NICU, the baby may be slow to gain weight and/or get frustrated at the breast
  • If the baby is experiencing low blood sugar or jaundice, it may need extra milk
  • If the baby is not gaining enough weight and needs extra milk

Supplementation not only helps the baby get the extra milk they need, it also helps the baby get more practice breastfeeding, can help stimulate milk production, helps the nursing parent get the breastfeeding experience they desire, and can help your baby avoid nipple confusion and prefer the breast over a bottle.

Additionally, supplementation is an option for adoptive parents, surrogate parents, or non-nursing partners who want to connect with their baby through breastfeeding.

Supplementation while breastfeeding helps with bonding

One major advantage of supplementation that should not be overlooked is the ability to provide the mother and baby the bonding experience of traditional breastfeeding. When using a supplementation system, the mother is able to hold her baby close, just as if the baby was breastfeeding. Supplementation attachments are a vital part of a baby’s ability to connect with mom.

How long would a baby need supplementation?

The length of time you’ll need to use a supplemental nursing system depends on your baby’s needs. If the nursing parent is attempting to increase their supply and they are expected to reach a full supply, the baby may only need supplementation for a few feedings or a few days. If low supply continues, the baby may need to supplement for a longer time period.

When is it time to transition away from supplementation? That’s a question for your baby’s doctor. They will take several factors into consideration, including your baby’s weight gain, your supply, and your breastfeeding goals.

Supplementation is a great option for babies who need a little additional support in feeding, and for parents who want to conduct that feeding at the breast. Your medical team can tell you if using a supplementation system is a recommended step in your feeding journey.

Neotech Bridge, Neotech Products, supplemental nursing system, supplementation while breastfeedingThe Neotech Bridge Breastfeeding Assistance Device was developed by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to address many common issues, such as tongue-tie, difficulty with latch, and low milk production. Use the Bridge in place of a bottle to supplement at the breast while stimulating natural milk production. It can be used to provide colostrum, expressed milk, fortified human milk, or formula. Purchase yours at Use coupon code HANDHOLD23 to save $10.



Breastfeeding: Supplementing at the Breast: Intermountain Healthcare

Supplementing at the Breast:

Everything You Need to Know About Supplemental Nursing System: Today’s Parent