Moving to tube feeding can be very emotional for moms who were breast feeding or who were planning on breast feeding. However, you can tube feed breast milk. You can also hold your baby while she is being tube fed and still bond during that time.

Breast milk can be fed just like you would feed formula. It can be fed through gravity bolus, syringe bolus, and using a feeding pump. The only thing you need to do differently is shake the bag or container occasionally, since breast milk has a habit of separating.

The Moog Infinity Orange pump is designed for feeding smaller volumes, such as feeding breast milk. The administration sets (feeding pump bags) are designed so that they funnel the milk towards the tubing, making it easier to use all the milk in the bag. You can use other pumps with breast milk, too.

One consideration with breast milk is that you do not want to waste any of the milk when using a pump to feed. Once the feed is completed, you can prime through all the remaining breast milk in the tubing. Another method is to add water to the bag and allow the pump to continue to run. See the videos below for more information.

Concerned about the fat content or calories of your breast milk?

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offers tips on separating your foremilk and hindmilk. You can get your breast milk tested to find out the fat content and how many calories per ounce it is. Typically, breast milk is 20 calories per ounce.

Sometimes it is necessary to add calories or additional nutrients to breast milk. You can work with your doctor, nurse or dietitian on ways to increase the calories or nutrients in your breast milk so that you can continue to give your child breast milk and meet their nutrition needs. It is common to use infant formulas or breast milk fortifiers to fortify breast milk.

Resource: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Separating Your Milk