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J Hum Lact. 2005 Nov;21(4):429-38.

Breastfeeding mothers' experiences using a supplemental feeding tube device: finding an alternative.

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  • 1Widener University School of Nursing, Medford, NJ 08055, USA.


Strategies promoting initiation and successful continuation of breastfeeding are important in facilitating the breastfeeding experience. However, unique difficulties with breastfeeding may occur that necessitate specific interventions, to prevent early weaning and promote satisfaction with the breastfeeding experience. Special devices have been recommended and used to help women overcome various breastfeeding problems. A supplemental feeding tube device (SFTD) is a device that permits supplemental nourishment for infants while still preserving the breastfeeding goals of the mother. The purpose of this naturalistic study was to describe the experiences of breastfeeding mothers who used SFTDs to establish, reestablish, or supplement infant feeding at the breast. From the findings, 3 groups of themes emerged: seeking a solution, managing the challenges, and forming opinions. The underlying theme identified by all of the participants in the study was "finding an alternative." Women found the SFTD to be an acceptable alternative that facilitated their breastfeeding experience.

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