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What Is the Purpose of Finger-feeding?

What is finger-feeding? How does it work? Why would I need to do this?
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profile picture of Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC
ByCatherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC
Lactation Specialist
Updated
February 26, 2017
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Finger-feeding is another way to feed babies who cannot yet breastfeed without resorting to a bottle. The baby takes milk from a tube while sucking a parent’s finger. A nurse or lactation consultant should be able to teach you how to finger-feed if you would like to do this. In one small study, preterm babies who finger-fed in the hospital were more likely to breastfeed once they got home than those who were bottle-fed in the NICU.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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