Review of Lact-Aid Nursing System
Best Price: Amazon
What you get:
2 Nursing Trainer TM Units
2 Rolls of Nursing Bags (50 bags per roll)- 4 oz.
1 Bag-Filling Bracket
1 Neck Strap
1 Cleaning Syringe
1 Users Guide
My Overall Rating: 8.5 out of 10
What is the Lact-Aid Nursing System?
Lact-Aid is a breastfeeding supplemental nursing system. Simply put it is a system that allows you to offer expressed breastmilk or formula to your baby through a tube while your baby is latched to the breast.
The idea behind supplementing this way is that you get the added benefit of having the baby stimulate the breast while also giving the extra nourishment that your baby needs.
It is well known that supplementing, though necessary in some cases, can cause a vicious cycle. The more a bottle is offered to a baby, the less time the baby is spending at the breast. The suckling motion of a hungry baby, whether milk is present or not, causes a hormonal reaction in a mother’s body and stimulates the production of more milk.
One issue with supplementing is that the mother is missing out on that stimulation to tell her body to produce more milk, thus, her milk supply drops even further leading to more supplementing and ultimately, in most cases, early weaning.
Breastfeeding supplementation systems can be a great alternative to help a mother increase her milk supply.
When to Use Lact-Aid Breastfeeding Supplemental Nursing System
Per the Lact-Aid website, here are some reasons why a mother may need to use the nursing system:
- Low milk supply: When milk supply isn’t quite enough, or full lactation isn’t possible.
- Slow gaining baby: When the doctor prescribes supplement to protect Baby’s growth and brain development.
- Sore nipples: When Mother feels pain and baby is not gaining weight due to poor sucking; sucking too hard or gum clenching.
- Poor sucking: When Baby suckles poorly due to birth drugs, birth complications, nipple shields, supplemental bottles, immature reflexes, illness, injury or birth defects, Down Syndrome
- Cleft lip/palate: When Baby has a cleft of the lip and/or palate
- Premature baby: When a preemie tires easily, has a weak or uncoordinated suckle or doesn’t stimulate breasts well.
- Delayed breastfeeding: Whenever premature birth, C-section, maternal or newborn illness or medications cause delayed opportunity to begin breastfeeding, or if Mother begins to bottle feed but changes her mind, breastfeeding can be restarted.
- Working mother: When breast pumping at work doesn’t keep your milk supply up, and weekend or evening supplements are needed.
- Adoption & Surrogacy: When a Mother would like to experience the special bond of breastfeeding and provide some of the nutritional benefits of mother’s milk to her adopted or surrogate-born baby.
Breastfeeding supplemental nursing systems like the Lact-Aid should always be used as a first option if a mother needs to supplement. It can help stimulate milk production and help end the cycle of low milk supply and supplementing.
How to Use the Lact-Aid Nursing System
There are several parts to the Lact-Aid so it can be intimidating at first when trying to assemble. Once the parts are in place, it is really easy to use.
The main issue is figuring out what goes where but once you see it for the first time, it seems easy peasy. Follow these quick steps to get you set-up and nursing in no time!
Fill the nursing bag with the desired amount of expressed milk or formula (4oz nursing bags come with the system set but 7oz bags are also available for purchase).
Place the bag tube into the nursing bag and clamp with the bag clamping ring.
The bag clamping ring is used to create an air-tight seal between the nursing bag filled with milk and the collar on the feeding tube.
Place the Lact-Aid nursing bag into position to get ready for nursing.
This can be tricky as a lot of users complained about the need to constantly reposition it.
The best tip I found was to buy a nursing bra or nursing tank that has the fabric that run at the top of the breast so that you can wedge the nursing bag of milk in between the fabric and your chest and then run the feeding tub under the fabric so it stays in place better.
The nursing bag can be used in a variety of ways that allows you to control the flow. It can be positioned higher up to allow the milk to flow more freely or lower for a slower flow.
A booklet included with the Lact-Aid give instruction on how to position the nursing bag to achieve the desired flow.
Once the nursing bag is in place, next you need to run the feeding tube down the breast to the nipple. Position the tube about 1/4″ past the end of the nipple.
Some moms use tape to keep the tube in place so it isn’t moving around as their baby nurses.
Latch baby on your breast. The feeding tube does not have to go directly into the center of your baby’s mouth. It can be slightly off. The Lact-Aid website suggests that you think of your baby’s mouth as the face of a clock and the center of their upper lip as 12 o’clock. The tube can be positioned at 11 o’clock or 1 o’clock.
Watch the Lact-Aid in Action
There are two great videos that I found very helpful in explaining the Lact-Aid. The first, is about 15 minutes long (I know…) but it walks you through the entire kit and gives some great tips on using the system. I got the most from that video.
The second gives a live demonstration of latching a baby on while using the Lact-Aid. I can imagine using the system for the first time can be cumbersome so I appreciate these types of videos!
15-Minute Run Down:
Live Demonstration of how to latch using the Lact-Aid:
Pros and Cons of Lact-Aid Nursing System
After reading review after review, it has become clear that the Lact-Aid is the best supplemental nursing system on the market. The other main player is the Medela SNS. The Lact-Aid seems to have a leg up on the SNS and moms who struggled using the SNS have had success with the Lact-Aid.
Some things that make the Lact-Aid standout are:
- The Lact-Aid is easy to use and put on – a tip is to have the bags prepared and stored in the fridge for quick access.
- Easy to conceal under clothing to make nursing in public or while on the go possible and more discrete.
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to clean
- Can use while laying down or reclining while nursing (the SNS leaks terribly when trying this)
- Easy to position tube and keep in place without tape
- Provides a better system that trains baby to suckle properly (complaints about SNS are baby can easily learn to just suckle the tube and not the breast)
- Provides an alternative to supplementing and helps moms rebuild milk supply
Of course the reviews are not all positive on the Lact-Aid. Here are a few things that I think you should consider:
If you do not strain powdered or thick formula, you run the risk of getting clogs in the feeding system. This can cause the flow to be very slow and may not be very apparent that a clog is the source of the issue. Make sure you follow the directions when using formula.
- Some complained the tubing kept moving while trying to feed. A suggestion is to run it under your nursing bra strap or use tape. Again, it’s a tube so it won’t magically stay in one place. I felt this was a silly thing to note as a negative but worth mentioning.
- Can take some getting used to. This is probably a no-brainer but the system can feel cumbersome at first. Most moms reported taking a week or so of consistent use before they became really comfortable. I think any mom going into using a system like this needs to know it will feel weird at first!
Overall, the Lact-Aid is about as good as nursing systems get. Just like all products, it will not work for everyone but I think in the long run it is a great option for moms who are struggling with low supply and breastfeeding.
One thing that I love about the Lact-Aid is their manual and information guides seems to contain a lot of information. Most moms made note that they were given enough instruction to fully understand how to use the product and get started easily.
If you are struggling to breastfeed and need to start supplementing, I highly suggest you give the Lact-Aid breastfeeding supplemental nursing system a try before offering a bottle. You can establish a healthy supply and obtain your breastfeeding goals. Tools like the Lact-Aid can help you do that.
So do not give up! Keep at it!
If you need some additional tips and info on increasing your supply, click here to read our Low Supply page.