nipple shield help
I have a 5 week old baby. She was born at 36weeks1day and the lactation consultants in the hospital gave me a nipple shield to use to help with breastfeeding. I have been unsuccessful with getting her weaned from the nipple shield. I have tried taking it off midway through the feeding session but can't seem to get her to latch back on without it. She doesn't like to open her mouth very wide. Does anyone have any advice on how to get her latched without the nipple shield? Thanks
Re: nipple shield help
Welcome to the forum!
The best thing you can do is to keep trying. 5 weeks is quite early to get a baby who is habituated to the shield to nurse without it.
Tips for getting a baby to open wide:
- Try to latch baby on before she is very hungry, since hungry babies often get too frantic and start bobbing their heads and opening and closing their mouths, and it's hard to hit a moving target!
- Try opening your own mouth really wide as you attempt to get her latched- even very tiny babies will sometimes mimic mom's movements
- Be patient, and if baby is too frantic, offer her a clean pinky finger to suck on, with nail held down towards her tongue. A few moments of sucking on a finger may remind baby that sucking, not screaming, is the key to getting her needs met.
How is nursing going aside from the shield and latch issuse?
Re: nipple shield help
How is everything else going? is baby exclusively nursing, nursing frequently, gaining normally, is nursing comfortable for you?
If a baby cannot latch without a sheild, then continued sheild use is appropriate. The next step would be to figure out what is preventing baby from being able to latch without the sheild. Does baby need you to shape the breast for her? Or would she prefer to more or less self attach? Is there a physical barrier of some kind? etc.
btw, A baby being able/willing to "open wide" is not neccesarily needed to get a good latch.
If you think you have hit a wall, may be time to seek more professional help, or some in person help, if you have not already.
Are you able to see a lactation consultant (IBCLC) now? Any local breastfeeding support groups?
Ok here are my favorite links to info about latch and positioning ideas and tips.
Tips with pictures on latch and different positioning ideas (includes side lying) http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
Laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html
Here are two simple pictorials, first look at the one on latch. Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. You can also look at the one on tongue tie to se if that possibly fits your situation at all. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html
latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html (probably only needed if baby cannot latch or latch is hurting mom)