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Thread: Please help- nipple sheild

  1. #1

    Default Please help- nipple sheild

    My son was two weeks early and sent to NICU for issues with glucose processing, transfering my O blood out for daddy's A blood, and jaundice. My milk wasn't in so they had to give him formula in NICU. To stimulate his sucking and the ability for breastfeeding, they had me use and SNS system through a nipple shield. My son is now five weeks old, healthy and home. The issue is he is completely dependent on the nipple sheild. If I offer just my regular breast he will latch for a second become fustrated and let go until he gets so upset he's crying. Then I resort to the nipple shield and he latches right on. Is there anyway to wean him off the shield? Are there negative long term effects if he stays on the shield? Can he stay on the sheild and as he gets older will he become less dependent on it? I'm so fustrated and there really isn't any information on this anywhere. His lower chin was slightly back set as well just for reference, not severe or anything and has since come out. I just want to be able to breast feed long term and I need help with this. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Please help- nipple sheild

    Welcome, and congratulations on the new baby! So glad he's home and well. It's awesome that you have him fully breastfed after such a rough start. It must have taken a lot of patience and determination, and I have no doubt that you'll be able to nurse your LO as long as you both want.

    Is there anyway to wean him off the shield?
    This link covers shields and weaning from them: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html

    Are there negative long term effects if he stays on the shield?
    The 2 major risks are:
    1. Lowered milk supply. Sometimes- not always but sometimes- shield use can impede milk transfer, and that can lead to low supply. While you use the shield, count diapers and monitor your baby's weight with a little extra vigilance.
    2. Inconvenience.

    Can he stay on the sheild and as he gets older will he become less dependent on it?
    As long as diaper output and weight gain are normal, there's no reason why you can't continue to use the shield and work on gradually and gently breaking that habit.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Please help- nipple sheild

    When I weaned DS from the nipple shield, he was the same age... 5 months! So, it is definately dueable - it just takes a lot of patience. Using the suggestion in the kellymom link that Mommal posted helped us to wean. Be paitent! You can do it! Let us know if you have any specific issues. Please realize that some wean in a few days, and some in a few weeks or even months... but be patient, it's worth it!

    GL!
    First baby Thanos Liam born on 12/20/2009... we are and since birth and still going strong!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Please help- nipple sheild

    I am trying to wean from the shield too at 6 weeks. You can search these forums for "nipple shield" and read an entire slew of other posts, including success stories. I've found this to be extremely helpful.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Please help- nipple sheild

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*rychswan View Post
    My son was two weeks early and sent to NICU for issues ... To stimulate his sucking and the ability for breastfeeding, they had me use and SNS system through a nipple shield. My son is now five weeks old, healthy and home. The issue is he is completely dependent on the nipple sheild. If I offer just my regular breast he will latch for a second become fustrated and let go until he gets so upset he's crying. Then I resort to the nipple shield and he latches right on...this. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    To make my long story short I am a FTM and this is essentially what happened with my daughter and I. She was also 2 weeks early, spent a little time in NICU, and required the shield to latch at first. At 4 weeks of age I tried to start weaning her from the shield...we were excessively unsuccessful.

    At 6 weeks I was at my wits end and wanted the shield out of our lives SO badly. Finally, I was referred to a LC at WIC (which I don't qualify for, but she saw me anyway, thank goodness) who was of the mind that "you don't need a shield! all you need is a boob and a baby." She didn't do much to help me other than reassure me that if my daughter would latch at all that she could nurse without the shield. She said that after 6 weeks of feeding with the shield she had nipple confusion. She COULD latch without it, but would start crying and screaming and get so upset that I even had trouble feeding her with the shield after that. Her suggestion to me was not to "wean" but to cut her off cold turkey and give it 24 hours. The LC was confident that if she didn't get the shield at all she would eventually eat without it; she wasn't going to let herself starve. While we were meeting with her my daughter was so upset about not getting the shield to nurse we couldn't get her to latch at all! However, we went back home and I was determined to give it a shot. She was starving when we got home, but was doing a terrible job of nursing without the shield. I just made it my task that day to work on feeding her. All we did all day was try to nurse, cat nap, cry, scream, try to nurse, cat nap, cry, scream...she would get a teeny weeny bit of milk each time and finally about 8-9 hours later she latched and sucked for about 2-3 minutes! That was a big success that day. We stuck with it and it was SO DIFFICULT. I was in tears more than once that day...frustrated, scared I was hurting her by not giving her the shield, feeling inadequate as a mother... Especially, because I knew she was hungry and if I gave her the shield I knew she would eat and be happy. We stuck with it and she got better and better. She is 10 weeks old now and we are still not the best at nursing, but she is gaining weight. I am glad we went through that and that we can be without she shield now.

    It will be a personal decision for you if you want to be rid of the shield badly I think you can do it, but it was very hard for us so I doubt it will be easy. On the other hand, many women nurse with the shield indefinitely and do just fine. It will be up to you. You'll make the right decision for you and your baby and I'm sure that if I can do it (and I had no idea what I was doing) you can too!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Please help- nipple sheild

    We used the shield for about 3 months because my nipples were incredibly sensitive due to hormones. After awhile they were less sensitive and when I tried to go without and it was pretty easy. Just stay calm and once or twice a day when sleepy try it without. Or wait until you have a let down and pop it off. In just a few days we were shield free.
    being a SAHM to DD born 12/09

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