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Thread: weaning off a nipple shield

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    31

    Default weaning off a nipple shield

    I have been to see two different LC regarding my daughter (one was a ped/LC that I was referred to for a possible tongue tie, the other is my regular LC)

    We had a bit of a slow start to BFing (DD was early and had a poor suck) and so we started on a shield, and now we are starting the process of getting off the shield and back on the bare breast. My question is one of curiosity: one LC suggested that we try to get her sucking on the shield and then pull a "bait and switch," pulling her off quickly and removing the shield and then trying to put her back on. THe other LC suggested trying to start without the shield when she is hungry, and then switching to a shield if she refuses.

    I know there probably isn't a right or wrong answer, but I am curious what other folks have to say--how did you get off a shield? Did either of these methods work better than another? Thanks in advance!
    Proud Mommy to my little Amelia (5-18-2011)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: weaning off a nipple shield

    We went cold turkey. I had a LOT of nipple trauma in the beginning, and at some stage I got the feeling that the shield was actually making things worse, so I just put it away and that was that. Lillian's latch was terrible either way, and I don't think she ever really got dependent on it.
    Elizabeth, mama to Lillian - 10/03/10


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Re: weaning off a nipple shield

    I used a nipple shield with my first and used a combination of both the methods you suggested. I would try to get my dd to latch on to my bare nipple first, and if she wouldn't then I would use the shield until she was nursing, then unlatch and sneak the shield. I'f she didnt latch, I'd try it again with the shield, and keep trying. It was very trying, but once it happened for us, she didn't need the shield at all, and in fact wouldn't latch with it. Good luck and keep us posted!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: weaning off a nipple shield

    I am going through the process of weaning of the nipple shield also. LO is only a week old and only been on the shield for a week. I've been trying to latch her first without the shield and see if she takes it. She has gone without the shield a few times. I find she's more likely to do it if she is not frantically hungry though, I try to feed her before she really starts showing she's hungry and she doesn't seem to fight it as much. Sometimes I end up having to use the shield the whole time though. I've also found that if she won't latch on to one side when I switch to the other I can get her to take that side without the shield. I know it will take some time but it will be so nice once she's off it! Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: weaning off a nipple shield

    I am also trying to wean. At first I wanted to do it as quickly as possible, but I kept getting really frustrated. Believing that sometimes their mouths are too small to get a good latch, I decided to not try as hard to save myself frustration and pain. Now we're at 10.5 weeks and still weaning but without the frustration and guilt.
    I found that LO does great (well sometimes shallow latch) by ditching the shield first thing. But usually once he breaks the latch, he can't get back on. He always slips down to just the nipple. So then I finish with the shield. Also, much of his comfort sucking involves popping off and on numerous times, so that allows him to do that without our frustration.
    The time he spends on the initial latch has been increasing, so I think it's working! It also probably wouldn't take as long, but I work part time & fortunately can nurse him there but I default to the ease of the shield right now & also at night. So we usually only practice a couple times each day.

    Mostly: don't feel bad if it takes a while. Lots and lots of people say their LO ditched it at their own pace. Practically on their own.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Mother to Seth, born 4/1/11: 5 lb. 13 oz.
    5/2/11 - 8 lb 12 oz. 6/1/11 - 11 lb 12 oz.
    7/1/11 - 14 lb *unofficial* 8/1/11 - 16 lb 3 oz
    10/3/11 - 18 lb

    Good job, growing boy!

    Weaned from a nipple shield in late July!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: weaning off a nipple shield

    I used my shield from when she was 3 days old due to jaundice and latch problems. I was so happy to just be breastfeeding her I didnt care about the nipple shield. As time wore on and she became more active it because more challenging to keep that thing on my boob and get her to it before she knocked it off...I needed more hands! After a while I tried to wean her off letting her start with it and then taking it off mid feeding and she would last a little while and then start crying and tugging and I just put it back on. I got to the point I said oh well and didnt try all to much, I just took it away occansionally. Well one day out in public she knocked it off and as i went to pick it up. Smack she attached herself and we have not used since and it been 2+ weeks yay . Im sure everyones experince is different and some harder than others. I learned to tell myself THIS TOO WILL PASS AND IT WILL GET BETTER. and it did, keep up the good work!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: weaning off a nipple shield

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*moose View Post
    I used a nipple shield with my first and used a combination of both the methods you suggested. I would try to get my dd to latch on to my bare nipple first, and if she wouldn't then I would use the shield until she was nursing, then unlatch and sneak the shield. I'f she didnt latch, I'd try it again with the shield, and keep trying. It was very trying, but once it happened for us, she didn't need the shield at all, and in fact wouldn't latch with it. Good luck and keep us posted!
    I would second this as most similar to my experience, though we only succeeded in latching on one side for a couple of months, and I did have to use the shield again on the second side a couple of months later when he started latching there, too. I would pop it off as soon as I could, and he weaned from it pretty quickly.
    I breast milk fed my Blossom for fifteen months (after exclusively pumping for thirteen). My Bud (nineteen months) is still nursing directly (after a rough start that included a few months of pumping and supplementing with mommy's milk).

    TwoDewdrops: Nursing Dresses and Tops for Discreet Breastfeeding (and Pumping)

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