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Thread: Still on Shield

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Question Still on Shield

    Ok, so I always wanted to wean from the shield right away, but no such luck. 3 months later, here we are. I have to admit, I've been lazy about it, but I work half days, and don't want to deal with it there.

    I know the steps & suggestions, but I have a few questions, because any time I do try, I second guess myself.

    LO loves to "play" while he's eating & unlatches a lOt. I don't know if this is cuz it's easy to do w/ the shield, if it's normal for many babies or because that's just how he is. It's pretty cute, especially when he attacks it with a "haum" sound, but without the shield, my nipples are just not the shape he can do this with. But does anyone else's baby do this sans shield?

    LO has no prob with the idea of ridding of the shield, he switches easily, but once he unlatches the first time, we can't seem to get a decent latch again...so back to the shield I flee. With his habit of unlatching for fun, this makes me wimpy about sticking with it!

    Then there's the pain. One side is better than the other, and the pain is not as sharp and obvious as the first few weeks of his life, but as the session goes on, I realize that they are getting sore & it's not right. But we can't very well just try to get a better latch, since as I said above, it gets worse on the relatch. But could it be just me getting used to no shield? How do I know what kind and how much pain to tolerate? Again, I'm willing out cuz I just don't know what is ok to tolerate.

    He also has a sensitive gag reflex. Half the time when I stuff enough in his mouth, he gags. But if I don't, he has a shallow latch. Any suggestions on what to do for that?

    I still kinda hope that one day he'll just have a beautiful latch on his own, but I dunno! I don't want to be sore if I don't have to be, but maybe this is the normal course of things.

    Oh, and wondering how my "smarter" (older) baby is different than the very dependent one of a month or two ago. It seems like it would be harder to teach him the good latch (how to not slide down onto just the nipple) since that is the feeling he's used to, being that the shield makes everything in his mouth the shape of a nipple.

    Advice? Experience? I would like to stop being such a wimp!!
    Last edited by @llli*sfootloser; July 6th, 2011 at 08:25 AM.
    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!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Still on Shield

    Hi there

    My LO (now 9 mo) was a nipple shield baby too and every time I would try to wean him from it I wimped out too mostly due to the pain. I started to nurse him at night without the shield "sneakily" eg starting with shield on one breast and then switching to the other without the shield. Being sleepy and relaxed he started to take to the "nude" breast better.

    I would just keep trying during the night nursing sessions and eventually to my surprise (cause I was sleepy too ) he BF'd all night without the shield and whammo we were shield free.

    I never thought he/we would get there either and I was resigned to the fact I would be BF'ing forever with the shield.

    He was 4 months when this happened so hang in there.
    Maria,
    Wife to Cristiano
    Mamma to Giacomo 21 September 2010 and Elia 8 July 2014
    Living the "vita dolce" in Tuscany, Italy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
    Posts
    1,302

    Default Re: Still on Shield

    Good advice, Maria. Glad things have worked out for you too.

    OP? you're not a wimp! No need to put yourself down. Good on you for sticking with bfing.
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Still on Shield

    My LO was on a shield until about 8 weeks old (from 4 days old). She actually decided one day she didnt want to use it anymore and would gag and cry with it on, so I tried putting her to my breast without it on and she took right away . However my nipples got tore up badly and I had to deal with cracked and bleeding nipples all over again until 13 weeks old! Finally now she isnt chomping down on my nipple with her gums and actually drawing milk out instead of just chomping and making me pump and bottle feed afterwards.

    She did used to jump on and off all the time and play with it. Sometimes she still does it and then gets frustrated and cries until I latch her back on again. Today though she relatched herself perfectly several times while she was jumping on and off playing and giggling. I'm so proud
    FTM to Abigail Dell 03/18/2011
    SAHM
    we are FINALLY a fully breastmilk baby (after 14 weeks of struggling!)
    Om nom nom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,570

    Default Re: Still on Shield

    I don't have a lot of advice, accept to say that I used a nipple shield for 6 months with DD1, and one day she just nursed fine without it. It does take a leap of faith because you are right that there are things that might be different between nursing with the shield and without it. I know at first when DD1 would latch off, I'd put the shield back on and see if she was really done. But, my advice would be if he will latch on fine without it, than ditch the shield and don't look back!


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Still on Shield

    Thanks, everyone for your support! It means a lot to hear success stories like this.

    When I ditch the shield, I usually finish off the feeding to make sure he's getting enough, too.

    His latch is ok, but sometimes painful. Still, I don't think my nips will get really torn up from it, so I'll probably go for it. I've been forgetting to bring it with me a lot more often lately, so that must mean it's about time to lose it!!
    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!!!

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