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Thread: Nipple shield to Breast

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Johnstown,CO
    Posts
    6

    Question Nipple shield to Breast

    Hello Everyone,
    I have had trouble breastfeeding my son since he was born. I had a planned homebirth w/ Midwife that ended in a transport fully dilated for an emergency c-section.Not the best start.... After several days of my son sleeping off the drugs in his system he started to try breastfeeding more seriously.I was still in the hospital & thought I was doing fine (though it was a little difficult to get him to latch properly),until day 4 of our stay they weighed him & said he dropped his weight by 12%. My milk had still not come in yet & I was faced with a two choices. 1. pump my colostrum & stay for several more days 2. Put him on formula & supplement with pumping to get his weight up & go home. As difficult as it was I chose # 2. My dreams of doing everything natural pretty much went down the drain. The hospital didn't think we could get his weight up to 10% by the next day so we could get released,but we did. During our last 24 hrs in the hospital I went through several 1 - 1/2 hr nursing sessions with the nurses. By the time I got home I was VERY sore! I was determined to get him off the formula/bottle & onto me so I could stop pumping,but my right nipple was scabbed over & my left had blistered & I could no longer endure the pain,so I pumped for several days to recover.My milk came in during the recovery time & after 48 hrs of being home from the hospital he was off formula & bottle feeding with breastmilk. After I recovered I couldn't get him to latch onto me properly he had 4 issues. 1. He wouldn't open up wide enough 2. He would slide down to the nipple 3. He would suck his lower lip in 4. He would use his gums. My Midwife came over & watched me try & nurse him & told me that a nipple shield would be a good idea for a little while till he was trained,especially since he was such a frantic eater. So I bought a nipple shield & he took right to it,which meant he was no longer on the bottle. That was all in week one. For the past 8 weeks I have been trying to get my son to break his habits & take to the breast without the nipple shield. He still has his habits & now he refuses to try & eat off the breast. He won't try to suck or latch on at all,he has no interest,in fact he gets angry with me for trying. I heard that the nipple shield cuts back on the milk supply,which makes sense since it's more of the nipple than the breast that he's eating off of.I'm concerned about my son getting enough milk & am desperately trying to get him broke of the nipple shield. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice as to how I can accomplish this? Thanks for any help you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    Hello and welcome!

    Congratulations on your baby. You've overcome a lot in the last 8 weeks, and it sounds like you're doing a great job.

    If you're no longer supplementing and your baby is gaining weight with the nipple shield, you don't need to worry. The concerns about the nipple shield decreasing milk supply were related to older nipple shields. If you're using a new style silicone shield (like the medela ones) you don't need to worry about the nipple shield impacting your supply. Here's some info about nipple shields from Kelly Mom:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html

    Because it sounds like you do want to ditch it at some point, the best thing to do is just try to nurse without the nipple shield every now and again. If the baby isn't going to do it, just use the shield.

    Two things I read when I was using the shield that I found helpful were: don't make it a battle with the baby, just let it happen, and the other was that there seems to be a window around 12-18 weeks where babies are receptive to ditching the shield.

    That happened to be my daughter's case, she dropped it at 16 weeks. I would just offer without the shield, eventually, she'd nurse for a few seconds without it, and then within a few days we were done altogether. I think she needed to get bigger and stronger, and also needed to build a little more trust before she wanted to go without it.

    I would recommend buying several, and buying cases for them for transporting them around.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    sheamusmom,
    Your situation sounds a lot (not completely) like mine.
    1. I had to have an emergency c-section. Was not happy about that!
    2. Your list of 4 things your LO does sounds like what mine does.
    3. I've been using a shield too.
    Sometimes he also just refuses to try if there is no shield (or wants to do it on his own but then there is no good latch).

    Anyway - know you are not alone in this!!!

    My question yo both of you is did you have any/much pain using the shield? My nipples have been getting sorer and it's my biggest motivation to wean off it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern BC, Canada
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    433

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sfootloser View Post
    sheamusmom,

    My question yo both of you is did you have any/much pain using the shield? My nipples have been getting sorer and it's my biggest motivation to wean off it.
    My nipples would get sore when I used my shield if it was not on EXACTLY right or when I used the wrong sized one.

    ps. I had the emergancy c-section too. Sounds like they pretty much prescribe the shield after one now.
    July 30, 2010-6lbs 2oz- 41w 4d (emergency c-section.) Known dairy, eggs, dogs and cats allergies, eczema, and asthma
    Bonus June 22, 2006 (is 50/50 Custody ) (born 32w) Sensitive to changing temps.
    We BF, BW, Co-sleep and use cloth diapers/pull-ups!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Johnstown,CO
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    My question yo both of you is did you have any/much pain using the shield? My nipples have been getting sorer and it's my biggest motivation to wean off it.[/QUOTE]

    Yes,they do,but it's an on & off issue. I have bought all three sizes in the shield to see which works best.Are you sure you have the right size? Sometimes it's because I didn't use the shield right or I am trying to muti-task while feeding(not a good idea ,because it moves the baby's latch,nipple shield & breast) I've found that using the Lanisoh cream when they are sore helps a lot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,846

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    I'm sorry you had such a rough start! To intend a homebirth and wind up with a c-section must have been very hard. Are you recovering from the surgery- and the experience- okay? This forum is a good place to talk about a birth gone awry- so many mamas here have had births that went differently from the way they planned and I think you'd find a lot of understanding.

    So right now your baby is nursing, but just refuses to do so without the shield, right? That's not the worst thing ever. Weaning from the shield can take a lot of time and patience. Tips here:http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html

    Shields can reduce milk transfer and lead to problems with supply. But that's not universally the case. Some moms use them without issue. If your baby is producing sufficient wet and poopy diapers, and gaining adequate weight, you don't need to worry. If not, you probably need to use a pump to increase your supply. That way even if the baby is not feeding effectively, the milk will be easier for him to get out because there's more of it.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Johnstown,CO
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    I'm sorry you had such a rough start! To intend a homebirth and wind up with a c-section must have been very hard. Are you recovering from the surgery- and the experience- okay? This forum is a good place to talk about a birth gone awry- so many mamas here have had births that went differently from the way they planned and I think you'd find a lot of understanding.

    It was very hard for me,especially since I had been a Doula..I never thought I would end up with a c-section,but life is full of surprises. I am recovering ok,just not use to having my ab muscles so weak. Thank you for asking

    So right now your baby is nursing, but just refuses to do so without the shield, right? That's not the worst thing ever. Weaning from the shield can take a lot of time and patience.

    Yes he is nursing,but uses the shield to do so. I know it's not the worst thing in the world,but I would really like to get him off it if I can. Yes, patience ,lots of patience.

    Shields can reduce milk transfer and lead to problems with supply. But that's not universally the case. Some moms use them without issue. If your baby is producing sufficient wet and poopy diapers, and gaining adequate weight, you don't need to worry. If not, you probably need to use a pump to increase your supply. That way even if the baby is not feeding effectively, the milk will be easier for him to get out because there's more of it.

    Well he seems to be happy,& gaining weight.He was 7lb 9oz when born he's almost 10 lbs now.Is that enough? He's getting longer,but not so much chubbier. His diapers seem average...
    Thank you

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    I feel like I could've written your post...my LO was also an emergency c-section (March 26th) and then had difficulty breathing so he spent his first 12 hours in the NICU. It was hard not being able to hold him and try to nurse him like we originally planned to do!

    He lost 11% of his birth weight...which made me feel like I was failing as a mom. I tried the nipple shield because his latch was so painful, and it has allowed us to breastfeed but I would love to be able to wean him off it. It's such a pain to carry around and clean all the time, and sometimes he flails around and knocks it off...the list is endless.

    Reading your post and others' replies has given me hope...maybe I can do this after all!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jennifer.shatto View Post
    I feel like I could've written your post...my LO was also an emergency c-section (March 26th) and then had difficulty breathing so he spent his first 12 hours in the NICU. It was hard not being able to hold him and try to nurse him like we originally planned to do!

    He lost 11% of his birth weight...which made me feel like I was failing as a mom. I tried the nipple shield because his latch was so painful, and it has allowed us to breastfeed but I would love to be able to wean him off it. It's such a pain to carry around and clean all the time, and sometimes he flails around and knocks it off...the list is endless.

    Reading your post and others' replies has given me hope...maybe I can do this after all!!
    We are in this together!!
    I totally know what you mean about knocking it off...in the middle of the night it's all I can do to not yell @ him and/or give up.
    How is his weight doing now?
    and congrats, you made it a month! how does it feel?
    (my month will be sunday)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Nipple shield to Breast

    I'm bumping this thread and adding:


    Opinion:
    If LO is starting to get frustrated with practicing non-shield latch but has gotten a shallow latch (that doesn't hurt, I just know is not right), is it better to allow him to practice sucking the naked breast for a little bit so he feels it's a normal thing to do or go back to the shield? (more practice at this time would make him frustrated)

    How is everyone else doing in their quest to wean?

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