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Thread: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Newburyport, Ma
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    Default Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    Hi!

    I was given a nipple shield in the hospital because my nipples were relatively flat, partly from IV fluids. My baby is now 5 weeks old and I am still using it! Everyone keeps saying I will be able to get rid of it. I can get her to latch with out it, but it is usually a shallow latch and she gets frustrated more easily. Additionally, my right breast is really sore, and I get deep pain in the whole breast when she feeds of it. The latch looks exactly the same to me as it does on the other side, but the nipple is flatter on the right and the right breast seems much more full than the other. I don't even try and latch her without the shield on the right, but I actually have the feeling the shield may be part of the problem. Any suggestions? Do I just need to wait for her mouth to get bigger?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    I also used nipple shields early on with my oldest, for similar reasons, and we did wean off. I don't remember exactly when, but I do know it took at least a week longer on one side than the other, and I am pretty sure we were not using the shield at all by 6 weeks.

    I had hands on help working on my child's latch with an IBCLC, on her advice I also pumped after every feeding while using the shield. I ended up with oversupply due to pumping too often and too long, but I also think the pumping may have helped "pull out" my nipple. Of course, baby latching and nursing regularly will do that too, after nursing two kids, my nipples are now anything but flat!

    The thing about shields is, while they may solve the immediate problem of getting a baby to latch who cannot latch otherwise, which is great, they do nothing to solve whatever underlying issue(s) made it difficult for baby to latch in the first place. Sometimes time/growth does solve the issue, but I would say you have waited long enough for that. It is time to get proactive.

    I would suggest: 1) See an IBCLC for a private appt if that is possible. Call around locally for refferals and talk to a few over the phone. Ask them if they have exp helping a mom wean off shields and/or with tricky latch issues. Pick one who sounds experienced and who you feel most comfortable with.

    2) If you can latch baby on one side w/o the shield, without pain to you, do it, in that case you are half way there.

    3)There are various ways to encourage baby off the shield. I recall nursing baby with the shield at the beginning of the session and then trying without it. Take it slow, don't frustrate yourself or baby by pushing too hard, it's not worth it.

    4) If your breast feels full AFTER nursing, baby may not be extracting the milk well. This happens with nipple shields sometimes. Are you pumping as well? You may need to pump after nursing, at least on that one side, while using the shield.

    If it feels full all the time, that could be due to not nursing frequently enough or oversupply. It is normal for one breast to be a better 'producer' than the other, but off course if breast is often really full/engorged that can cause all kinds of issues with latch and milk supply.

    5) It does not matter what latch looks like, but rather what it feels like. It should NOT hurt. Keep going back to latch and positioning basics for ideas, and keep trying different positions. Your baby may not do things exactly how the babies in the videos and pictures do it and that is fine. There is no one right way to nurse baby, and even the experts disagree on the 'best' way. You and baby need to find your best way.

    Nipple Shields http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/

    Positioning and latch: http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html and http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/

    Latch-on video: http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    For me #3 above is what worked for me and baby. It wasn't over night but I started by offering the breast when he wasn't in a desperate hunger stage. And sometimes after he had gotten through his gulping first few minutes and started to slow down his suckling I would offer breast without the shield. He was about 5 weeks old when I started. At 6 six he started to latch on with out a shield, then I had to have my gallbladder out. I pumped for him and used Breastflow bottles by The First Years. So naturally i was afraid we would have trouble. Thankfully, I didn't have much trouble after that except for night feedings when he was being lazy but after a couple more weeks he got over it and now at 11 weeks he hasn't used a shield for at least 2 or 3 weeks.

    Good luck. As lllmeg said take your time. It isn't going to happen over night but you'll get there :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Newburyport, Ma
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    65

    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    Thanks for the advice!

    I have been having moderate success getting her off the shield but I do still have to use it sometimes. Also, we are getting a lot of bad latches because she isn't used to the milk coming out so quickly. She opens big and then clamps down when she gets the milk. I am hoping this will fix itself as she gets older and better at sucking and swallowing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    Fast letdown is helped by: Nursing frequently, nursing "uphill" (such as in a laid back position) and by taking baby off, letting the initial letdown go into a cloth, and putting baby back on. If latch is tricky and this last idea does not work for you, as an alternative, you could hand express some milk before bringing baby to the breast. Yes, it will correct in time.

    More on fast letdown: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    Hi

    my baby is 7 weeks old and has never really latched on and therefore I used a nipple shield to encourage latching. What is IBCLC. Currently I am pumping as he is even getting fustrated with the nipple shield and therefore my breast feel always very full and he is not feeding well. I am really desperate and would appreciate any advice as I have gone to some breastfeeding support groups but always failed to get him to latch more than a minute.

    thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*harrowmum View Post
    Hi

    my baby is 7 weeks old and has never really latched on and therefore I used a nipple shield to encourage latching. What is IBCLC. Currently I am pumping as he is even getting fustrated with the nipple shield and therefore my breast feel always very full and he is not feeding well. I am really desperate and would appreciate any advice as I have gone to some breastfeeding support groups but always failed to get him to latch more than a minute.

    thanks
    I am sure if you start your own thread with details of your history- what you have tried latch-wise and positioning wise, how you are feeding baby at this point, how often you are pumping and babies weight gain you will get lots of ideas. Also have you spoken to any La Leche League Leader(s)?

    An IBCLC is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. A Lactation Consultant does not have to be an IBCLC to be good, but with an IBCLC you know they have had education and clinical experience directly assisting mothers and babies with breastfeeding. These folks are professionals and are paid for thier services, but depending where you are there may or may not be low/no cost options or you could see if your health insurance would cover this or if your health care provider has lacation services. An LC should spend about 90 minutes with you and costs for private appt. vary quite a bit but around here the average is $100.00 US. Even in the rare circumstance you need to see an LC more than once, this ends up being much much cheaper than the cost of formula feeding for a year.

    I always suggest a mom get names and references from local health care, breastfeeding asistance organizations, etc. and call at least 2 or 3 LC's, you want to find someone you will feel confortable with and have confidence in. To get names in your area see www.ilca.org

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Need help getting rid of the nipple shield

    It took us 2 weeks to wein completely. It was a struggle, but i was determined to do it. Our lactation consultant suggested we start w the shield for the first few minutes, then quickly do the switch. Because we have a hard time latching correctly i soon found myself frustrated when he wouldnt take the nipple. A second visit boosted my confidence, this time we switched sooner..after the first ten swallows. I found the shield helpful at night time. On the 14th day, i just decided to start the feeding wout it and worked!! Keep at it! It can be difficult, have patience. When baby is ready you'll know:-)
    I am so blessed!

    08-31-01
    02-13-12


    2 's in heaven

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