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Thread: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

  1. #1

    Default Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    My daughter was born at 36 weeks. She is now 2 months old. At the hospital, they told me I had flat nipples, which they are until they are stimulated then my nipple does come out. I have been using the nipple shield since day one. I would realllly like some input/help. Even though I'm greatful the shield has allowed me to breastfeed my baby, I'm just so over using it. Some say the shield prevents cracked/sore nipples, it has been the opposite for me. They are soo sore, I can't even touch them with the towel when drying after a shower. I want soo bad to be able to nurse without it. What doesnt make sense to me though is that if I pump, or after my daughter is done feeding, my nipples come out pretty far, about as far as the shield is. Im SURE she can eat without the shield, she just WONT! She has fed without the shield, but only once. I was soo happy. I try to use the shield for a few minutes, then take it off. She gets frustrated and starts to cry. Earlier, she absolutely would not take my breast, even with the shield so I had to pump and feed her. I just get so discouraged sometimes I want to cry. I love giving my baby the nutrients and I love the bonding with her but sometimes i just want to give up. I wish it could be easier. Maybe as she gets older and bigger she will be able to wean herself off? Any stories, suggestions, etc would help!! Ive gone through so much with breastfeeding so far, I just want it to get a little easier on me. I want to BF as long as i possibly can and I dont want to give up :/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I weaned from a nipple shield by not using it during the night while he was half asleep then he was more accepting during the day
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
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    20,788

    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    This is my favorite link on shields and how to wean from them: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/

    Be patient and keep trying, mama! Babies are smart and I think most of them eventually realize that they can nurse without that silly silicone witch's hat in the way.

    Can you tell us more about the soreness you are experiencing? Are your nips sore AND cracked? If they are cracked, is there just one big crack or multiple slitlike cracks? When do you feel the most pain- at the beginning of a feeding, throughout the feeding, towards the end of the feeding (you might feel like baby has "slipped up" onto the nipple), or after the conclusion of the feeding? Is the pain more of a sharp stab, like a bite, or more of a burning? Any itchiness? Dry or flaking skin? Increased redness/pinkness?
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I had flat nipples as well, and I also noticed they got better with time. We never used a nipple shield because my LO had other milk transfer issues as well, but I did use one of those little suction cups to draw my nipple out for quite some time.

    Like PP said, I would try to see if you can get her to nurse while drowsy, or maybe when not that hungry as a comfort thing. Keep at it, I bet it will be smooth sailing before you know it!
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I used a nipple shield with my oldest and like you I had a love hate relationship with the thing. I was so grateful I could nurse, but it was a hassle to use it. I was able to wean baby off after about a month on one side and 6 weeks on the other.

    Weaning takes patience and persistence, but it also takes understanding what is making latch difficult for baby without the shield, and taking steps to improve that. Many moms with flat and even inverted nipples nurse just fine without a shield, so anatomy alone does not always explain things.

    Some think it is the feel of the silicone that baby gets used to that makes weaning off the shield more difficult. Maybe. But that does not explain why using the shield worked in the first place when nursing at the breast without a shield did not. What does a nipple shield really do? It acts like a nipple prosthesis to give baby a firm protrusion to facilitate a deep latch and trigger active sucking.

    You can do this to some extent without a shield. Have you tried the nipple sandwich aka breast sandwich technique? How about the nipple tilt? If you have no idea what I am talking about let us know and we will send more info. Some moms make their nipple harder using cold or manual stimulation prior to latch.

    What positions have you tried? Have you tried laid back? This position facilitates self attachment and may be very helpful, particularly helpful if you try the good idea of latching baby when baby is sleepy, calm, relaxed.

    As far as the nipple injury-While there are exceptions, in general it is a giant falsehood that nipple shields prevent nipple injury. On the other hand, if baby is able to latch appropriately and the nipple shield is the correct size, I don’t think they should cause nipple injury either. What causes nipple injury is a poor latch. This could be fixed with positioning or latch technique adjustment, unless there is an anatomical barrier, such as tongue tie. I am concerned your baby still has latch issues and you will have pain and be injured even without the shield, so be careful about that.

    Also are you pumping as well? That is the typical recommendation when using shields. as a safeguard because some mom and babies have milk transfer and/or supply issues when using shields. If you are, make sure the PUMP is working correctly and the flange the correct size and not causing or exacerbating your nipple injury. If you are not, you will need to keep a close eye on baby’s weight gain and your milk production.

    Nipple shields can be helpful tools but their use potentially causes so many issues, and potentially hides what the real issues are, it is really best to use them only under the care and guidance of an IBCLC. (That does not mean stop using them if baby cannot latch otherwise of course!) Have you ever gotten hands on help with breastfeeding from a competent helper?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I understand! We're kind of in the same situation (right down to the LO getting frustrated without the shield!).

    The best advice I'd gotten from here is to be proactive without being panicky (I was panicked about all this potential supply/transfer stuff). We attempt to latch without it at least once a day, more if he's having a "good" day. I try to work on it when he's not super-hungry or irritable. To date (he's 10 weeks) he's latched onto bare breast all of 5 times, 2 of those actually nursing on it. I try to think of it as a re-training of a skill we never really had a chance to learn. And like any new skill, you have to be patient but persistent.

    Good luck
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I am having a very emotional time w/ the nipple shield as well. Def a love hate thing. While I am so grateful that I am able to BF and my 5 week old is doing well and gaining weight, I am also so disappointed that I cannot feed him w/o the shield. I have tried weaning, but he gets so frustrated that I give up and go back to the shield. I can get him to latch on w/o the shield, but he will let go after only seconds of nursing and the gets extremely upset- I don't want him to develop an aversion to breast feeding. And now I think he has thrush (we have our next checkup tomorrow so I'll find out for sure) and I feel like it's just one more hurdle trying to get me to just quit and do formula (I have threatened this many times out of frustration and tears) but it means everything to me and my LO to find a way to make breast feeding successful. My goal has always been to feed for a year. I need help! If worse comes to worse and I can't wean him successfully from the shield, is it ok to keep using the shield for good? Thanks for your help!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I am using a shield but have not pumped because doc said weight gain was good (he was back to birth weight less than a week after birth). How do I know if milk production is ok? Should I start pumping?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    I have not heard of the breast sandwich or any of those you mentioned, but of course I would love to hear more!! I have tried different positions, I've tried when she was sleepy, I have also tried laying down. She CAN latch on which is why I get so frustrated. She latches, will suck for about 10 seconds then get very upset, cry, and move her head back and forth. I know she is ABLE to feed but for some reason she just wont. I am pumping as well and when I do, my nipples have no pain. When I feed with the shield, its like horrible pain afterwards. They are very red, and will eventually crack. As of yet I haven't gotten any help with the exception of the specialists at the hospital and they just told me to use the shield. She is gaining enough, She had her two-month checkup and went from 5.11 at birth, was 5.4 when we left the hospital. At 1 month she was 7.4 and yesterday at the checkup she was 9.5.. her doctor seemed to be pleased with her growth. Thank you for all the info you gave!
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    I used a nipple shield with my oldest and like you I had a love hate relationship with the thing. I was so grateful I could nurse, but it was a hassle to use it. I was able to wean baby off after about a month on one side and 6 weeks on the other.

    Weaning takes patience and persistence, but it also takes understanding what is making latch difficult for baby without the shield, and taking steps to improve that. Many moms with flat and even inverted nipples nurse just fine without a shield, so anatomy alone does not always explain things.

    Some think it is the feel of the silicone that baby gets used to that makes weaning off the shield more difficult. Maybe. But that does not explain why using the shield worked in the first place when nursing at the breast without a shield did not. What does a nipple shield really do? It acts like a nipple prosthesis to give baby a firm protrusion to facilitate a deep latch and trigger active sucking.

    You can do this to some extent without a shield. Have you tried the nipple sandwich aka breast sandwich technique? How about the nipple tilt? If you have no idea what I am talking about let us know and we will send more info. Some moms make their nipple harder using cold or manual stimulation prior to latch.

    What positions have you tried? Have you tried laid back? This position facilitates self attachment and may be very helpful, particularly helpful if you try the good idea of latching baby when baby is sleepy, calm, relaxed.

    As far as the nipple injury-While there are exceptions, in general it is a giant falsehood that nipple shields prevent nipple injury. On the other hand, if baby is able to latch appropriately and the nipple shield is the correct size, I don’t think they should cause nipple injury either. What causes nipple injury is a poor latch. This could be fixed with positioning or latch technique adjustment, unless there is an anatomical barrier, such as tongue tie. I am concerned your baby still has latch issues and you will have pain and be injured even without the shield, so be careful about that.

    Also are you pumping as well? That is the typical recommendation when using shields. as a safeguard because some mom and babies have milk transfer and/or supply issues when using shields. If you are, make sure the PUMP is working correctly and the flange the correct size and not causing or exacerbating your nipple injury. If you are not, you will need to keep a close eye on baby’s weight gain and your milk production.

    Nipple shields can be helpful tools but their use potentially causes so many issues, and potentially hides what the real issues are, it is really best to use them only under the care and guidance of an IBCLC. (That does not mean stop using them if baby cannot latch otherwise of course!) Have you ever gotten hands on help with breastfeeding from a competent helper?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help with nipple shield pleasee (long)

    We are going through the same thing, while I was reading it seemed like I was the one talking! I try to wean her off of the shield but like you said, she will eat for a short time then get very upset. My daughter did develop thrush, and was prescribed medicine it went away within a few days. I have also thought about formula after being so frustrated that I was in tears, but I just refuse to give up. I'd just like it to be a little easier for the both of us. I too want to BF for at least a year. I have heard someone tell me she used the breast shield up until she stopped BF which was over a year so it's possible to use the shield for good, just a lit of hassle Thank you for sharing and good luck to you!
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*davidsmomma View Post
    I am having a very emotional time w/ the nipple shield as well. Def a love hate thing. While I am so grateful that I am able to BF and my 5 week old is doing well and gaining weight, I am also so disappointed that I cannot feed him w/o the shield. I have tried weaning, but he gets so frustrated that I give up and go back to the shield. I can get him to latch on w/o the shield, but he will let go after only seconds of nursing and the gets extremely upset- I don't want him to develop an aversion to breast feeding. And now I think he has thrush (we have our next checkup tomorrow so I'll find out for sure) and I feel like it's just one more hurdle trying to get me to just quit and do formula (I have threatened this many times out of frustration and tears) but it means everything to me and my LO to find a way to make breast feeding successful. My goal has always been to feed for a year. I need help! If worse comes to worse and I can't wean him successfully from the shield, is it ok to keep using the shield for good? Thanks for your help!

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