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Thread: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    I am having a very emotional time w/ the nipple shield. Def a love hate thing. The lactation consultant at the hospital fitted me and recommended it's use due to my LO's chin shape (small lower lip, was getting a callous from trying to feed without) combined w/ my near flat nipples. He would latch correctly but quickly lose the nipple and not feed well. He has been eating well with it. 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!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    You can use the shield as long as you like. It's not an easy thing to wean from and can take weeks. Some nurse at the hospital my midwife transferred me to gave me one after I had my first baby and insisted on nursing him, and it took me 8-10 weeks together rid f it.

    Thrush is beatable
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    Hi, I saw your posts on the other nipple shield thread. I hope you read that whole tread, lots of good ideas there.

    You asked about pumping with the shield. Here is the deal with that. The typical recommendation is that mothers who are using a shield also pump, either each time they nurse, or as often as they can if they cannot pump each time. No need to pump for long, maybe 10 or 15 minutes per side-which would be 10 or 15 minutes total if you can use a double sided pump.

    Why this is: Because SOME moms have milk supply issues after/when using the shield, even if baby has good weight gain. Whether this is due to the shield, or the issue that made using the shield necessary, is debatable. But there is no doubt some moms have milk supply issues that appear to stem from nipple shield use.

    Is it necessary? It's like an insurance policy for your milk supply if that makes sense. No, for some moms, it is not necessary. For others just a little pumping would probably be enough. But for others regular pumping is needed, and how do you know until you know? I say, if you have access to a good pump, preferable a hospital grade rental or at the very least a double sided personal use electric, then pump, but not so much that is overwhelming or you start feeling like you have too MUCH milk. If that happens, back off on the pumping.

    What positions have you tried? Have you tried laid back positions? What about latch techniques-breast sandwich, nipple tilt?

    Also all moms who are given nipple sheilds should be getting follow up care from the LC. A nipple sheild is a temprary solution but the underlying problem must be resloved. Sometimes moms and baby and time resolve the issue, but sometimes additional help is needed. Are you getting any lactation follow up care?
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 24th, 2012 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    This link has suggestions on weaning from a shield: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/. Don't worry too much- this is almost certainly a temporary thing. It's not often that a baby cannot be weaned from the shield- babies are smart and eventually they realize that they can get fed without having to wait for the silly silicone witch's hat. But we have very rarely had moms on this forum who were stuck using the shield for the long haul, and I don't think it presented a real problem for them. It was just an inconvenience. But seriously, it's really rare for a mom to be stuck with the shield forever. If even 1% of moms use the shield for the entirety of their breastfeeding career, I'd be surprised.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    Thanks for the tips/ advice. I just have to try and stay positive and keep trying- it just feels overwhelming at times. I will try pumping too as a backup and maybe I'll feel less worried. Since I don't have any scheduled follow up care, I was thinking of attending a LLL mtg for more support- I'm assuming that's what they're for?

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    I HATED the shield too. DS was early and small 'mouthed' and I have larger nipples. Yay. I remember threatening FF and crying often more than once a day due to it and some other issues. Just try and take it one feeding at a time. Easier said than done. As far as getting off of the shield, I have no suggestions. When DS was 8 weeks about, I just stopped using it more out of frustration and pure stubbornness than anything else. I wasn't smooth transition for me (nipple pain etc) but DS did fine with the change. But he was older and had grown and was able to handle me. I think that was what he needed just some time to grow. But I do remember the anxiety, hate, frustration, you name it about that damned shield.

    Had I needed to though I would have started using it again to keep Bfing.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*davidsmomma View Post
    Thanks for the tips/ advice. I just have to try and stay positive and keep trying- it just feels overwhelming at times. I will try pumping too as a backup and maybe I'll feel less worried. Since I don't have any scheduled follow up care, I was thinking of attending a LLL mtg for more support- I'm assuming that's what they're for?
    yes of course you can get great support and likely good ideas from the moms and the Leader(s) at a LLL meeting. But LLL Leaders are not professional lactation consultants. Sometimes the Leader will be able to sit with a mom and work one on one with latch issues, other times not-it depends on the Leader' comfort level/experience with that and also what type of meeting it is-some are small and intimate and others can be quite large and the Leader will have her hands full just facilitating the discussion and getting to all the questions and concerns of the moms that attend. Also a LLL Leaders' experience with nipple shields will vary quite a bit (this is true of lactation consultants too.) I suggest you call some of your local Leaders ahead of time and ask about getting hands on help at meetings and see if any local Leaders do home visits.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need support w/ BF 5 wk old and nipple shield

    I was on the shield to. For like a span of 2 weeks. Okay, it did suck a good bit.
    And as far as weaning..
    I got very irritated with having to use the shield. It fit on one nipple, and slightly fit on the other (width wise, flat nipple that needs 'encouragement' :O ).
    What I honestly did was make sure to put my LO to the breast at least once a day. Now, I didn't care if he sucked any great amount out--it was just to encourage him to latch and not forget that nipples aren't supposed to be made from plastic.
    A week later.. I stop using it. And BAM! Now he's movin' milk.
    Desmond Ringo Payton [5.31.12|8 lb 14 oz|22 in.|blonde|blue|beautiful|BACK TO BREAST 6.25.12]

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