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Thread: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

  1. #1
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    Sep 2012
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    Houston, TX
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    Default Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    Hi, I'm new to this forum and I'd like to ask for guidance on how I can get my 3 week-old baby used to me again and not the Medela nipple shield. It's been great help with the latch, but my baby seems to not be getting enough milk and he gets tired from using it. If I can wean him off of it, I think it may help with his eating and sleeping patterns. Thankfully, he has consistently gained weight (didn't even lose any weight after birth!) and he has a steady flow of wet and stool diapers. I'm trying different positions, but I underwent a Cesarean and some of the laying down positions are uncomfortable for me. I'd like to get him used to the cradle and cross-cradle positions, without the nipple shield. I have also tried starting the feeding with the shield and finishing up without it. But my baby gets frustrated because he's not sure how to latch on without it and he's so hungry! And my nipples have become sore again. I hope someone out there can provide any pointers to help us out! Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    Congratulations on the birth of your baby. you can wean him off the nipple shield but you might have to work around his frustration.
    some mothers find it helpful to give the baby a full feeding with what ever method they know works,( like using the shield or a finger feed or a cup or a bottle) and then when they know their baby is not hungry, not distracted by thirst or hunger, that is when the mother places the baby naked from the diaper up against her naked breasts and just let him hang out. Let him taste your skin and absorb your energy and when he is ready to try to latch encourage him to nurse when he is ready.
    you can express directly into his mouth to encourage him to nurse.
    You are right, the nipple shield does disrupts milk production and if you are using the shield it is helpful to express to maintain your supply.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    Sorry, I didn't mean to be so terse, something came up, I lost the long thing I typed and just wanted to at least post the link.
    I'm wondering about your nipple soreness. Is it just when you try not to use the shield? When your baby unlatches, are your nipples round like an eraser or compressed like a new lipstick? Is the soreness all the time or just at the beginning of the feed, or something else?
    Have you tried making a "nipple sandwich" to help baby get a deeper latch? Have you tried catching him when he's sleepy/asleep to see if he will latch then? Esthervegan's nursing vacation suggestion seems to be a good way to resolve a lot of different newborn nursing problems, with lots of no-pressure skin-to-skin time. Maybe take baby in the bath with you? Even as an older baby, something about being held by me in the warm water of a bath or shower makes my LO want to latch on.
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    We tried all of the above-mentioned tricks, plus biological nurturing http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/
    What finally worked for us? DS decided one day he'd had enough. He wouldn't latch with the shield. I couldn't believe it! Until then he had only latched bare-breast all of 4 or 5 times. I would slip it off mid-feeding, try when he was sleepy, etc, but it would just frustrate him.

    Keep trying, but don't stress. Nipple shields aren't all doom and gloom!
    Daniel Keith + Rachel Joy = Leonel Dante [4/13/2012]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Orange County, CA
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    Default Re: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    Have you met with a lactation consultant? That might prove very helpful in working on positioning and improving his latch, if it's still causing you soreness. With both kids I spent the first six weeks in and out of the LC's office - it is a wonderful resource if you are having trouble or need some reassurance.

    Beyond that, I would continue trying to offer without the shield at the beginning of each feed, and if he doesn't take it then use the shield before he gets upset/frustrated. You'll get there. But work on the latch with an LC if you can!
    Karen

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    11/09
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.


  7. #7
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    Houston, TX
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    Default Re: Nipple shield/THRUSH

    Thank you everyone for your insightful responses. I have tried and am continuing to use those techniques. I really appreciate it.

    Nine weeks later and I have finally seen a IBCLC LC. (So much has happened in the time that has gone by, mainly medical ailments, including my son being hospitalized and that's why it's taken so long for me to see a LC.) Turns out I have thrush . It's very painful. And I have a feeling this may have accumulated over time due to my sore nipples because the soreness never really went away. And my nipples all this time have been lipstick-shaped. I underwent a cesarean delivery and my incision got infected. I was put on an antibiotic and I'm pretty sure this is how I got thrush. The doctor prescribed nystatin but I'm on day 4 and still in pain. I've read of other treatments like gentian violet. Has anyone actually used it? Any other remedy suggestions for the pain? I'm still taking 600mg of ibuprofen, but the pain won't go away and I really want to continue BF!!!

    Thank you all for your support!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help weaning newborn off nipple shield

    Im sorry to hear you have thrush now. How r u taking the nystatin? Is it a cream? I waa doing the cream and didnt seem like enough. Once i got started on iflucan and baby on oral nystatin thibgs started to get better. If after another day or two things havent improved call ur doc and get dyflucan. It will take a couple of days on that to really start feeling better. I swear it got worst before it got better. Read online about thrush as much as u can. Goos luck mama.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nipple shield/THRUSH

    Thanks for your encouragement and advice, sawyerchic!

    The nystatin prescribed is a cream. Yes, like you said, it feels like it's not working and seems like it got worse. It's so painful but when I look at my baby, all I want to do is work harder for him and endure the pain. As of today we have baby on oral nystatin. I'll ask my doc about the dyflucan you mentioned. I did read something about that but the doc didn't mention it. Tomorrow is a new day and I hope that it gets better by this weekend.

    THanks!

  10. #10
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    New York
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    Default Re: Nipple shield/THRUSH

    Did you get the diflucan? How is the pain? Are you getting any relief? Mine is much better just a little burning and ithing inbetween feedings and it has been about two weeks on cream and a week on diflucan.

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