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Thread: Getting off the shield/formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Question Getting off the shield/formula

    So my preemie is now 2 months old, and we are successfully nursing 90% of the time. I am pumping at work during the day and feeding him at all feedings during the night. We've supplemented with formula in the past because I got a lot of misinformation about how long to feed him, but I'm slowly cutting that out; however, they still have to supplement during the day because my supply is low. I'm working on that, too.

    Now, I know that having him nurse directly off the nipple will help my supply, but I have NO idea how to go about doing this without traumatizing us both. He's not UNreceptive to it and has latched-on a few times, but it's not great and he'll only suckle for a little while before pulling away and whining. Since he was never good at latching to begin with, I'm not sure how to retrain him to do it well. I'm also worried that he may not ever be able to since he's always been bottlefed as well. Anyone else been here? Or have advice on how to make this work?

    I would really like to get rid of the shields because they are kind of a hassle, especially for NIP. However, I won't stop using them if it means he won't BF anymore. As my LC said, "Better to use a shield for 3 months than to not breastfeed the baby at all."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Getting off the shield/formula

    My son was premature (22 days), and we used shields to start. I didn't have anyone to help me get off of them, so we went until 8 weeks. I started by removing the shield half-way through a feeding. Like you described, he would latch briefly and then get fussy. I would use the shield for the rest of the feeding at that point so that he did not develop a negative attachment with the feel of nursing without a shield. At 8 weeks I decided to spend the weekend working on nursing, and he caught on. We spent time skin-to-skin, I wore him often during the newborn months, and he slept in a co-sleeper in our room till 5 months. (And sometimes finds his way back in now at 8 months.) We are a success story. He came home at 4 pounds, 11 ounces. At 8 months old, he's a big 23 pound boy! Once he figured it out, he REALLY figured it out. I hope that is an encouraging word to you. Do you have the Sears' Breastfeeding Book? It was a good read for me as I stumbled through those first weeks. Blessings to you. You'll figure it out if you remain focused and patient. It sounds like you're doing well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Getting off the shield/formula

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