Hi, I'm on Day 2 of trying to wean my 8-week-old off the nipple shield. Two problems...
PROBLEM 1: I am getting very sore! I think his latch is wide/deep enough, but it almost feels like he's "biting" me with his gums rather than just sucking. The soreness seems as much, if not more, in the area around my nipples, as opposed to the nipples themselves being sore. I still have to compress the breast that he's eating from so he doesn't slide off and end up biting on the nipple itself... by the end of 15 minutes on a side my hand gets pretty numb... It's also hard for me to distinguish pain from our breastfeeding sessions from pain that I think is being caused by my nipples chafing on the sides of the breast pump shields.
PROBLEM 2 (not nec. related to weaning from nipple shield): The amount of milk I'm able to pump seems to have gone down, and I've had to rush home from work three days in a row b/c he drank all the milk I'd left for him. Now I can't even seem to get enough stored up to fill a bottle so I can go back to work. I used to be able to pump 4-6 ounces in a session. My breasts were huge and hard, which was a big part of his latch problem. Now they are very soft, which is the reason he can latch without the shield.
BACKGROUND: I have flat/inverted nipples, and my baby was small at birth. It took us 5 weeks to work out latch issues and get him breastfeeding with a nipple shield (did pump-and-feed with short nipple shield sessions for the first 5 weeks). Then we had 2-3 good weeks of breastfeeding with the nipple shield, and now I'm trying to wean him off of it. In general it's going well - he feeds for about 30 minutes with about an hour-and-a-half break between feedings and doesn't fuss. Scale (weigh-feed-weigh) says he's getting about 2 oz per feeding.