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Thread: No more nipple shield

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default No more nipple shield

    Hi mamas! I recently posted about a couple of issues I was having with my babygirl and bf. I am currently trying to ween her off of the shield. She will easily latch on but she will pull off after about 5-10min and then begin looking for the breast, crying, fighting and pushing me away. I try my hardest to get her to latch and she just fights me and I can clearly see she's still hungry (she will suck her hands while fighting or turn her head to my breast). Any tips or maybe some insight as to why she does this? It completely stresses me out in the middle of the night when shes screaming and I feel bad knowing she's still hungry but just not latching on.

  2. #2

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    I can think of a few reasons this might happen, and I am linking a nice overview of various latch and positioning ideas below.
    Forceful letdown or fast flow (nursing with baby more on top of you, or sidelying, may help)
    Are you engorged? This can make it more difficult for baby to latch. (You can try Reverse pressure softening)
    baby does not like position (try other positions, again, laid back or sidelying might work as both tend to be more relaxing for both mom and baby once you both get the hang of it)
    Baby needs to burp, poop or pas gas and is uncomfortable (the act of eating can bring on any of these bodily functions, it does not mean there is anything wrong with your baby or your milk)
    Soft nipple: Are you having nipple pain? It often helps baby latch if moms nipple is firm. If nursing is causing you pain that can inhibit the hormonal reaction that firms up nipples. Stress or overall bodily discomfort may also inhibit this reaction. or sometimes it just happens that mom has softer or flatter nipples, making baby have difficulty latching. (this would also explain why the nipple shield was helpful) Of course if there is pain or discomfort, you want to try to fix that. If your nipple is soft, using a breast sandwich technique and/or nipple tilt latch technique may help baby have something firmer to grab onto.
    Sometimes if baby is upset and disorganized, it is harder for baby to latch. It may help to let baby suck on your clean pinky fingertip to help baby calm down before trying to latch again.

    latch and positioning ideas: http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/

    Less common issue that MIGHT cause this is painful reflux. Reflux is usually calmed by nursing but in an extreme case there can be pain shortly after starting to nurse.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    I don't have any pain when latching but we do the side lying position at night and she still does it. I do think my nipples may be on the soft side especially since I took her off of the shield.

    I was only using the shield because one night at the hospital she would not eat and it had been about 5-6hrs since she last ate. The nurses didn't know what to do since I didn't want to supplement so they suggested a shield to get her latched on and we just continued using it until last Saturday.

    Could it be fast flow since I stopped using the shield? I was told it causes poor milk transfer.

  4. #4

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    How is weight gain/poop output? Normal?

    Could it be fast flow since I stopped using the shield? I was told it causes poor milk transfer.
    Yes it is possible. Do you see any other signs, such as baby sputtering, coughing, gagging while nursing? Is it worse if it has been a while since baby nursed or a while since baby nursed on that side?

    She will easily latch on but she will pull off after about 5-10min and then begin looking for the breast, crying, fighting and pushing me away.
    in the five to 10 minutes baby nurses, is there swallowing? any Gulping? If you have a fast letdown it is possible bayb has gotten enough to eat and pushes away due to being full (for the moment) but also wanting to comfort nurse. You can try comforting baby another way and then bring baby to nurse again, maybe on the same side, maybe on other side, as baby prefers?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    I do hear her gulping and swallowing.. There have been times where she let go and began coughing. I just don't understand the fighting but still wanting to nurse when I'm trying to give it to her, very stressful.

    Weight gain has been slow but she is gaining. Her last check was last Tuesday and she was 6lb 15oz..birth weight was 7lb 3oz and she was 3 days shy of 2wks old. I'm pretty confident she's back at birth weight now. Poops/wet diapers have been very consistent, almost every change is a dirty diaper or what I call a "blow out" diaper where she's filled the entire diaper..I'll spare the details

  6. #6

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    I just don't understand the fighting but still wanting to nurse when I'm trying to give it to her, very stressful.
    Going with the assumption that the issue is a fast flow, Maybe she still wants to nurse but not with such a fast flow. Babies nurse for comfort, so a babies inclination would be to nurse fast when flow is fast and then slow when she wants the flow to be less so she can suckle more for comfort. a baby can control flow to some extent by how they suckle. But if she has not figured that out yet (she is still figuring this all out, it is early days!) or the flow is simply too intense no matter what, that could be frustrating to baby.
    Have you tried laid back position with baby on top of you? That will lessen the flow. Also, Have you tried hand expressing a little milk out and then offering the breast again?

    The other way to lessen flow it to gently encourage baby to nurse often. The more often baby nurses, the less build up of milk in the breast. If baby wants one side at a time, that is fine. no need to switch sides at one session unless baby wants too.

    Gain seems slow for a baby who is gulping, so to be honest I bet one of those checks was off. This happens much more often than you would think. Not only is there scale and human error to contend with, but simply having checks on different scales can make a difference, sometimes by several ounces. A baby pooping that often including blowouts (I think most of us know exactly what you mean) would appear to be getting lots of milk. or maybe the shield caused issues with transfer?

  7. #7

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    Hi kaimom! I am in the process of weaning my 11 week old son off the nipple shield as well. He wasn't gaining enough weight, so at the moment we are also supplementing with formula to get him back to a healthy level.
    Now, I'm not an expert at all - certainly not like the real lactation consultants here- but my son behaves very similar to your little girl sometimes and here is my home-spun theory: with the shield, they have quite a shallow latch on the breast because the shield goes so far back into their mouths without any effort from their side. So whilst they get more milk at a faster pace without the shield, they have to use a completely different set of muscles in their tongues and cheeks to draw your nipple into their mouth. Like with any new form of physical exercise, if your muscles are unfamiliar with it, you will tire sooner and possibly even get a bit sore.
    My son first started breastfeeding without the shield 6 days ago, but only for very short periods of time. Now he might still let go and fuss after a while, at which point i put the shield back on for a couple of minutes and then try removing it again. I've also noticed that if he's upset or agitated he needs the shield to latch, but I can remove it as soon as he calms down.
    The way I see it, he just needs to get used to the new kind of sucking movement, so I let him use the shield as soon as he seems distressed, and don't let him become frustrated at the breast. In 6 days he has gone from being able to feed without the shield for just a couple of minutes to well over 15 minutes. I reckon another week and we'll be off it completely!
    Good luck to you and your little girl!

  8. #8

    Default Re: No more nipple shield

    No expert here, but wanted go offer what worked for me. We just weaned at 9 days old from the nipple shield that we started at 36 hrs old. Actually weaned might not be appropriate terminology, we really just stopped cold turkey. I was having the same problem as you... Baby would latch, have a few great sucks, then be done, pushing me away, crying, etc. A few things really helped us:
    1) swaddling. Not only could baby not push me away, but also, was calmer seemingly not wanting to push away.
    2) sandwich latch. Worked wonders for us, but definitely required help for a day till we got the hang of it due to the need to two hands just for the latch.
    3) pumping beforehand. Pumping helped me realize just how much milk was coming out at a time. I could relax about Baby not getting enough and understood the behavior after seeing it for myself . since i was so engorged, Baby did seem to be full after 5-10 minutes. We burped, changed the diaper, then offered the other side. This seemed to help Baby get a full feed each time.
    4) less full breasts. Pumping for just 1-2 minutes before feeds if I was engorged helped with this at first, but after a couple of days, my supply adjusted to needs and we could get a mouthful of breast without any special techniques.

    Good luck. Stick with it. For us, it was a really tough 24 hrs with lots of bouts of frustration, consoling away from the breast with me or daddy or grandma and then trying again, but when he was hungry enough, he figured it out just fine. 24 hrs later, we were shield-free. A short-lived trial with great rewards.

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