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Thread: Nipple Shield

  1. #1

    Default Nipple Shield

    I've been using the nipple shield since day one, I thought this was very helpful since her latch wasn't so great. Recently, I've been trying to wean her off of the shield because her latch has been improving but I feel like it's to late, I feel discouraged, disappointed and frustrated. I latch her on with the shield, 10 minutes later I pick her up to burp and try feeding her without the shield, at first she would latch on for 5 minutes and then fall asleep or simple latch off, I didn't try this daily, since I thought she was doing good but today she cried so loud, you can see her frustration she wanted to latch on but there was no shield, I tried and tried and tried but we were both frustrated, I gave in and I put on the shield and she latched on with no problem. She just turned 2 months, is it to late for me? Am I doing something wrong? Am I tramatizing her by letting her cry and basically forcing her on my boob when clearly she is not interested? How can I wean her off without feeling guilty? I would love to feed her without having to worry about a shield, it's a hassle (cleaning, sanitizing, remembering to pack, putting it on, taking it off) I don't feel comfortable going places because I know I'm going to have to put it on to feed her, I'm just getting to the point of giving up. Do you ladies have any tips? Should I just keep trying regardless if she cries?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    Hi and welcome!
    You do not have to explain wanting to wean off the shield to us. Anyone who has used a shield knows how much of a hassle it is. Of course you want to wean off it as soon as possible.

    There is no "too late" when it comes to weaning off the shield. This is a misconception because people think a shield is like bottle feeding. This is an incorrect assumption because 1) nursing with a shield is nothing like bottle feeding and 2) While it does get more difficult over time, there is no "too late" for bringing baby to the breast after being bottle fed either.

    But there is no doubt that the process of weaning a baby off a nipple shield can be very frustrating. There are some important things to consider before continuing to try.
    Is baby currently gaining normally while exclusively breastfed?
    What latch issues led to the use of a shield? Do these appear solved?

    Are you working with an IBCLC? Have you and your baby received in-person help with latch and positioning ideas? If not, I suggest doing so. If you have and need more help, can you get more? If you have seen an LC and it was an unsatisfactory experience, please let us know more about it.

    Have you been pumping as well, to ensure continued normal milk production?

    If baby is capable of weaning off the shield, meaning, baby is physically capable of latching and nursing without it, then it is fine to continue to work on weaning from the shield. Here are some suggestions.
    Most babies latch and nurse most effectively when calm or at least, not overly upset. So insisting baby continue to try to latch without the shield after baby is upset may very well be counterproductive. On the other hand, some persistence on the part of mom is needed or baby will not learn what baby needs to learn to latch without the shield. How much is some? That is going to vary a great deal situation to situation.

    When I was weaning my oldest off the shield, I found that for me, being both patient yet persistent worked best. I would try to latch baby without the shield, but not insist to the point baby became very upset. I tried every day several times a day, but not every nursing session. I tried to latch baby initially without the shield, or after nursing for a bit, when baby was alert, when baby was sleepy or just waking, etc. I tried many different things, in other words. But not all at once.
    I personally found baby could nurse without the shield on one side almost two weeks before the other.

    To facilitate a good latch without the shield, I found it was very important to get baby to the breast before baby became upset as much as possible. I found it really helped to hold baby most of the time so baby was "always" being offered the breast. Of course there were times that baby was sleeping or whatever and woke up frantic and hungry. At those times, I would only try to latch without the shield briefly before putting it on, or not even try without it. Getting baby to latch without the shield seemed to work best when baby was offered to nurse, calm, and willing to try things.
    Am I tramatizing her by letting her cry and basically forcing her on my boob when clearly she is not interested?
    A baby who cannot latch without a shield is not "not interested." They just cannot do it yet. Try to not take this personally. No you are not traumatizing your baby by trying to get baby to nurse. But if baby is upset most of the time you try to get her to nurse without the shield, maybe you both need more help with latch and positioning techniques so baby can latch without the shield.

    Here is a good article on shields: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...s/wean-shield/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; March 23rd, 2017 at 11:28 PM.

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