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Thread: help! nipple shield addiction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default help! nipple shield addiction

    I have always had problems b/f from day 1. Early on DD had such a poor latch I was bleeding and had to start exclusively pumping.

    Someone recommended I try a nipple shield and it helped me tolerate the pain enough to give nursing another go. I've been told however that since I have a low milk supply, I should try to eliminate it for stimulation purposes. But now my baby won't take the breast w/o it!! She's 3 mos and I've been using the shield about 4 weeks on and off.

    I've tried every trick in the book including nursing while she's sleepy or waiting to remove it after she's been on a bit. She won't be fooled. And if I push the issue she cries a fit. She acts like I'm insulting her when I brush my nipple by her mouth w/o the shield.

    Is there anyone who successfully weaned off one and can give me advice? This is not going to be easy but I really need to get my supply up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    51

    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    I didn't use it for that long of a time, but I got my daughter off the shield by letting her latch on with it, letting her suck for while, then taking her off and putting her back on without the shield while the nipple was still shield-shapped. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    We used one from about two weeks until about 3 and a half months. The only thing I can say is keep trying. Eventually the baby will "get" it. Like the pp, we started out by letting her nurse with it, and then taking it off midway through. If she threw a fit, I put it back on again.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    Is there any chance you can pump for a few minutes after some feedings to tell your body to make more milk? If you didn't have a supply issue I would say wait a week and then try to get your baby to nurse without the shield. She may just not be ready but next week it could be easy. I thought I'd never get my son off the shield but he weaned off it pretty easily using the process described above. I know it hasn't worked for you yet but hopefully it will soon!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    Thanks for the responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by fergie830 View Post
    Is there any chance you can pump for a few minutes after some feedings to tell your body to make more milk?
    Fergie I already do pump after feeding as much as possible. I haven't noticed a change yet....

    Part of my desire to get rid of the shield is also to simplify my life. Right now I spend so much time nursing, pumping, washing bottles, writing the amounts down and supplementing (since I don't make enough milk). Its too much and just about when I can sit down, its time to start the routine all over again.

    And the shield is honestly one big PIA! Its always falling on the floor or needing to be washed or DD sucks it off of me. Its like a comedy with that thing! One time I forgot I had it on me....I had been walking about the house with it under my shirt....and for a split second I thought in shock that I had something wrong with my nipple until I realized what it was!

    Its a love-hate thing since it brought DD back to the breast but at what cost!?!?!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebbie View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    Its a love-hate thing since it brought DD back to the breast but at what cost!?!?!
    I can totally understand the Love-Hate relationship with the shield. My DD is 16 months old and still will not latch on without it. Got it as a preemie, everytime we attempted to wean her off of it, we had to go to the hospital (unrelated to the weaning of the shield) and then she wouldn't latch on without it....I keep mine in a washcloth between my boobs in my bra, I never forget it that way!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    290

    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    I'm hooked to mine too. I want to try to nurse w/o it cause my milk supply is dropping but it hurts so bad when he tries to latch on w/o it! Even more so it's a pain in the rump if i try to nurse in public cause i have to put the thing on w/o flashing everyone and their mothers. He's 7 weeks atm and i feel like i'm in a rut now. It was wonderful in the beginning and still is in terms of going from breast to bottle and back, but I don't want to still be using in in a year from now...

  8. #8
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    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    I am not sure what the solution is but misery always loves company! Nice to know I'm not suffering alone....

    Right now I use a Madela 24mm shield but it seems kinda big. Does anyone know of a better one? Is there an ultra thin one to bridge between a shield and a nipple?

    Also....sbbeana....I would suggest that if you have any remote chance of getting help you do so asap.... 7 weeks is still not too old to wean off it. I have a 3+ mo.. and that is pushing it. She is getting more difficult to persuade and try new things on.

    I was in your shoes early on too with the pain. I'm convinced my DD had such a bad latch it gave me thrush which just compounded everything. At 7 wks though you still have options.

    Any advice on better types of shields appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebbie View Post
    Also....sbbeana....I would suggest that if you have any remote chance of getting help you do so asap.... 7 weeks is still not too old to wean off it. I have a 3+ mo.. and that is pushing it. She is getting more difficult to persuade and try new things on.
    .
    I'm not sure 3 months is too old. It seems like after 3 months, they get more efficient and catch on a little better. Don't give up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: help! nipple shield addiction

    I used a nipple sheild for the first 2.5 months. I read all the suggstions for weaning--latching her on to the shield initially and then removing it after a letdown, waiting until she was really hungry, trying it when she wasn't too hungry--but really it just took time, and experimentation. I would think that with a baby that was older, it would be more difficult, but they also have the ability to rationalize a bit, right? Could you try saying, you can only nurse if you don't use the shield? And for the mamas with younger babies, know it can be done (usually) and that it just takes persistence. It was really weird, becaues I had been trying it without any success for weeks, and then one day, she just decided she would try the breast, and we never went back. I carried it around with me for weeks, just in case. It was like an addiction to get rid of it...I was petrified that once I did she would decide she needed the shield to nurse, but it never happened. We have been nursing for a year without it now!

    Erin
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