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Thread: Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

    Hi,

    My baby girl was born at 31.5 weeks and is now 8 weeks old. In fact, today is her due date!

    Anyhow, she was in the NICU for 5 weeks and was never given anything but my breastmilk, via gavauge or bottle. She was unable to latch on properly from the get go, so we have used the nipple shield. I am wanting to wean her off this because she does not get enough milk with the shield and my breasts aren't getting propper stimulation. The only problem - she will have nothing to do with my real nipple!!! So, now I am pumping pumping pumping... I have tried to exclusively breastfeed her with the nipple shield and she is not getting enough milk. She will stay on my boob for 3-4 hours at a time. So now I am alternating breastfeeding with bottle feedings. This is extreamly frustrating and would love any input.

    Thanks,
    Cara

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

    Here is a good link to check out.

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...d.html#weaning

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

    I am in a similar situation. My son was born 5 weeks early. He was actually due May 1st. I have been trying to wean him off of the nipple shield as well. I have found that sometimes he will breastfeed without the nipple shield if I start with it on and then take it off in the middle of the feeding. However, this is not always successful and we have had some serious crying fits because of it. You could try this technique. It may work.

    I think that my ds is getting enough to eat because he has been steadily gaining weight. However, I am going through the same situation where I will feed him with the Nipple shield. He will fall asleep at the breast and seem content and then 5 minutes later he is screaming because he is still hungry. I can breastfeed him for up to an hour and he wants to breastfeed every 1 1/2.

    I wish I had some suggestions for you but I want you to know that you are not alone. It is very frustrating.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

    My daughter, Mia, was born at 25 weeks and also only received breast milk. She used the nipple shield until she was about 4 1/2 months actual, 1 1/2 months adjusted. And it was not an overnight weaning situation. What I found that eventually worked was changing the position in which she nursed. I had always nursed her in the cradle position. But, one day I decided to try the footbal position without the shield and it worked. I have no idea why. At first, I did pump before putting her to breast without the shield. But not for very long. The lactation consultant wanted her to have to "work" a little as she got older. I also put the shield back on the MOMENT she started to get frustrated. If she came off to burp, I would take the shield off and try again. It was a constant on-off situation. I would give her twenty minutes (or she would stay forever) of actual nursing (not just hanging out) and then switch sides (I have always had low production so we started switch-nursing). Then, one night, I realized that we had gone all day and not used the shield and never used it again. I read many posts that said that one day she would just "get it" and never believed it. The lactation consultant also said the same thing. Just know that it's true. The most important thing anyone every told me though, reagrding feeding problems with Mia, is that feeding time should be enjoyable for both of us. Do whatever you need to to make that happen-and be patient. These little miracles have been through so much and, at least with Mia, won't be rushed! :-)
    I hope that all helps! Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

    MY ds was born 5 weeks early and I had to pump and use the nipple shield. I also founf that he ate for 1 1/2 hours or so when we went back and forth between the shield and the bottle. Once I stopped giving his the bottle he brgan to nurse much more efficently. WHen we were almost of the shield he would randomly need it, which didn't seem to make sense because I knew that he knew how to nurse without it. Then one day I lost the shield, and didn't have a choice. I realized that sometimes when he was acting like he wanted the shield he wasn't really hungry, he just wanted it for comfort. I think the nipple shield had becpme like a pacifier to him. I also found that I was just as dependant on the shield as he was some times because I could just stick it on and he would eat and I didn't have to work with him, especially when I was really tired. Hang in there it will come. It does get easier as they get bigger. We weaned from the shield completely at 2 months.
    Rachel
    mom to Elijah 1/29/2007
    Pregnant with ds number 2 due sometime in November
    |Cleaning products that are green and safe for our babies.
    http://www.shaklee.net/jonandrachel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Need help weaning my baby off the nipple shield

    I used a nipple shield with my first daughter and also struggled with weaning her from it. Others have offered some good information, and I thought I would add what worked for us.

    I first attempted to start every feeding without the shield, then put it back in place when she didn't latch. I tried to go without it as we switched breasts (using it for the first breast and not for the second). I tried removing it partway through one breast. What finally worked was a combination of three things: waiting until she was too sleepy to realize it, then removing the shield partway through one breast, and also working hard to improve my nipple presentation so she could latch on well. In my case, I had flat nipples so I used a "nipple sandwich" technique to give her adequate tissue to latch onto.

    If you have any questions about working on the latch, positioning, or presentation, just ask. I wish you the best. I know personally how hard it is to want to get the piece of silicone out from between you and your baby and how awkward it can be to get the shield in place. (Third hand, anyone?)

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