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Thread: Nipple Shield

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    19

    Default Nipple Shield

    My baby did not latch on to me so I had to use a nipple shield. She is three weeks old now and sometimes she will eat without it and sometimes she still seems like she can't latch on. Will it hurt anything to keep using it and also does anyone have any suggestions on getting her off the shield. She does not open her mouth wide enough and I am afraid that my nipples will get really sore bc she is not on the areola.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    I'd really love to hear the answer to this question! I have a 4 day old newborn who is having issues latching on. My nipples do not stay erect and one is completely numb. Are there indeed any issues using nipple shields longterm? Also, does anyone have any other ideas as to what I can do? Are nipple shields my best option?

    One last question: Where can I get them? Our local WalMart doesn't have any and my husband is out driving around as I write this trying to find some. What a guy!

    Thanks,
    Kristin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    Using the nipple shield can be very frustrating and is ment to be a short term solution Are you able to get to a LLL meeting or are you in contact with a lactation consultant?

    I just wanted to pass a few things on for you that many women find usefull:


    Nipple Shields . . . Friend or Foe? from the LLL site

    Nipple shields from www.kellymom.com has some helpful tips on weaning from the shield:

    "Weaning from a nipple shield
    These things can help you start to wean from the shield:

    Ensure good positioning and latch--
    Make sure that when positioning your baby to nurse you are holding him so that his whole body faces yours. He should not have to turn his head to nurse.
    Wait for the baby to open very wide - as with a yawn - before you attempt to latch him on.
    Once he has opened this wide - and it may take patience waiting for him to do so - pull him in real close making sure that he takes as much of the breast into his mouth as possible. His chin and nose should touch your breast. His lips should be flanged out - like a rose petal or a fish's lips. If they are not, use your finger to flip them out manually.



    Before attempting to feed at all, pump a few minutes. This will elicit let-down so that baby gets a quick reward. It will also elongate the nipple for him.

    Also before feeding, offer him your index or pinky finger nail-side down to suck on for several minutes. This suck-training teaches him to drop his tongue down as he must do with breastfeeding. With the shield (much like a bottle nipple) he may push his tongue to the roof of his mouth to slow the flow of milk.

    Breastfeed frequently - as often as you can. Attempt to feed before he gets too hungry - when he is sucking on his fingers or rooting, but before he cries. If you can catch him early he may be more willing to work with you. You also might try nursing when he is a little drowsy. Some babies are more willing to take the breast when they are semi-asleep than when fully awake.

    Try different nursing positions.

    Nurse while in motion - as you walk, sway, rock, bounce, etc.

    Provide lots of skin-to-skin contact when nursing and at other times as you can. Undress baby to his diaper and remove your blouse if possible. Try nursing while you both enjoy a warm bath.

    Drip expressed breastmilk (or formula, or sugar water if no ebm is available) over your nipple in the corner of the baby's mouth using an eyedropper or feeding syringe while he is at the breast.

    If baby becomes upset as you are trying, stop and attempt to calm him before trying again.
    These last ones pertain more to taking the shield away:


    It may help if you compress your breast and hold it firmly about 1 1/2 inches from the base of your nipple toward the chest wall (usually at the edge of the areola just past where your baby's lips will be) - like squishing down a big thick sandwich on a roll to take a bite. Holding the breast this way makes your nipple more firm like the shield. Keep holding it like that until it feels like baby is sucking well, and then slowly release the grip.

    Apply ice to your nipple before feeding to harden it.

    Try to notice if there are certain times of the day or positions that he seems more receptive during and build on those.

    Try offering the breast without the nipple shield, particularly when baby is rather sleepy. Sometimes once they take the "bare" breast a couple times, they'll continue with no problems.

    If baby doesn't take the breast without the shield relatively easily, give it to him with the shield. DO NOT allow him to become frustrated at the breast, that will only make him more resistant to breastfeeding. Allow baby to build trust that nursing will work and will be ok, even if that means using the shield to make it familiar and easy for him. Once he builds trust, start to remove the shield after he has been on for awhile

    After baby is nursing well and let-down has occurred, attempt to remove the shield quickly and relatch baby. Very gradually, start to remove it earlier and earlier in the feeding until you don't need it at all.

    Sometimes it works to offer the first breast with the shield and the second one without it, if your baby takes both breasts in one feeding.

    In the beginning, you may not want to take away the shield at every feeding so the baby relaxes and doesn't look for you to remove it every time.

    You may hear the recommendation to cut away the tip of the nipple shield, a little each day, until it's gone. This is not recommended for silicon shields, because it will leave sharp edges.
    Be sure not to make this a battle with the baby, or he will resist more. Don't obsess with weaning off the shield to the point that you're robbed of the joy of breastfeeding. As long as your baby is gaining weight well, then you have some time to play with. Keep trying as often as you can, and give it some time. There are some reports of moms continuing to use the shield for their whole breastfeeding experience, but most moms have taken anywhere from 2 days to about 4-5 weeks to accomplish completely weaning from the shield. Be patient with yourself and your baby while you work through this transition."

    Hope you find these helpful

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    N. TX
    Posts
    1,231

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    A lot of people think they are no no's because of the supply disruption, however, they can be a life saver when nothing else works. I used on for 5 weeks and then one day my baby decided he didn't need them anymore. You can get them at Target. If you use one, do let the babies comfort suck as much as you can stand b/c that will help with supply. If they are sleepy and not hungry, try letting them suck on the bare nipple. If they can't get a good grip, pinch the nipple a little between two fingers and let them get a grab then let go. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    I have found them at target.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    Just wanted to add that you really want to make sure you get a good fit (as they come in a few sizes), so if possible work with a lactation consultant or a LLL leader. I have seen them at Target and Babies R Us.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    I have used a shield for 11 months now. I would prefer not to because it can be inconvenient (you always have to have one with you) but I was unable to wean DD from it. If you do want to wean, the earlier you try the more successful you will likely be. The kellymom.com link posted above has a lot of good tips for weaning.

    I have read that using the shield may hurt supply. I have not had any problems with my nursing supply. I have recently had problems with my pumping supply but I think that is because of other reasons. If you can wean successfully that is great. I am sure it is better to nurse without it. But, it is still better to nurse with the shield than to not nurse at all. Good luck!
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Nipple Shield

    When I weaned LO from the nipple shield I tried everything. The only thing that worked was Iceing my nip and putting my pinky in right before I let her try to latch. The cold nip worked. It was annoying at firts to ice, but after 2 weeks or so she nursed w/o out the ice.

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