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Thread: Trying to stop using nipple shields

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Trying to stop using nipple shields

    I had posted previously about my son who is tongue tied, and I am using nipple shields. Well typically he will nurse for at least half hour to 40 minutes or more (even up to an hour). I was worried about him getting enough because he had lost wieght and dr's where wanting to suppliment with formula. Well he hasn't lost anymore and has gained some back with out me supplementing. So that is good news. The other day I wanted to see if I could handle going with out the shield so I tried it with out, and my son and I did great. I was sore for the rest of the evening, so I put the shields back on. However I have gone with out them all day today and have noticed that he is sleeping a lot better, and seems so much more content. He isn't crying nearly as much as he usually does. I also noticed that with out the shields he was swallowing way more, and nursed for shorter period of time. More like 15 to 20 minutes. I am hoping that I can take going with out the shields. I really don't want to go back to having completely raw nipples.

    I do have a latching question. My little guy won't open wide, even when I try to tickle his nose, or lips. I have to wait till he fusses a bit, then when is mouth is wide open I put him on. Is there another way to get them to open wide?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    yes there is. bumping this up to the top cuz i am nak, just 2 hard to type

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    221

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    I was using a nipple shield until recently and I found that when using the shield my son didn't always gape very wide. He sometimes had the same problem when feeding him EBM with a bottle.

    I don't know if your wee one will improve with age but as my boy has become older and more co-ordinated he has gotten better at latching and opens his mouth wider.

    I'd also love to know if anyone has suggestions for getting him to open his mouth, normally I just have to wait it out and be patient if he gets slack and won't open up. If worst gets to worst I can wait until he cries and then slip him a nipple (especially if I have expressed a drip of milk onto the nipple first).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    Well hopefuly I can get it figured out. After going without most of yesterday I am pretty sore today. I used the shield lastnight, but this morning my son seemed really annoyed tht the shield was back on so I tried without again which seemed to make him happy. I just wish I could handle it without the shields.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    You can definitely make it without the shields... I used one with my DD for a few days when she had latch issues, and it worked great. IMO, I would try to ditch the shield, especially since your DS seems to do so well without it. Your nipples will be sore, but perhaps some lanolin would help. The soreness should go away in a few days, but if it doesn't it means that the latch could be shallow/poor/etc. and then I would try to work on getting your LO to correct his latch.

    Good luck, and keep up the awesome bf-ing!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    33

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    You could try pushing your fingertip to the side of his cheek to see if he will "pop" open his mouth more. Another trick is once he is latched on, reach with a free hand (if you have one), and gently pull down his bottom lip. This will help him get more of your nipple into his mouth.

    Great job with everything! Sounds like everything is coming together for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    14

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    Thanks for the latching tips! I am a bit nervous about going with out the shields to the point that my breast where at to begin with. When I say they where raw I mean the skin was gone off of the tip of each nipple, and it was so painful, even with the shields. Now that I have pretty much healed I really hesitate to let it get that far again. I think I may just try going with out them a few times a day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    833

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    Quote Originally Posted by Urs74 View Post
    Thanks for the latching tips! I am a bit nervous about going with out the shields to the point that my breast where at to begin with. When I say they where raw I mean the skin was gone off of the tip of each nipple, and it was so painful, even with the shields. Now that I have pretty much healed I really hesitate to let it get that far again. I think I may just try going with out them a few times a day.
    So sorry you're been in such severe pain. I think that this handout has the best advice on sore nips. Mine were horribly painful and bloody due to a poor latch for the first couple of months so I have an idea what you're going through. Bad latches need quick fixing.

    Sore Nipples

    There's a link on that page that describes breast compression, I had some success with that personally.

    Have you considered asking your doctor to clip the frenulum? Have you been seen by an IBCLC? I think that a professional would do a much better job of helping you get the situation under control quickly. But in the meantime, I don't know if you've seen these links yet, maybe there will be something useful for you here.

    A Case of Tongue Tie
    Dealing with Tongue-Tie
    Tongue-Tied In Connecticut
    Links [from kellymom]: Breastfeeding a Baby with Tongue-Tie
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    627

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    When we stopped using the nipple shields I was sore for a few weeks. I remember posting about it and it seemed to be common with weaning from the shields.

    You can train a baby to open wider. Make eye contact, say open and open your mouth. Your baby will eventually copy you (so you get to smile and cheer!). Practice this a lot and then, when you say "open" the baby will open his mouth. sounds crazy but it really worked.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Trying to stop using nipple shields

    I'm only just off the nipple shield. My boy has been feeding without it for a week now and his technique is not fabulous, so my nipples have been getting kinda sore.

    I have found that my boy is getting better at opening his mouth. When I am getting him to open up I tend to use the same phrases (either "open wide" or "big mouth") and if he isn't latched well (deep enbough) I say "no, that's not right" and unlatch him, but if he's got it right I tell him "good boy" and use a soothing cooing tone.

    Now all I have to do is try and convince him to suck deep rather than wanting to chew

    Using the nipple shield he got a few bad suckling habits, but at least he figured out that milk comes from breasts rather than just a bottle. I know that when using the nipple shield he used to sometimes deliberately thrust forward with his tongue to push the teat out of his mouth so that only the very tip of the teat was in his mouth, and flutter suck using his lips until the teat filled up with milk at which point he would drain the teat in one mouthful. I think that at times he is still trying to pull that trick with the breast.

    I know that he would prefer it if I just had a continual letdown that would dribble into his mouth like a bottle, so he didn't have to suck at all and could just wait till it puddled in his mouth. If only I could convince him that that is actually the SLOW way to feed. I noticed the other night when I was bottle feeding him EBM that if he was getting out of breath he would bite on the teat to stop the milk flow so he could have a breather...
    .. so it seems that he would like to chew when he isn't getting enough flow, and bite when he wants my letdown to stop!

    I HAVE to get this sorted before he gets teeth *grin*

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