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Thread: nipple shield issues

  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Default nipple shield issues

    my son was 4 weeks early and after a myriad of issues he was given to me at the hospital after 12 hours in the nursery. He did not want to latch and had a very weak sucking reflex. They gave me the nipple shield to help him latch on which it did, but it has now effected my milk supply and he will not latch on without it. He is not gaining adequate weight and I am certain its because he is not getting the hindmilk because of the shield. The have me supplementing with formula which he is not tolerating well. Any suggestions??

  2. #2
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: nipple shield issues

    I, too, have nipple shield issues, but more of the mental variety. DS wouldn't latch in the hospital without the nipple shield and now still won't. It's a pain and my attempts to take it away have so far proved fruitless. HOWEVER, I don't think the shield is the weight gain issue. DS is happy & healthy and has been steadily gaining weight since leaving the hospital. He did lose quite a bit (almost a lb) in the hospital because I kept trying without the shield and he wouldn't latch. They wanted me to supplement formula which we did a few times, but I pumped and bottle fed breastmilk. Some may think that would compound the problem but it didn't. DS has been going back and forth from bottle to boob from 4 days old and hasn't had a problem except, of course, preferring the shield. BUT I'd rather have him get BM with the shield than no BM without the shield.
    As far as the hindmilk, I don't think the shield has anything to do with it, but ask your pedi or LC.
    Here's an article on nipple shields and tips for weaning.
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...an-shield.html

    Good luck!!

  3. #3
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: nipple shield issues

    It can seem overwhelming but my wee man was refusing to latch without a shield for 5 weeks and then he just kinda started getting it.

    My suggestion is use a decent breast pump to make sure your LO is getting the nutrition needed and you are keeping your supply up and just try off the shield once a feed. I know it's a little hard saying "don't stress" about it, but if you hang in there things tend to get better (as your LO gets bigger / better muscle control etc).

    Also make sure that your positioning at the breast is good because it may make latching easier. Maybe you should contact your local LLL leader? Just a thought.

    Hang in there and keep up the good work. Best wishes for you and your baby

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: nipple shield issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Erebus View Post
    Maybe you should contact your local LLL leader? Just a thought.
    If it is positional, or a latch that needs adjusting, your LLL leader should be able to give you useful free information

  5. #5

    Default Re: nipple shield issues

    We had issues at the begining too. My gal was also 4 weeks early and woldn't latch without the shield. I used it for about 4 weeks, until just past her due date. Then I went to see my lactation consultant at the hospital and told her I didn't want to use it anymore. She sat with me and we tried different positions until dd got it. The first few days she was on an off but finally got it. I pumped to keep my supply up also.
    As far as hindmilk-is he falling asleep when nursing? my gal did this all the time. That might be why he isn't getting hindmilk. BUt....my gal was a very slow gainer at first. She was well behind her "peers" for a few months. About 4 months or so she started to catch up. As long as he seems happy and is gaining a little bit each week I wouldn't be worried. We didn't use formula at the begining but maybe he needs a soy based one? or maybe he needs a regular one if he is on soy. Try switching the type of formula and that might help too. we use similac advance soy when need be.

    Good luck
    Proud wife to Pete, 5-9-04
    Proud 1st time mom to Lilly 2-1-07 born at 36 weeks, 5lbs 1 oz, au natural!

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  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: nipple shield issues

    I am a long term nipple shield user. I never could get DD weaned but I also did not attempt to wean her until she was over 3 months . My doctor has never had a problem with DD's weight. In fact, she said it was okay to continue with the shield because whatever we were doing seemed to be working for us. Has someone told you that the shield is what is causing the problem? I agree that it may be because your lo is falling asleep at the breast before he has gotten the hindmilk. I am not an expert but I do not know how the shield would prevent hindmilk . Maybe one of the LLL leaders will chime in. I would definitely consult an LC or your local LLL leader. One thing you could do is pump after your lo nurses then feed him the EBM instead of formula. Supplementing with formula can be a slippery slope IYKWIM. Feeding the EBM will help with your supply and make sure that your lo is getting plenty of hindmilk. You can also do a search on kellymom.com for ways to increase the fat content of your bm. A lot of babies are on the smaller side naturally. I do not know anything about your situation. Has your doctor seemed concerned about your lo's weight?
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: nipple shield issues



    Congrats on your new arrival!

    Quote Originally Posted by ashluvs2 View Post
    my son was 4 weeks early and after a myriad of issues he was given to me at the hospital after 12 hours in the nursery. He did not want to latch and had a very weak sucking reflex. They gave me the nipple shield to help him latch on which it did, but it has now effected my milk supply and he will not latch on without it. He is not gaining adequate weight and I am certain its because he is not getting the hindmilk because of the shield. The have me supplementing with formula which he is not tolerating well. Any suggestions??
    Nipple shields can help preemies latch on well, when they otherwise cannot. It could be that was the reason that a shield was offered to you. Did you see an IBCLC in the hospital? Have you seen anyone recently? What type of nipple shield are you using?

    How old is your baby now? What was your baby's lowest weight? What is it now? About how many ounces of supplement is your baby taking per day?

    The answers to these questions will help us to offer you more information.

    As others have mentioned, it would be AWESOME if you could see someone who can watch baby and nurse and see what is happening while he is there. We can help you online with information and support, but there really is no replacement for hands on help.

    Keep us updated!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: nipple shield issues

    Is your lo making good wet and dirty diapers? You could take your lo to get weighed each week. That may give you a sense of relief in knowing something one way or another.

    We used NS's from about 2 weeks on. At about 3 months, my lo accidentally knocked it off when we were lying down nursing, and before I could get it back on, he was latched on without it. We struggled for about a month or a month and a half after that with being off of it completely. There were issues of hindmilk/foremilk, forceful milk ejection (he wasn't used to getting it full force b/c of the shield), cracked and bleeding nipples, relearning latch, and of course, supply. I did a round of Reglan, nursed on demand, and found more patience than I knew I had. We stuck with it and have made it to the six month mark, going for a year, maybe more. BF is finally going well. You can do it. A friend of mine is a LLL leader and was tremendously supportive when I needed it most. Please, if you haven't already, work with your lactation consultants or LLL leader, even if just by phone. Good job, Mommy!!!!!

    I wrote about our challenges above just to let you know that challenges may still lie ahead when coming off of the NS, if that is what you choose to do. I found it well worth it to get rid of it, even with all we went through to get there.
    Last edited by mommamags; December 6th, 2007 at 04:59 PM. Reason: had to add

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