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Thread: weening off nipple shields

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default weening off nipple shields

    Hi- I am a first time mom to a 3 week old. We had some latch problems and the lactation consultant at the hospital recommended I try a nipple shield. My son is eating well and thriving but I haven't had much luck weening him from the nipple shield. I have small nipples, and he doesn't seem to know what to do when I offer them. He will latch on, but very shallowly, and then get frustrated when he can't get the same volume he is used to getting. When he does suck, it makes my nipples sore. I offer him just my nipple at every daytime feeding, usually after he's had a few minutes of nursing. Any suggestions for weening him from the nipple shields? The lactation consultant warned me that they could decrease my milk supply, so I am anxious to stop using them as soon as possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: weening off nipple shields

    Here are some tips:


    Although it is possible you could have supply issues, I was unsuccessful at weaning from the shield. So, I have been using it for 14 months now, and I did not have any supply issues other than pumping supply issues which I was told was unrelated to the shield.
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: weening off nipple shields

    I think it was older nipple shields..that were thicker that caused supply problems. I used a medela shield for almost 3 months with no problems.

    What I started doing was letting my daughter suck my thumb..sounds weird but she won't take a paci and sometimes when she has the need to suck for comfort I offer my thumb. I made sure I touched her soft palate and I really think that helped wean her off the shield..she realized she could be latching onto skin (ie my nipple without the shield).

    Also I would latch her with the shield on and after she ate really well for a few minutes I would pull the shield off quickly and relatch her. If it worked great..if not I'd put the shield back on.

    For me the nipple shield is what allowed us to breastfeed. My daughter sucked her tongue..so without it I know we wouldn't have been able to breastfeed. I am grateful the LC in the hospital gave us one.

    If you really want to wean off if it that is fine..but I wouldn't worry too much about it. After a while I wanted to wean off of it because they have to be washed, etc. I am lazy. It is much easier now without the shield..but if we still had to be using it I wouldn't have a problem with it.
    Proud Mom to Natalie Morgan! Born 10-29-07

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: weening off nipple shields

    I've been using a shield since my dd was a few days old, with no success of getting her off of it... i would love too because i too hate having to find it and wash it, and i notices it makes a mess, but i really wanted to bf so i'm taking what i can get!! and as far as supply goes, i did not have a supply problem at all, but everyone is different in that aspect.
    Don't stress about getting your lo off of it, at least something is working and lo is getting the best!!

    Tina - mom of Addison Belle
    5lbs 13oz - 18in

    and my VBAC ~ Olivia Grace
    6lbs 8z - 18.5in

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: weening off nipple shields

    It is possible mama...I have flat nipples so I had to use a shield for almost 2 months. I weaned my son off by starting him on the shield then after let down I would take him off and latch him on without the shield. It took a few weeks, but now he is a champ.

    Keep up the good work!
    Exclusively and every minute of it!!
    SAHM Magic Mama to Rowdy
    Born 10/13/07 ALL NATURAL
    9lbs 10 oz, 21" long

    Excited about becoming a LC!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: weening off nipple shields

    I too was given medela shields in the hospital due to very inverted nipples. My Lactation Consultant warned me to ween my son off them quickly because they cause supply issues. That being said, I've been using them for three months and haven't noticed any supply issues yet.

    As some other moms said though, constantly keeping them clean and on-hand is very annoying. I'm currently in the process of trying (again) to get my son off them. There is great information on ways to attempt that here:


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