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Thread: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

  1. #1

    Default Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    Hi there. I am new to the forums, but have found reading others posts to be so incredibly helpful.

    I am a new mom to an 18 day old daughter, A. We were prescribed a nipple shield in the hospital due to pain while nursing/flat nipples. I would like to wean A off the shield and we've been trying to for quite a few days now. Sometimes she can latch on perfectly without the shield other times she just roots around and doesn't try to latch at all. I've been using the C hold and making a sandwich with my nipple as I've read that is helpful for mom's with flat nipples. It seems that she does best if we keep the shield on for the first few minutes and then remove it and get her to latch.

    What is the best way to continue to wean her off the shield? I would like to make the transition as smooth as possible for her, but be done using it as soon as possible.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    What you are doing is great! She will at some point decide that mamma is better than a shield. Just keep offering the nipple without the shield and if she does not latch on go ahead and let her have the shield. She will get better at nursing and will master it, flat nipples or not, at about 6 to 8 weeks. Nursng every 90 min ---from the beginning of one nursing to the beginning of the next nursing UNTIL SHE WEIGHS 10 lbs will help you make lots of milk. You nipples will stretch out and be just fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    MY NEW HOUSE!!!!!!!!

    Default Re: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    with PP. I also used a sheild with my last 2 kids. I got so frustrated trying to wean my son from it, because I was so determined to not use it. With my DD, I was a lot more patient, and offered her the nipple first every time. If she didn't get it, I went back to the sheild and we were fine. At about 4-6 weeks, it hit me one day that we hadn't had to use the shield at all that day. She just kind of got it. The biggest thing is to just have patience with it. Everything you're doing sounds great, and she'll take it from there!
    I'm Shannon!
    Single, babywearing, barefoot in the grass mama to 3 wonderful babies!
    Abby 11-25-03
    Terry 9-29-06
    Kate 6-12-08
    and my Jack 11-17-02, gone to God at 11 weeks

    "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."

    "I am going to be happy today, though the skies may be cloudy or gray. No matter what comes my way, I am going to be happy today."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    You'll get there! I think it took me until about week 3 to get Lilah off the nipple shield - part of it was nervousness on my part and part of it was her small mouth and my huge flat nipples. It's great that your baby has already latched without it, you'll be without it in no time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    with dd1 we had to use the shield for about 3 months. until her mouth got big enough to take on my bare boob. it sounds like you are doing a great job so far. just try not to stress about using the shield so much, if you plan on nusing for a while, a few weeks using it is nothing!!

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

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    Congratulations on your new daughter!!

    Sounds like you're on the right track! The trick you mention of latching on with the shield and then removing it after a few minutes can really help them learn. Some mothers will also pump with a manual pump for say 30 seconds before a feed - not to express milk, but just to draw the nipple out if it's flat. As you nurse more your flat nipples will get more permanently drawn out, and her mouth will get bigger and more able to latch on deeper despite flat nipples - so it's going to get better!

    In the mean time, experiment with different positions and angles of approach for her - the asymmetrical latch where your nipple ends up pointed towards the roof of her mouth and her lower jaw is taking in as much breast tissue as possible will really help her get a good latch no matter what shape your nipples are in. Try stimulating her to latch on by tickling her philtrum (space between mouth and nose) with your nipple to get her to tilt her head back and up a bit to get in a good position for latching on and for drinking well.

    One more thing - do you have one side more flat than the other? You may find you can fully wean off the shield on one side before the other, too - just to keep that in mind!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Getting Rid of the Nipple Shield

    Well, I ran in here because I used a nipple shield for my first baby but I see everyone has given you great advice already! I'll just reiterate the thing about having patience with yourself and baby and the idea baby may "get" one side before the other.
    You don't mention if you have been seeing an IBCLC since the hospital. I just want to say-make sure latch remains comfortable for you as you move off the shield. Sometimes moms need extra help with finding a good latch and that is where an IBCLC or perhaps your local LLL Leader can help.
    Also, I think this video explains latch beautifully: http://www.ameda.com/breastpumping/v...LatchOnEnglish

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