April 2013 Moms

Bf question

I met with the only LC in our town today as I'd like to wean off the nipple shield. It's not anatomically necessary and LO is 5 weeks old today. Problem is he screams bloody murder without it. The LC got him to latch without it for about 5 min but when I got home we went a half hour with no latch and total scream fest. She has me feeding him through a syringe next to my breast to retrain him.

The LC said she thinks if I can't get him latching, it would be better to pump than use the shield. I've had mastitis and thrush, and she said I'm much more prone to get both again using the shield. Is this something most LCs would say, or should I get a second opinion? I'd like to do a mixture of BF and pumping, but both LO and I may go crazy trying to get off this shield.
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Re: Bf question

  • Not an expert by any means, but I will say I started developing mastitis shortly after starting to use the shield. In my case, DD had tongue tie, and once we had her tongue clipped, she started latching better and we were able to wean her off the shield, though it did take a lot of work and lots of visits to the LC. Sorry I'm not much help, but just wanted to share that I do think I developed mastitis because of the shield.


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    BFP #1: 5/10/12; 5/22/12: pregnancy deemed not viable (probably CP)
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  • What was your method of weaning off the shield? And how old was your LO when you did it?
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  • Please keep on mind that the majority of LCs are very anti shield/intervention. Nipple shields have their pace, but they're also very overused. I absolutely do not believe pumping is better than nursing with a shield. I nursed with a shield for 3 months, the entire time trying to wean dd from using it and one day like magic she just didn't need it. Do not be hard on yourself. Yes it's better with no shield, but nursing offers benefits over pumping, even with a shield and the likelihood is you will be able to successfully wean. I can't even fathom exclusively pumping for another 11 months if nursing was an option on the table. 

    image

    Layne-May 6, 2013

    Callie-February 14, 2011

  • Also, for getting her to wean I would offer the breast before the shield at the beginning of the feeding, and then if/when she refused I would try and remove it during the feeding. What finally worked is one day she just latched without it and she never once used it again. Our nursing sessions were cut from 30 min down to 5-10 and life got so much easier. SOOOOOO much easier than pumping.

    image

    Layne-May 6, 2013

    Callie-February 14, 2011

  • image BoatsNHoes:
    Also, for getting her to wean I would offer the breast before the shield at the beginning of the feeding, and then if/when she refused I would try and remove it during the feeding. What finally worked is one day she just latched without it and she never once used it again. Our nursing sessions were cut from 30 min down to 5-10 and life got so much easier. SOOOOOO much easier than pumping.

    This is exactly how it was for us, but I think the processs was quickened for us because we had DD's tongue tie clipped. At first, she'd nurse great without the shield in the beginning of the day, then it was like she lost her patience as the day went on and we'd end up using it by the afternoon.  Then I slowly just stopped using it later and later in the day until we were just using it for night feedings, and now we've been shield free since the weekend. She's only 4 weeks as of tomorrow though, so all this happened relatively quickly.



    Anniversary
    BFP #1: 5/10/12; 5/22/12: pregnancy deemed not viable (probably CP)
    BFP #2: 8/2/12; Due date: 4/14/13, DD born 4/5/2013
  • image BoatsNHoes:
    Also, for getting her to wean I would offer the breast before the shield at the beginning of the feeding, and then if/when she refused I would try and remove it during the feeding. What finally worked is one day she just latched without it and she never once used it again. Our nursing sessions were cut from 30 min down to 5-10 and life got so much easier. SOOOOOO much easier than pumping.

     My pediatrician recommended this today. He said at first it might only work to remove the shield at the very end of the feeding, and to work backwards from there. He also warned it may take several weeks to wean LO completely, so to be patient. 

  • When we weaned off the shield I could only get her to take it when she wasnt upset. So I would try and get her up and latched a few minutes before I knew she would be hungry. If I waited till she gave me signs she would get frustrated and scream until I got the shield. I still have to use it occasionally at night but during the day no more.

    image

  • Thanks for the feedback. It was the day from hell. I will keep trying with your suggestions... Hopefully tomorrow will be better!
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  • I've had this very discussion with many people as I, too, am using the shield with my five week old.  She doesn't open her mouth wide enough most of the time.  She either latches incorrectly or will latch correctly at first and then slip down.   Through all my discussions I've decided not to stress about it.  From all the research I've done, shields have come a long way and it doesn't affect my milk supply.  She is happier and I am happier with it for now, and it's keeping us BFing and she's getting the nutrients she needs to grow.   Every few times I try to get her to latch without it and on occasion we are successful, but most times not.

    My doc and nurse agrees - but I often hear of offices that poo-poo the shield and will automatically say you need to pump after feeding with a shield. But each case is different - I definitely don't need to pump!

    I know people who had to use it for months or even the entire time due to inverted nipples and they didn't have any negative affects. 

    good luck! 

     

     

    Me: 35/Hubs: 35 - just moved to Minneapolis from Chicago. TTC for 18 months and expecting baby #1 April 18, 2012! Needed IVF after a few failed rounds of IUI and it worked!
  • AmyG*AmyG*
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    The reason you would possibly get mastitis from a nipple shield is if baby isn't fully emptying the breast, so the milk staying behind may be the issue.

    Normally the suggestion is to pump after baby nurses when you are using a shield to ensure baby is emptying the breast and your supply stays high.

    However, if baby is transferring plenty enough milk with the shield, then that extra milk isn't needed so you wouldn't want to pump after feedings for too long as that may make your supply too high.  But that depends on if baby was getting plenty of milk when nursing with the shield.

     So did this LC do a pre and post nursing session weigh in on a very accurate scale to see how much milk baby got at the breast?

    and did the LC really check baby well for tongue tie issues which can cause all the things that most moms start using shields for (not latching, extra sore nips, etc).

    Now shields are a useful tool.  some babies can't tranfer milk well with them, so that is a cautionary reason LC's are anti sheilds.  They also may hide a poor latch so when you use the shield for a long time, you have even more trouble weaning off the shield because baby still has a poor latch--but they've been nursing that way/wrong latch for so long that it's ingrained and harder to fix.  So that's why it's always recommended to use a shield with approval of your LC.

     

    To wean from a shield you need patience, and be more stubborn than baby.  right now baby is used to your boob with a shield on it.  they don't know what the boob looks like plain--and they don't see it as being ready for nursing all naked like that.  so give them ample skin to skin baby at a nakey boob so they see it as a normal part of their day.

    Also try to catch them before they are frantic, as if they get upset they won't be able to concentrate on how to latch correctly without the shield.  so look for early signs of hunger, smacking lips, rooting, licking lips, etc. rather than awake and crying.

    Then you try latching without the shield and give in and nurse with the shield before baby is screaming of course.  you may have luck with pumping for a minute before latching on without the shield so that milk has already let down and it will be easier to get milk right away.  the trick with the syringe of milk is also good.

    but to keep it in perspective and keep from driving yourself nuts, make yourself a schedule that you can rely on and help you not worry so much.  say something like 1 day you'll try to nurse without the shield one time at 1 feeding.  then for 2 days you'll try to nurse without the shield at 2 feedings in the day.  3 days, try for 3 feedings.  work up til you are trying one time at each feeding of the day.  baby will come to expect it and may be more willing to give it a try.

     

    you also should try different times of day --at certain times baby will be more awake and able to concentrate, other times they jsut want to eat and go back to sleep.  different positions, side laying, laid back nursing (to get a deeper latch) or football hold.  and you may find that letting baby nurse until they aren't famished, and the removing the shield will work better.  or nurse on the first side with the shield, so they aren't so hungry and then try to latch side #2 without the shield.

     

    mommy knows best, keep trying, be patient and stubborn.

    AmyG*

    I don't type posts; I type novels.

    I don't get tags, sorry.

  • The LC did not weigh him and did not look at his tongue. He has seemed to successfully latch a few times, including the very first time in the hospital. Never alone with me though. He is steadily gaining weight, so I've thought he is probably getting enough. I seem to have an oversupply so I still pump 2 or even 3 times a day. Still have lumps in my breast though.
    Thank you for the tips; I will keep trying but try not to get so stressed! I seriously cried about 20 times today over this.
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