Breastfeeding

Transitioning off a shield

I was given a nipple shield to help LO latch while at the hospital. I met with an LC last week and we discussed transitioning off the shield since he is gaining weight and eating well. When offering the breast without the shield, LO grows frustrated and doesn't latch. I only try for a few minutes at a time, but we revert back to the shield. I am going to a support group in Thursday, but would like to work on it between now and then. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting off the shield? Success stories? Thanks!

Re: Transitioning off a shield

  • I was given a shield at the hospital as well and am so grateful because I don't think we would have been able to BF without it in the beginning. We used it for every feeding until about 4 weeks. I'm not sure if LO just needed the practice and support of the shield but just like your LO she would get frustrated without it so we rarely tried. At 4 weeks I put her on without it and she did great- but only on one side. So we used the shield on the other for about another week practicing without it and now we are 12 weeks and have been shield free since then! Goodluck, I know it's stressful but hopefully LO will pick it up. Don't stress about it though- shield or not he is getting BM and that's the important thing :)
    image
  • I used the shield as well until LO was about 4 weeks. I met with a LC and she was just ready to get off the shield. It happened right away out of the blue where as the day before she wanted nothing to do with it. It will happen when your LO is ready. The best advice I got was to stay calm, make sure you keep talking to you LO, express a little milk first so LO knows that this is where the milk is coming with and just try a few time/week. Don't let LO every get to the point where she is so upset and frustrated. Best of luck!
  • We also started off using the shield. One day LO just started without it! I found that we were much more successful trying without the shield when she was most hungry, which for us was first thing in the morning. My LC also suggested nursing with the shield for a minute or two, and then removing it once you're already in the groove.

    Keep an eye on LO, and see if he is opening up his mouth wide, or just a little to get around the shield. If he's only opening it a little, ask an LC to show you some exercises to get a wider mouth, whic will help with the latch. Good luck!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I used a shield for 5 months and my LO weened off of it on her own! I would try, she would get frustrated and it just wasn't worth the fight. 
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