January 2015 Moms

Transitioning from nipple shield

4 week old, we've been using a nipple shield bc he was having issues latching (perhaps short frenulum/tongue issues). We've seen an IBCLC and she said he was getting a lot of milk with shield. (He ate 3oz at less than 2 weeks old with shield). She suggested that after he was a month old and had practice nursing to see if we could transition away from shield. (If not, we might see ENT re:tongue)

This morning, I'd have him start with the shield and then rematch without it. All day today, he's been nursing without it - pretty good, but not great latch overall.
I've been using the suggestions from KellyMom. It seems like he's swallowing, and his belly feels full after he's done, but it's hard to tell. He ate a bit more frequently than usual, but he doesn't really have any kind of predictable pattern.

Tonight though, he ate from 8-8:59 on both breasts (25 mins+ on each) without the shield and still seems hungry! (Rooting, hands in mouth)

Is he not getting enough? Any tips? Advice? Anyone have success stories about transitioning from the shield to bolster my spirits?

Re: Transitioning from nipple shield

  • It's a lot easier to latch with the shield so just make sure your latch is good--think of the analogy of a compressed straw to drink out of..it will take a lot longer and much more energy to get a small amount if the nipple is compressed.
    Is he getting the same amount of diapers without using the shield?
    My baby is also 1month and we are transitioning from the sheild..starting with a couple feeds a day and doing a couple minutes with the shield on first. I think her latch could be a lot better so I'm seeing a lactation consultant on Wednesday so ill let you know if she gives me any good tips and let me know your progress! The shield is starting to drive me crazy!
  • I gave up and went to pumping. We have an appt to have frenulums clipped 2/10. I should probably transition back to nipple shield in anticipation of nursing again.... I am watching for advice, my girls are 6weeks.
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  • I think the best way to tell would be by the number of wet and poopy diapers he has. Did it decrease or stay the same?
  • My peanut is 3 weeks and is just starting to transition off the shield. I think I want it gone wayyyyy more than she does. Yesterday she latched on each breast for one full feed; today my nipples are ON FIRE. Any suggestions?
  • The soothie breast pads helped! (They are sticky). I liked the Lantitosh ones better than the Medela ones.
  • Perhaps it was a growth spurt because today he ate most feedings without the shield and stuck to a much more reasonable pattern! Yay!!
  • I recommend Motherlove nipple cream to help sore nipples heal quickly. I used the nipple shield the first week and a half and alternated pumping every other feeding. My little guy will be 4 weeks old tomorrow.
  • I'm still using shield even after TT was clipped last week. Breasts are still full after a feeding without shield so I can tell she's not getting enough. I've read it takes a few weeks for them to learn to nurse after TT is fixed. I'm also doing stretching exercises, working with an LC and taking her to a chiropractor to help release her tongue a bit more. DH thinks I'm crazy but I'll do anything to preserve our BF relationship! It's very frustrating and stressful but I know it will be worth it. Glad to know I'm not alone. - Nicole
  • Update - he looks like he's latching without the shield, it doesn't hurt and he seems satisfied after, but then will wake up in an hour starving! With the shield, he wants to eat evey 2 hours with some 2.5 hour stretches. I'm back on nipple shield for a while I think....
  • I transitioned and find my daughter can eat more frequently given her week of development. I find the football hold better to get her to latch. Also waiting till she cries means her mouth gets wide enough to get the nipple in. Pumping prior for a short time 2-5 min gets the milk flowing so she gets instant reward when latched and brings the hind milk sooner so time is reduced.
  • @‌sackerma i used lanolin to help with the burning and pain but overall I just had to bear through it and it got better after about 5-7 days of feeding now my nipples are pain free!
  • I have been using a nipple shield now for a month because I am flat and when my baby latched in the beginning, she gave me very deep large painful cracks. They are not yet fully healed but every time I get brave and try to feed without the breast shield, She completely reopens the wound and its like we are starting completely over. Should I just wait to try feeding from the nipple when I'm completely healed? Advice? Input?
  • My girl only latched on without the nipple shield a couple times successfully. I have had to switch to pumping or continue to use the nipple shield. I have found my issue is that my nipples are flat and that makes it hard for her to latch on. Recommendation for me was to pump or start to use the shield and then remove it to allow her to continue to feed without it.
  • DavidnCarissaDavidnCarissa member
    edited March 2015
    Did the pumping or using the shield before seem to work for you. I have the same nipple problem and am still recovering from awful cracks. I am almost afraid to try and feed without the shield. :/!!!
  • Having him start with the nipples y'all and then taking it off after 5-10 mins is how he finally transitioned! Knock on wood, he's eight weeks we've had three or four days of no need for nipple shields! Saw lactation consultant and he transferred 6.5 ounces in one feed without the nipple shield!!!! I thought we would never be able to do it so there is hope!
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