nipple shield questions — The Bump
Breastfeeding

nipple shield questions

I was given a nipple shield in the hospital to use with the Medela Supplemental Nursing System because I was not making enough milk.  Now at home, it is too physically draining to keep up with the SNS, so I bf what I can and then top him off with a bottle.  My problem is that now I cant break him of the shield.  Does anyone have experience with this?  I am so frustrated!

Re: nipple shield questions

  • It can be really tough to wean from a shield.  I had to use a shield with my DS b/c he would not latch without it.  It took us 7 weeks before he would nurse without the shield.  It was totally worth it for us, and we have a great BF relationship now.  Lots of babies wean sooner than that, but my son just took awhile.

    Here is an article from Kellymom about weaning from the shield: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/wean-shield.html#weaning

    I honestly didn't try most of those tips myself, so I can't tell you if they're helpful or not.  I did try nursing with the shield, then removing it and continuing the session, but that never worked for us.

    My son would basically ignore me if I didn't have the shield on.  He'd just lay there and look around.  Then when I'd put the shield on, he'd open wide.

    Right around 6 weeks, he started to kind of move in towards the breast without the shield on.  He still wouldn't latch, but he started showing interest.  I suspected he was ready to wean from the shield, and by 7 weeks we had weaned completely.

    HTH some!  Sorry it's so long!

  • I was also using a SNS.  I found that DD would latch on with the SNS without the shield as long as I started it flowing right away.  If I didn't use the SNS, I had to use the nipple shield to get her to latch.  Have you tried the SNS without the shield?
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  • I also used the shield and thought we would never be able to nurse without it. But I just slowly started offering the breast without the shield and eventually he took it more and more often. It wasn't til around 6 weeks that he took the breast more often without the shield than with it, and he's been on the direct breast exclusively ever since! Just keep trying without it and eventually DC will learn - it is a learning process for both mom and baby.
    [IMG]http://i486.photobucket.com/albums/rr224/stinalau/IMG00010-20100321-1333.jpg[/IMG]
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  • We used the nipple shield for 6 months.  DD couldn't (or wouldn't) maintain a latch for very long without it, and she was gaining weight okay and having plenty of wet and dirty diapers so we just went with it.  We worked on weaning from the sheild for MONTHS before she would actually nurse without it.  For some reason, we were finally able to drop it when she got a really bad stuffy nose, I guess it was easier to breath without using the shield for some reason.  We didn't supplement ever, and she's still going strong with nursing.  Just keep at it, but sometimes it takes longer than you plan on!
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