Nipple Shield — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Nipple Shield

I had my baby almost two weeks ago, she was born 3.5 weeks early and didn't show any interest in eating for the first few hours of life, in addition I had a difficult time getting her to latch properly. No big surprise, I couldn't get my oldest to latch when I had her either, and I ended up using a nipple shield the duration that I had BF her.  This time though, I am hopeful that I can wean off the nipple shield and have her solely at my breast.  Since getting my baby home she has started rooting and showing that she's interested in eating, and doing so every 2-3 hours (yay!).  I've been attempting to put her to the breast everyday as suggested by a LC at the hospital to eventually wean her off.  

So far she's doing alright with it.. I can get her to latch, but then it seems uncomfortable to her and he breaks the latch, and has to keep re-latching.  My question is this: How long should I allow her to keep doing this before taking her off, and having her latch and eat with the shield?  We generally try at the breast when it's a very calm moment, and she isn't too hungry.  Should I just let her try for a few moments? Is there anything I can do to encourage her to stay latched, or is it possible that she's still just too small to get a good mouthful?

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Nipple Shield

  • a LC at the hospital gave me a nipple shield to use- boy are they a pain and i wish i had never gotten started with the damned thing!! i was able to wean my DS off of it by starting the nursing session with the shield on, and then taking it off, either for the 2nd breast or if he de-latched from the first and i had to re-latch him. the important part was that he couldn't be too hungry, otherwise he was desperate and got frustrated immediately. so i would let him nurse with it, try to get him to nurse without it as long as he tolerated it, and then if he started to get irritated i would put it back on. gradually he tolerated more and more time without the shield until we were able to stop using it altogether. if you're still having trouble after a couple of weeks i would meet with a LC again for more help. i'm sure i could've gotten my DS off it sooner if i had met with a LC. good luck!
  • ktpaladinoktpaladino
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    edited February 2014
    I used a shield with my first and had the same issues when trying to wean him off of it. I would usually try for about 10-15 min and then give up and put the shield back on b/c at that point he started getting super pissed at me. I'm not sure what happened, but my son just miraculously didn't need it anymore when he turned 5 weeks old. It was like latching just clicked for him one day. So it took him about 3 weeks to get it. Don't give up!

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  • I agree with both pp.  I had the exact same issues as well..born early with latch problems.  I'd do exactly what they said.  I would try to start the feeding at the first hunger cues and try to get him to latch for the first 10 min or so. Once he started getting upset, I'd switch to the shield.  I'd also try to switch back to breast half way through, but only let him try for a few minutes.  Not sure if that was the right way to do it, but it worked for us.  One day, they just "got it".  Good luck and keep it up, sounds like you're doing everything right!
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