Weaning preemie from nipple shield — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Weaning preemie from nipple shield

My little guy decided to come about 7 weeks early and has breastfed like a champ ever since we started in the NICU. He has always had to use a nipple shield and the lactation specialist said he would probably have to use it until he was around 7 or 8 lbs (birth weight was 4.9). He has been home for a little over 2 weeks now and is close to 8lbs and almost 7 weeks old. It feels like it is probably time to wean him from the shield, but i can see why it is sooo much easier to nurse with it vs my nipple. Any suggestions or experience with weaning your baby from the shield?

Re: Weaning preemie from nipple shield

  • Yes, I didn't have a preemie, but DD1 had a teeny mouth and a weak latch initially so we used a shield at first. Around 8 wks I started to keep it off at first for each session. If she had trouble latching and got frustrated I put it on. If she latched for a minute before getting frustrated then great- progress. After a few days she was fine without it. Good luck. But if it doesn't seem to work for him yet try again in a week or 2.

    DD1 born 5/24/10.

    Missed M/C at 14 wks Feb 2012.

    DD2 born 5/14/13.

    Missed M/C at 9 wks July 2015.

    Expecting someone new 4/17/17.
    mrsalvidrez
  • Thanks for your feedback @MWoodside
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  • My DD was growth restricted and had a tiny mouth, but not a preemie. We used the shield after seeing 4
    Different lactation consultants who agreed she would need to physically grow to get a proper latch. I tried so hard to wean her from the shield, everything from skin to skin to try when no hungry, really hungry, first thing in am when flow was highest I would actually express into her mouth and lastly I started a feed then slipped the shield off during the middle and then tried to latch her. I had given up and decided that the shield would be part of our journey and I was thankful to be able to breastfeed because of it. Then one night she pulled the shield off herself, latched on and nursed like a champ! I didn't look back! She was 10 weeks and was around 10.5lbs. After we ditched the shield feedings were much faster, I had no more clogged ducts and she gained weight incredibly fast! I commend you for sticking with it and I truly believe you will know when the time is right! I wish I hadn't stressed about it so much :)
    Just a heads up it did take some adjusting for her with the faster flow she had some spit up and was gassy the first week.
    I wish you the best!
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    mrsalvidrez
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