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Need help! (UPDATE)

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 3:10 PM
  • 6 Replies

My DS is 10 days old today. I have been using a shield since day 2 but I want to get him off of it. I have looked up some ways to try but they are not working. He just gets upset and I wind up using it again. I have called the lactation consultant where I gave birth but I wont get a call back until tomorrow. Do any of you ladies have any suggestions on how to get him off of it and on to the breast that I can try in the mean time. I nursed my DD on a shield for 4 months but it hurt my supply and I didnt want to use one with him but nothing else we tried in the hospital to get him to latch was working (I have flat nipples btw). Any suggestions would be great, I want to get him off of it asap because I think it is already hurting my supply.

 

***UPDATE***

I took the information below and used it! I have been able to get Asher to latch and eat without the shield for about 5 feedings now! Im still waiting on the LC to call back and im still going to meet with her to make sure everything is right but for now its looking promising that I can get him off the shield!! Yay!!!

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by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 3:10 PM
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Replies (1-6):
Daynaof3
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Kellymom has an article with tips for weaning from the shield here:  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/wean-shield.html#weaning

Weaning from a nipple shield

These things can help you start to wean from the shield:

  • Ensure good positioning and latch--
    • Make sure that when positioning your baby to nurse you are holding him so that his whole body faces yours. He should not have to turn his head to nurse.
    • Wait for the baby to open very wide - as with a yawn - before you attempt to latch him on.
    • Once he has opened this wide - and it may take patience waiting for him to do so - pull him in real close making sure that he takes as much of the breast into his mouth as possible. His chin and nose should touch your breast. His lips should be flanged out - like a rose petal or a fish's lips. If they are not, use your finger to flip them out manually.

  • Before attempting to feed at all, pump a few minutes. This will elicit let-down so that baby gets a quick reward. It will also elongate the nipple for him.

  • Also before feeding, offer him your index or pinky finger nail-side down to suck on for several minutes. This suck-training teaches him to drop his tongue down as he must do with breastfeeding. With the shield (much like a bottle nipple) he may push his tongue to the roof of his mouth to slow the flow of milk.

  • Breastfeed frequently - as often as you can. Attempt to feed before he gets too hungry - when he is sucking on his fingers or rooting, but before he cries. If you can catch him early he may be more willing to work with you. You also might try nursing when he is a little drowsy. Some babies are more willing to take the breast when they are semi-asleep than when fully awake.

  • Try different nursing positions.

  • Nurse while in motion - as you walk, sway, rock, bounce, etc.

  • Provide lots of skin-to-skin contact when nursing and at other times as you can. Undress baby to his diaper and remove your blouse if possible. Try nursing while you both enjoy a warm bath.

  • Drip expressed breastmilk (or formula, or sugar water if no ebm is available) over your nipple in the corner of the baby's mouth using an eyedropper or feeding syringe while he is at the breast.

  • If baby becomes upset as you are trying, stop and attempt to calm him before trying again.

These last ones pertain more to taking the shield away:

  • It may help if you compress your breast and hold it firmly about 1 1/2 inches from the base of your nipple toward the chest wall (usually at the edge of the areola just past where your baby's lips will be) - like squishing down a big thick sandwich on a roll to take a bite. Holding the breast this way makes your nipple more firm like the shield. Keep holding it like that until it feels like baby is sucking well, and then slowly release the grip.

  • Apply ice to your nipple before feeding to harden it.

  • Try to notice if there are certain times of the day or positions that he seems more receptive during and build on those.

  • Try offering the breast without the nipple shield, particularly when baby is rather sleepy. Sometimes once they take the "bare" breast a couple times, they'll continue with no problems.

  • If baby doesn't take the breast without the shield relatively easily, give it to him with the shield. DO NOT allow him to become frustrated at the breast, that will only make him more resistant to breastfeeding. Allow baby to build trust that nursing will work and will be ok, even if that means using the shield to make it familiar and easy for him. Once he builds trust, start to remove the shield after he has been on for awhile

  • After baby is nursing well and let-down has occurred, attempt to remove the shield quickly and relatch baby. Very gradually, start to remove it earlier and earlier in the feeding until you don't need it at all.

  • Sometimes it works to offer the first breast with the shield and the second one without it, if your baby takes both breasts in one feeding.

  • In the beginning, you may not want to take away the shield at every feeding so the baby relaxes and doesn't look for you to remove it every time.

  • You may hear the recommendation to cut away the tip of the nipple shield, a little each day, until it's gone. This is not recommended for silicon shields, because it will leave sharp edges.

Be sure not to make this a battle with the baby, or he will resist more. Don't obsess with weaning off the shield to the point that you're robbed of the joy of breastfeeding. As long as your baby is gaining weight well, then you have some time to play with. Keep trying as often as you can, and give it some time. There are some reports of moms continuing to use the shield for their whole breastfeeding experience, but most moms have taken anywhere from 2 days to about 4-5 weeks to accomplish completely weaning from the shield. Be patient with yourself and your baby while you work through this transition.

Finding help

If you're not already doing so, seriously consider contacting a lactation consultant (IBCLC) or La Leche League leader for one-on-one support. It can be great help to talk to someone face-to-face. Here is how to find breastfeeding help.

 

catholicmamamia
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Perfect information, right here.... you CAN kick the shield habit. Hang in there! :o)

Quoting Daynaof3: Kellymom has an article with tips for weaning from the shield here:  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/wean-shield.html#weaning

Weaning from a nipple shield

These things can help you start to wean from the shield:

  • Ensure good positioning and latch--
    • Make sure that when positioning your baby to nurse you are holding him so that his whole body faces yours. He should not have to turn his head to nurse.
    • Wait for the baby to open very wide - as with a yawn - before you attempt to latch him on.
    • Once he has opened this wide - and it may take patience waiting for him to do so - pull him in real close making sure that he takes as much of the breast into his mouth as possible. His chin and nose should touch your breast. His lips should be flanged out - like a rose petal or a fish's lips. If they are not, use your finger to flip them out manually.

  • Before attempting to feed at all, pump a few minutes. This will elicit let-down so that baby gets a quick reward. It will also elongate the nipple for him.

  • Also before feeding, offer him your index or pinky finger nail-side down to suck on for several minutes. This suck-training teaches him to drop his tongue down as he must do with breastfeeding. With the shield (much like a bottle nipple) he may push his tongue to the roof of his mouth to slow the flow of milk.

  • Breastfeed frequently - as often as you can. Attempt to feed before he gets too hungry - when he is sucking on his fingers or rooting, but before he cries. If you can catch him early he may be more willing to work with you. You also might try nursing when he is a little drowsy. Some babies are more willing to take the breast when they are semi-asleep than when fully awake.

  • Try different nursing positions.

  • Nurse while in motion - as you walk, sway, rock, bounce, etc.

  • Provide lots of skin-to-skin contact when nursing and at other times as you can. Undress baby to his diaper and remove your blouse if possible. Try nursing while you both enjoy a warm bath.

  • Drip expressed breastmilk (or formula, or sugar water if no ebm is available) over your nipple in the corner of the baby's mouth using an eyedropper or feeding syringe while he is at the breast.

  • If baby becomes upset as you are trying, stop and attempt to calm him before trying again.

These last ones pertain more to taking the shield away:

  • It may help if you compress your breast and hold it firmly about 1 1/2 inches from the base of your nipple toward the chest wall (usually at the edge of the areola just past where your baby's lips will be) - like squishing down a big thick sandwich on a roll to take a bite. Holding the breast this way makes your nipple more firm like the shield. Keep holding it like that until it feels like baby is sucking well, and then slowly release the grip. 
     
  • Apply ice to your nipple before feeding to harden it.

  • Try to notice if there are certain times of the day or positions that he seems more receptive during and build on those.

  • Try offering the breast without the nipple shield, particularly when baby is rather sleepy. Sometimes once they take the "bare" breast a couple times, they'll continue with no problems.

  • If baby doesn't take the breast without the shield relatively easily, give it to him with the shield. DO NOT allow him to become frustrated at the breast, that will only make him more resistant to breastfeeding. Allow baby to build trust that nursing will work and will be ok, even if that means using the shield to make it familiar and easy for him. Once he builds trust, start to remove the shield after he has been on for awhile

  • After baby is nursing well and let-down has occurred, attempt to remove the shield quickly and relatch baby. Very gradually, start to remove it earlier and earlier in the feeding until you don't need it at all.

  • Sometimes it works to offer the first breast with the shield and the second one without it, if your baby takes both breasts in one feeding.

  • In the beginning, you may not want to take away the shield at every feeding so the baby relaxes and doesn't look for you to remove it every time.

  • You may hear the recommendation to cut away the tip of the nipple shield, a little each day, until it's gone. This is not recommended for silicon shields, because it will leave sharp edges.

Be sure not to make this a battle with the baby, or he will resist more. Don't obsess with weaning off the shield to the point that you're robbed of the joy of breastfeeding. As long as your baby is gaining weight well, then you have some time to play with. Keep trying as often as you can, and give it some time. There are some reports of moms continuing to use the shield for their whole breastfeeding experience, but most moms have taken anywhere from 2 days to about 4-5 weeks to accomplish completely weaning from the shield. Be patient with yourself and your baby while you work through this transition.

Finding help

If you're not already doing so, seriously consider contacting a lactation consultant (IBCLC) or La Leche League leader for one-on-one support. It can be great help to talk to someone face-to-face. Here is how to find breastfeeding help.

                              Mia ~  Breastfeeding Moms Group Moderator
              

BaileysMommy208
by Member on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:33 PM

BUMP!

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sktrowb
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:38 PM

I too have to use a shield. My lo is almost 5 months old She has used it the entire time I have been feeding her... I have inverted nipples that the lc said wold come out.. we spent over $30 on gagets to correct it to be able to take her off the shield... nothing worked When I am trying to latch her without the shield my nipples will actually go in instead of out.... I have decied I would rather feed her with the shield than to switch her to formula... I pumped a lot in the begining to keep my supply up. 

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wright1212
by on Jan. 18, 2010 at 11:48 PM

That is some great advice. I had the same problem. Another benefit of pumping for a couple of minutes first is it pulls your nipple out so the latch on is easier. It is soo hard for the baby to latch on the flat nipples since they cant feel where to go.

I also was given shells. You put them on about 10-15 minutes before feeding and this little plastic turtle shell natural helps draw out the nipple. Now at almost 5months things are going GREAT. Oh when my baby was 3-4 weeks old I was having alot of pain. I read on Dr. Sears that it could just be the nipple getting use to the new shape-kinda like a bruise. If this happens dont fret-it the pain will go away!

Mommy to Corbin (7-epilepsy,autism, add) Kayla (4) Collin (9/10/09 bf only), Wife to Ben-OT, and I love teaching- M.Ed Early Childhood.

Daynaof3
by on Jan. 19, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Congrats momma, that's awesome news! Hooray for you and Asher! 

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