do i have to ween my son off of using a nipple shield?

Lauren - posted on 10/23/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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i'm a new mom of 3 weeks and i'm breast feeding my son. i have flat/inverted nipples and was given a nipple shield at the hospital to help him latch on. well, now he's so used to it that i've tried nursing him without it on but he's unable to find my nipple. my question is do i have to eventually ween him off of it and, if so, why?

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I had the same issue. I didn't start weaning my daughter off of the shield until 3 months. She was completely off by four months. I had to get her off of it because it was causing me to have multiple clogged ducts. Sometimes the baby can't get a good latch (they can't get as much of the nipple/areola into their mouth) because the shield is in the way. I've heard some LC's say this can lead to supply issues. Or in my case, I had oversupply so my daughter couldn't empty my breasts well enough causing clogged ducts. You could keep trying every few days if you want. If it's too stressful then wait a few weeks. Sometimes we tried starting without it and sometimes I waited until the letdown started then removed the shield and latched her on so she was be rewarded with milk. It took some time. Good luck!

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Brittany - posted on 10/23/2010

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Do you also pump? It's good to pump while using a nipple shield to keep your milk supply up and help increase elasticity and draw your nipple out. The shield also helps with drawing your nipple out. Over time, the pump and the nipple shield will draw out your nipple and you wont have to use them anymore when the elasticity improves and baby gets stronger and you both get more and more comfortable with reading each other. You don't have to stop using the shield until then. This site has a lot of great info on breastfeeding with flat and inverted nipples - http://www.breastfeeding-basics.com/html...

You're doing great, keep it up! =)

Ania - posted on 10/23/2010

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Just try few times but if it doesn't work just leave it for now, when he gets bigger that he will be more efficient and able to find your nipples with his eyes closed

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