Using a nipple shield

Meredith - posted on 01/23/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have a preemie and in the hospital they immediately gave me a nipple shield to nurse him. He would not latch on and we ended up pumping and bottling. He is now finally using the shield as he WILL NOT latch on to my breast. Just wondering if anyone else has used a shield and also if you were able to get rid of it. I'm hoping that he will latch on to the breast but not sure where to start with getting rid of the shield.

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Lila - posted on 04/30/2012

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no it will not stop as long as the baby is sucking and getting milk your milk will not stop because it is still getting the sucking that is needs to keep producing milk i used a shield for 11 months and no problems at all

Kristina - posted on 01/24/2009

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My daughter latched on initially and then started having trouble on 1 breast. I used the shield and she got so used to it I had to use it on both sides. I tried to nurse her so many times without it and she threw a fit! One day when she was 8-9 weeks old I tried to nurse her without it and she did! I thought for sure I would be using it forever, but I haven't had to use it since! Keep trying!

LeAnn - posted on 01/23/2009

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The nurses gave me a nipple shield because my daughter had jaundice and slept so long she was too upset to remember how to eat when she finally did wake up. It took a little bit for her to get used to the shield, but I never was able to wean her off of it. :( I tried time and time again and all i got was sore and she got mad. She was two months and my lactation consultant said to keep using it if it works. She's now six months old and still uses it. It's not too bad though because she's teething and it doesn't hurt very bad when she bites me. The only things that I don't like about it is that it leaks so I have to tuck a burp cloth into my bra and if I don't have it with me I can't feed my baby. Your supposed to breastfeed anywhere, right? Hope that's helpful.

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Lila - posted on 04/30/2012

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i had to use a nipple shield with my 2nd child and i hate to say it but i was stuck with it for 11 months but with my 3rd baby yes is almost 8 months now she has never had to use one so it maybe the feel of the shield verse the feel of your breast keep trying it but if he is preferring the shield just think of it as at least he is breastfeeding and not on a bottle all the time!

Susan - posted on 01/27/2009

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My daughter was born in April and I ended up having to express because she had jaundice and couldn't latch on.. I ended up getting her on with a nipple shield and I am STILL using it!!! She loves it!! I bought 5 of them, so once a day, I just sterilise them, like you would bottles, and use them as I please. It works for us, I just use a little container when I go out, or just put it on under my bra, so I feed her anywhere. Everyone said my milk supply would run out, but still going VERY strong. I am used to using it now, so not bothered it.. I was in the beginning though!! Good luck! Hope this helps...

Kayla - posted on 01/27/2009

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i had to use one and still have to and my little girl is almost 4 months. The nurse told me to try to let her eat on only breast during the day when she is not as hungry but she would not. Just try to get him to latch on with out if you can

Ashley - posted on 01/26/2009

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I spoke with my lactation consultant a few times about the effects of a breastshield and milk supply and she informed me that if you already have a good milk supply going you should be just fine because your nipple is still recieving stimulation and also you have you make sure you are positioning it correctly! You should almost turn it inside out and then roll it on your nipple and you should be just fine!! :)

Karen - posted on 01/26/2009

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I used a nipple shield for about 6 months with my twins. It was a pain, but better than pumping all the time. At 6 months (and some before) I tried nursing without it just every now and then. I would let them eat, and then take it off. Or sometimes I would just try without it and see what happened. It was a slow process, but one day (at about 6 months) they both just started doing fine without it. That was when I also was able to stop pumping and giving supplemental bottles, since they were nursing better.



A couple things to be concerned about 1) milk supply-- if he is not latching well on the shield (high up) it can affect your supply, so pump to make sure 2) nipple confusion-- the shield is more like a bottle so it can confuse the baby some, but again, just be patient and stick with it.

Victoria - posted on 01/24/2009

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my little girl would not latch on for like the first month ...i would try to get her to latch on during that month and she just didnt seem to know what to do, then one day i tried it again, and she has been doing great ever since.

Kerri - posted on 01/24/2009

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I had a terrible time for a couple months feeding my first son, because he didn't latch on right, and was tounge tied, and I was a first time mom and breastfeeder so I probably didn't know too much about how to do it right. But when my sister suggested nipple sheilds for me, they were a godsend. They taught him to open wider, and it didn't hurt to nurse him with them on. So when it was working well, I took them away and he nursed fine without them. They are only supposed to be used temporarily, or I heard they can effect milk supply.

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I had one coming home from the hospital. I was able to get rid of it after about 3 weeks. Now I have to roll the nipple into his mouth. Make sure he gets more bottom of the nipple than top. :)

Ashley - posted on 01/24/2009

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i struggled really badly with nursing at first!! Im talking toe curling, nauseating (sp) pain!!! But I was so determined to nurse my daughter that I wouldnt give up!! Then my lactation consultant told me about the breast shield!! It was like night and day difference!!! I agree with everyone that it is a pain to use one at times because if you dont have the breast shield with you you cant nurse!! When I started to remove the breast shield with my daughter she put up quite the refusal!!! Then when I would get her to latch she kept going on and off the breast!! Which then caused me to be quite sore again!! So I started to use Lasinoh and that honestly helped! Also I would use the breast shield at night because it would be dark and it was really hard for me to check that she was latched properly!! But we have been using the shield a lot more now then I would like her too!! But I have also heard that as they get older and at able to support themselves a lot more they dont need it as much as they did in the first place..... im hoping thats what happens with my daughter! Good luck with everything

Heather - posted on 01/23/2009

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I used a nipple shield as well. i was told by the lactation consultant that my nipples were flat, i had no idea. the nipple shield helped me a lot i used it probably for about 8 weeks until both me and my daughter were comfortable without it. it really is a lifesaver. i sometimes used it later when my milk really came in and i was full when she started sleeping longer. now she's 8 months and i havn't used it since she was 2 months. it does get easier and better.

Laura - posted on 01/23/2009

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I used a nipple shield for about 8 weeks, and it was a lifesaver. I agree that it was a pain to remember to take it with me if I went out somewhere, but it was so worth it. I stopped needing it by taking it off when my daughter took a break, then fed her without it when she started eating again. Lansinoh also makes a little suction device called a Latch Assist for engorged breasts or flat/inverted nipples. I just found out about it so I never used it, but it might help you out!

Megan - posted on 01/23/2009

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I used the nipple shield because my son did not know how to suck or latch on.  Once they taught him to suck, the only way I could get him on was the nipple shield.  I used it a lot in the beginning, but then tried to wean him off during the day and would use it at night when I didn't have the energy to try it without it.  It only took me about 2 weeks and I've never had trouble going from breast to bottle to breast.

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2009

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Congrats on your new baby. Nipple shields suck but don't give up. With my first child he was not preemie but no matter what we did he could not latch on so I ended up using a nipple shield. thankfully I was able to see a free lactation consultant twice a week for two months...that is how long it took me to wean him off the nipple shield. One thing you could start trying to do is when he is not super starving offer your nipple and give it a try every time...but don't try if you are really worn out or he is super hungry...it won't work. Just keep trying! But it may take time especially since he is a preemie! I would really recommend talking to a lactation consultant...they can help you with latch and ideas. the football hold may be a good way to latch easier!! good Luck...I know your pain!

Lauren - posted on 01/23/2009

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I used a shield for 4 months.  It was a pain having to wash them and make sure I always had one with me.  If it wasn't for the shield, I don't know what I would have done.  It was worth it to be able to breastfeed. 



I stopped using it when Rylee showed signs she didn't want to use it anymore.  Every now and again I would try to nurse without it but she would not always latch on, or stay on.  Finally, I realized she didn't need it when she started trying to grab it and pull it.  One day she pulled it off.  I haven't used it since.

Debbie - posted on 01/23/2009

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It is a little annoying to have to carry a shield with you anytime you leave the house with the baby, but if that is what works for you and your baby, it's just fine! ine wasn't a preemie, but he had trouble latching onto my nipples. We used the shield for about 2 or 3 months. I kept trying to take it away after a few weeks, and it was just frustrating for both of us. After maybe 6 weeks or so I started taking the shield off when he would "pop off" for a break, so he would get used to natural mom. Then one day he started swiping at it and moved it, then latched on. I guess he was ready. Do NOT feel bad about using a nipple shield, it is a great tool to use to give your baby the best nutrition there is!

Diana - posted on 01/23/2009

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My son was only a week early but was very small and he also had trouble latching on. I've used a nipple shield since he was about 3 days old and still do now at 5 1/2 months. It has been a lifesaver for us and I highly recommend it as a means to continue breastfeeding which is soooo beneficial. My son will sometimes now latch on to my breast and if I persisted with it I'm sure I could get rid of it but we both find it easier (I have super sensitive nipples and they get very sore). Just keep trying without the shield occassionally and I'm sure he'll get the idea.

Crystal - posted on 01/23/2009

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I have a preemie also who has latching issues.  We had success with the nipple shield and having now just passed her original due date, I am trying without and having success at times.  She still has a little confusion and when really frustrated I go back to the shield, but it is getting better.  He may do better as he gets older.

Emily - posted on 01/23/2009

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I agree with Christine. Nursing with a shield is much better than not nursing at all. As long as he's learning to take nutrition from the breast, he's doing well for now. Eventually you should try starting a feeding with the shield, then once he's going strong, take the shield off quickly and re-latch him without it. If he doesn't accept that, go back to the shield. Eventually he'll learn to nurse without it and he'll be just fine. :)

Christine - posted on 01/23/2009

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My sister had a ridiculous time getting her daughter to latch on...  She used a nipple shield well past the dr's recommendation.  It takes a TON of patience, but give it time...  He'll get the hang of things.  You just have to do your part too...  try to nurse without it at each feeding, but be sure not to get to a point where either of you are frustrated... give into the shield after your attemps fail, and eventually it'll just happen naturally.  Just know your limits and try to recognize his too...

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