How to get rid of nipple shield - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-23-2010, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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While in the hospital with my first, a nurse gave me a nipple shield because of engorgement and so my nipples could heal from bad latching.

Now I can't get rid of it. My son won't latch onto me and I am a slave to this thing. He is 15 days old and I am worrying that I may never succeed.

Any advice is appreciated.


Due Nov/Dec. 2012

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#2 of 4 Old 06-23-2010, 10:37 AM
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i went through that too. using one was like a miracle to me in the hospital, as dd wouldn't latch.. and then, the pedi told me how it would eventually lead to decrease in milk supply and end bf early! it made me freak out.
i think i found a few good articles online, maybe even suggested by some people here. from my memory, though, what we did was this:
i changed the hold to cross cradle. for some reason that was better for us.
i used some expressed milk and a dropper.
i'd put some milk in the shield and put it on, let dd nurse for a little while, long enough to pull the nipple out. then i'd unlatch, put more milk on my boob, and try to get her back on. i had moderate success at first, but kept trying.
it really seemed like the end of the world at the time, as dd was quite the screamer (and wouldn't nurse when she was mad mad mad). letting her get a little milk in her to make her not freaking-out-hungry helped a lot. pulling the nip out helped a lot.
here's the kellymom article, and here's an old mdc thread...
good luck to you, mama. it really will get better, i promise.

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#3 of 4 Old 06-23-2010, 12:05 PM
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I have flat nipples so was also given a shield at the hospital. At 16 days old, we quit cold turkey using the shield and had a rough few days until he REALLY figured out what was going on.

Prior to that we tried at every feeding to latch DS on without the shield until it was obvious he was getting too frustrated (about 3-5 tries per side). Sometimes he latched without it but not often. Once I really gave up the shield we had a few rough starts and a little damage to my nipples, but it was literally about 2 days before he latched on with just 1 or 2 tries.

Now he does fine although I'm still too flat for him to latch without me guiding everything. He latches right away and is growing well. There is definately hope, but it can be a struggle to get everything figured out when you are both frustrated.

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#4 of 4 Old 06-25-2010, 06:25 PM
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We ended up getting stuck on the nipple shield for 4.5 months; we actually started weaning from it successfully two weeks ago after endless give-ups. What worked for us was using the shield until after the let-down and then taking it off. We didn't do this everytime at first. Sometimes we would just do it on one breast once a day, and we increased the sessions without it from there. Now she has a difficult time if I use the shield, although I still use it occassionally until after the let-down. Interestingly, my milk supply actually seemed higher when I was using the shield, but this could just be skewed perception on my part. Do try your best to get off of it, though, because it caused me recurrent plugged ducts, milk blisters, thrush, and mastitis!

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