I Don't Like Breastfeeding, or Nipple Shield Help? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 12-29-2007, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have large breasts and baby has a small mouth. I am still using a nipple shield at 9 weeks so that my nipples don't get pinched by the sides of her mouth. Baby was in the NICU (though she was full term) and I had many LC visits so I think everything is going as well as can be expected. Because of the nipple shield it takes her 30 minutes to feed, per breast. Usually she only wants one breast but 1-2x a day she wants both breasts, and it takes 60 minutes.

I tried ditching the shield and she was done in 15 minutes on one breast, but I was in excruciating pain that took three days to go away. Using the shield I just have mild pain (not "discomfort," but pain). Sobbing and swearing is not what I want to do with my little one.

Lately I can't get the shields to attach very well--they don't slurp up much of the nipple, so she's nipplefeeding rather than breastfeeding.

I also am perpetually exasperated by the setup required for bfing--grabbing the Brestfriend pillow, laying a cloth diaper under baby's head, trying to kick the footstool into position, then installing the nipple shield (which lately doesn't work) all while baby is crying. My butt is really sore from sitting still for so long!

I'm extra annoyed because before I gave birth I talked to friends and professionals about bfing. Friends said "It hurts for 8 weeks." Professionals (midwives, doulas) said "If you do it right, it doesn't hurt." I guess I'm angry at the world right now.
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#2 of 32 Old 12-29-2007, 05:35 AM
 
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Me too. Me too, me too, me too. And this is my second child I've had these problems with. I'm exclusively pumping now, I couldn't take it anymore. I still nurse with the shield every other day or so so he doesn't forget how (in case maybe things would be better when his mouth grows), but I have to say, despite the hassle, I'm a happier person using the pump -- it's nice to get annoyed and frustrated with a machine instead of my precious baby. I hated feeling like he was my adversary. I mourn for what we're losing in terms of physical bonding, but really I am mourning the IDEA of breastfeeding ... not what the reality was for us. I am supportive of breastfeeding and breastmilk ... but I would not be a good mother to my older son or wife to my husband if I was nursing full time right now. So pumping it is, for as long as I can keep the milk flowing.
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#3 of 32 Old 12-29-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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Would a different size nipple shield help? If you can't find different sizes locally, check the medela website.
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#4 of 32 Old 12-29-2007, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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HoneymoonBaby--sad that you're experiencing this, too, but glad to know it's not all in my head, and glad to know there are other combinations out there. I keep wondering what is the blissful experience that everyone else talks about? I don't understand the bonding--DD closes her eyes while she's nursing, looks like she's working hard and doesn't want to be interrupted! I hate pumping, too, it feels humiliating. Why can't they make a more discreet set of flanges and collection bags? Sometimes I think the magic of breastfeeding is as you say, an idea, and that women who skip it completely and use formula are more realistic about their lives.

3girls1boy--I am using the largest size Medela makes...I asked at the store to be sure and I checked the website just now. *sigh*...I think a larger shield would help. Wonder why they don't make one, since shields are specifically recommended for this situation (mismatch between baby and mother's anatomy)?
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#5 of 32 Old 12-29-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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I have had nipple discomfort/pain with each baby, and it goes away within a few weeks or so, usually for the most part. When your breast is not used to being sucked on constantly, it will hurt some for a little until they get used to it, then it will feel better. Even if your latch is good, expect some discomfort for a few weeks until your nipples are more used to it.
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#6 of 32 Old 12-29-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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How long has it been since an LC has watch you nurse? Things may have changed by now, someone may be able to help you latch without a shield.
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#7 of 32 Old 01-02-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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I also have large breasts and babe had a small mouth. It does get better. They (babies and thier mouths) grow, your breasts become less engorged and shrink a cup size or so and are just easier to latch on to for the baby.

As for pain, yeah, whoever thinks that breastfeeding "doesn't hurt if it's done right" is full of it. The first several weeks were awful. No wonder so many moms don't follow through. Frankly, my nipples burned for a good 30min after each breastfeeding session for about three months, despite the babe being latched properly.

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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#8 of 32 Old 01-03-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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I hate hearing that it doesn't hurt, for me it kills!!!!!! I think I do have a latch problem with this baby, but I didn't with my first two and I had bleeding, bruising, and severe pain. It lasted about 6 weeks, and then went away. If you do keep with it, it really does become easy, and you don't have to worry about bottles and everything. It seems hard for me to imagine it gets easier since I'm in a really bad place with it right now, but I have two older kids, one that I nursed for three years, so I know it does. I am seeing a lactation consultant today, but it took me some time to make the appointment, because it makes me furious to hear that it doesn't hurt if it is done right. I think that is the least helpful thing to be told. I also have large nipples/breasts, must be part of it.
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#9 of 32 Old 01-03-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RootSnort View Post
How long has it been since an LC has watch you nurse? Things may have changed by now, someone may be able to help you latch without a shield.
:

And when you were first trying to nurse, did anyone talk about a trick called reverse pressure softening?
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#10 of 32 Old 01-04-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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My LC taught me to get as much of the nipple in the shield as I could, but I've found that my baby actually nurses better if there's a little space/air left on top so that way he can suck up the nipple and manipulate it. If there's nipple smushed all the way to the top, he can't smash it and express the milk as well.

Sorry to hear of your troubles, I hope you find a solution.
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#11 of 32 Old 01-04-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are having so much trouble. I just wanted to say you aren't alone! I hated all the set up at the beginning with nip shield and breast friend but eventually (it seemed like forever) I could get rid of the equipment and BF wherever whenever. It was right around 9 weeks that I got rid of the nipple shield and I worked really hard on it and went to weekly meetings with BF support group that included at least 1 LC. I did go back to the nipple shield for a couple of days due to pain and it was closer to 4 months before I was completely rid of the breast friend but it was all worth it. DS is 11 months old today and still nursing stong. It has been a long while since we've had any nipple pain. Good luck and hang in there. Find some help if you can.
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#12 of 32 Old 01-04-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ElsieLC View Post
Friends said "It hurts for 8 weeks." Professionals (midwives, doulas) said "If you do it right, it doesn't hurt." I guess I'm angry at the world right now.
This REALLY pisses me off, because it's NOT TRUE! Every time I hear this I cringe, because I know, from experience it's NOT TRUE. Your friends are right - and please consider me your friend too -- it CAN hurt for weeks. It still hurts me in the beginning and I just had my FOURTH CHILD. Sure it isn't as bad as my first (thank God) but to say you are doing it wrong due to pain...oh infuriating! Right now what you need is sympathy and someone to say "you are fighting the good fight, for now it hurts, but it will end -- and you'll love breastfeeding. You'll appreciate it all the more for what you suffered."

So I am saying it! In the grand scheme of things this time is short (I know it doesn't feel like it all day in pain) and you will get through it. Hat's off to you momma, at least I didnt deal with shields etc. (Just a nipple gash from hell...even though my LC said the latch was PERFECT. Even the local LLL leader wouldn't help, or even pretend to care when I reached out for help. Grrrrrrr) Not only is it better, but it gets better each time.

HANG IN THERE!!!!!
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#13 of 32 Old 01-04-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TattoMomK View Post
This REALLY pisses me off, because it's NOT TRUE! Every time I hear this I cringe, because I know, from experience it's NOT TRUE. Your friends are right - and please consider me your friend too -- it CAN hurt for weeks. It still hurts me in the beginning and I just had my FOURTH CHILD. Sure it isn't as bad as my first (thank God) but to say you are doing it wrong due to pain...oh infuriating! Right now what you need is sympathy and someone to say "you are fighting the good fight, for now it hurts, but it will end -- and you'll love breastfeeding. You'll appreciate it all the more for what you suffered."

So I am saying it! In the grand scheme of things this time is short (I know it doesn't feel like it all day in pain) and you will get through it. Hat's off to you momma, at least I didnt deal with shields etc. (Just a nipple gash from hell...even though my LC said the latch was PERFECT. Even the local LLL leader wouldn't help, or even pretend to care when I reached out for help. Grrrrrrr) Not only is it better, but it gets better each time.

HANG IN THERE!!!!!
: ITA. I am an LC, even I had sore nipples for about a week or two after my children were born. Health care professionals that make statements like this need an inservice!
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#14 of 32 Old 01-05-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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maybe try different/thinner nipple shields? I do know of mothers who have gone to to breastfeed past one year using nipple shields the ENTIRE time, so it isn't always a supply-ruiner.

don't give up. It really is worth it for the health benefits of your baby AND you. It helped me to read this sometimes when I was really feeling like giving up (I had to pump exclusively, so that happened a lot!) just for some motivation

http://www.promom.org/101/

good luck! many people who have trouble in the beginning go on to have a great nursing relationship later on. Remember that while the setting up and sitting there can be very tedious, bottlefeeding has a whole other set of issues, and can be equally inconvenient in different ways. If you can get through this difficult part and hopefully as she grows and her mouth gets bigger, is able to nurse more efficiently, it may very well be easier in the long run when you don't have to worry about lugging around bottles and getting out of bed every time the baby wakes up at night.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#15 of 32 Old 01-05-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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Hugs to you

I had my fourth in June - and still surpised at how much I hated breastfeeding. As I remember it - babe born June 13th - was at the doctor's just before Aug. 9th when I went on vacation in tears thinking I had a yeast infection because everything hurt so so much. So ... not quite sure how many weeks that is.

I am now done having kiddos - I will miss being pregnant, I will miss natural labour & delivery but I will never never miss those first two months of breastfeeding.

Hang on - no advice on the shields, it should get better. It only hurts somewhat (don't swear anymore) on one side. And, sometimes it feels really really good!
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#16 of 32 Old 01-06-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Which NS are you using? I know you said Medela, but do you have the contact shield, or the regular one? I used one (early babe, flat nipples) for six or seven weeks and found the contact shield to be MUCH more comfortable. I also think they should make a larger one, though... The 24 was too small for me too.

I will tell you it gets better. I was like you for a long time (needed the pillow, etc.). I can now (maybe for the last 3 weeks?) nurse DD with just holding her in a cradle hold. I used to have to hold my breast in one hand and her head in the other while trying to support her body with my forearm. Now, I can just slip her into the crook of my arm and let her get to it. It's just hard getting there...
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#17 of 32 Old 01-07-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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I believe there are 3 sizes of shields.

I have extremely large breasts (I wear a K cup) and had very fiberous flat nipples when I first started nursing. Add that to my breast being bigger than DD, and it took awhile...

Stick with it!

Is the pain breast or nipple centered? Is it under the breast or all over?

I've found I get a tugging pain (like pulling on a nerve) along the whole underside if I have a hard letdown.

Nipple pain when she isnt latched on right, so I stop, breath and re-latch.

Also try and keep a station set up. I have one seat on the couch which is MINE...and my whole family knows. I keep my breastfriend there (pre set to the side I need to nurse, so on the left side for nursing there. I switch after I am done nursing and burp her so it's ready for the next time). I have my pump on the arm of the couch (sometimes I pump one side while nursing on the other). A little table, with my shield, a burp/drip rag, and a place for a glass of ice water (also the tv remotes!). I keep 3-4 shields around the house. 1. by my "station" 2. by my bed, 3rd in the diaper bag, and 4th is the moving one, which replaces the others when they get washed.

Also keeping me sane is I start moving in that direction as SOON as I see her making the sucky face...so I try to get to her before she gets fussy.
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#18 of 32 Old 01-07-2008, 01:51 AM
 
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Oh and on using Nipple Shields...as one of my friends (and my LC said):

"Nursing with a nipple shield is better than not nursing...."

She also commented most babies tend to start dropping it on their own around 12 weeks.
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#19 of 32 Old 01-08-2008, 02:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the support! And my sympathies to those of you in the same boat, past or present! I do think things are getting better...I recognize the "sucky face" and the "I'm hungry" cry and try to watch the clock to anticipate.

I think she started teething this week and I think that's too early (for me to cope with, not her--she seems fine with it!).
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#20 of 32 Old 01-08-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TattoMomK View Post
This REALLY pisses me off, because it's NOT TRUE! Every time I hear this I cringe, because I know, from experience it's NOT TRUE. Your friends are right - and please consider me your friend too -- it CAN hurt for weeks. It still hurts me in the beginning and I just had my FOURTH CHILD. Sure it isn't as bad as my first (thank God) but to say you are doing it wrong due to pain...oh infuriating! Right now what you need is sympathy and someone to say "you are fighting the good fight, for now it hurts, but it will end -- and you'll love breastfeeding. You'll appreciate it all the more for what you suffered."

So I am saying it! In the grand scheme of things this time is short (I know it doesn't feel like it all day in pain) and you will get through it. Hat's off to you momma, at least I didnt deal with shields etc. (Just a nipple gash from hell...even though my LC said the latch was PERFECT. Even the local LLL leader wouldn't help, or even pretend to care when I reached out for help. Grrrrrrr) Not only is it better, but it gets better each time.

HANG IN THERE!!!!!
I was also angry about this information. For me it also hurt for about 3 months with the first. With the second about 2 weeks (and at that time I was still nursing the first about once a day also). You start to doubt yourself. I find that a good indicator of a bad latch is if your nipple looks assymetrical after nursing, but that worked for me personally not sure about other women.

Carma
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#21 of 32 Old 01-08-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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For me it hurt for the first little while and I was doing it right, according to my midwife. DD never lost any weight after birth, she actually gained 3 oz in her first week. But my nipples... they were sore and I dreaded it but I stuck with it anyway because I just didnt see formula as an option. I never thought I couldn't do it. Then again I never needed any special equipment. But I used to cry cry cry over how painful it was and every time she had to nurse I would just cringe at the thought...

It passes!
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#22 of 32 Old 02-10-2008, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update--at around 12 weeks I started leaving out the nipple shield for one feeding per day (to see if I could bear it). And I took DD to get a cranial sacral treatment. Since then, I've been "going commando" (as DH puts it) and not using the shield at all. This means DD nurses much quicker, which means I don't need to tote the special awkwardly-shaped breastfeeding support pillow from room to room, which means I can nurse her anywhere, which means we're portable, which means I'm happier!

Hooray!
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#23 of 32 Old 02-10-2008, 08:34 AM
 
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Avent makes a nipple shield that looks more like a "butterfly" with 'contact' on two sides. That might help.

I know the frustration of getting ready to nurse. We use an SNS and I pump the other side. So I have to get the pump ready, the SNS, tape it on, etc...

It's very frustrating but hang in there and remember that each and every drop of breastmilk is liquid gold.

My motto lately is never give up, even on your worst day. You can do it!
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#24 of 32 Old 02-10-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Yay Elsie!!! That's really great news! It's so freeing when you can drop the NS...
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#25 of 32 Old 02-10-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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I'm beginning to think I should find me some breast shields?

My just under 35 weeker will be two weeks old in a couple days. She won't put her little tiny mouth over my giant nipple. She mouths it, she nuzzles, she even seems upset that it's too big. I pump and she gets a bottle of breastmilk for every meal.

The first day or two after she was born, she actually latched on quite well, but wasn't getting much from me; coudn't/wouldn't actually suck long enough to get any... she'd just stay latched on for a minute or two (up to 10 mins.) and let go/fall asleep. By the time my milk came in, she was done with my giant, heavy breasts, and the pumping/bottlefeeding "nightmare" began...

I've nursed two others successfully (yes, they were term) for 2 years and 1 year, so this is very difficult for me. I hear that #1 rule is, get food into the baby... which we have and do... now I just want to NURSE the baby...

I honestly don't want to leave my house until she can nurse... I can't live attached to a pump and bottles and heating them, and washing them and and and... how do you ever leave the house???

Am I being impatient? Should I get some nipple shields? Is it too early/too late/right on time to get a LC? I thought I would wait until she gained a little weight (she was/is so tiny) before turning the heat up on her... but I really am becoming more frustrated and sad... The up side is, she loves skin to skin, and doesn't HATE my breasts... she just won't nurse them.

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#26 of 32 Old 02-10-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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It's never too early or too late to get a LC. That's my opinion, if you feel like something's not right, get a LC. Good luck!
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#27 of 32 Old 02-10-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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Salt - you need an LC immediately. It's not at all too late. DD was a 35 weeker (35+2d) and they have a miserable time latching at least until their EDD. Yes, a small nipple shield would probably help a lot with her latching. DD actually did fine with the standard size (24 mm), but they go down to 16 mm - I'd get one 18 and one 16 and see how LO does. You should get instruction on how to use it properly. I had to triple feed for weeks (nurse+pump+bottle of EBM) since she also didn't have the strength to get enough milk just nursing. It is sooo hard with the early ones, but it can be done!

Here's where to find an LC.

For us, using the NS and nursing before she got the supplement really imprinted her on the breast, I think. She always liked nursing more than bottles, but took the bottle because it was easier.

Good luck!!!




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Originally Posted by salt_phoenix View Post
I'm beginning to think I should find me some breast shields?

My just under 35 weeker will be two weeks old in a couple days. She won't put her little tiny mouth over my giant nipple. She mouths it, she nuzzles, she even seems upset that it's too big. I pump and she gets a bottle of breastmilk for every meal.

The first day or two after she was born, she actually latched on quite well, but wasn't getting much from me; coudn't/wouldn't actually suck long enough to get any... she'd just stay latched on for a minute or two (up to 10 mins.) and let go/fall asleep. By the time my milk came in, she was done with my giant, heavy breasts, and the pumping/bottlefeeding "nightmare" began...

I've nursed two others successfully (yes, they were term) for 2 years and 1 year, so this is very difficult for me. I hear that #1 rule is, get food into the baby... which we have and do... now I just want to NURSE the baby...

I honestly don't want to leave my house until she can nurse... I can't live attached to a pump and bottles and heating them, and washing them and and and... how do you ever leave the house???

Am I being impatient? Should I get some nipple shields? Is it too early/too late/right on time to get a LC? I thought I would wait until she gained a little weight (she was/is so tiny) before turning the heat up on her... but I really am becoming more frustrated and sad... The up side is, she loves skin to skin, and doesn't HATE my breasts... she just won't nurse them.
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#28 of 32 Old 02-12-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Is it really true that babies tend to drop the nipple shield on their own as they get older?

My 2 week old uses one due to my flat nipples and I'm driving myself crazy trying to wean him off it.

I feel like I'm doing something wrong by using it, but it makes BF soooo much easier

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#29 of 32 Old 02-12-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Yes, they really do tend to drop it as they get older and better at bfing. It can take a while, though. Be patient - you'll get there.
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#30 of 32 Old 02-13-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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Saw a LC today and YAY!!! Breast shields!!!

My little tiny baby is nursing!!!

Different drummer dancing with 3 kids in 3 decades.
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