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If it was because of flat nipples could you answer a couple questions for me?<br><br>
1. How long did you use it before being able to ween off of it straight onto the breast?<br><br>
2. Tell me about the weening process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)<br><br>
3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?<br><br>
3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?<br><br>
Any other helpful hints or stories or experiences about using a nipple shield would be greatly appreciated. If you write something rather long and would rather pm me, please do so.<br><br>
My babe is currently 9 days old and just transitioned from bottle to shield two days ago. Here is more info if you need it (in posts 1 and 12) <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=857094" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=857094</a><br><br>
Thanks again ladies.
 

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My first DD could not get the hang of breastfeeding without the nipple shield. She would just lie there with my nipple in her mouth, unable to start sucking. The nipple shield put pressure on her palate, and triggered her suck reflex.<br><br>
It took about three weeks in total to get her off the shield--one week of not really knowing how to use it, one week of using it for every feed, and one week of weaning her off of it.<br><br>
I used to warm up the shield under warm water until it was more flexible and stretchy. Then I'd stretch it out and sort of glom it onto my nipple, getting as much breast tissue into the thing as I could. Then I used athletic tape to secure it at the bottom and top of my areola. Then I'd latch the baby on... Yes, it was a process. At the end of every feed, I would pump with my hospital grade pump, and store the milk in the fridge. If, at the next feed, I couldn't get her latched on, I would pump instead, and my husband would either finger-feed her, or give her a bottle.<br><br>
After 5 or 6 days of using the shield at every feed, I started weaning her off of it. I began by attaching it in the usual way, then getting the baby latched on. Once I felt the let-down reflex, I'd stick my finger in her mouth, bump off the shield, and try to re-latch the baby. Usually by this point, she was happily sucking away, so she would relatch and continue sucking without trouble. A few times, she'd forget what to do, and so I'd have to shove the nipple shield back on, to get her started again. It took another week before she was latching dependably, every time.<br><br>
Here's the good news: after nursing my DD for two years, all of the connective tissue in my nipples that made them flat was completely stretched out. My son had zero issues with nursing, because my nipples were more normal in shape by the time he was born. And my DD DID get the hang of nursing, and we had a beautiful, two-year nursing relationship that was SO much easier than bottlefeeding. So it was Completely worth it, even when I was so tired at 5 a.m. and was dicking around with the shield.<br><br>
Hang in there.
 

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Hello!<br><br>
The nipple shield question pops up now and then, and it seems like everyone has a different experience. Some people are able to stop using it after a few weeks, while others keep using it throughout the entire time they BF. It really depends on each situation. Every baby is different, as is every mama. That being said, here are some answers to your questions:<br><br><b>1. How long did you use it before being able to wean off of it straight onto the breast?</b><br>
We used it for eight and a half months. Yup. Eight and a half months. DS was a preemie, he was bottle fed in the NICU, he had a tiny mouth and I have huge boobs, the lac. consultant was too busy to really help, so after I tried to BF for a few minutes on my own, she popped on the shields.<br><br><b>2. Tell me about the weaning process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)</b><br>
I AGONIZED about weaning for MONTHS!!! Some people told me to quit cold turkey and just let him cry while he figured it out on his own, but I just didn't see the point of stressing him out like that and potentially damaging our BFing relationship. I tried to slip them off after he started eating, but he didn't like that. Every so often, I was able to latch him on without the shields, and when after the let down, he would want me to put them back on. After a couple of months, I stopped worrying about weaning him off. My supply was great, he was growing, and we were to maintain a breastfeeding relationship. I just decided to accept shields as a part of our lives.<br>
****Here's how he weaned- The week before he weaned, he would pull off while nursing, look at my breast, take off the nipple shield, and put it in his mouth and suck on it. It seemed like he was trying to figure out WHERE his meal was coming from. For a whole week would look at my breast, play with my nipple, and look at the shield. I took advantage of his "discovery time" to squirt him with milk, play with him, and make it a lot of fun to nurse without the shield. He spent several days just casually tasting and learning how to nurse without the shield. One day he suddenly found out that milk came from me and not the shield, and he suddenly stopped using the shield.<br><br><b>3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weaning off of the nipple shield?</b> No. But some people do. It depends on why you had to use the shields in the first place.<br><br><b>3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?</b><br>
No. But it is VERY important to pay close attention to your supply. If your supply decreases, you may need to pump or really focus on weaning off the shields.<br><br><b>Any other helpful hints or stories or experiences about using a nipple shield would be greatly appreciated. If you write something rather long and would rather pm me, please do so.</b><br>
I would strongly suggest that you only use the shields under the supervision of a lactation consultant. But I read your other post and see that you might not have access to a LC. If that's the case, keep asking questions on MDC, and see if there are any kinds of lactation services in your area. There may even be help through La Leche League International, but I'm not sure.<br><br>
If your supply is up and your babe is eating and gaining, don't stress out about weaning off the shield. You will be able to do it when the time is right for you and your babe. Keep trying to offer your breast without the shield.<br><br>
Are you using the Medela shields with the cut out portion?<br><br>
Good luck to you!
 

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My situation is somewhat different because DD was early and we had to supplement with EBM since she had a very weak suck and was very sleepy, so keep that in mind. I have fairly flat nipples and DD had a tiny mouth and was early, so seemed to not "get" nursing.<br><br>
1. We used a NS for 9 weeks or so.<br><br>
2. To wean, I tried the recommended method of nursing for a few minutes then trying to re-latch babe without the NS. Didn't work for us, but it's worth a try. I tried to latch her without it every few days until one day she just did! Not a great latch (we had to work on a good latch for another week or so once she dropped it), but it worked! For us, she would more readily take the 2nd breast without the NS. I think she was still hungry, but not starving, so had the patience to try. We were on and off of it for at least a week before she just didn't need it anymore. We always put it on if either of us started to get frustrated - you don't want babe to be frustrated with nursing!<br><br>
3. I never used the breast shells because I used it once for sore nipples and got a plugged duct almost immediately.<br><br>
4. Yes, but I think we only needed to because DD was early and really did have issues figuring out how to eat. She also has a congenital heart defect that makes her need more calories to keep her weight up. I agree that you do need to monitor supply and babe's weight gain and pee/poopy diapers. The newer shields shouldn't cause supply problems, but I would pump for at least the first few weeks just to make sure the initial supply is well established. You can just freeze the extra! I have a good friend who used one for 4 months (tongue tie that wasn't clipped) and she never had supply or weight gain issues.<br><br>
I still have flat nipples. One side is still flat, the other not so much! DD has no issues latching - she's figured out that the second she starts to suck it still goes in! She's a champion nurser now - she can even turn her head to watch the dogs play without popping off.<br><br>
ETA - I would buy several shields so you don't have to wash them every time! I found the Medela Contact Shields to be by far the most comfortable and most natural feeling.
 

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We used it for 3 weeks due to inverted nipples. We quit cold turkey, but he was ready. He probably would have been able to quit a week earlier, but it was Christmas and we were visiting family, and I think the business disrupted our progress a little bit. So I didn't push the issue until we got home. I started during his "easiest" feeding of the day, when he was already the most happy and contented, which was early afternoon. I just offered him the bare breast. He didn't really fuss at all, and he nursed just fine on both sides. Once I knew he could do it, it gave me the confidence to be a little more patient and not get as frustrated during his naturally cranky times. He can be very stubborn (gee, I wonder where he gets that from), so it really was just a matter of being patient and not giving up on him too quickly. He did fuss and cry for a few minutes at his late night/early morning feeding times, but we stuck it out and he did latch on. After he went a full 24 hours without it, taking the bare breast at every feeding time, I knew we could do it and never looked back.
 

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I used a shield because my nipples are inverted/flat-ish.<br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">1. How long did you use it before being able to ween off of it straight onto the breast?</span> About 4-6 weeks (I don't really remember) but I didn't <i>really</i> try as hard as I could to stop using it before then.<br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">2. Tell me about the weening process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)</span> The old advice of "start with the shield then remove after a minute or two" did NOT work for me. DS has a powerful suck, so he would get enough milk in that minute or two to make it not worth it for him to struggle to latch on. I would start without the shield, let him work at it for a bit, then if he couldn't latch put the shield on before he'd get frustrated/frantic. I did this for EVERY feeding when I finally put my mind to it and it worked within a day.<br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?</span> Nope. I thought nipple shells were pretty pointless. I tried using them in the hospital when DS was first born, and they would work to get my nipples to come out but then if he couldn't latch on, they'd go soft again pretty quickly.<br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?</span> Nope.
 

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<b>1. How long did you use it before being able to ween off of it straight onto the breast?</b><br><br>
We used it from about week 3 until he was nearly 2 months old, so about 6-ish weeks. I had sustained quite a bit of damage in the first two weeks because of his bad latch, and only the third LC I saw mentioned I had flat nipples.<br><br><b>2. Tell me about the weening process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)</b><br><br>
I was very nervous about it (flashbacks of the pain of the first two weeks) but we wound up being out somewhere and I was digging through my bag for the shield. I couldn't find it so I said "whatever" and tried popping him on. It worked!<br>
I hung onto the shield for a while after that for the 'rougher' feedings -- overnight when I was sleepy and nervous about being able to see him latch -- but we moved away from it during the day and it worked out very well.<br><br><b>3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?</b><br><br>
Nope! The 'girls' were fine without them.<br><br><b>3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?</b><br><br>
No, never. Although Joey did get a bottle of expressed milk here and there after he was a month old, it was never because of supply issues or anything like that.
 

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<b>1. How long did you use it before being able to wean off of it straight onto the breast?</b><br><br>
~6 weeks. She was a lazy eater at first and we had to work hard to establish BFing, so I didn't worry about weaning from the shield until after she had regained her birth weight and showed a steady gaining pattern.<br><br><b>2. Tell me about the weaning process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)</b><br><br>
We tried taking the shield away mid-feed, but as another poster mentioned, that just made her mad. So I started the feed without it and popped it on when she stopped eating or got annoyed. In the beginning she would only nurse sans shield for a few seconds, but each feed she would go longer without the shield. I also noticed that she nursed well without the shield when she was half-asleep (so those times I sometimes could remove the shield mid-feed). The weaning took a whopping 3 days, and that was more to convince *myself* that she was eating just as much without the shield: because she ate more effiently, her feeds were shorter.<br><br><b>3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?</b><br><br>
No.<br><br><b>3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?</b><br><br>
No.<br><br><br>
Bottom line is that I was very worried about weaning from the shield, but it went MUCH easier than I could have imagined. The shield definitely saved our bfing relationship!
 

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I used them due to inverted nipples. To look at them, I didnt think they were inverted or flat but I guess they just needed to be coaxed out with the help of the shield. Either way, I wouldnt have been able to nurse as well as I did without them. For me, they were a life saver and for my babies, they didnt cause any nipple confusion.<br><br><b>1. How long did you use it before being able to ween off of it straight onto the breast?</b> We used them about 2-3 wks with each baby. While at home, I would occasionally try to nurse without the shield and if baby latched on okay, we just quit using it. For us, the transition was seamless.<br><br><b>2. Tell me about the weening process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)</b> It wasnt a huge deal, mostly b/c during that 2-3 wk time, I was consistantly offering the bare nipple without the shield to see how the baby would react. As soon as it was possible to switch, we made the switch.<br><br><b>3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?</b>I didnt use the shells. I tried with the first baby and HATED them. For healing, I just used lanoline creams and 'aired out' as much as possible while at home.<br><br><b>3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?</b> I never HAD to supplement with formula or expressed milk. It was rare that my babies got formula at all but I did occasionally CHOOSE to give expressed milk so that my husband could feed the babies. He really enjoyed that bonding time and I took advantage of some much needed 'me' time. (read: a shower. LOL)
 

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I have flat nipples, and I couldn't get my son to latch on well from the very beginning. He would latch, suck two or three times, and give up. Lather, rinse, repeat. My midwife gave us a nipple shield but I really struggled with it the first couple of days, because I wasn't sure what a proper latch with a nipple shield was supposed to look like. I didn't really get it til she came back for a home visit on day two or three and helped me with it.<br><br><b>1. How long did you use it before being able to ween off of it straight onto the breast?</b><br>
We used it for about 8 weeks.<br><br><b>2. Tell me about the weening process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?)</b><br>
Everyone told me to use it for the first couple of minutes, then take it off, but that didn't work for us.<br><br>
I chose times when he was really relaxed and not fussy or too hungry, and I would offer him my breast without the nipple shield. Sometimes he would do fine, and other times he needed it. After a few days of having mostly successful feeds w/out it, I used it less and less for about a week. Then my cat got a hold of the thing and chewed it up, so I didn't bother with going out and buying a new one, and we were fine without it.<br><br><b>3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?</b><br>
No, I don't really know what those do.<br><br><b>3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk?</b><br>
No. He did get hungry really often, but I knew I needed to nurse him that frequently to build up my supply.
 

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1. How long did you use it before being able to ween off of it straight onto the breast? We started using the shield at 3 days old and my son went off it this past Saturday - 2 days before he turned 4 months.<br><br>
2. Tell me about the weening process, (i.e. how were you able to get baby to take the the breast?) Every few days from 6 weeks old until 15 weeks old I would offer the breast w/o the shield. I tried at all different times throughout the feeding. Beginning, during and after. Also tried to pumping to draw out my nipples before offering the breast. Nothing worked. Then Thursday last week my son knocked off the shield and started playing with my breast. I went along with it! Friday he did the same thing a few times during the day. He seemed more aware of the shield than ever before. Saturday I sat down to nurse him and as I reached for the shield he just latched on! I was shocked but we haven't looked back. He's been nursing like a champ for the past 5 days!<br><br>
3. Did you have to use Nipple Shells after weening off of the nipple shield?<br>
Nope, I offered once but he screamed at me.<br><br>
3. While using the shield, did you ever have to supplement with formula or expressed milk? Yes, just before he was 3 months old my supply no longer kept up with his demand. He wasn't gaining enough and noone was happy in our house. We started by supplementing with expressed milk (I pumped after feeding) and donor milk. Now we supplement with formula and donor milk; about 12oz. per day on top of nursing.<br><br>
I'm available if you or anyone else wants to talk! I never thought the day would come that we'd say goodbye to the shield. I still keep one in the diaper bag and on the night stand. I will be packing them away soon though! I know we're on the right path now.<br><br>
Rene
 
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