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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, a summary of my situation: My daughter is now two weeks old. She was born a bit early (36 weeks 6 days) and spent 4 days in NICU. While there she had formula from a bottle despite my pleas. As a result, she was slow to catch on the breastfeeding. I am happy to report that she has had nothing but breastmilk since last Saturday, but I have some concerns over how breastfeeding in general is going.

First, the lactation consultant at the hospital told me I needed to use nipple shields because my nipples are too short. So I've been using them, but in doing a bit of research I've seen some information that indicates using nipple shields reduces supply and may cause early weaning. I try to offer my breast without the shield every couple of feedings, but so far my daughter has not been enthusiastic about taking it--she's only done so twice. So my questions regarding this are: is it true that the nipple shields have the above negative effects? and how can I persuade my daughter to nurse without them?

Second, the above lactation consultant implied that my daughter would establish a nursing pattern by now. As near as I can tell, there's no pattern. Sometimes she goes an hour between nursing sessions, sometimes three. Every once in a while, she goes four-five hours. And when she's nursing, the amount of time she spends at the breast is quite variable--anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour. One marathon nursing session lasted an hour and a half. Is this normal or at least not indicative of a problem?

Third, I'm pumping about once a day when she goes longer between feedings in hopes of keeping the supply from dwindling. I usually get about 2-4 ounces. Does that seem like a normal supply?

Please help if you can. I have dial-up Internet at the moment and just don't have time to spend surfing for the answers to my questions.

TIA!
Jenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all so much for your responses. I am waking my daughter now if she's gone a while between feedings. I am also offering the breast with no shield at every feeding. Sometimes she takes it, sometimes not.

Tomorrow is her first appointment with the pediatrician, so I'll also talk about these concerns there.
 
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