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Getting off the nipple shield - help!

(5 Posts)
Darksideofthemoon88 Wed 16-Jul-14 18:41:44

I'm looking for some advice: DD (5 and a half weeks) has been fed with a nipple shield since birth as that was the only way she could manage to breastfeed at all. We're currently trying to get her off it and onto my breast direct. It's working a lot better than when we last tried (about two weeks ago) as she's bigger and stronger and more patient and determined too. We're still struggling a bit with her latch and she comes off and on a lot, but that's improving. My concern is whether she's actually getting anything much - her suck seems good, but she feeds for ages until she wears herself out, but then she's crying for food again not long after and if I put the nipple shield back on and feed her, she has a long feed confused. I'm not sure what's going wrong. We've seen a breastfeeding specialist midwife and a peer supporter in the last couple of days and they think it all looks good, but I can't shake the worry that she's not actually getting anything direct from my breast. Can anyone help?

jwpetal Thu 17-Jul-14 18:46:30

Hi. I noticed your post yesterday and thought I'd write today if no one had responded. Since I don't know the history, there are a number of ways this could go. Generally, the way to ensure your little one is getting enough is that you are getting wet and dirty nappies. In this heat, this is really important. In regards to the shields, Why did you start with the breast shields? Has your DD been checked for tongue tie? there are generally two types of tongue tie. this could be one reason. Is she has not been checked by a qualified breastfeeding person then worth doing. This person is not always the HV or Midwife.

I have found that when babies are coming off alot one reason may be that they are not being held in a position that they feel secure in. Tummy to tummy is really important no matter what the position. One idea is to revise your latch positioning and also try to encourage more milk flow. When she is feeding, give a light squeeze to the breast when it appears that she is sucking. This will allow more milk to come out. This could help with the pulling away.

My final thought is to try a position called by some as the biological laid back position. This position can be done from birth. I have found that some babies, though not all, can go without the breastshield in this position. see this as a starter

I hope this helps. Remember it is hot right now and she may be feeling a bit hot. she may want to be suckling and even they fall asleep they are still getting something. This is also still early days.

teegsishotok Thu 17-Jul-14 19:21:40

da hell is a nipple shield

Darksideofthemoon88 Fri 18-Jul-14 08:18:18

Thanks for your response, JW, much appreciated smile. The problem is, all of that I've tried - unless I'm having a mental block with it somewhere down the line confused.

She was started on a nipple shield because the diamorphine I had in labour made her too sleepy to attempt to feed for 36 hours, and then she was quite weak. I fed her from a syringe first, and then the hospital gave me a nipple shield. She's always struggled as she's quite small and hence has a small mouth, and I've got very flat nipples. This is compounded by the fact that I massively over-produce milk so my breasts tend to be big and very firm, like balloons sad.

As for encouraging more milk flow, I totally get where you're coming from, but that's the last thing I'd want (or need)! I over-produce and I have a very fast flow so I quite often choke poor Baby Darkside sad and I've literally seen it spray into her mouth as she's been in the process of pulling off.

And she HATES the biological nursing business - I've tried it a couple of times, thinking it would be nice and relaxed for us both while I'm watching tv for example, but she refuses to feed like that hmm. Think I have a rather fussy baby! Am I destined to remain using the nipple shield forever?!

jwpetal Fri 18-Jul-14 09:31:27

It may be that she needs to still get bigger. I had 2 prems that took awhile to grow strong enough. What is interesting is that you are saying there is too much milk and she is struggling and then she is feeding for a very long time. I generally find that it is the opposite. let me think on this and see what thoughts I can get from someone I know.

Have you spoken to anyone at the Le leche League or NCT? I have seen babies come off the shield so don't discouraged.

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