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Weaning off of nipple shields - HELP!!

(15 Posts)
ToonLass Tue 18-Nov-14 15:46:03

Hi, my DD is 3wks old and I have used nipple shields since day 2, and she wouldn't latch on.

She just won't gape her mouth open at all, only enough to fit the teat of the shield in. I try her without the shields on a daily basis but she just gets frustrated and I have to resort back to them to get her to feed.

I really hate using them, they are a faff and she often knocks then off when she is frustrated. She is also very windy and therefore generally unsettled, and my HV thinks she may be taking in too much air through the shields.

So, I REALLY want to leave the shields behind. Has anyone been in a similar situation and managed? I have seen various midwives, HV, bf support workers and a lactation consultant all of whom were unable to get her to latch on and told me just to persevere with the shields in the meantime hmm

I am so determined to feed her myself but they are really getting in the way of me enjoying feeding my daughter, and I am worried about the excess air she may be taking in because of them sad

firsttimemothergoose Tue 18-Nov-14 16:36:25

I used shields too to start with. DD couldn't latch on (and suck!) without them. I offered the boob without shield at every feed, she didn't like it but eventually we got there. Have you tried using the shield then removing mid feed so the nipple is stretched out iykwim, so your DD has something to latch onto?if it works she will get used to the nipple feel instead of the silicone feel.
Good luck!

MissYamabuki Tue 18-Nov-14 16:55:50

Get your DD checked for tongue tie - not opening her mouth big enough, swallowing air because she can't wrap her mouth around you (tongue wouldn't reach out far enough), it reminds me of my DS who has a slight tongue tie.

As far as I can see the shield is only helping your baby to draw the nipple out. It won't work if it doesn't rest on your skin so I don't see where that extra air is coming from! I breastfed my DD with nipple shields for 11 months, she never swallowed any air or was gassy after. I found HVs didn't know much about shields and were against them. But shields were the reason I could breastfeed a fussy, impatient baby with almost flat nipples.


Thehedgehogsong Tue 18-Nov-14 17:00:23

I got rid of shields after 4 months of using them from day 2. I would try her without the shield first, then with it when she got frustrated, then without it again once she'd calmed down. It was hard! The C hold around the breast to get it right into her mouth helped too.

SASASI Tue 18-Nov-14 22:19:32

Have you tried lansinoh latch assist? It helps bring out your nipple.

Also agree with the C shape holding of breast - my big breasts are too heave so I always have to hold a breast & hold DS with the other hand.

I think it was practice practice practice for us both - I think when He was older & bigger it really helped. Weened him off shields at 8 wks.

I found it much easier weening off shields onto breast than I did weening onto shields from EBM!

Keep offering at each feed, slip shield off halfway through etc. Perseverance & support is Key. Good luck!

ToonLass Tue 18-Nov-14 22:30:41

Thanks everyone

Have tried her a couple times today mid - feed but she just keeps shaking her head from side to side and getting upset.

Will keep on trying - determined to get off of them!

fruitpastille Tue 18-Nov-14 22:36:48

I used them for many months. Gas wasn't a problem but I got mastitis a LOT. I found they stuck on much better if wet (I used milton solution to clean and carried several wherever i went in a little tupperware). Good luck getting off them but don't despair if you can't.

RedKites Tue 18-Nov-14 22:51:11

Have you seen the Kellymom information on weaning from shields ? There are lots of different suggestions of things you could try. I weaned my DS1 off them, but he was a few months old when I did, so not quite the same. Were any of your BF support people able to advise on getting her to open her mouth wider?

ToonLass Tue 18-Nov-14 23:16:54

Will have a look at that RedKites, thanks.

There was a couple of theories - I had a very quick second stage of labour which apparently can affect the nerves in the jaw after delivery, although you'd think that would have resolved arm free 3 weeks? Another midwife said that she had quite a receding jaw which might give her difficulties too.

I have thought about a cranial osteopath, but there's not one near me son would have to travel quite a distance to see one (and worried about the cost of one!)

nyldn Tue 18-Nov-14 23:26:29

I had a very similar situation due to DS having a tongue tie. look up the "flipple" technique on you tube. it helped us tremendously as DS wouldn't open wide to latch. I was also advised by a mw to cut the shields back gradually, but that didn't work for us. also, absolutely try taking a bath with her - DS latched on right away in the relaxed warm water early on when we were trying to get off the shields as well.

nyldn Tue 18-Nov-14 23:34:29

also, it really can just be a matter of her needing a few more weeks to grow and get stronger. DS got off the shields entirely at 6 weeks, but it happened over the course of 3 weeks after his tongue tie was cut. I do think his mouth getting a bit bigger and stronger played a large role. don't give up!

ToonLass Tue 18-Nov-14 23:54:11

Thank you, will definitely give this flipple technique a go!

Unfortunately we don't have a bath, just a shower sad. May take a trip round to the MIL's though and make use of hers!

pomegranatepie Wed 19-Nov-14 16:32:05

A warm bath together and lots of skin to skin time relaxing listening to music in bed did it for us, We had exactly the same issues, just wouldn't open his mouth wide enough. I think the main thing for me was taking the pressure off, and accepting that it might take weeks to wean, and that was ok, once I relaxed it became easier for both of us. DS now feeding fine at 10 weeks, weaned off the shields at 6 weeks- although I do still need to hold my breast with the "sandwich" grip to get him latched on initially. Don't give up, and don't worry, it will happen.

ToonLass Wed 19-Nov-14 16:43:08

Managed to get her to latch on for about 5 minutes today using the flipple technique...wasn't much but it's a start! Thanks everyone grin

nyldn Wed 19-Nov-14 21:23:42

That's a great start, very pleased for you!

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