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Nipple Shields...is baby getting enough milk and how can I wean off

(4 Posts)
Elsbells Mon 06-Aug-07 08:43:45

Our bf story is very long so here is where we are now. DD is nearly 9 weeks and will only bf with the nipples shields (we were combine feeding from 2 weeks and from 7 weeks excl bf again bar one bottle at night).

I do have a supply issue and I have read nipple shields can make it worse? (or at least not improve it). Is that true? She seems to be having enough wet nappies but since we have gone to more bf she seems to be pooing once every few days as opposed to at least once a day. And she is feeding for nearly an hr every 2hrs!!

Also, I am using the Avent ones - they seem a bit large but she draws in the aerola into it as well I have noticed. Should I invest in another pair OR should I keep trying for her to feed au natural. And how can I get her to feed without? DD is having none of it.

Advice needed yet again.

Oh forgot to add, she's just had her slight tongue tie fixed (last thu) - it was making bf painful even w/a good latch. She is still learning to use her tongue correctly.

terramum Mon 06-Aug-07 09:28:31

Elsbells, you sound like you have had a hard start to bfing...well done for getting this far. Having a baby who won't feed from you au natural is exhausting and very depressing isn't it . My own DS wouldn't feed from me through some rough handling and early use of the bottle & it took almost a month before he would feed from me. but like you he would only feed with shields and it was 3 months before he would feed both sides without them. Was a hard slog but very worth it. That first feed he took both sides without them was just a sheer joy . He is still feeding now at 3 years old & sometimes it's very hard to remember just how hard it was back then as things couldn't have gone better since!

Have you spoken with a BFC about this? Yes you are right, nipple shields can cause supply issues as sometimes they interfere with the skin to skin relationship between baby & mum, and sometimes make it harder for the baby to remove milk from the breast, meaning milk production might go down. For that reason it is best to only use them with the help of a BFC or breastfeeding expert. When I used the shields I kept in contact with the LLL Leader who had helped me & got DS weighed often to make sure. Your DD pooing less frequently may just be the normal thing that many babies do after 4-6 weeks...but coupled with the tongue tie (like you say it can take a while to get the hang of using their tongues again)...it would be worth contacting a BFC (have you seen one before?) so you can be aware of things to look for/reassured that she is doing ok. How is her weight gain? It is a good idea to get her weighed at least every 2 weeks to make sure she is gaining well and you can get a good overall picture of how she is doing.

LLL have a really good leaflet on using shields that helped me no end when I had to use them with DS so I would definitely recommend calling the LLL helpline (0845 120 2918 - open 24 hours) or finding a local leader here: http://www.laleche.org.uk/pages/groups/county_list.htm.

You might find these links helpful in the meantime:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/wean-shield.html

Elsbells Mon 06-Aug-07 17:58:57

Thanks
I will get on the phone to chat over the shields.

When she had her tongue tie fixed I did give DD a feed with them and the lactation consultants said my technique/latch was good. Just don't want her to lose interest or worse not get enough milk.

Her weight gain has been good so far.

determination Mon 06-Aug-07 18:26:01

Nipple Shields . . . Friend or Foe? This is a link that i found particularly interesting. I also could only get my dd2 to feed using nipple shields until around 10 weeks and i managed to wean her from them by just contineously trying without at EVERY feed. then one day she did it several times, so i ditched the shields and there was still a little fuss sometimes for around 5 minutes but i managed to get her to latch with out them from then on in.

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