Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 23

Thread: Long term nipple shield use?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    3,011

    Default Long term nipple shield use?

    My DS is 9 weeks old. I have been exclusively b/f him, except I've basically been using nipple shields the whole time. I was given one when I was in hospital because I have quite small, flat nipples and the LC thought a nipple shield would help. I'm sure it was meant as a short term solution... but here we are 9 weeks later still using them.

    My milk supply is fine (if anything I have too much), DS is gaining weight really well and b/f is going fine. I'm happy to keep using the shields as it's working for us. The only reason I'm questioning my use of them is because a few internet articles I've read made me feel quite guilty about using them long term. Is there really any harm in using them long term if everything is going so well with them?
    Plus, I've been trying to offer a feed without the shield halfway through a feed and DS won't take it. I think I've left it too long - he (and I) are so used to the shields now.



    So... is it okay to just keep using the nipple shields for as long as I b/f DS? Anyone else a long term nipple shield user? I really need some support.

  2. #2

    Default

    My friends bub is just over 3mths old and she still uses Nipple Shields ALL the time!!!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    6,683

    Default

    Sterla, I used them for 3 weeks full time then another 3 weeks part time with DS1 as he had a tongue-tie and until it was snipped that was the only way he could attach. I also found that I had a plentiful suppy while using them.

    The studies that showed reduced milk supply from shield use were mostly done on older style shields. It isn't really known whether the current sort reduce supply or not. But there are other problems with them - the biggest one being the nuisance factor.

    It is certainly possible to use them long term, some people do. But it's not recommended. Usually when a shield is recommended, it is also suggested that the LC follow up with you to assist with transitioning you from their use. I don't know for sure, but imagine that feeding an older baby who moves around a lot might make it more difficult to use the shields down the track. Is there are reason why you want to keep using them?

    There are things you can try to transition from them - a LC or the ABA helpline can help with this. Usually the first step is to attach with them, then once you have let down, removing baby, removing shield and trying to re-attach. Have you tried attaching without the shield now that your baby is a bit bigger?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    3,011

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
    Usually the first step is to attach with them, then once you have let down, removing baby, removing shield and trying to re-attach. Have you tried attaching without the shield now that your baby is a bit bigger?
    I've been trying that... but the shape of my nipple is so different (and smaller) to the nipple shield. My DS won't open his mouth wide enough to accept my nipple. When he does actually take it in it's only a few seconds before he realises it's not the nipple shield and starts screaming at me.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    6,683

    Default

    Would you consider having an LC to help you with it? I guess it's really up to you - if you are happy to keep using them then it's probably ok, I am just thinking that it could be more difficult down the track. After 9 weeks your bub is probably very used to it. It took me 3 weeks to wean DS from the shields - he'd have some feeds with and some without once the t-t was snipped. And he had only been using them for 2 weeks (the first week he couldn't attach at all so was drinking EBM).

    The ABA helpline might be able to give you more tips - 1800 mum2mum.

    It's not an easy one hun. I wish you all the best with whatever you decide.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    376

    Default

    I have a friend who b/f with a shield for 11 months with no problems at all.
    I used one with DS1, he wasn't attaching and we used it till I was able to wean him off when he was 10 weeks old, as the others have said I would start the feed with the shield on till after the let down and quickly whip it away and try to reattach without it, sometimes it worked and other times it didn't.
    It was also suggested to me that when trying to wean them off it to not try at every feed, maybe every second feed until you don't need it all.
    I also found that the feeds in the middle of the night were good times to try without the shield as he was sleepy and would just feed and go straight back to sleep. I would get in touch with a Lactation consultant so they can see how you are attaching etc.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    ★ nor here nor there ★
    Posts
    4,135

    Default

    Hey Sterla, I weaned DD off the shield at 11 weeks of age, we used them as her mouth was too small to actually get on my nipple.

    How I did it was offer her the LHS (good side) so she had a reasonably full tum, with the NS, then I offered her the RHS without the shield, this mean that the real hunger had been dealt with, so she didn't get ****ty at me because I was making it harder when she was really hungry!

    In the end it took 2 days to wean, with the shields she started at 1hour feeds followed by a top up this got down to 30min when we decideded to wean, from this point our feed times went from 30min back out to 1 hour. It took DD until she was 5 1/2-6 months before she actually fed properly, causing no pain to me. so for us it was a pretty tough battle, but it has been worth it and we now have a fabulous BF'ing relationship.

    A friend how had similar problems also did the same thing and is now shield free too

    Goodluck, if it doesn't work the first time or two, give it another week or two and try again, I had to wait until she was able to latch on.

    HTH
    xxoo

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    where cosmopolitans and margaritas flow all night
    Posts
    2,794

    Default

    I used a shield for the whole time I BF my dd which was about 5 months (4.5 months full time, half a month part time due to returning to work).

    If it is working and your bub is gaining weight then I don't see a problem with it. You can try now and then without the shield, even if you get bub to start on the shield and suck for a while to pull the nipples out, then take the shield off (messy and not easy). I think I only had success without the shield twice.

  9. #9

    Default

    I b/f my DD exclusively for 10 months with nipple shields and never had a problem with them. If it works for you then I say go for it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    3,011

    Default

    Thanks for all your replies ladies

    Still not sure what I'm going to do. I think it's more that I feel I 'should' try without the nipple shield, but also don't see the point when everything is going so well with them. TBH, even the thought of trying without stresses me cause it upsets DS so much. I feel kind of like 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'. We have a check-up next week, so I might talk to the child health nurse about it then.

    Thanks again for your replies. Knowing the options, and also hearing others successful long term use of NS helps .

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Hi Sterla,

    I was just wondering how you're going now and if you're still using the NS. I'm also contemplating using the NS indefinately and would love to hear how it's working for you, or how making the change has gone.

    I had it introduced in hospital because my nipples were inverted and he couldn't latch on. I managed to get them to come out and get him to feed from the nipple, but then ended up with horribly cracked bleeding nipples, even though our attachment looked really good to the LC. So I have brought back the NS a few days ago, initially just to let my nipples heal, but now I am thinking that maybe we should continue using it indefinately. I was dreading each feed before, but now I am actually beginning to enjoy BFing. And he seems to be sucking really well from it and getting what he needs ? he has lots and lots of wet and pooey nappies each day. He is going to be weighed on Thursday so I am interested to see if his weight gain has improved, because it was a little low when we were on the nipple.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    191

    Default

    Sterla
    I used nipple shields with Bubble until I stopped breastfeeding at around 14months.
    Sometimes I felt bad because others seemed to be able to feed without them, but Bubble gained enough weight and I had plenty of milk so really it no have a negative affects on her.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    3,011

    Default

    Miss excited: I'm still using the NS full time. I haven't had any problems with them at all - my supply is still fine, and it has worked really well for me and DS. My first b/f goal is 6 months, and I am completely confident we'll make it to that.
    Not long after I posted this thread I went to see a LC about trying to get DS off the NS. While we were at the appointment he fed for maybe a minute without the shield, but once at home I couldn't get him to do it again. DS is just too used to the NS now and actually screws up his face when I offer him just my nipple .

    Having said all this, I do understand why we're often warned about not using them full time. Using NS can affect your supply - it's usually about 3 months when you can tell if this is the case, because before then milk production is hormone driven... after that it becomes about supply and demand with your baby. I didn't have any problems, but it can be a problem, so that's something to be aware of.

    Because your bub is still so young, if you can feed without the NS it would be great for you to do (and easier). I left it so long that DS got used to the NS and now refuses to feed without it. I'm okay with that, but I know for next bub I really want to try without the NS. If you need more help with attachment, get in contact with a LC - they can work wonders!

    At the end of the day, it's really all up to you though. Just do what feels right for you and your bub.

    Hope that helps .

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    3,011

    Default

    Organicem: That's great! It's really good to hear success stories with NS, cause I'd love to make it to at least 12 months... so if I can go longer that's even better .

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Getting to know Brisbane all over again
    Posts
    2,047

    Default

    Hi,

    I used nipple sheilds for 9mths with DS. we tried numerous times to wean off them but he just wouldn't latch so around 6mths I gave up trying to wean and just figured we would always use them. miraculously at 9mth I was getting organised and he just grabbed my boob and latched on. It took us a couple of weeks to get the hang of it but we went on to feed until 2yrs

    With DD I used sheilds for about 3 weeks on one breast and about 12 wks on the other breast.

    BTW - never had a supply problem. I got really sick of people telling me my milk would dry up and how horrible sheilds were. I get that it's better without them but hey if it's working...

    Oh I aso used to allow DS some time after the feed, when he was sleeping where I would take the shield off and let him have some skin to skin contact as I heard this helps with the immunilogical benefits??? Not sure how much truth there is in that though.

    Good luck!

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    3,011

    Default

    Wow! That's great Sarem!

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Eastern Wheatbelt WA
    Posts
    3,282

    Default

    Both my boys started on the shield... Brendan fed on the shield for 5.5 months (and needed top-ups afterwards) I had lots of troubles with him, he had a weak suck and I later found out he was tongue-tied which is what caused our issues.

    Tristan was fed on the shield until about 1-2 weeks ago, he now only feeds with it at night (I'm lazy... its easier for him to drink while I'm laying down with the shield on )

    When it comes down to it though, you are better off feeding with a shield than not BFing at all. So dont feel guilty you are doing wonderfully.
    If you are happy to continue using it then why not!

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,362

    Default

    My sister fed her DS with a nipple shield for 20 weeks with no problems, and then found he could attach without the shield just like that. No problems, no major effort... just happened.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •