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Old 10-22-2012, 08:18 AM   #1
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How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

I already posted some questions (on behalf of my SIL) in this section about "weaning from the nipple shield" now I have another more general question. How long did your baby use the nipple shield? My SIL is not ready to wean her baby from the shield yet and neither is the baby herself, she is now 6 weeks. My SIL only feels successful, confident and comfortable with bf'ing as long as she is able to use the shield. So I told her, just do what you need to do in order to bf your baby. I think right now its probably more important that she is getting fed and getting the breast milk than weaning from the nip shield. She is determined to stick it out with the bf'ing but has struggled so much that she has ended up in tears on many occasions. I too want to see her succeed, so I told her I will seek the (helpful) advice and opinions from other bf'ing moms.

Anyway, again my question: how long did your baby use the shield? If it was a longer period of time (longer than 8 weeks I'll say), how did this affect your bf'ing experience?

Thanks so much! My SIL could use all the help and encouragement she can get! (Please be positive)

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Last edited by *TinyJoys*; 10-22-2012 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

I did for about 4 months. One day, we tried without it and it was like he didn't even notice. I had a great supply too. She just needs to do what she needs to do! It was nice when my son didn't use it anymore, but hey, I never had any soreness ever so I guess I don't see what the problem really is with using it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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Re: How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

As a breastfeeding support person, I help lots of moms using shields. The longest I've ever seen a mom use a shield was a year. There's no hard and fast rules outside of "feed the baby." Let the issue of the shield go and just accept that nursing is working for now. When she feels more confident the annoyance of using the shield may become enough for her to decide to try to wean off of it. Then again, maybe it won't.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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My first used it for 5 mo and the second for 3 mo. At first I was so stressed about weaning off of it but finally gave in to just doing what worked for us. I don't see the big deal about being afraid to use it for a longer time. I also have never had nipple tenderness and still have my one tube of lanolin I got when DD1 was born. My babies have small mouths and my nipples are tiny! Hard to get a good latch with that combo so the shield is what worked for us.

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Old 10-22-2012, 01:22 PM   #5
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Re: How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

I think mine were all around 2-3 months? I also used it for a short time when DS1 was 9 months old, and his new teeth kept making my nipples bleed. I used the shield for about a week so they could heal. I had zero downsides to using the shield- they were so helpful to letting me nurse my babies!
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

The first one I used the nipple shield for 3 months and then one day I was like "let try without" and we never noticed a difference. I had inverted/flat nipples with large breasts, not a good combo. I breastfeed for a year. The second one, I bought them in advance and had them ready at the hospital. I was all drugged out from the Ambien (that I never should have taken) and I tried to use them to nurse my second. The nurses started giving me a hard time. I kept telling them and my husband kept telling them that I nursed successfully for a year. Finally, I basically passed out and the issue dropped. I still used the shield though. I think that time only 6 weeks at the most. I am still nursing 13 months now.

Also, I really felt pressured by the lactation community, whether it was at the hospital or on line, that nipple shields are bad, they destroy breast tissue, you won't make enough milk. All of that is hogwash. It destroyed my breast tissue by releasing the inverted/flat nipples so I could breastfeed. Anyway, tell her to do whatever she can to nurse if that is what she wants to do. Don't let anyone pressure her out of or into breastfeeding.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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It took 5 1/2 mos for us. Dd probably could've quit sooner but I was too nervous to stop. Didn't affect our bfing much at all since she continued to nurse till almost 3 1/2!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:06 PM   #8
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Re: How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

4 or 5 weeks. I used them for flat nipples. Im really thankful for the shields. I dont think i would have made it the 15 months nursing without that help in the beginning.

ETA: same as a few other pp. To wean i would just try taking the shield off once she was comfy during a nursing session every once in a while. At some point she would just latch on fine. Once that happened I would start trying to take it off earlier and earlier until one day we didnt need it anymore. We didnt force the issue, just experimented with taking it off. I dont think she should push it either. But it never hurts to just see what happens when you take it off and try to latch every few days or so.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:13 AM   #9
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So thankful I found this post bc I was going to ask questions on the shield bc my dd is 2 months & I'm still using the shield. I have inverted nipples with large breasts. I occasionally try just my bare nipple with her & sometimes she latches and most of times not bc she's just too impatient & starts throwing a fit!! I was worried I was a bad mommy bc the nurse at the hospital told me I should only use it for a week which I had really sore nipples too and just couldn't get off the shield...
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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Re: How long did your baby use the nipple shield?

I used the shields for 4 weeks and still do at night when I'm engorged and my nipples dont have enough give for a good latch.
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