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Old 11-15-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
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Learning to BF

Today I put one of my twins to breast for the second time!

My twins are 6 wks old actual and 33 weeks adjusted. My progressive child (the other isn't even taking a bottle yet) weighs 3lbs 8 oz and has been taking bottles well when offered and just recently began getting four of his eight feeds per day this way. Yesterday I put him to breast for the first time with the help of my NICU's LC. He did surprisingly well with the help of a nipple shield. I put him to breast independently today, about half the time with the shield and half without and feel like he did very well. My biggest concern is that it seems like it will take forever for him to be big and strong enough to not require the shield and I'm not a fan of it (great size for him, far to small for me and my nips = ouch). I am currently a DD-G cup depending on how long it has been since I pumped and his mouth is sooooo tiny, he just cant get much boob in his mouth!

My questions are: how did your preemie start at the breast? Did you use a shield? If so, how long did you use it before going skin to skin with BFing? Any other supportive tricks or devices you found helpful?

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Old 11-16-2010, 12:32 AM   #2
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Re: Learning to BF

I do know that a preemie tends to get more from the breast with a shield, however I have no experience with them. We started dry breast at around 29 weeks corrected, and never used a shield. We started wet breast almost a week ago, and he's done marvelous. I have pretty large nipples, and his mouth is really tiny, but I also nursed 2 other kids, one for 22mo and the other for 19mo, so that could be the reason...my breasts are pros lol. I'd ask for a different size shield if you're feeling discomfort. And just keep offering it to him both ways to see what's most comfortable for both of you. Good luck!
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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Re: Learning to BF

I'm pretty sure the shield is supposed to fit your nipple, not the child's mouth...

Anyway, I used one with my 35 weeker. It was a lifesaver. Finally got him off of it around 9-10 weeks actual age. We tried for several days to get him to latch, and when he only did latch well a couple times, we tried the shield.

After a couple of weeks on the shield full time, I started to wean him off of it. I would start nursing without it and if he didn't take to it well, or kept popping off, I put the shield on. He did take a little longer to wean off of it for night feedings, I think because it takes more energy to nurse without it. He always nursed well with the shield, and transfered well also.

If you do get a bigger shield (I think you could, if he's nursing some without it) it should be more comfortable for you. My biggest pet peeve is that his hands ALWAYS knocked it off and milk would spill out of it, just a heads up...

Oh, and you can buy them at Babies R Us. It's great to have a spare. They have the contact ones, where part of it is cut away so there is more skin-skin contact between you and baby. They some in three sizes small, med, and large. I used small...
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: Learning to BF

I'm pretty sure the shield is supposed to fit your nipple, not the child's mouth...

Anyway, I used one with my 35 weeker. It was a lifesaver. Finally got him off of it around 9-10 weeks actual age. We tried for several days to get him to latch, and when he only did latch well a couple times, we tried the shield.

After a couple of weeks on the shield full time, I started to wean him off of it. I would start nursing without it and if he didn't take to it well, or kept popping off, I put the shield on. He did take a little longer to wean off of it for night feedings, I think because it takes more energy to nurse without it. He always nursed well with the shield, and transfered well also.

If you do get a bigger shield (I think you could, if he's nursing some without it) it should be more comfortable for you. My biggest pet peeve is that his hands ALWAYS knocked it off and milk would spill out of it, just a heads up...

Oh, and you can buy them at Babies R Us. It's great to have a spare. They have the contact ones, where part of it is cut away so there is more skin-skin contact between you and baby. They some in three sizes small, med, and large. I used small...
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Learning to BF

I also loved having the nipple shield. I probably would've given up BFing without it. I just started weening DS off the shield he's 8 wks actual and about 1.5 adjusted. He seems to do a lot better at night time after he's already nursed once with the shield (I'm back to work so he gets a bottle most of the time) and isn't super-hungry and easily frustrated.
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