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Old 01-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Nipple Shield yes/no, latch problems with small babies

With my baby girl who is now 16 months my plan was to strickly BF. I was adament. She did not latch well from the beginning (she was only 5lbs 7.5 oz at birth and only 5lbs when we went home). They think her mouth was too small and my milk to abundant. I started producing 6months into my pregnancy.

My LLC suggested a nipple shield. Being my first child and that she was the "expert" I agreed. With the shield she would choke and was never able to drink fast enough which ment that both she and I had to change after every feeding. After being home for 4 days I began getting very ill and was in almost constant pain. (2 weeks in and out of ER/hospital, diagnosed with galbladder issues, and later scheduled for surgery) Baby girl was entirely bottle fed. I had began pumping before I was in the hospital so I had a small supply but while in the hospital was put on some heavy antibiotics and was having to pump and dump. I felt like a failure, baby girl was slowly switched to all formula by mixing my small supply of BM with formula. Once I was released I could still not BF because I was in so much pain until after 2 weeks after sugery. (I continued to pump so that we could switch back to BM.) I would try off and on so that she would still be used to it. All this to say that at 6 months she weaned herself completely off the nipple and onto a bottle. I continued pumping but eventually my supply dried up.

So my question is yes or no to nipple shield next time around should I face latch problems. Suggestions for latch issues with small babies (Dr. says the will most likely all be small), and also encouragment that I was not in fact a failure to my child who is thriving and healthy and happy.

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Old 01-06-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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My DD was a preemie, born at 32 weeks weighing 4lb 8oz, a nipple shield enabled us to breast feed from 2 days old. We used the shield until she was 3 months then ditched it. Still going strong at 7 months. I would say wait and see but have a shield available just in case.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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My son is now 3 months. He was born at 6 lbs 8 Oz and had trouble latching. Nipple Shields enabled us to bf since he was 2 days old. I used a shiled until he was 3 wks old and then weaned him off the shield and onto my breast. I say yes to nipple shield if u experience problems.
And ur def not a failure. Its important that both mama and baby r well so u did a great job. My now 6 yr old was formula fed.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Re: Nipple Shield yes/no, latch problems with small babies

I used a nipple shield with a normal/small baby (7lbs) and it saved bf for us. However, she still self weaned at 7 mo. We only used the shield for 3 weeks until she learned to latch properly. I never had a lot of milk, which is probably why she weaned at 7 months
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Re: Nipple Shield yes/no, latch problems with small babies

Nipple shields allowed me to nurse my 2nd daughter. I would have quit without it. I was able to wean her off between 4-6 months (of the sheild, not the boob). However, it also sounds like you have oversupply issues? So you may have to do something to deal with that separate from JUST a nipple shield (I've heard of people expressing milk before nursing I think), since the nipple shield seems to mostly deal with latch issues.

Don't feel like a failure. Maybe the nipple shield allowed you to nurse longer than you would have without it. Your baby is happy and healthy and got what she needed!
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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Re: Nipple Shield yes/no, latch problems with small babies

My first was 36+4 and weighed 5.5 lbs. I never used a nipple shield and did just fine. Small babies dont=nipple shield. I would plan on not using one and working on a proper latch instead. In my opinion it just complicates things If you absolutely have to then you can have someone go buy one but i never really understood using one. Maybe I'm just lucky and have big nipples
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #7
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I am nursing my third baby with a shield. My nips are flat even while nursing. I have had to use them until baby weans. Usually around 15 months for us

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