My baby uses a nipple shield; how can we breastfeed without it?
Sometimes babies only need the nipple shield for a short while to get going in the first week. In most cases, you can help them ditch the shield with some extra tips.
Some babies need the shield to help create a good latch so they can efficiently breastfeed. You can try these tips at home and reach out to a lactation consultant as required.
-Start nursing with the nipple shield, just for a few minutes to get your baby enough
milk so he isn't "hangry", quickly remove the shield and then,
-Try holding your breast like a sandwich (in the direction of your baby’s mouth), and
continuing to hold your breast during the feeding can help
-Try a more laid-back position
-Try nursing your baby a little sooner than they would typically eat. This is to prevent
fussiness related to hunger. You can even try this when your baby is sleepy.
If your baby becomes fussy at any time during these attempts, stop, soothe, and try again later. Babies can become frustrated and develop something called "breast aversion".
As with most breastfeeding concerns, it can be helpful to speak with a Lactation Consultant. Our Wellspring Lactation consultants are here to help, offering virtual and in-home consults to address any of your questions and concerns.