Did you use a nipple shield to help your baby latch? Want to transition baby off the shield? First, weaning from the shield is your choice. If you like it and it’s comfortable for you, don’t feel pressured to get rid of it before you and your baby are ready. There are risks associated with shield use, like the potential for decreased milk supply. But if that’s the only way your baby will latch right now, give yourselves time and grace to keep trying as baby gets older and more proficient at the breast. As always, if you’re really struggling to get off the shield, find a knowledgeable lactation consultant to help you with the process to make sure something else isn’t going on with baby’s latch.
💡You can always start with the shield on and take it off after your first let down once baby is not as hungry or use it on the first side and offer the second side without it
💡Start by trying without the shield once a day during daylight hours when baby is happy and not too hungry. Catching baby with early hunger cues is imperative. If they’re crying and really hungry, try a different time
💡Start in skin to skin. Taking a bath together can help. Try to be as relaxed as possible
💡Try to erect and evert your nipple. Use reverse pressure softening (RPS, see highlight reel), a pump or stimulate your nipples with your hands before attempting to latch
💡Help baby latch with laid back nursing, supporting the breast in a “C” or sandwich hold, or the flipple. Make sure baby’s chin and cheeks are physically touching the breast as much as possible. A baby that can’t feel the breast can’t latch to the breast.
💡Hand express to get your milk flowing so baby gets instant satisfaction and reduce the work
💡Relax and be patient. Babies can feel your energy. The more you can see it as fun practice, the less pressure you’ll put on yourself and your baby
💡Try a nipple shield weaning system like this one from Back to Mom (24mm) or Lacteck (small/20mm).