View Full Version : Premature baby and nipple shield
Just wondering if there are any mums out there who have had to use nipple shields to feed their premature babies. My son was born on 7 september at 32 weeks gestation. He finally came home on October 12 and is feeding well.
What I would like to hear about is other mothers' experience with nipple shields - any problems or good things, especially if your baby was premmie - but all advice is welcome :) .
I look forward to hearing from you
I'm so glad to hear that your little bubba is doing well and feeding nicely and he's home. I used a nipple shield in hospital on the advice of a midwife cause Harry couldn't work out what to do. Firstly he wouldn't latch on and then after 3 days we got him to latch on but then wouldn't suck. The midwife thought a shield might help him suck. Did NOTHING. Harry would just look up at me as if he was saying "what is this I have to deal with now mum?" So I got rid of it. As soon as my milk came in on day 4 Harry was off and running and hasn't looked back since. We are both still loving breastfeeding. If the shield works for you then use it, if it isn't working don't use it. But you have to do what works for you and your bubba.
Hope this helped and good luck. Let us know how you go.
My first baby was not premmie, but I did have INCREDIBLE difficulties getting her to attach :( . We left hospital with a breast pump, as we had to express every feed and give her EBM in a bottle. Attachment only got worse (because of nipple confusion) and eventually on a lactaction consultants advice we tried her with a nipple sheild. It was amazing - it was similar enough to a bottle teat to allow her to latch on straight away. After maybe a week or so of feeding with the nipple sheild on we were able to wean her off it by starting the feed with it on, getting her established and then whipping it off. I'll never forget the lightbulb moment when I took it off, she started to fuss and I expressed a little milk into her mouth. *Oh, milk DOES come from these too* Incredible... :rolleyes:
I'm not an expert, but the lactation consultants seemed to think that it wasn''t a good idea to feed a baby long term with a nipple sheild (I think that it might be a bit of a restriction in the flow to the baby?). When I was going to have to use one for a week or more, the consultant carefully cut out the end of the shield (between the four holes to make one big hole). The baby couldn't feel this because its right at the tip of the shield, not at the side.
Bottom line is, I found I needed a good lactation consultant to get over all our problems, so if you have any doubt about what you're doing, go and see one (get contact details from your paediatrician or maternity hospital). I found that almost every change that you make when breastfeeding affects something else to do with breastfeeding and its great to have professional advice to manage the "knock-on" effects. :) But hang in there, cause it is *definately* worth persisting.
Thank you both for your expereinces. It has confirmed my resolve to find a good lactation consultant to help with the weaning process.
I have started trying to start him on the shield and then whipping it off :eek: and putting him back on but he is not to be fooled and will then just lick at the breast to get the milk off but seems to not have the strength or something to attach. If he's really hungry I try to attach him from the beginning and he will have 3 or 4 really good sucks but then drops off and does the licking thing again. So I am hoping that it is just an age thing and that when he gets close to one week corrected age in about 3 weeks he will start to have the strength and/or desire to suck without the shield.
Until then it's me, Oscar, breast pump and the nipple shield!! We are all firm friends :p !
Kathryn and Oscar
I found that with my premmie twins that the nipple sheild were a godsend for two reasons, firstly with premmies their mouths are a lot smaller than term bubs and they tend to chomp on you and the sheilds reduced the pain of feeding without having to resort to bottles 24/7 and secondly it seemed easier for them to get the milk - didn't seem to use too much effort as prems just flake out at the drop of a hat.
But good on you for persevering!
I am still Breastfeeding 4 1/2 months on and find it easier that bottles, plus having experience of a sheild may make Oscar more receptive to bottles when you want to use them!
Hi :) There is nothing better you could be doing for your wee one than breastfeeding him. Lovely! The other thing which really helps premmies (and other bubs too!) is lots of skin on skin contact with mama. So lovely nudie cuddles in bed (a nappy is fine ;) ) will really help the two of you get it together! And an LC would be invaluable.
Try these links for more info.
This is about skin to skin at birth but it applies just as well over the first weeks and months.
Congratulations! I look forward to hearing how you're going *hugs*
My son was two weeks early and had a long journey, so he was tired and jaundiced by the time he arrived. He had problems latching onto my left nipple which is slightly inverted. On the advice of the midwives, I bought a nipple shield and to my great surprise, it worked and my son had no problems using it. I know you're not supposed to use it long term but we ended up using it for about 4 months. At that time, spencer had a growth spurt and developed a supersonic suck and no longer needed the nipple shield.
Hope this helps and that you and Oscar are doing well.
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