How do I wean off a nipple shield?
How do you wean off a nipple shield?
Weaning off a nipple shield is something most moms will need to do if they are being used. Nipple shields are a tool and I’ve always been in the mindset that “what can be done with a shield can be done without.” As with all tools, we need to dig deeper and find out why mama is using the shield to begin.
One of my favorite ways to wean from a shield is to play the old “switcharoo.” After baby slows sucking you’ll remove the shield and relatch. It’s perfect because the shield has extracted the nipple. Another way I like to help wean from the shield is latch when baby is sleepy. They are less likely to resist the breast at this time, also a good time to remove the shield.
Skin to skin is an excellent way for baby to have access to nursing at early signs of hunger. I always encourage you to offer breast at any and all opportunity without shield. You may even hand express a little milk, then latch.
If baby gets upset, replace the shield on nipple and latch. We want the breast to be a happy place. Other ways to help extract the nipple is rolling on fingers, ice, pumping for a few minutes prior and hand expression. You’ll want to get a nice deep latch.
You can do this!
Dawnalea Robinson RN, BSN, IBCLC
Lavender Lactation Services