Thursday, December 19, 2013

Freedom from the Shield

I had no idea that flat nipples were a real thing.

I grew up thinking that nipples were nipples and it didn't matter how they looked or what they were like because I would still be able to breastfeed.

The glorious day came for my sweet girl to be born and I was mentally preparing myself. My thoughts were something like this, "We will do skin to skin and then she will latch. It will be easy!" Well in all honesty, she latched. But OH MY WORD it HURT!!! I think I knew that it would hurt but I had no idea it would hurt that bad.

About 10 minutes after she was born.
So we made it through our first night together. I called a nurse in every time I tried to latch her because it just did not feel right.

The next morning the most wonderful person I had ever met came into our room. Our Lactation Consultant. (Hi Sharie!!) She took one look at me and said, "Oh Honey, You're going to need a shield." *cue confused look from me* I had no idea what that was but if it let me breastfeed my sweet baby I was game!
Momma needed to have some fun sometimes!

We took the shield home and that was how my baby ate. She made it back to birth weight by one week and she was thriving!

But I was not. I felt so trapped. I felt like I couldn't nurse her anywhere but my house because putting on the shield exposed me too much. I knew how important breastfeeding was to my daughter so I continued to push through and planned outings around the shield.

I called my LC multiple times asking how to wean her from it but every time we tried it was a huge mess. I would give up and say that I would try again next week, remembering the advice my LC gave me. She said that L would decide when she was done with the shield. I kept waiting. Praying that she would figure this thing out.

Suddenly at 5 months she got it. She looked up at me with her goofy smile, grabbed the shield and threw it across the room. And as I was standing to go get it she latched like a pro. I cried. And cried. I felt like I could FINALLY leave the house!

Mommas with shields. Do. Not. Worry. Every kid grows out of it and learns how to latch!

Merry Christmas! Love, Lily!


  1. Thank you for sharing. I am on a nipple shield and have been worrying over getting her off it. I keep hearing once she is bigger it will be easier for her. And every mother I know who successfully nursed looks at me with a cocked head and asks if I have tried without it.... Of course I have! Then I get a bunch of advice and I find it all terribly frustrating. We are both doing our best...she is growing and healthy and that silly plastic nipple has allowed me the joy of breastfeeding. I just keep hoping that when it is time the shield will come off!

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