Will I have to use the nipple shield the entire time I am breastfeeding?

Hello mommas. I have a couple of questions and need some advice. So my daughter is two weeks old, and unfortunately, she had to spend her first week of life in the NICU. Because of that, she has bottle-fed my breastmilk. Since then, she has had a hard time latching on to my breast. So I decided to go get nipple shields so I can try to breastfeed exclusively and stop pumping. Questions: how long can I use the breast shields, how do I get her use to my nipple again, is this something I’m going to have to do for the rest of the time I breastfeed? I really need some advice. 


It depends on the baby. I had the same issue with my oldest. Unfortunately we never got the hang of nursing and had to switch to formula. With my second, we started out with a shield, too. If baby pops off, remove the shield before they latch again. Try a couple of different times. They should get the hang of it. You can also, depending on your area/state, set an appt with a lactation consultant through your hospital or WIC office. They can help! Good luck

I needed to use them with my daughter and everyone told me I’d have to forever but as she got older I kept trying to take it away and one day when she was about 5 months old she just stopped using. That was almost 2 months ago. They saved me in the beginning!!

I used them the whole time I nursed my daughter

Back To Breast my son had mouth issues and used one for 6 weeks than no longer at all. It all varies :heart: hoping you the best.

My daughter used a nipple shield for 6 months and then latched one day like she had been doing it the whole time without it! I saw a lactation consultant like weekly trying to get her off of it for months. Eventually as her mouth got bigger it got easier for her! She’s almost 13 months now and still no shield for the last 7 months!

I’d recommend doing a consult with a lactation consultant! Having a great latch will make it so much easier. The shield is a pain to keep cleaning and hauling around, but a few consultations can really help.

1 Like

all babies are different

Just keep trying without. Have patience and don’t give up! Try different ways like dangling.

I used it for about 4 months and than one day he just figured it out. I would just occasionally try and latch her. I’m sure she will get it eventually!
Get a few shields!!! I remember getting so flustered because I would drop them in the bed and misplace them in the middle of the night.
It will all work out just be patient and keep trying !

Not necessarily. I used one for 8 weeks with my son and then one day it slipped out of place and the rest was history. Dont give up Mama!

After a few times I was able to start with the nipple shield and after 2/3 mins take it off. It was the initial latching on I had issues with.

They are not ment for long term use.

My son used a nipple shield for 5 months, then suddenly he naturally latched without it and nursed without it for 7 months. Don’t pressure or stress about it, babe will get there when she’s ready.

You can check out my videos on this subject on my YouTube channel.

Tips On Weaning From A Nipple Shield

Both of my boys were early and wouldnt latch! I had to try to feed them with a nipple shield and then pump and give them the bottle I pumped… this was for a few months and eventually when they were latching really well to the shield i would try it off for a little while and they eventually got it each time!
You are doing amazing and she will figure it out! Congrats!!

My son had low blood sugar when he was born and not enough urine output so he instantly went on bottle fed formula from the hospitals choice. They never brought me a breast pump to get my colostrum going until the day I was being discharged and I was taught sns the day before (day two). I had to use a nipple shield to try to get him to latch but he struggled with the shield and kept preferring the bottle. After trial and error he finally latched without the shield about a month old but it was a little too late as the small supply I was able to pump out had already started to dry up by that time and no matter how long or how often I pumped or had him latched I just couldn’t produce more. Anyhow, just keep trying with and without. Eventually they’ll catch on, I noticed he did better trying to latch without when I started early before he was supposed to eat so he had time to try instead of being absolutely desperate to eat, they tend to get extremely overwhelmed that way. So time it prior to their feeding to start rather than when it’s their actual feeding time.

In my opinion, I would talk to her pediatrician and get a referral to a lactation specialist. They can help you remedy latching issues. You shouldn’t need to use the shield, but it will take some time to get baby to adjust to feeding without it.

I use to do the same thing and then half way during the feed would take it off and get her onto my nipple cause it would be in the shape of the shield then kept going down a size and doing the same thing for about 2 weeks, just remember how annoying it was keeping it clean & trying not to lose clear silicone nipples :joy:

Find out from your pediatrician if your baby might have a tongue or lip tie. My baby was in the NICU, on oxygen and a feeding tube, then I blamed that and myself (of course) for his poor latch, and it turned out he had a severe tongue tie.