When Ruby did nurse for the first six months of her life, she did so using a nipple shield. She foiled my every attempt to get her off of it. She just would not nurse without one.
I am still finger feeding her, using the Medela SNS (*shudder*) but I’m wanting to move on. I’m thinking about trying the nipple shield again (*double shudder*).
In the last few days, I have had a few successful attempts at getting Ruby to the breast. She would only “nurse” for a few moments. During those moments of “nursing” she didn’t really nurse (thus the quotation marks). She would aimlessly move her tongue around my nipple, close her mouth then reopen it, swallow the milk I was pouring into her mouth via the SNS, then finally give up and let go.
I’m wondering if maybe it’s because there isn’t as much form to the nipple as there is to a bottle, a nipple shield, or even my finger.
My original plan to get her back to the breast did not include a nipple shield. I wanted to avoid the horrid thing like the plague. My thought process here is this, “If I’m going to work this hard to get Ruby back to the breast, then it’s going to be the BREAST and not a nipple shield.”
But if using a nipple shield will get her back to the breast when not using one won’t, then should I go for it? Or give it more time trying without one?
These are hard decisions to make. If I make the wrong decision here, I fear major setbacks or failure to get back to the breast. So what do you all think? I am particularly interested in the opinions of those who have experienced similar problems as me or are Lactation Consultants.
Do you all think I should use a nipple shield or not use a nipple shield?
That is the question.