Our Natural Connection Nipple Shields (formerly known as Breastfeeding Bite Guards) can be a useful tool to help protect against baby's teeth rubbing the nipple raw. They can also be used to help heal sore nipples while waiting for a tongue tie clip or while working with a Lactation Specialist to fix any other latch and suckle issues going on.
The biggest hurdle with using the Natural Connection Shields is having your baby accept them. If baby is used to feeding on the natural nipple, they can be a little shocked when you introduce something artificial. So we've put together some tips and tricks to get your baby to accept it so the Natural Connection shields can work for you.
- Be patient. This process can take time. Babies have good days and bad days just like us so it’s okay to feel like you take two steps forward and then one step back.
- Don’t push it too much. A calm baby will be more likely to accept something new and different whereas an agitated baby will likely refuse to try something. You don’t want baby to associate your nipple with being really upset so it’s okay to just feed baby as usual or with expressed milk from a bottle and try again next feed.
- Dream feed. Try introducing the shield in one of the middle of the night feeds or when baby is calm and half asleep. They will often not be as aware of different sensations as they would when they are fully alert.
- Express/pump to help induce a quick letdown and express a few drips onto your nipple and the Back to mom shield to help entice baby to latch and reward them immediately when they do. The Back to Mom Pink Pump is a great tool when weaning. It helps draw out the nipple and induce let down.
- Use the bait and switch. If baby refuses your breast or the new shield from the Back to Mom kit, start feeding baby with the shield they are used to and after they’ve fed for a few minutes quickly take that shield off and put on and latch with the Back to Mom shield. The key is to be really quick.
- Try to get as much skin to skin contact in as you can before and during the weaning process so baby can get use to feeling, sensing and smelling your skin.
- Seek help if you are successful at latching baby to the shield but you are still experiencing extreme pain, you need to seek the help of and IBCLC, CLC or other Lactation Specialist.