1. Don't give up. As tempting as pumping and bottle-feeding, or just switching to formula seems, don't give in. Disclaimer: I have NOTHING against either of those things. They definitely have their place. All I'm saying is if you really want to nurse and the only thing standing in your way is a little piece of silicon, then keep at it.
3. Try different things. I was given a lot of advice and read a lot of different things. The thing I heard the most was to let her start eating with the shield, then take her off, quickly take of the shield and re-latch her. That did NOT work. At all. She just got more upset that she was forced to stop. Instead, I would feed her on one side with the shield, then when she was ready for the next, I would latch her without on the other side. The first few times were a little rough, but after a few successful latches, she was off the shield completely. I was also told to try different positions, especially the football hold. That was somewhat helpful, but not the problem solver but it might be for someone else.
4. Don't let her get fussy. This is really important. I read a few experiences of other women, that they would just fight their baby until they finally got a good latch. I would strongly recommend against this. The more frustrated Ellie got, the worse it went. You have to build trust with your baby and let her know that she will still get food from you and have a positive experience. If your baby gets fussy with trying to latch without, put the shield back on and try again without later. Eventually, it will work.
5. Research. At first I didn't want to read anything, because I felt like a failure. I thought if I read online, I would get more discouraged because other women were able to get their babies to latch just fine. But research was so important, I was able to find so much information that was helpful. My two favorite resources were: http://theleakyboob.com/2012/06/in-search-of-the-perfect-latch/ and http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/
6. Don't worry about the "perfect" latch. This goes back to the article from the #5. When I first got Ellie to latch without the shield, her latch was not ideal. Her lips were not flanged out. There was some pain, but I'm sure it was only because I had been using the shield for so long. After a few days, the pain went away, so I thought all was well, but I wanted to be sure. When I searched for how to encourage babies to flange their lips, I came across that blog post. It stressed that if the latch is working and it doesn't hurt, then it's probably a good latch. I felt so much better! I didn't want to force her lips out because I was afraid it would just make her mad. Her lips still don't flange, but I don't feel pain, her mouth is very wide open, and she is gaining weight just fine, so it's a good latch for us.
I am by no means any expert on breastfeeding. These are just the things I found to be helpful and I wanted to share!