I think in the old days the shields were quite cumbersome and stopped your supply from building and could be a risk for mastitis as baby didn't drain the breast.
That being said I used the Medela ones with my dd until six months when she finally decided she could do without. She is almost nine months and we are still breastfeeding all bloody night long. Without the shields she would have been bottle fed, I expressed night and day for her first six weeks because she wouldn't latch my nipples were flat and too big for her wee mouth I think. But by 8 weeks she refused the bottle and firmly decided boob was for her. Nipple shields saved us!!
I would have stopped without them. DD is 3 months and I've used them since about wk 3. No prob with supply or weight gain. Now I'm able to feed without them as dd is bigger she finds it easier to latch on. We still use them at home as it's easy to feed her with one hand so I can hold a book/cold cup of tea.. When we're out we don't use them (have had a few spills when they got knocked off) and I just use two hands to feed her. The shields are a godsend. HV said I should try to wean off them and I just (politely, of course) said no.
Saved BD for us too. I have big nipples and had a small baby (5lb 4oz) and her latch was variable so one of the BF supporters in the hospital suggested nipple shields. I was surprised because my MW had been so against them saying they cause nipple confusion but as the nurse said, Whats worse? Using nipple shields or giving up on BF altogether? now she's 5 weeks I only use it on one nipple for the 3am feed - she just can't latch in the night without it but otherwise we managed to withdraw them.
I currently use the medela nipple shields to breastfeed my dc1 who is just over 2 weeks old. Dc1 chomped my nipples to bits and i would have given up on breastfeeding if i didn't have the option of using nipple shields. There seem to be varied opinions on them - my mw and hv both said theyre ok to use if theyre helping me to breastfeed effectively. But other mws in the hospital were against them. I want to try and breastfeed without them ideally but for now its satisfying to know that dc1 is getting a good feed at each meal. Hopefully in the next week I'll be able to feed without them - but they have been a life saver for me and i would recommend them to anyone who was having problems breastfeeding due to sore/cracked nipples.
They saved me from giving up too. I had really flat nipples and couldn't get my DD latched on at all without them. I think they are frowned upon a little because they stop your supply from increasing with the baby's demands. I breastfed for 3 months, then my supply dwindled and I combination fed until 5 months when I switched entirely to formula. Without the nipple shields I would not have breast fed my daughter at all, so I'm very glad they were suggested to me (by the first midwife who visited me at home). I have a friend who used nipple shields for the complete 6 months of EBF so it didn't do her or her baby any harm at all.
Why are these so frowned upon? I have totally flat, inverted nipples so the health visitor told me (in her words on the sly as she said she was not technically allowed to advise me to use them as it was frowned upon in her office) to get these shields and without the medela contact nipple shields I would not have been able to breastfeed have been feeding my DD (5 weeks old today) since the start with them I have an over supply and am also expressing at least 15oz a day as well as feeding she went from 7lb 7oz to 8lb 12 in 10 days so she's gaining fine, it worries me that these are so "frowned upon" yet without them I wouldn't of been able to breastfeed and I wonder how many women give up because they're afraid to try them as health visitors dislike them has anyone had bad experiences with them or is anyone in the same situation as me in the fact that they saved you from giving up!?