Help me with nipple shield?

(21 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 19-Apr-14 17:22:02

My little boy is 4 weeks old and is exclusively breast fed.

I have a cracked left nipple and although when he's feeding it isn't painful, when he makes that initial latch and suction it's very painful for about 5 seconds - to the point where I want to cry and swear. It isn't really getting a chance to heal because of how often DS is feeding.

I sent my DH out earlier to get some nipple shields to use short term, but when I got harm out they seem massive. My nipple nowhere near reaches the end of the artificial teat. When I was trying it on, DS was crying so my breast started leaking and the shield was just filling up with milk.

Do they come in different sizes or does it mean I just won't be able to use them?

trumpfamily Sat 19-Apr-14 17:34:44

The nipple shields are one size fits all, I had the same thought. The teat filling with breast milk isn't a problem either. I can still remember that pain, ouch. Continue feeding if you feel able but once finished rub the breast milk into the nipple area and leave to air dry, that should help. Have you tried changing the feeding position? Use a v-cushion to support baby and feed legs out rather than across your tummy area, hope that helps?

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 19-Apr-14 18:12:01

The milk should come out of the end of the shield - check it isn't blocked?

Writerwannabe83 Sat 19-Apr-14 19:25:07

I'm just confused as to the size of my nipple versus the size of the artificial teat? Is my nipple supposed to completely fill the space available?

When I put the shield on the end of my nipple probably sits about 1cm back from the tip of the teat. Is it that small gap that fills up with milk. I always assumed the very tip of my nipple should sit at the very end of the artificial teat, I.e where the milk holes are, but now I'm not so sure?

I have tried googling images of the correct way to wear nipple shields but I'm still none the wiser sad

Ericadm Sat 19-Apr-14 19:32:55

The medela one come in different sizes. I have quite small nipples and I use the medium size. The nipple does not fill all the shield, there is quite a bit of extra space when I put it on. However when baby sucks the nipple become longer so I think it fills the whole space whilst the baby is sucking. When he stops there is often some milk left in the space which is a good sign as it means good milk transfer.

corlan Sat 19-Apr-14 19:39:04

As Ericadm says, the nipple will fill the shield once your baby starts sucking. Too much information I know but I have inverted nipples and used nipple shields to help with the pain - they really are a life saver.
Good luck!

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 19-Apr-14 20:37:00

Another one with "rubbish nipples", as the midwife put it, and they are really good for helping establish a good latch (despite the general orthodoxy that they hinder latch)

Writerwannabe83 Sat 19-Apr-14 21:36:21

Lovely - thank you ladies.

I'm just worried about DS gagging on the huge artificial teat in his mouth.

I'm guessing it is going to be quite difficult at first as DS attempts to use it but I'll give it a go smile

Hi writer. I have to use shields - I highly recommend the medela ones (Mothercare? Cheaper on amazon though if you can wait), the Boots ones were rubbish. You need enough room so your nip sits within the width of the 'cup' and yes, there will be a gap at the end.
Don't worry about your LO choking, they draw the nip right into the back of their mouth anyway.

Hope you get on ok - shields saved me from giving up on day 5 and my sanity!

DancingtheTittyTango Sun 20-Apr-14 04:51:01

I been using a shield on and off due to crippling pain in my right nipple. They do come in different sizes so it might be worth getting to a BF cafe and ask someone to check you have the right size. Also when you put them on you need to turn them a little bit inside out (a big like rolling back a sock), place over your nipple and then open out. That way it pulls your nipple in first.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 21-Apr-14 19:37:11

Well I've been fiddling with my shields and I still don't understand them.

I rolled the edges back in order to place the artificial teat over my nipple but the end of my nipple is still about 1-2cm back from the end of the teat. It just looks so long that I can't imagine how baby won't choke on it. I even got my pump out and used it with the nipple shield on to see if the suction method would draw my nipple out so it fills the shield but it just doesn't. So then I put baby to the breast to see what he'd do and there's absolutely no chance of him attaching - the artificial teat is bigger than his mouth!!

This is a nightmare.

Feeding him hurts so much and I just don't know what to do sad

Writerwannabe83 Mon 21-Apr-14 19:55:07

I've been onto Amazon and ordered some from Medula and opted for the Small size - hopefully that will make a difference. I have paid a fortune for express delivery because I'm just that desperate!!

PastaandCheese Wed 23-Apr-14 19:14:11

Have you tried him on it? It never even occurred to me that my nipple is supposed to reach the end. I just assumed milk filled the space and ended up in the baby's mouth.

Surely if the nipple reached the end it could be pulled through the holes which would be agony??

I've shields twice now and have just whacked them on and the babies have taken it.

crikeybadger Wed 23-Apr-14 19:21:01

If you don't get on with the shields, you could try some jelonet to cover your cracked nipple. It's a type of gauze dressing that you can probably get from a pharmacy.

Air drying is no longer recommended - google moist wound healing if you want more info.

Incapinka Wed 23-Apr-14 19:29:03

I ended up expressing from one side due to cracks never healing. Is that an option? It's a bit of a faff but it did eventually heal...

Incapinka Wed 23-Apr-14 19:29:21

And yes to jelonet...

Stevie77 Wed 23-Apr-14 19:37:26

Another question about the Medela shields- how do you make it stick to the breast?

I tried wetting the edges, as per the instructions, but that doesn't seem to work and when the baby's feeding the edges sort of squish and flap. In my mind I imagined the whole thing stuck firmly to the breast hmm

PastaandCheese Wed 23-Apr-14 19:45:55

stevie I sterilise mine and the way the water droplets stick across the shield after sterilising in a microwave steriliser seem to make them stick really well.

Imnotbeverley Wed 23-Apr-14 19:49:35

I found that lansinoh helped the shields stick, and also just them being freshly washed and (importantly) totally dry.

When I used them my nipple also didn't reach the end, but I could see when DS pulled off without stopping sucking that the nipple was drawn to the end IYSWIM

coffeetofunction Wed 23-Apr-14 19:55:26

It's very painful if you nipple touches the end as the nipple gets pulled thro the shield

Writerwannabe83 Wed 23-Apr-14 20:10:45

I tried it and although the new shield fits my nipple so much better it still seemed really bulbous at the end. I tried DH with it but he just couldn't open his mouth wide enough to get it in. I'm definitely not giving up on it though, I just think more practice is needed. To be honest though the pain had been noticeably better over the last few days so maybe the crack is healing nicely anyway.

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