Talk to me about nipple shields...

(8 Posts)
SellyMevs Thu 21-Aug-14 21:01:13

DS is 12 days old... We had a tough start with breastfeeding. He wouldn't latch for the first 3 days, and due to gestational diabetes he was started on formula top ups quite quickly. I expressed religiously and we managed to establish BF day 4/day 5 when I had another set back and needed a scan. Due to the radiation, I wasn't allowed to BF for 14 hours.

Because of all this, he prefers the bottle. BF is too much effort and he gets frustrated with trying to latch. We can spend 45 mins trying to latch and when he does, he is so vigorous it's painful for the first few minutes. My nipples are sore and it's making it hard for both of us.

Tonight we've used a nipple shield.. He latched straight away and I am far more comfortable. To me this seems like the perfect solution?! But what are the downsides? Is this just an easy option and should I be persevering with trying to get him to latch properly? We've managed to reduce his top ups from every feed down to once, maybe twice during the night and this is normally after a long battle with a hungry baby who is frustrated.

I want to breastfeed. I am still expressing and hoping I can replace the formula with breastmilk. I just have no idea if I'm doing the right thing now!

I was at my wits end when my hv gave me one to try. For us it was the perfect compromise. He couldn't latch but found the shield easy to latch on to and I could continue bf him.
No problems.
My supply increased as he was feeding more often but you'll have people tell you that it will weaken your supply etc.
If it works for you, do it.

Em1503 Fri 22-Aug-14 06:59:02

DD is 2 weeks old and I'm using one too. I think they're brilliant. DD was jaundiced to begin with so wouldn't latch or feed and she had to be bottle fed with expressed milk for the first 10 days. We've made the tricky transition back to breastfeeding and she hasn't had a bottle in 4 days now grin but I couldn't have done it without the nipple shield. I'll continue using it for a while and will probably try to wean her off it eventually but if we can't manage without it then I've got no problems using it long term.

It was almost passed to me in secret at the hospital as they are drowned upon but I think they're brilliant!

TheGirlAtTheRockShow Fri 22-Aug-14 08:00:49

We have been using them for 6 weeks now. DD was 5 weeks early and too small to latch properly. Nipple shields are the only reason we could bf. I know people say they cause low supply, but we have the opposite problem. Does make feeding in public more of a problem as have to put shield on first, but we have managed fine with a cover.
We are trying to wean off for convenience, but not pushing it as she's still small and feeding well with them.
Whatever works as far as I can see!

Philippalc Fri 22-Aug-14 23:38:07

This article discusses the pros and cons of nipple shields with links to a couple of good articles Nipple Shields Good or Bad? If in doubt find an IBCLC Lactation Consultant to help you.

Lazybones80 Sat 23-Aug-14 02:34:05

My baby is 12 weeks and we've been using nipple shields from the beginning because he has a high palate and I have flattish nipples. He's on the 98th centile for length and weight, I've never needed to give formula and they haven't affected my supply. I have no plans to stop using them because they work so well for us.

scandichick Sat 23-Aug-14 21:07:21

My baby is eight months and pretty chubby; he's been using nipple shields since he was a week old due to latching issues. Has worked fine all the way for us!

kellymom has good advice on how to wean from nipple shields, personally I couldn't be bothered since we haven't had any issues.

Khaleesi1985 Sun 24-Aug-14 20:58:31

My baby (7 weeks now) went to the breast right away. Had no latch issues, no supply issues. But it was just so painful. We were in the hospital for 6 days after the birth so we got plenty of support. I had at least half a dozen midwives looking at the latch and every single one told me it was just fine. I had a lactation consultant and the supervisor of midwives look. They all said the latch was just fine. By painful I don't mean a bit sore or uncomfortable, I mean excruciating. My partner had to hold me down every time I fed her and I sobbed the entire time. Nipple shields saved me. It was still painful but it was manageable and the pain did subside as the weeks went on to the point where now - 7 weeks in - it's not painful at all. The arguments against nipple shields are that it can inhibit your babies ability to feed efficiently, although i think . You need to wash/sanitise them so you can't just whip your baby onto your boob. They're a bit fiddly, especially when you have a very wriggly baby! You shouldn't reach for the nipple shields without trying to sort out the issue if you can. But if its working for you, I wouldn't worry!

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