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Nipple shield help needed

(16 Posts)
SparkyUK Thu 11-Nov-10 16:03:10

DS2 (13 days old) hasn't been able to latch, except a few times since birth (and even then, wasn't quite doing it right as i developed a blister right away and he never took to my left breast). Have seen/been to a couple of breastfeeding counselors / lactation consultants / bf support groups and no one can find a reason for it except that maybe his tongue is a little short. Everyone insists that if I persevere it will click eventually so in the meantime I'm expressing and cup feeding. The last bf group I went to, the counselor suggested i try a nipple shield and as she had some, gave me one. She put it on me and DS latched straight away! It was amazing.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it work since then. Any tips on how to use the nipple shield? i can't seem to make a nipple sandwich with out the shield coming off. I've tried wetting it, but that doesn't seem to help. If i don't shape my breast, DS only takes the nipple bit and none of the aereola. It's painful, and the shield gets some milk, but doesn't fill with milk so I don't think its actually working.

Please send through any advice. I feel like we are so close now and would love to see an end in sight to all the pumping and cup feeding and failed attempts to bf directly!

marzipananimal Thu 11-Nov-10 16:41:30

What kind do you have? I used the medela ones. I never shaped my breast though so didn't have the same problem. Can you get to see the bfc again for her to show you how to do it? Good luck

SparkyUK Thu 11-Nov-10 16:52:19

Yep, have the medela ones now. Had tried NUK previously but had no luck. Medela do seem to be everyone's nipple shield of choice.

I'll go back to see the woman, but her next session is monday so was hoping to get some help in the meantime.

marzipananimal Thu 11-Nov-10 16:55:29

can you hold the nipple shield on while he's latching? I did that sometimes as ds would sometimes knock it off. Hopefully someone else who knows more will be along soon

thisisyesterday Thu 11-Nov-10 16:57:53

has he been checked for tongue tie?

SparkyUK Thu 11-Nov-10 17:35:34

He's been checked a couple of times for tongue tie, but none of the midwives or lactation consultants have found anything. Everyone seems a bit stumped as to why he isn't latching and the best they can suggest is maybe he has a short tongue.

japhrimel Thu 11-Nov-10 18:24:08

Check the size - I saw on the Medela website that the shields actually come in sizes for different size nipples. Only Medium seems to be widely available in shops, but you can order others online.

BellaBearisWideAwake Thu 11-Nov-10 18:25:43

I had to hold it on till he really got going

SparkyUK Thu 11-Nov-10 21:26:14

I just can't figure out how to hold it on while also shaping my breast so that he takes more than just the nipple into his mouth. So frustrated as it worked at the clinic

gaelicsheep Thu 11-Nov-10 22:02:20

I would kind of hold the nipple shield on the baby's chin side with my thumb and shape my breast using my fingers on the other side. Hard to explain, but it did work!

BarnMummy Thu 11-Nov-10 22:20:00

I used the Avent nipple shields, with a dab of vaseline on each side to hold it in place while DS1 got himself settled. With DS2 I think this worked for the shaping the breast bit as well (didn't do that with DS1)

SparkyUK Thu 11-Nov-10 22:37:22

hmm, vaseline. That may just do the job. Will try it out first thing in the morning. Ta

gaelicsheep, I'm tying myself into a knot trying to mock shaping my breast with my thumb on the inside. I shape my right breast with my right hand from underneath. I guess it might work if I rugby hold -- is that what you did?

gaelicsheep Thu 11-Nov-10 22:52:54

Sometimes yes, but actually I wrote a load of rubbish. Let's start again. grin

Press down on the baby's chin side of the nipple shield with your forefinger, and shape the breast with your other fingers on that side and the thumb on the other side. Is that any better?

SparkyUK Thu 11-Nov-10 23:20:01

Ahh yes, that's what I've been doing. It just seems that when I make the sandwich the shield comes off. Sigh. Will try again tomorrow...

gaelicsheep Thu 11-Nov-10 23:39:54

Are you using the contact shields, the ones with the gap for the nose? Is it coming off from that side?
As japhrimel said, have you checked the size? There are three sizes, based on the width of the bottom of the nipple. I think the medium one is 22mm, you may need the small one.
I think many times I did just shove the nipple bit in DD's mouth actually, then push it in as much as I could to get some areola in. Hardly orthodox, but it worked OK!
Those things are huge, but you could also try having DS hold it himself (kind of) by putting his lower lip to the breast first and trying to roll him over the shield. When DD got bigger I think this worked (we used them for 14 weeks).

walkingonair Fri 12-Nov-10 00:26:25

I used the silicone Avent shields and they worked really well. I'll try and explain how I fed DDs, hope it make sense?!?

Imagine starting with the left breast....
Place DS on a cushion with his legs going underneath your left arm, his head is level with your left breast and his body weight is on the cushion (or two! – level height is important). Use one hand to support and guide his head, the other to support your breast. Using your thumb above the nipple and forefinger underneath to hold the shield in place, squeeze the breast from the top and bottom and point upwards slightly. Touch baby’s nose with your nipple, he should open his mouth wide ready to latch on. Aim your nipple so it touches the roof of his mouth and get as much in as possible! (he should have more of the underside of the areola in his mouth). Try wetting the shield with a little breast milk to make it stick better.

Keep your thumb and forefinger on the edge of the shield until baby has latched on. If your boobs are full and heavy, continue to hold your breast in place whilst baby feeds. When you see longer slower, suckling and hear swallowing he’s on. If suckling is quick with lots of squelchy noises he probably isn’t latched on and even with the shield you will get sore.

You can get different size shields and you need to make sure your nipple is pulled to the end of the shield by baby’s suckling; if it doesn’t quite reach the end, the shield is too big.

Hope this helps! It took me a while to get the hang on it and I almost gave up several times; but it does get easier!

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