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How do you use nipple shields?

(19 Posts)
qumquat Thu 13-Feb-14 21:16:06

I'm on the brink of giving up bf as in cataclysmic amounts of pain (and I gave birth without pain relief, this is worse). My last resort is nipple shields, but dd will only latch onto the massive teat. I'm assuming she should be latching onto the Breast properly? But since I can't get her to take a big mouthful of me full stop, not sure how I can do this with a shield with a nice tempting teat on it?

JoyceDivision Thu 13-Feb-14 21:20:50

Good luck. My DD would not latch on. Even the midwife camein to seeme after Ihad given birth, closed the door and said 'In my job I see babies that I can tell are not going to feed from thebreast, and your daughter is one' grin

Sje was right, nipple shields just got crumpled and chewed, so I managedto express milk for a few week.

DS wouldn't latch and he had tongue tie.. the midwife in hospital had niotuced itbut said it was nothing as they wanted me out with a tick next to breastfeeding.... maybe get your MW or HV to doublecheck this?

Good luck wityh whatever you choose, hope youar eall happy withwhatever feeding pattern you establish, and congratulations too !!!

SeekingLegalAdvice Thu 13-Feb-14 21:24:20

You should phone the NCT BREASTFEEDING HELPLINE. They are very very helpful.

amistillsexy Thu 13-Feb-14 21:24:26

Ok, the first thing is to make sure you've got a good seal on the shield. I used to give mine a link or a wipe with a drop of milk on the underside, then attach it carefully, running my finger around the flat edge, with my nipple in the centre. Don't worry that your nipple doesn't fill the teat - it's not supposed to,when baby starts to suck, a vacuum is created,which pulls the nipple out to fill the space in the teat.
I used them with all three of my boys when they ere tiny. I found as they grew a bit, the could cope without, but I spent a day in bed with each of them at about 4 weeks, going skin to skin and cold turkey on the shields to get them off!
All 3 ended up breastfeeding feeding until after 18 months, and they all self weaned,so it's possible to use nipple shields to successfully establish beast feeding.

Good luck!

qumquat Thu 13-Feb-14 21:24:35

She has just been diagnosed with tongue tie. I've been trying so hard but the referral could take weeks and the pain is increasing now with every (very long) feed. Thanks for your message!

SeekingLegalAdvice Thu 13-Feb-14 21:25:48

And amazingly good at being sympathetic, troubleshooting, giving advice & describing positions over the phone. Number easy to find online.

SeekingLegalAdvice Thu 13-Feb-14 21:26:46

The NCT are trained to deal with all problems such as tongue tie. Give them a ring :-)

amistillsexy Thu 13-Feb-14 21:26:47

Ooh, just remembered that I used to hold the flaps of the shields down at either side as they latched on to stop the wrinkling up. It could take a few tries to get the right position at first, so don't worry if you have to pull baby off a couple of times and start again.

JoyceDivision Thu 13-Feb-14 21:30:39

tongue tie!!argghh!! I totally feel your pain!!! mynipples were so hot I made dh put his hand over my boobs, overmy pyjmamas and he was horrified!!

Be open minded re the feeding pattern that will follow, some people may have adviocere getting them to latch back on after, however ds was (on advce of mw who we haveknown for years and trust) bottlefed till app came through to have snipped, and after the tongue tie was snipped he had lost any latch.. but he is a very very happy thriving 4 year old who ended up being formula / breast milk in bott;e fed, so there are plenty ofways to manage feeding.

Obv, your DD is paramount, but lookafter yourself too and don't (as I did!) beat yourself yup too much about the choices you might make...

(and ds never even woke up when DHtook him to the hospital for his tongue snipping! )

amistillsexy Thu 13-Feb-14 21:32:03

Oh no tongue tie here. That will make it harder I should think.
I second NCT, or an independent midwife, who will be able to spend more time with you,so that you can relax more.

Whatever happens, remember that you're doing a great job, and enjoy the snuffle cuddles with your baby.

qumquat Thu 13-Feb-14 21:50:07

Thank you all. Feeling pretty wretched. I've seriously talked to every helpline, bf cafe, midwife, seen a lactation consultant, the lot. I know it's foolish to feel guilty but I do. Suspect nipple shields will not work but will try once more. Thank you I really appreciate you support and reassurance.

SeekingLegalAdvice Thu 13-Feb-14 21:53:45

Congratulate yourself for trying so hard :-)

ReginaldBlinker Thu 13-Feb-14 21:58:31

Sorry, have no actual advice to give on this subject, but just had to share... This showed up directly under a post in the "Relationship" category... So I read that category, and your post title, and thought, "Fucking hell, if she's having to use nipple shields in her relationship, she probably has bigger problems than Mumsnet can solve. LTB."

(Btw, don't actually know what nipple shields are... Picturing little mini metal medieval shields fending off an over-eager husband...)

GraceK Thu 13-Feb-14 23:30:18

Don't panic. I used nipple shields with both daughters - one to 13 mths & the other to 22mths. Check you have the correct size shields - the size relates to the size of the teat, not the size of your boobs & different makes have different sizes - I only found out in Special Care when a very helpfu midwife went off & sorted me out with the smallest Madella ones.

I have inverted nipples & they would come out once DDs started sucking & disappeared again after every feed. I was repeatedly assured the baby would suck them out permanently but it never happened so ended up using them to feed all the way through.

Only problem I ever had was going away to stay when DD1 was almost 2 & down to just a bedtime & morning feed - went away for the evening & forgot the shield! Ended up driving home again (as was a Sunday & no Babies R Us open) in order to feed her & relieve my boobs.Kept a spare in the car for DD2!

Had some complaints from some midwives about my continued use of shields but I felt bf-ing better & simpler even with a shield in every handbag / littering our house - I had multiple ones floating in dilute Milton fluid all over the place.

Good luck.

alteredimages Fri 14-Feb-14 11:46:26

I used nipple shields with DS who is now six weeks for the first month or so. The lactation specialist at hospital took one look at my chest and said she couldn't help me unless I got some nipple shields. Also said not to bother with any except medela.

My first few attempts were fruitless til i started keeping a small bowl of water beside me to wet them first. I also didnt know you are supposed to invert them til I read the instructions, this is really important and from then on DS fed like a trooper. Before that he was latching badly for 2 to 3 minutes twice a day. They really were great. Started trying to wean him off about three weeks by only using when he was tired and within a week or so he wouldn't feed with them any more. My nipples don't really look much different to me, still v flat, but he can cope now with a bigger mouth.

It is worth getting help with the latch when weaning off though. I haven't and DS's latch is still quite shallow though not really painful. Don't give up hope either, it took me six weeks to properly establish bfing with DD so they can learn quite late. flowers

alteredimages Fri 14-Feb-14 11:53:30

Also, DD has tongue tie that was never diagnosed and did manage to bf once her mouth got bigger. I didn't know about nipple shields then.

DS didn't take much into his mouth with the nipple shields either but as PP said the suction pulls some of the areola into the shield so don't worry. DS went from losing 120g a day to gaining 200g a week as soon as we started using the shields.

CustardCream2014 Fri 14-Feb-14 13:00:59

DD is almost 3 weeks and nipple shields have been a life saver. Despite endless attempts to get her to latch on, involving lots of screaming and anxiety from both of us and midwives suggesting multiple positions, it just didn't work and I was not able to feed her properly. I expressed for a bit and then tried nipple shields, which worked really well. Midwives and HVs seem to be a bit anti, and I don't intend to use them forever, but I have found them so helpful for the first few difficult weeks. I find making a V sign with my fingers and then holding them on at both sides really helps, and I would advise you try and keep the baby's head as upright as possible and keep it steady. Keep a muslin cloth nearby though as dd has a tendency to knock them off my nipple when they're filled with milk!

crikeybadger Fri 14-Feb-14 13:21:47

Hi qumquat,
I know you've had a lot of problems because I've seen you a lot on this board. You've clearly asked for a lot of help and are sadly still struggling.

Can you push for a tt referral sooner? Why does it need to take weeks? Or if you can afford it, pay for it to be done privately?

NCT helplines are of course great, but they are breastfeeding counsellors so can't talk about medical things like a tongue tie, but may be able to offer some support. They could discuss exaggerated latch for example.

Is there an option to pump and bottle feed while you are waiting for tt to be snipped?

I know there is a tt Facebook page so people not here may be able to offer other suggestions. I just wonder how much difference a nipple shield will make - it's the tongue restriction which makes feeding tricky and this will remain whether you have a shield or not. ( though I can of course see why you would want to try everythingsmile)

Minidanish Sat 15-Feb-14 22:47:21

Shields really helped me for the month before my son's TT was cut,and gave my cracked nipples chance to heal. I found them a bit of a faff though. I only found out at the TT appointment that you don't need to sterilise nipple shields - but once TT was cut I was able to wean him off them.

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