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Nipple Shields A Positive Post!

(48 Posts)
Isittimeforwineyet Sun 17-Jul-16 12:17:29

Am a bit of a mumsnet lurker but thought I'd post about my experience as I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I've had a hard time BF my little dude as he has a super shallow latch, which was originally caused by a tongue tie that was only discovered at 8 weeks. Due to this BF was agony!

From about 3 weeks we've been using nipple shields and they have completely saved BF for us. Although the tongue tie has now been fixed he's rather set in his ways and I don't think we'll be able to stop using them.

I've now accepted this to be the case and have actually begun to have a much more positive relationship with my nipple shields. They may be a bit of a faff but we wouldn't be here without them! I think it's a bit of a shame they have such a bad rep, particularly as it may stop people using them and lead to
people giving up.

What are other people's experience of using them? Anybody else using them on a long term basis? It would be nice to hear from some fellow nipple shielded ladies! We're at 13 weeks and counting! smile

seven201 Sun 17-Jul-16 14:54:56

I used them until 4 weeks then managed to wean us off them. Couldn't have bf without them! I love whoever invented them so much smile

InFrance2014 Sun 17-Jul-16 21:23:52

Used for 16 weeks from day 2 with first baby (flat and small nipples), got off them with very little effort, BF for 14 months total. Didn't use with second baby, first 2 weeks really painful, but afterwards was fine and we're still going strong now at 11 weeks.

Givemecoffeeplease Sun 17-Jul-16 21:44:23

I used them for DS2 and they were great. Weaned off them 4-6 weeks later and fed for 6 months and delighted that they helped. Another YAY for shields.

pooh2 Sun 17-Jul-16 21:48:02

I'm a massive fan of them grin DS was born with tongue-tie, not treated till he was 3 weeks old, I couldn't have nursed him without the shields; they made a massive difference!

Isittimeforwineyet Mon 18-Jul-16 08:49:09

So glad others have had a positive experience too. I needed to read more positive messages at the time, as some of the stuff on the net made me concerned about using them but they really are a life saver for some!

SouthDownsSunshine Mon 18-Jul-16 08:51:28

They are amazing, I wouldn't have breastfed without them. I'm so thankful to the midwife at hospital who got me some, and then patiently sat with me for a while feed whilst I worked out what to do.

SouthDownsSunshine Mon 18-Jul-16 08:52:00

And this post has reminded me to order some for next baby!

ronconcoke Tue 19-Jul-16 00:23:21

I've been using them since about day 3 with DD - she's now 12 weeks. She had a TT snip a couple of months back but it didn't help her latch and I eventually gave up trying to wean her off them. I agree they are a bit of a faff - I have to make sure I never leave the house without them (when I have the baby with me, obviously!) plus cleaning them etc. But I think I'd have struggled to bf at the start without them. They've been great!

AngharadTheSplendid Tue 19-Jul-16 00:29:34

Nipple shields were the only thing that allowed me to bf premature dd in the early days. I was initially worried about using them but lactation consultant said do what you've got to do! Much better to use them than having to exclusively pump or switch to formula. I know someone who used them for 9 months with no problems. We managed to stop using them by about 12 weeks I think? I will forever be grateful to them though!

Jenijena Tue 19-Jul-16 00:36:26

Only used them for 3-4 weeks and on and off with ds1, but made all the difference. I bf him til a year.

Ds2 15 weeks but been using them continuously since week 2 because despite 'good' latch (checked repeatedly by various people including, in desperation, a paid for lactation consultant) and tt snip, my nipples have repeatedly bled. Every so often I latch him on without them and not only do I have nipple pain, but also shooting pain inside breast. I keep used ones between my boobs in my bra and they're scattered throughout the house, ready for a daily clean/sterilise!

sycamore54321 Tue 19-Jul-16 00:54:21

I had similar experiences too. I don't get the demonization amongst some hard core lactivists online about the things like nipple shields and formula top-ups in the early days that actually help women like me go on to breastfeed for months. The strict all-or-nothing approach would for me have led quickly to exclusive formula feeding. I am thankful such improvements like shields exist. At the time, I felt almost ashamed of using a shield and now, I cannot for the life of me remember why. So thank you OP for the lovely positive post from your real-world experience.

Isittimeforwineyet Thu 21-Jul-16 12:24:22

I just hope a new mum finds this post and can see that it's ok to not do it the traditional way and that other ways other than feed, feed, feed whilst gritting your teeth exist!

Obviously they're not without their issues but if it means you BF for a couple more months than you would have done, great!

Love the post about finding them all over the house! Same here! I find the Tommy tippee wipes are great for cleaning them in between sterilising.

Osirus Sat 23-Jul-16 14:20:50

I use them for my 4 week old. I have one flat nipple and cried (as did my DP!) when we finally got her latched on to it at 4 days old using a shield. I use them on both nipples for comfort but can feed on one side without and try to once a day. I can't see how I would have continued breastfeeding without them!

Mermaid36 Sat 23-Jul-16 14:26:38

I'm currently breastfeeding twins, who were very premature. They were 12 weeks old when I started breastfeeding them (but only 38 weeks gestation) and they are still in NICU.
Without nipple shields I couldn't feed them - they are still quite small. I bloody love them!

dollydaydream84 Sat 23-Jul-16 16:37:45

One of the ladies from the postnatal threads sent me here! I had literally just asked why people suggest giving them up? They have saved BF for me too. Day 4 engorged and baby with tongue tie could not latch, about 30 seconds away from giving formula and someone suggested shields. Amazing wish I had had them with first DD.

Tongue tie just been snipped after 4 weeks of expressing and shields but cannot get DD to have a deep latch without shields I get lipstick nipple though not as painful as pre-snip. Think my nipples are too short to get a deeper latch but all professionals telling me she won't feed efficiently unless latch is deport also telling me to give up shields as feeds are slower! So much conflicting advice. So glad to have found this thread and long live the shields!

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Sat 23-Jul-16 16:56:34

I used them with ds. He was very small, and whilst he could latch on initially he couldn't stay latched iyswim.

My boobs are quite big and my nipples are not particularly pointy, so he kept slipping off. Used them till he was 8 weeks, bigger and stronger and then he could latch and feed directly.

Was in hospital for 5 days, had to express so ds could be fed via a sippy cup and on day 3 a mw suggested nipple shields and got some from scbu for me. They were a godsend.

Isittimeforwineyet Sat 23-Jul-16 19:18:43

Dollydaydream I can only speak from my experience and say that my little man has been steadily gaining weight and is often mistaken for being a 5 month year old rather than a 3 month old.

Feeds are quite long but on the occasions we've feed without them they've been just as long. I think he just loves boobs!

I would love to get to six months but if I can't, and we stop sooner, well at least we made it this far! I think just take it a day at a time, and try to wean now and again but if you can't hay ho. If your little one is gaining weight and is happy and healthy don't worry smile

dollydaydream84 Sat 23-Jul-16 20:09:42

She is gaining really well but having about four expressed bottles in the day. I've fed her myself 6 times since midday where she would just usually have two bottles. Think I'm going to have to do a mixture of expressing and shields/bare. It feels harder this time as I've got my older child to look after too so expressing plus bottle or lots and lots of breast feeds are both as challenging as each other. For now though I'll mostly be keeping my shields 😀

KneeKnee Sat 23-Jul-16 21:16:43

I used them with DD1. She wouldn't feed without them. We continued that way until she took them off herself around five months!

I used them for a day or so with DD2, when my nipples were getting used to feeding (and I was in a lot of pain!).

I really think the shields gave my nipples a much needed break. Il

I loved them. They helped me so much!

KneeKnee Sat 23-Jul-16 21:20:45

With DD1 I got pressure from midwives to try not to use so I was expressing all the time which was horrendous.

Until a different midwife said not to me nit to make it harder by expressing all the time. Having baby at the breast (with shield) is better!

gqip Sat 23-Jul-16 21:36:00

I used them for almost a year!! Baby would not latch without. Tried to ditch them several times without success so continued using them until baby self-weaned.
I would have preferred to have not needed them as they were a bit of a faff, especially through the night but totally saved the breastfeeding.

Lanhydrock Sun 24-Jul-16 05:15:56

I think they are amazing - as does DD grin. She was born a little bit early and was pretty small (5lb 2oz). She just couldn't latch and suck at the same time and ended up on SCBU the day after she was born due to low blood sugar and severe jaundice. I was expressing for her and SCBU were giving formula top ups. One of the SCBU nurses suggested I try nipple shields. DD fed straight away! They were able to stop the top ups that day and DD was back up above her birthweight by day 7. She's now just over 2 weeks old and feeding really well.

I would like to stop using shields at some point as it would be more convenient but am in no rush and the priority is of course that DD continues to feed well.

In terms of sterilising between feeds I use a little tupperware with milton in it. It works pretty well even when out and about.

AF77 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:13:14

I used shields with my first for 6mths. She was born 8wks early & they were what got us home. She struggled to latch but as soon as I used a shield she fed for about 15mins. At 6mths, she knocked the shield off mid feed but latched straight back on. I never used them again with her.

Currently using shields with my second (he's 5wks old) as he struggled to latch too (not premature). I'd prefer not to use them but I'm not overly bothered if this is the only way bf works for us. We do have an appt with the tongue tie team so will see what they say. I'm not convinced he is TT but we'll see what the 'experts' say. He's putting on weight fine so happy to carry on as we are for now.

thundernlightning Fri 12-Aug-16 16:04:36

Another one with a baby with tongue-tie here! Nipple shields made it possible for me to BF at all. Weaned off them at about 5 weeks, but still v rarely use one for super- engorged breasts at night. (The little man has a teeny mouth and I'm v well endowed in the milk dept.)

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