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Breastfeeding with shields

(38 Posts)
Bluebellevergreen Sat 11-Mar-17 16:43:29

My baby won't latch without. I have had at least 10 people helping me latch him on without success (BFing counsellors and midwives)
He had a tongue tie fixed and I will try to latch him on without shields in the future but atm is way too stressful for both.
He was not at birth weight yet when weighed at 12 days.
So I am worried he is not getting enough. hv wasnt worried because we just started to exclusively BF.

Has anyone succesfully breastfed their babies with shields?
We get wet and dirty nappies and I will have him weighed again next week.

I have worked so hard to get to this point it would be a shame to give up

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
xMamfax Sat 11-Mar-17 17:20:02

Some women do have success with nipple shields. If you can hear swallowing, your baby is having plenty of wet and dirty nappies and he is gaining weight, then you're doing fine.

Unfortunately, they never worked for us. My daughter was unable to latch without one and wasn't able to transfer enough milk while using one and had poor weight gain, so I've exclusively expressed for her instead.

frazzled3ds Sat 11-Mar-17 17:31:21

One of mine would only feed with them for a while and was quite happy with them! If you're getting wet and dirty nappies then all sounds fine, and if baby is happy enough to latch with shields then carry on smile

Bananalanacake Sat 11-Mar-17 17:35:15

I also had the tongue tie and losing weight and not producing enough milk problems. Shields helped with my sore nipples, and I also found it very reassuring that when I took them off I could see tiny splashes of milk in them as this meant I was producing milk, didn't use them for long but they helped.

fruitpastille Sat 11-Mar-17 17:50:19

I fed 3 babies to 6 months plus with shields. They were all 90th centile too! By the third i ignored the doom and gloom HV/midwives telling me my supply would drop. I had the opposite problem.

SquedgieBeckenheim Sat 11-Mar-17 18:00:16

I fed DD1 to 15 months with nipple shields. Despite all my best efforts she would not latch without. I also had oversupply and forceful let down, so they helped DD1 cope with the spray.
If he's gaining weight, and producing wet and dirty nappies he's getting milk.

Mermaid36 Sat 11-Mar-17 18:04:02

My preemie twins used nipple shields for over 5 months. They are tiny, plus have high palate arches from being ventilated, meaning it's hard to suck the nipple into the right place.
One girl is now 11 months and still using them, the other came off around 2 months ago.
I don't care if we use them until we stop breastfeeding - they have helped me feed my girls the best thing for them for 11 months!

IsabelleSE19 Sat 11-Mar-17 18:06:42

My nipple shields stopped me from giving up bfing after a few weeks - was too painful without. I carried on with them the whole time I was feeding - about a year, with no supply or weight problems. I am so glad I used them!

PenelopeParallelogram Sat 11-Mar-17 18:08:19

We used shields for the first 4.5 months, at which point my little boy decided he didn't need them anymore. Still feeding at 23 months

TipTop333 Sat 11-Mar-17 18:09:05

I fed exclusively with shields for 6 months, then at 6 months he was miraculously able to feed without, carried on until 17 months.

Absolutely no issues with weight or supply, it really worked for us. There is lots of scaremongering surrounding shields but if it works better with them I don't see the issue.

Hedgeh0g Sat 11-Mar-17 18:11:49

I fed my severely tongue tied baby for 4 months with shields (we did have it snipped ...several times confused) He wouldn't/ couldn't latch without. One day at around 4 months I took the shield off thinking he was finished, and he just latched back on. We were shield free in a day. I didn't have supply issues but I was expressing a lot, and he stayed on his centile but did have bottles (expressed) overnight for the first 3 months. Feeds took forever....which I suspect was partly the shields, so do keep an eye on it, but I know plenty of people who also fed for months with shields with no problems.

Balonder Sat 11-Mar-17 18:12:04

I successfully fed 2 with shields. Tried several brands, I found MAM best. Had a consultation with a lactation consultant with DS who said if we didn't manage to wean him from them it wouldn't be a problem. She was right, I fed him with the shields until he was a year old

Snoodleberry Sat 11-Mar-17 21:10:30

Due to tongue tie, I used nipple shields from day 2 in hospital (given to me by the bf counsellor/midwife), with all the warnings that I MUST stop using them as soon as possible. Baby was 2nd centile weight and keen to feed if I was using the shields.

My DD is now 13 weeks, and I used the shields until she was 10 weeks old, very successfully. It slowed up my let down, and ensured that my nipples were no longer being shredded!

I started breastfeeding without them as I had been told that she would feed much more quickly. A full feed went from 1 hour down to 25 mins in length, and I no longer have to stress about whether I have a shield ready to use.

If it hadn't worked without the shields, I would have just carried on using them until I stopped breastfeeding.

Good luck! Nipple shields are made out to be the worst thing my experience they helped me to bf when I was so close to giving up.


Specialagentblond Sat 11-Mar-17 21:14:40

I used them for a few days, they were fab. A bit of a faff cleaning them and I lost one in a house full of visitors but apart from that they made a huge difference x

Bluebellevergreen Sun 12-Mar-17 00:58:54

xmam I have never heard him swallow but he pees and poos so he must!
The issue is the weight gain then, need to see if it picks up
fruit this is really reassuring.
squedgie glad to hear! I get the nappies but the weight is an issue at 2 weeks :-( worried, 100 grams below birth weight still

Thank you all! Your answers are very reassuring. There is all this oh you will reduce supply, will have to stop using them. But no actual support as when they have tried to latch him on he wont so they say oh keep trying hmm and I get desperate. I rather use them than give up on breastfeeding all together!

I just hope his weight picks up ☹️

OP’s posts: |
ExplodedCloud Sun 12-Mar-17 01:17:08

My dd was dropping weight until the very limit of the point they'd have considered hospital. And then turned a corner. I think my (not big) boobs take a while to catch up. At some point one nipple fell apart and I used a shield. It was fine. It was the difference between carrying on and stopping. I healed in a few weeks and then I bf for 18 months comfortably and successfully.

Hedgeh0g Sun 12-Mar-17 07:44:59

Make sure you get the tt revision checked if weight gain continues to be slow, it's not uncommon for it to need doing a second time, especially if baby was very young when it was done the first time. But, it's like any muscle, it will take them a while to learn to use it properly, so hang in there!

mumonashoestring Sun 12-Mar-17 07:55:50

I breastfed DS with shields for 6 months - every feed - til he suddenly got the hang of latching without them. The only issues it caused were occasional chafing on my nipples if the shield slipped a bit but as long as you have lansinoh handy and a chance to let them 'air' then you'll be okay grin

My HV spent weeks visiting and going on and on about how nipple shields couldn't be used long term, not enough hind milk, problems with supply etc. DS lost quite a bit of weight after birth BUT he was a c-section birth, 8lb 14 so wasn't exactly a tiny waif to start with & would be expected to lose weight, and was regularly getting through wet and dirty nappies, sleeping well and alert and happy when awake, I had no supply problems, so I have to admit after a while I just assumed she was concentrating more on what she'd learned from books than on what she could see in front of her.

Wineandchocolatebiscuits Sun 12-Mar-17 08:02:14

I fed my lo exclusively for 18 months on nipple shields - she could never latch without. Just keep a watch on the weight/milk supply. I was fine but if you do ever need to pump once or twice a day to up your supply.
Drinking loads of water help as does feeding at night.
With the shields make sure they are on nice and tight and you have stretched them over your nipple properly (amd its central over your nipple) and buy new ones every few days (it's cheaper than formula). Maybe try breast compressions too when you are feeeding to stimulate whole breast.
Congrats on feeding her - its stilll bf even if it's on nipple shields smile

Jenijena Sun 12-Mar-17 08:18:38

11.5 months and counting here with DS2 and still using shields. Whilst he could latch without them, all the 'experts' I saw couldn't explain why my nipples kept bleeding. I had massive nipple trauma with DS1 (who I did slip to au naturel) by 3 months) but this one has been on the shields ever since. It's not ideal, and a pita, but given the crap he puts in his mouth since about seven months I just shove some clean ones down my bra at the beginning of the day/night.

Bluebellevergreen Sun 12-Mar-17 10:14:03

Thank you all. We had a tricky delivery forceps and so on and it took a while to get himmon the breast.
I feel that some professionals havent been helpful telling me it will be a problem with the shields when my other option is not to BF at all!
Some others see no issue with me using them.

I didnt realise I had to buy new ones every few days...

I got the mendela one with a little cut for the nose.

It was a miracle when DH brought them to hospital and then I looked down and my baby was feeding from me 😪

So whatever to the lack of hindmilk, I am expressing and will do formula top ups if weight doesnt pick up but surely better this than nothing at all.

Yes they are frustrating at times and keeping them clean when out and about but whatever

thank you all for the positive stories

OP’s posts: |
Bluebellevergreen Sun 12-Mar-17 10:15:01

jenjina so you wear them under your bra all the time? I didnt think of that

OP’s posts: |
Tumtitum Sun 12-Mar-17 10:35:11

I used nipple shields with DD until around 8 weeks due to tongue tie. I also liked the medela ones. You don't need to buy new ones just sterilise frequently. I kept a load in a cold water steriliser thing and when I went out I popped a couple in their boxes in my bag, then when I finished using one I rinsed it under the tap then back into the sterile water.
I went to see a lactation consultant who weighed DD before and after a feed to calculate how much milk she was transferring. I found that hugely reassuring, could that be an option for you?

Darthvadersmuuuum Sun 12-Mar-17 10:41:16

I successfully bf DD with shields for a year. Initially I used them due to the bleeding and bruising pain from her latching on incorrectly and despite trying to get rid of them several times she couldn't/wouldn't latch on without.

Bluebellevergreen Sun 12-Mar-17 11:50:57

Tum I am going to see a consultant at a children centre on Tuesday
Hoping they can help I will ask about that

OP’s posts: |

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