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Suggestions for nipple shields?

(17 Posts)
Iloveautumn Mon 20-Oct-08 13:20:17

I am preparing for bfeeding ds#2 (due in 3 mths!!) and want to get nipple shields in advance as I think they may have helped with ds1 as I had terrible cracked nipples.

My question is can anyone suggest makes that accommodate small nipples?

When I did finally buy an Avent shield last time the nipple area was soooo massive I never used it as I couldn't see how it would work.


LadyBee Mon 20-Oct-08 17:21:35

I used an Avent shield for a little while to help my nipples heal, I know they look like amazonian nipples and I was convinced DS wouldn't even be able to get the thing in his little mouth, but actually what happens is that your little nipple and more of the aureola gets sucked into the space of the nipple shield and then there's a bit of a gap at the end where the milk comes out. I think it might have actually helped my nipples 'come out' a bit more.
That said, I think medela do them in different sizes..

springerspaniel Mon 20-Oct-08 17:53:14

Not 100% but search for them on Amazon. When I bought mine from there, I vaguely remember different sizes.

Lin06 Mon 20-Oct-08 20:21:41

I liked the Medela ones. They had space cut out for the babies nose. This meant my son was still able to smell me. After 13 weeks of breastfeeding problems, and use of nipple shields he now feeds from me happily. If it wasn't for them (and fantastic support from Baby Cafe and the NCT) I wouldn't be breast feeding my son now.

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 20-Oct-08 20:28:15

Shields should only be used under the supervision of a bfc or 'expert'. Used incorrectly they can undermine bfing sad

LadyBee Mon 20-Oct-08 21:13:26

Moonlight, I read that advice while I was suffering from cracks in three directions that simply would not heal while I continued to feed on it. No expert was brave enough to suggest a nipple shield to me, the breastfeeding support visitors that came out to see me seemed to be unable to 'recommend' something that wasn't officially recommended, even when they were saying my latch looked fine and couldn't suggest anything else hmm
For me, using a shield was the only thing that meant I was able to keep going - it gave me time get the cracks healed, seemed to help DS latch onto my short (but not flat) nipples, helped the nipples extend out a bit, and also allowed me to see that milk was present, as it pooled in the shield - so gave me a confidence boost.

Would it be possible to outline what incorrect use is?

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 20-Oct-08 21:21:09

LadyBee They can lead to nipple confusion.

They can also reduce the stimulation to your nipple or interfere with milk transfer, which can interfere with the supply-demand cycle.

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for them, but imo and ime for someone who needs them bfing is already fragile, and given that they have the potential to make the strongest bfer go off track, I'd suggest caution and 'expert' support!

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 20-Oct-08 21:22:09

Iloveautumn Tue 21-Oct-08 09:19:50

Damn my laptop - just typed a reply and lost it!!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I'll try googling medela and also look out my avent ones.

I take your point Moonlight but I agree with Ladybee - no-one suggested shields to me but with hindsight they may have helped me continue direct bfeeding longer than the 3/4 wks I managed with ds1. Bfeeding with cracked nipples, a poor latch and a growth spurt is pretty much hell on earth sad and no-one was able to improve ds' latch. Maybe a nipple shield would have helped. I would definitely at least try it next time. Better nipple confusion and problems weaning off a shield than no bfeeding at all.

IorekByrnison Tue 21-Oct-08 09:34:29

Much as I hated nipple shields it was the only way I was able to continue to feed dd (got rid of them finally at somewhere around 12 weeks). I found the medela ones best, and they come in 2 sizes.

Swaliswan Tue 21-Oct-08 09:48:07

I fed DD for 15 months using Avent nipple shields. I started off using the medela ones as I had one slapped on me in the neonatal unit when attempting to feed DD who didn't have a strong enough suck to feed without a shield. The medela ones are good for a short while for premmies, but they did start to affect my supply and I had to pump after every feed. I switched to the Avent ones as recommended by the BFC and they are so different. I managed to latch DD on for a short while without a shield a few times and feeding with an Avent shield felt exactly like this - as if there was no shield there. My supply picked up a treat (actually had oversupply problems then settled down beautifully).

Maybe I should have weaned DD off of the shields, but I'm not sure how helpful the pressure was to wean her off. She was a very lazy feeder who had suck and swallow problems for months. The pressure to stop using the shields just made me stressed and feeling like a bad mother. I stopped listening to all of the advice after a while as it was clear that I was not having any problems using shields. Towards the end of feeding DD, she used to present me with a shield if she wanted a feed which was soooooooo cute. It also helped me to prolong Bfing through her biting phases.

Incidentally, I only gave up BF because the pain of BF whilst pg was pretty severe! I plan to buy some Avent shields in ready for use with DC2 incase I need them and won't be listening to any 'helpful' comments this time. That said, I know that my story won't reflect everybody's experience with nipple shields.

missblythe Tue 21-Oct-08 09:53:16

Second the suggestion for the Medela ones.

They come in two sizes too-the small are good for small nipples, and good for a new baby's mouth too.

They saved my breast-feeding, to be honest. I only used them for a few days while my nipples healed, but I honestly think I would have given up otherwise as it was so painful for a while.

MoonlightMcKenzie Tue 21-Oct-08 10:32:04

Iloveautumn If you're going to use them, please click my link above as it gives suggestions how to avoid problems!

Iloveautumn Tue 21-Oct-08 10:47:00

Ok, great, thanks all - some really useful advice and good to hear that they did help people get through the cracked nipple agony.

(Of course I'm hoping things will be different this time but I will feel better knowing I have some options if things do get bad again.)

Moonlight, I will certainly look at Kellymom, thanks!

Alexa808 Tue 21-Oct-08 11:11:00

Medela ones, really fab! Comes in boxes with 2 so you can alternate.

LadyBee Tue 21-Oct-08 22:03:59

Moonlight McKenzie, thanks for the link and info, I remember sitting there staring at the shields that it took me two weeks to even get out of the drawer after buying, wondering what they could do to me that was worse that what was happening just by breastfeeding shock.

ILoveautumn - good luck!!! totally hope you don't have the same problems this time around, with the experience and extra support you've got here, fingers crossed you can feel a bit more confident about working out any problems if they do arise smile - I'm so pleased I did use them to get through my problems, BFing is now a real joy, but I'll never forget the pain and despair of those early weeks.

jocesar Wed 22-Oct-08 17:02:52

Nipple shields worked for me despite all this talk about nipple confusion. The first 6wks of bf was so excrutiatingly painful that I would have given up if I hadn't had the shields. Now at 16 weeks I'm really enjoying bf and have never had a supply problem.

I have v small nipples but was advised to get big shields so that as much areola as poss is sucked up into the teat. Was very scarey seeing my 'nipples' filling that massive teat after a feed!

Oh and now my nipples are not as small as they used to be grin

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