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nipple shields

(22 Posts)
lulabelle Wed 10-Aug-05 16:43:04

excuse me if this is a bit of a silly question...are nipple shields used to 'shield your nipples' whilst breastfeeding? i.e. you put them on and baby sucks through them like a teet? Reason I ask is my friend saw some in Mothercare and told me this is what they are, I'm worried about bf #2 as it was so painful last time, if she is right, I will give them a go.

hunkermunker Wed 10-Aug-05 16:45:22

Yes, that's what they're for, but be warned - they can interfere with supply as the baby won't necessarily feed as effectively through them (and they can get nipple confusion, meaning that skin-to-skin breastfeeding is harder).

I'm sorry you're worried about bfeeding number two - I would suggest you give it a go, then talk to a breastfeeding counsellor if it does hurt - some babies "get it" far quicker than others. Have a look at the Breastfeeding resources thread on here for links to kellymom and some other breastfeeding information sites, some with videos showing good latching techniques and positioning.

HTH xxx

NotQuiteCockney Wed 10-Aug-05 16:47:30

I used them to fix latch problems, with DS1. But it was very hard to get him off them, and probably a mistake to use them at all.

They're not really advised, they reduce supply.

How long did you breastfeed for last time?

Often discomfort can be fixed by fixing latch problems.

starlover Wed 10-Aug-05 16:49:24

i never got on with them at all. they were SO big! ds ended up with a mouth full of nuipple shield and no actual nipple!

lulabelle Wed 10-Aug-05 16:51:19

This is what I thought, the way they were described to me, I doubted my friend had the right use for them!! I had very painful breasts through pg with DS1 and then mastitis, the thought of anything at all touching them made me feel like passing out!

dillydally Wed 10-Aug-05 16:52:19

I bought them and DD never got used to them, so they festered in a cupboard.

My problem was incredibly sore nips rather than any latching problems (I believe) - i think she latched on a little too well in terms of suckosity, her position was fine (and the pain went after a few weeks)

lulabelle Wed 10-Aug-05 16:52:34

Do you think expressing milk is just as good - I mean if I really couldn't cope with the pain?

Sorry - I'm such a wimp!!

hunkermunker Wed 10-Aug-05 16:55:06

Lulabelle, if you get your latch sorted out, it really shouldn't hurt. Expressing's good, but it's very hard to do from birth (although it is possible) - big commitment to keep it going as you need to pump in the night to begin with at least to increase and maintain your supply.

Whereabouts in the country are you? Can you go to a breastfeeding workshop before the baby's born? When are you due? Definitely get expert advice (which sadly is often lacking from midwives and health visitors). Yes, it can hurt to begin with, but it won't hurt long-term with the right support, I promise.

mears Wed 10-Aug-05 16:56:33

lulabelle - you need to get breastfeeding off to a good start which will avoid the pain. If baby is latched properly then pain should not be part of breastfeeding. Some babies do take a bit of time to catch on so make sure you have help at feeds from midwife. Varying the positions you hold baby to feed also helps. Talking to a breastfeeding counsellor beforehand would be good. Lansinoh cream is excellent if nipples do get tender despite best efforts. A tube is expensive but lasts a long time. How long did you feed for last time?

bundle Wed 10-Aug-05 16:56:41

people do get a bit hung up about them, but they literally saved my life (or at least my nipples, which felt like my life) esp with dd1

keyworthkid Wed 10-Aug-05 16:57:06

If you are really determined to feed, despite the fact that the shields do interfere with milk supply it can be a way of keeping feeding when your nipples are very cracked but you need to be very very determined to persevere and then to wean the baby off them once your nipples heal a little. good luck if you use them.

bundle Wed 10-Aug-05 16:57:08

mears, I heard you can get lasinoh on prescription

hunkermunker Wed 10-Aug-05 16:58:16

Bundle, definitely not saying they're not good things, used in the right way they can be life-savers (well, as you say, nipple-savers, which can feel like the same thing at the time - lol!).

lulabelle Wed 10-Aug-05 16:58:24

I think the MW was much of the problem, I had very sore cracked nipples, she wasn't very patient with me and in the end I gave up and went on to the bottles, DS was fine and is a very healthy 3.5 year old.

I'm in the midlands, due on christmas day, never heard of bf workshops?

mears Wed 10-Aug-05 17:05:54

Yes you can Bundle if the GP will do it

Breastfeeding workshops are where mums meet and learn more about breastfeeding before they have their babies. Most hospitalr run them now with midwives and/or health visitors Lulabelle. They are offered as part of parenthood classes in my area.

icklelulu Thu 11-Aug-05 20:10:31

I used nipple shields with my DS and they seemed to make things worse!!

expatinscotland Thu 11-Aug-05 20:16:46

Lula
You are not alone. I, too, experienced MAJOR pain when I tried to bf DD and gave up and went on bottles. I mean, it HURT, so you have my empathy.

I'm willing to try again this time. Wish I could go to an NCT class but we're really skint, so I'll have to just use the net for advice. Can't afford a counsellor or classes.

expatinscotland Thu 11-Aug-05 20:17:20

I also have to go back to work full-time after 4 months, so I'm thinking I might go the express route as well.

mears Thu 11-Aug-05 22:50:15

Expat - breastfeeding workshops are provided free on NHS - check your area out. Breastfeeding counsellors advice is also free.

BTW - ankle is still blinkin' sore going down stairs

expatinscotland Thu 11-Aug-05 23:11:48

I really, really want to give this a go this time. But it was SO painful last time, it's taken a long time to feel confident again and is still an ongoing process.

My nipples were unbelievably sore and they just told me I had 'sensitive nipples' and did I want to give DD a bottle? I felt awful giving up but it was honestly too painful to continue.

Scotland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe. And one of the poorest health records overall.

Arrggh, mears! Been doing the exercises? Ice and/or heat?

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but soft tissue injuries just all around suck. I recovered much faster from fractures.

KEEP WITH IT! I promise it will keep getting better - well, except on those clangin' days when it's utterly Baltic and wet as well. Arrgggh. I can feel the pin in my femur on those days, and it's 9 years on now . The knee works great, tho, and that's what matters!

moondog Thu 11-Aug-05 23:13:40

Think positive expat!!!

expatinscotland Thu 11-Aug-05 23:15:30

I'm already reading up and broke out my NCT for under 5s book to get some contacts for LaLeche League and other breastfeeding resources!

This pregnancy is flying by, so need to get on the case asap. Only 4 more months now.

Here's hoping!!

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