Breastfeeding with nipple shields

(9 Posts)
newsflash Sat 22-Oct-16 09:57:51

I'm currently using nipple shields to feed my DS as it's the only way he can latch on. My nipples are quite flat and despite numerous attempts to get him to latch he can't do it without the shield.

My breastfeeding clinic said that as I sort of combi feed him (he has bottle at lunchtime and bottle at midnight) that I should stick with shields as he may start to refuse the breast as he will be used to plasticky teat

This is all fine and I'm happy to carry on with the shields but I just read online that shields can halt milk supply because nipples aren't stimulated enough? And that baby won't get enough milk through them?

My DS takes 15mins to feed (one breast only) and is then content until he needs feeding again 2-3 hours later. My shields are also full of milk when he is finished.

I'm now worried as I've read this about milk supply and baby not getting enough.

He had regained his birth weight within 2 weeks and is a big boy and has lots of wet and dirty nappies

legotits Sat 22-Oct-16 10:01:18

I used nipple Shields the Mexican hat ones.

Trouble latching and then a chewer.

Ime they soon get better (and you will) with the shield.

Good luck.

GwendolynMary Sat 22-Oct-16 10:02:20

I fed 2 kids for 14mo each using shields. For every single feed. I actually had oversupply with my first. If you are using the thin silicone ones (medela 24mm is recommended by lactation consultants here - not UK) then there's not really any risk of understimulation. Some older midwives were funny about shields and one finally explained that the old rubber ones were awful for supply problems.

Congratulations on your new baby! Sounds like he is doing just fine. Good luck with it all. smile

legotits Sat 22-Oct-16 10:02:45

That was 20+ years ago.

They may not look like sombrero now.

Sierra259 Sat 22-Oct-16 10:07:25

I mix fed DC1 for a year using nipple shields. DC2 is nearly 11 months and we're still going strong! I use the Medela 20mm ones.

mumonashoestring Sat 22-Oct-16 10:23:34

I breastfed DS exclusively til he was 18 months (his choice to stop!). For the first 6-8 months we used nipple shields for every feed and he was a right little milk monster. I had visit after visit from HVs pulling little sad faces at me and telling me nipple shields would prevent him getting enough milk, prevent him getting the right kind of milk (all foremilk, no hindmilk), prevent him developing the right kind of muscles to suck properly for breastfeeding. Since he was gaining weight and going through nappies like they were going out of fashion I more or less ignored them and kept going wink Suddenly, somewhere between 6 and 8 months, he started latching without the shield.

The shields were always full of milk on finishing a feed and I suspect that was because DS would get a bit 'lazy' towards the end and feed more for comfort than from hunger, so not swallowing as much.

The only problem I had was a little chafing - occasionally I found that having my nipples sucked into a plastic cone caused some cracking but wet healing was a perfect fix for this (express a little breastmilk onto your nipples, let them dry in the fresh air, then apply some lansinoh - cover with clingfilm and put your usual bra/top on and it gives the skin a chance to heal without cracking).

newsflash Sat 22-Oct-16 17:06:22

Thank you so much for your replies! This makes me feel a lot better about continuing to use the shields. He does not seem hungry nor does my milk seem to be waning so I will continue as I am! I am using the medium size Nuk shields - are these ok?

How did you manage feeding when out and about using shields? Was it bit of a faff? My DS is very active already and often bats them off with his hands and I imagine it can be quite fiddly when trying to do in public.

I'm quite nervous about doing it in public as I have to get my whole boob out at the moment to put the shield on and I'm worried that throwing a muslin cover into the mix may be too fiddly. I suppose I'll get used to it? Not confident to get my boob completely out uncovered even though I'm perfectly within my right to do so.

GwendolynMary Sat 22-Oct-16 21:19:46

Practise helps. I found it easiest to wear a nursing singlet under a shirt for feeding in public. Pull shirt up, unclip singlet to reveal nipple, then quickly express a bit of milk into the shield, wipe it around the inside and edge so it sticks to your boob, then attach baby. Their head covers anything not covered by the shirts. I could never get a muslin or feeding cover to work as I had wriggly babies. grin

chloechloe Sun 23-Oct-16 10:09:56

I expressed with formula top ups for 6 weeks as DD could not latch on at all. Then she started to latch on with shields and I was able to EBF. At 3 months she suddenly got the hang of it and I EBF without until 11 months.

I never had any supply problems and it sounds like you have a happy baby who is gaining weight, so I wouldn't worry!

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