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Nipple shields now causing trauma(8 Posts)
FTM here. Been feeding with nipple shields for a few weeks due to latch issues. Baby is 6 weeks and feeding very often and aggressively... this means he sucks so hard that my nipple is sore and painful. I can’t figure out if the shields is making it better worse? He sometimes pulls off so violently the shield goes in his mouth and I am crying in pain.
What should I do? Try and not use them? There are no support clinics to ask due to COVID
I think la Leche league are offering support virtually so worth calling them for advice? I know nipple shields not generally advised for pain- rather checking latch, for tongue tie, thrush etc.
Private lactation consultants also doing Zoom calls. I know it's all not as good as face to face support but it is something
Are they the right size for your nipples? Seems a daft question but might a bit of skin be caught\getting nipped? Medela do different sizes and have a measuring guide.
Do you have large nipples? Unfortunately I stopped breastfeeding early because I couldnt bare the never ending, horrific pain of such frequent feeding that nobody could resolve. I had lots of support from breastfeeding specialists and nobody could identify any issue with latch but my nipples were in an awful state. I used shields intermittently but they made little difference as there was no commercially available size I could find that fit me. I never knew I had large nipples but turns out I do.y daughter would just essentially pull my nipple up through the holes on the shield and those areas would then blister and scar instead of the usual areas when she fed direct from breast. It was a nightmare, you have my sympathy.
Definitely try shields of other sizes and see if that helps and try and get as much support as you can to check latch etc. But ultimately it does seem for some people like me there just isn't an answer unfortunately. I made it to 10 weeks by which time I had been mix feeding for a few weeks and it was basically a relief that my DD suddenly got bottle preference and refused to latch do made the decision for me.
I used nipple shields also for latch issues. I discovered there were multiple sizes by accident- hospital gave me one and when I ordered more online I realised they were different sizes. One size was definitely more comfortable than the other for me, so that’s worth looking at.
My baby used to occasionally move her head away and come away with the shield in her mouth and yes it hurt...however friends babies would do this with no nipple shield and it also hurt them so I think this may be a thing babies do. Once my daughter started biting I was glad of the shield!!!!!
No suggestions to stop using I’m afraid - I had loads of help from HVs, midwives etc and my baby just couldn’t latch without them. Like a precious poster I ended up mix feeding and then my baby decided she preferred the bottle and stopped latching even with a shield.
Definitely try a different size and a different make. Mandala worked for me but mam ones were always sore. Also make sure the nipple isn’t being pulled through unevenly. I didn’t really realise until her teeth came through that dd has a severe lip tie and that was her trouble. Apparently they don’t help with that, unlike a lip tie.
I used to hold the shield at the base too with my fingers in a V when dd went through a pulling away phase.
I also pumped and used bottles for a break (and a bit of formula ever now and again).
We managed 11 months, then I weaned her to bottles to return to work... just before covid struck!
My advise would be to stop using them. Breastfeeding can be painful until your nipples get used to it. I used lanolin and never let my nipples dry out constantly apply it. Also look on YouTube videos for getting a good latch. In my area children centres have an emergency number for breastfeeding mothers to call if they are struggling so may be worth looking into. Or go back to your midwife and ask for advise you cannot be left in pain. I have breastfed 3 children and I have experienced pain with every one but only while my nipples got used to feeding again which took around 10 days.
Another tip is to try and feed in a different position so that a different part of your nipple is on the roof of the mouth and that should allow the sore part to ger a break. Look up the rugby position again you can find it on YouTube. I hope this helps and just remember your not alone. Breastfeeding is a really hard thing to learn with each baby but your doing amazing so well done xx
Who has checked him for a tongue tie? Really sounds like he may have one.
Every time he latches, shield or no shield, it needs to be a good latch. Have you heard of the "flipple" technique. Have a look on YouTube.
When not feeding air your nipples constantly and let them heal. If you have to put a top on then put clingfilm over your nipples so they don't stick.
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