Breastfeeding

Nipple Shields??? FTM

Okay so not to sound ignorant but I am a FTM.... My DD is 7 weeks old and I have been EP since day one because she absolutely would not latch, I worked for hours with an LC and failed. One thing the hospital suggested was nipple shields because I have flat nipples....  until then I had NEVER heard of nipple shields and when they said it I thought it was some sort of suction type thing to pull my nipples out. Okay so basically my question is what exactly are they and how do you use them and do you think I should try them so that I can actually BF and not have to pump all the time??? Any advice would be wonderful!!! TIA
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Re: Nipple Shields??? FTM

  • A nipple shield is a piece of silicone (I think) that is flexible and shaped sort of like a nipple, only generally longer. They have holes at the tip to let milk out. You put it over your nipple and it covers at least part of the areola to hold it on. When you latch LO, it is bigger in their mouth and it helps them realize something is in there and they should suck on it. When they start sucking, your nipple gets pulled further into the shield. When you have a letdown, milk leaks into the shield and then out the holes, into baby's mouth. The sucking generally will make your nipples erect and larger, but it doesn't pull the nipples out on its own.

    Here is a side and top view.
    image

    If you would like to transition to nursing from pumping, this is an excellent way to start. It takes some practice to get it on quickly, but follow the instructions in the box and you'll get used to it. It is much more like a bottle nipple, so your LO should latch much easier.

    Once you get the hang of nursing with the shield, you can start a nursing session with it on and then halfway through, take it off and see if you can latch without it. At that point, your nipple should be shaped more like the shield and baby will have a better shot at latching without it. Eventually, your LO might figure out how to latch without even starting with the shield.

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  • I would highly recommend giving it a try.  It can take some time (and patience) to wean them from it once they get better at BFing, but it is much better than not being able to BF at all IMO. 

    I used one for about 5 weeks.  DD was a NICU baby and couldn't nurse on her own without it at first.  Now she is an "overeater" according to her pedi.  She doesn't have any problems without it. 


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  • I used one for the first three months with my little one and it made a lot of difference. The baby can latch on very easily and if they come off in the middle of a feed it is not a big deal to get them back on. I have very small breasts but went ahead with a standard size b/c that was what was given to me at the hospital and I think it actually worked out better that way b/c I would suction in a good amount of my areola like a baby who was latching on well would do and so she could really suck on a good part of my breast and encourage a good feed! 
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  • image AmyRI:

    A nipple shield is a piece of silicone (I think) that is flexible and shaped sort of like a nipple, only generally longer. They have holes at the tip to let milk out. You put it over your nipple and it covers at least part of the areola to hold it on. When you latch LO, it is bigger in their mouth and it helps them realize something is in there and they should suck on it. When they start sucking, your nipple gets pulled further into the shield. When you have a letdown, milk leaks into the shield and then out the holes, into baby's mouth. The sucking generally will make your nipples erect and larger, but it doesn't pull the nipples out on its own.

    Here is a side and top view.
    image

    If you would like to transition to nursing from pumping, this is an excellent way to start. It takes some practice to get it on quickly, but follow the instructions in the box and you'll get used to it. It is much more like a bottle nipple, so your LO should latch much easier.

    Once you get the hang of nursing with the shield, you can start a nursing session with it on and then halfway through, take it off and see if you can latch without it. At that point, your nipple should be shaped more like the shield and baby will have a better shot at latching without it. Eventually, your LO might figure out how to latch without even starting with the shield.

    All this.  I'd definitely try it.  I used one for three months because I have "short nipples" apparently.  I'm still BFing (without a shield) and DD is almost 8 months old.

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  • This is the kind I used, you can find them at pretty much any Target or Walmart.  I liked the one edge being contoured.  You place that on your breast where your babies nose would be so the plastic won't get stuck to her nose. 

    My son was tongue tied and I used a nipple shield for almost 3 months.  He would kill my nipples and wouldn't latch right w/o it.  I thank God for them though or I wouldn't have made it so long.  I finally had his tongue clipped at 2 1/2 months old and he was able to nurse from month 3-9 w/o the shield.  The nipple shield can help pull your nipple out a bit.  If I were you I would def. give them a try...they are def easier than pumping.  I am a working mom and had to pump 3x a day at work and I hated it.  If I would have had to pump at home too, I probably would have given up.  Nursing is a lot easier.

    Good luck! 

    http://www.target.com/p/Medela-Contact-Nipple-Shield-Small-20mm/-/A-10762140?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Froogle_df&LNM=%7C10762140&CPNG=stationery&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=10762140

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  • I love my nipple shield!  I've used one since the very first feeding.

    The one they gave me in the hospital was a Medium and I accidentally bought a small when I went to Target when he was a few weeks old.  I wish I would have had the small right from the start because DS was so little. 

    I have one upstairs, one in the living room, and one in his diaper bag, lol. 

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  • It's definitely worth a try.  I was a pumper at first too and had no luck with the LC in the hospital and I ended up meeting with one recommended through my pediatrician and after seeing LO try to latch and my nipples- it was the first thing that she recommended and LO latched right on.  I've been using it for almost 3 weeks now.  I've been able to get her on a few times without it or pulled it off mid-session with success of her continuing, so the transition is not totally easy but worth it.  The EP was killing me.  Like PP said, I have one in our bedroom, one in the living room and one in the diaper bag.  They're relatively cheap and easy to use.  I've heard talk about them potentially reducing milk supply, but for me, it's worth it to be able to BF my daughter and have that experience... GL!

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  • DS is 12 weeks and I've been using mine from day 1!  The nurse at the hospital gave it to me.  They also make a contact nipple shield which has a cut out when your babys nose is.  I guess it allows for more contact btw you and baby.  Thats the one I use.  I have very small flat nipples and I've been wanting to transition off of it.  However I do not think my nipples are BFing friendly and I'm not sure I will ever be able to stop using it.  He can latch on now without it but he slides off a lot and then just gives up so he doesnt eat enough without it.

    I recommend it if flat/small nipples is the problem.  I would not be able to BF without it!  They are great.  Buy more than one if you like how it works bc keeping track if it can be hard.  I have 3! Also keep it clean so its ready for feedings. 


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  • I was not able to get my son to latch and was EPing for the first 6 weeks with him.  At that point I decided to try a nipple shield (I purchased the Medela contact nipple sheild) and he latched on to that immediately.  I was able to wean him from the sheild after only 2-3 weeks.  I really think him nursing on me with the sheild helped to bring out my nipples and he was able to latch at that point.  Honestly - even if I were unable to wean him from it I would not mind using the sheild until he was 12 months old becuase nursing is so much nicer than pumping.  (too bad I ended up going back to EPing from months 5-12).

    Here is the one I used and I purchased again just in case I encounter the same issues with my little girl due next week.

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/breastfeeding-devices/338/20mm-contact-nipple-shield

     

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  • They were invented for women with flat and inverted nipples.  It basically creates a "normal" nipple shape so babies can latch easier.  They have other great benefits too but, that's what they were made for.  Be careful though they can make your supply tank if you use them too much.  Don't try to EBF using a nipple shield it will be bad for supply.  IMO 2-3x/day max.  They sell them at Target and lots of other places.  Go pick one up they're cheap!

    GL  

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