Nippleshields pros and cons — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Nippleshields pros and cons

Hallo! My son is 13days old, and I have been using a nippleshield since birth because I have flat nipples. The LC in hospital suggested is. It is working well, and I am happy to continue using it, but I have heard some negative stories regarding decreased milk production etc. with the shield. He is still unable to latch without the shield. How well does the shields work, and how common is the problems with them? Thanks!

Re: Nippleshields pros and cons

  • ldmwldmw
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 250 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I used a shield for first two weeks based on advice from LC. However, I also had to pump after each feeding bc a shield doesn't stimulate your nipples as much as a baby would who was fed without a shield.
    aldanienaber2010longlocks
  • We only just stopped using the shield at 13 weeks. I just couldn't deal with the initial pain from latching and he would get frustrated so the shield just made the whole experience more enjoyable for us both. Now that he's a little bigger he latches on better and the pain is almost nothing. I didn't notice any change in my supply and he's been gaining weight great since he was born. I noticed more of a change when I'd be gone from him and have to pump most of the day. I think it really just depends on each mother and baby. If it's making breastfeeding more successful then by all means continue doing what's working for you and your baby.
    aldanienaber
  • Loading the player...
  • My baby is 8 weeks old and I've been using one basically the whole time because of flat nipples. My mom is a LC and she's been encouraging me to get away from it if we can. It can affect supply and might not satisfy a baby's suck reflex as much, but there's also people who use them the whole time and have no problems.
    aldanienaber
  • My baby will be 9 weeks tomorrow. She was tiny so the LC at the hospital recommended it. She eats so well with it! Gained 2lbs her first month so I know she's getting enough. I'm honestly not worried about my supply bc when pumping I get 3-4 oz from each breast. I do want to stop using the shield though out of fear we'll be out and I won't have it and she'll get hungry. Lately I've been trying to feed w/o the shield. Or start with it and take it off after a minute. Now she'll eat a few times a day completely w/o it. I wouldn't stress. As long as baby is getting enough take your time. Do what works for you.
    aldanienaber
  • What is the experience like for weaning off the nipple shield? Is it like starting over from day one with the skin nipple pain?
  • My baby is 8 weeks old and I've been using one basically the whole time because of flat nipples. My mom is a LC and she's been encouraging me to get away from it if we can. It can affect supply and might not satisfy a baby's suck reflex as much, but there's also people who use them the whole time and have no problems.

    Your mom is a lactation consultant? That's amazing! I wish I had a certified LC at my disposal at all times:)
  • I used a nipple shield for 6 months because of flat nipples. About 2 months in I started trying to take it off during the feeding, or pumping and then trying. Neither worked for us, but I kept trying. At about 6 months I picked her up and rested her on my lap while my husband got up to take her so I could sleep for an extra hour that morning, and she just latched on without any effort like it was no big deal. I was over the moon at the thought of not having to deal with the nipple shield any more, and my husband was happy to go back to bed while I nursed. I never had any issues with milk supply while using it, but I always had a pretty significant oversupply. I don't know what it would be like for a woman struggling to produce in the first place. My biggest complaint was it was sometimes a challenge when nursing in public because it would need to be readjusted sometimes. I also had to watch my little one closely because about 4 months in she started playing with it and taking it off. Sometimes while nursing she would stick her thumb in to it and sick her thumb while she nursed. It made me nervous, and I became vigilant about staying alert and awake while I nursed.

  • zandybzandyb
    Eighth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Photogenic
    member
    My daughter and I used nipple shields for 10 weeks. She had trouble latching without one. I didn't have any decrease in supply, and I think they actually helped a bit because I have an overactive let down and oversupply. We've just started nursing without them completely this week, and now it's been four days without using one! One issue I had is that she started to pull my nipples through the holes in the shield, which hurt like crazy, but I didn't have flat/inverted nipples to begin with so your experience may differ. 

    When it comes to weaning them off, do what works for you. The most common recommendation is to wait until you're mostly through a feed, then take it off and try to get baby to latch for the rest of the feed then take the shield off earlier and earlier. I had to do the opposite and start a feed without a shield and then pop it on once she started to get too frustrated. Then eventually we didn't need it anymore. If I tried the other way she'd just get REALLY mad at me. 

    While I'm glad we've been able to start nursing without the shield (it's sooo much nicer nursing in public AND you don't have to go wash it after every feed), I'm super grateful that shields exist, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to nurse my baby at all. I've read that a lot of breastfeeding issues resolve themselves when baby's two-three months old, so don't give up! It's definitely worth it.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • @zandyb I'm glad you posted about being thankful shields exist. My daughter is 10 weeks and we use a shield. For awhile we had a few successful feeds without a shield but none as of late. When I get frustrated I'll just have to remind myself that it's allowing me to feed my baby. Thankfully no supply issues so it's really only the convenience factor.
    zandyb
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards