Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I seem to remember someone (or more than one person) mentioning that she uses nipples shields all the time.  If not, anyone have experience with them at all?

    I just gave birth last Wednesday.  Everyone in the hospital (several nurses and a lactation consultant) agreed that the baby was latching correctly, but no matter what we did/do she flattens my nipples while feeding which causes it to look like a flattened straw... which causes cracking and bleeding.

    A visiting nurse came on Monday and gave me a nipple shield.  I was trying to hold off, but today my nipple was so gross and bloody that I just had to try it.  I can't tell you what a relief it was to feed using the shield!!!

    So my question is, is it OK to use them ALL the time?  The instructions seem to suggest it's only for helping the baby learn to latch?  I'm going to see a lactation consultant on Thursday, but in the meantime I'd appreciate your input.

    I've tried things like only doing one breast per feeding so the other nipple gets 4+ hours of rest. I've tried switching positions (cross and football).  I also have a prescriptionn for APNO, which is a huge help.  But overall nothing helps and I can't think of any reason not to use the shield for every feeding if it makes feeding more pleasant for me and baby girl.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Congratulations on your new baby girl!!

    The LC will give you a real answer, but I do remember that a woman in a group I was in used them all the time (at least for the first couple of months; not sure if she kept on after that), so it's certainly not unheard of!

    Good luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Fram, I used one on one side with DD for the first 6-7 weeks or so with every feeding.  Check with the LC, but they can help you determine when to wean off of them.  They say that there's no difference these days between how your supply will be impacted by a shield or not.  

    Also, if you get any weird night fevers, get checked out right away.  I had a nasty infection from an open wound on a nipple this time around and needed ABX to cure it.  
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Same as medford, I know several woman from my bfing group that wore shields for a long time.  Eventually most of them weaned from the shield but the LC who lead the group never said that they had to. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from smithie02. Show smithie02's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I used one all the time with my daughter on both sides.  It was fine and the LC never said I had to stop using it.  The only downside was that it was sort of a pain to use the sheild and never made BFing "easy" or so I felt.  Of course, it isn't easy any way you slice it, but I digress.  My daughter was fine and got plenty of BM from both nursing and a pumped supply.  I did have to pump pretty much after every nursing session though because with the shield my LC said that I needed to make sure to drain everything so that I wouldn't get a clogged duct.  I got alot of them, so I think its an individual experience.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I used one on my left side the entire time I was nursing, b/c of an inverted nipple.  It had ups and downs for us...it made the transition to a bottle easier, since she was used to the texture of the nipple shield, but I also think it made her lazy...after a while she didn't want to latch w/o the shield on the right side either.  

    Have you tried the nipple shells?  It's for when you're not nursing...keeps the air circulating around the nipple to help heal it, also helps draw it out.  Make sure you're letting the nipple air dry, too...that might help.  And pumping does help to get the nipples in better shape for nursing, by pulling things out and keeping the suction going in a more consistant way than the baby does.  . 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I don't have any input on nipple shields, but I wanted to point out that rubbing a little milk on your nipple when you are done nursing/pumping really helps to keep them from getting as cracked. Once they are cracked, it can require something a little stronger, but once you heal, rub a little of the milk into your nipple when you are done.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from LLTyrrell. Show LLTyrrell's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I used nipple shields the whole time breast feeding. I tried to wean her off them but she put up such a big fight because it was probably harder for her. I used them for three months and had I been told hot to properly switch her off the nipple sheild I most likely would have tried that but since I had no information on how to wean her off the shield I used it the whole time.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    One other thing...my LC suggested that I ALWAYS try without the nipple shield first.  So we would do 3 attempts to latch on without the shield before using it.  I often found that she would latch on okay initially, but if she came off, she wouldn't be able to latch back on w/o the shield.  So more often than not, we'd end up using it at some point during a feeding. 

    It was a saviour and a curse!  Curse mostly because I always had to worry about where it was and make sure I had it when I left the house.  And remember to take it off!  I can't tell you the number of times in those early days that I'd get up from nursing and walk across the room and the shield would fall off and end up on the ground...:)

    I'd also suggest getting one that has the cut out so that the baby's nose gets contact with your skin, not the plastic.  More skin to skin the better!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Can't help with the shiled question.
    Just wanted to say congratulations and best wishes! :)
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    My son only ever latched once without the shield.  I used one the whole six months I nursed.  Believe me, I tried and tried and TRIED to wean him off of the shield.  I just couldn't.  My LC gave one to me in the hospital to help DS learn to latch.  Every couple days I tried to get him to latch without it and in 6 months, it only happened once and only on one side.  I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, but some LCs are pretty militant about you not using one after a few days.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Hey Fram - congrats on the new baby.

    Unfortunately, I have lots of experience with nipple shields and my very strong opinion is to avoid them at all costs.  I had a TERRIBLE time weaning off them.  I had weekly laction sessions for the first few weeks and then monthly and we never really weaned off them until at least 6 months.  And it was awful.  A well meaning but very inept nurse got me started on them while I was in the hospital and I am quite convinced that the use of the nipple shields is what prevented my full supply from coming in and left me severly under producing and having to supplement.

    If your supply is fine and you don't have any issues, then you will probably be fine.  But I had so much trouble getting started that I could never really catch up.  If you over produce, this may not be a problem and by all means, use the shields.

    My other chief complaint is that they prevent feeding from becoming "easy."  You can't just whip your breast out in public and get down to business gracefully.  I always envied all the other moms who could just modestly lift the corner of their shirt and get baby settled without anyone noticing.  To get the shield on properly, it was always a two hand job and you have to expose your breast.  Even when I got really good at it, it still was a two hand job.

    DISLIKES -
    1) to use properly, you need to turn it inside out, position the tip over your nipple and then flip it right side out again.  Suction will hold it in place and then you can also use some lanolin to help with the sticking.

    2) they get lost sooooo easy.  I must have purchased 10 of them and was always finding them EVERYWHERE all over the house and when I went back to work, one would often be stuck somewhere on my person only to have some horrified good sameritan at starbucks pluck it off me and then recoil in horror.  And the washing.  Oh they constant washing.  They get really sticky with the lanolin and then greasy from the breast milk.

    3) hard to feed in public as you need to take your entire breast out, get the shield on and then get baby on.  And then repeat when you change sides.

    To the OP, you mentioned that baby was squishing your nipple flat when she nursed.  I recomend studying the latch information on this website: http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/whenlatchingpdf.pdf

    With this latch, the entire niple and areola get in the baby's mouth and sucked to the back of baby's mouth and curved to the palate rather than squished up against the gums and tounge in the front of the mouth.

    The rest of the site is excellent and there are tons of ACTUAL VIDEOS of moms and latching and all sorts of breastfeeding instructions.

    I recomend feeding on the side that isn't bleeding and cracked and pumping on the side that is hurting.  Once the nipple heals, then go back again.  Use the apno and lanolin to ease the way if it becomes your problem nipple.  Also rub breast milk on your nipples after each feeding.  The stuff really works wonders on everything.  I used it to clear up stuffy baby noses too.

    I also had two inverted nipples and used breast shields inside my bra to help draw them out.  And pumping with a good pump, either the Medela pump n style or symphony, will draw them out to.  You can try stimulating them to get them to pop out before feeding with a wet wash cloth.

    Like Luvr, I would also trie my darndest at every feeding, to get latched without the shield.  The sucessful sessions would make me cry with happiness I hated them so much.  And the good ones have a notch where the baby's nose goes, Medela makes them.  I also tried cutting the tips of the shields off in an attempt to wean but that didn't work either.

    I wish you the best of luck. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Thank you for all the responses!

    I have tried most of the things mentioned - applying breast milk, nipple shells, etc.  After the first couple tries with the nipple shield night, she wasn't staying latched, so I "gave up" and started pumping and feeding bottles last night and all day today.  The GREAT news is that both nipples were looking so much better so I just BFed her again at 8 and it went pretty well.  I can tell she is still flattening the nipple, but I'm just so relieved that she was still willing and able to latch onto the  breast.  BFing is such a roller coaster!!!!!  I'm going to alternate pumping and feeding overnight tonight... I think.

    I pumped all day today and got 2 oz each time.  After she BFed tonight, I pumped the rest and got less than 0.5 oz, so at least I know she is feeding efficiently on the breast.

    Sarah - Thanks for the link.  It does look like maybe I need to aim the nipple a little differently.  Hopefully I can remember that in the middle of the night.

    So looking forward to seeing the LC tomorrow!!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Great job Fram.  The APNO really is a miracle cream too, it worked wonders for me.  As she gets a little bigger and better at nursing, her mouth will start sucking in a bigger portion of your nipple and areola so you will have less squishing.  Your nipples also toughen up fast so soon you won't notice a thing.

    Another thing that helped to get all of my nipple into my DS's mouth was to use one hand with the thumb on top and the four fingers on the bottom and then squish and kind of pull the skin a tiny bit forward and make the whole zone into a pancake.  Then it was nice and flat to get into his mouth and I would get more of the nipple and areola in there.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from jewelsagem. Show jewelsagem's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Fram - you are doing great!  BF'ing is so challenging at first, but just take heart that it does get so much easier!

    I used shields at first due to flat n!pples, but only needed them for about 2 weeks.  One thing I found helpful was to use the Medela hand held/manual pump to draw the n!pple out.  It was so much easier and quicker to do a minute or so with that than having to get all set up with the electric pump.

    The book "Breastfeeding Made Simple:  Seven Natural Laws for Breastfeeding Mothers" was wonderful for me in the beginning.  It has alot of great info about setting your supply and latching.  Of course, your LC will become one of your greatest allies in life after tomorrow!  I don't know what I would have done without mine. 

    Best of luck to you and your little one!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from momofatoddler. Show momofatoddler's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I used a nipple shield exclusively for 5 weeks due to latch issues.  The big downside, in my experience, is that the baby does not eat as efficiently with the shield, resulting in a poor supply. I had to supplement nursing with pumped milk for the first two months.  For me, the shield made the difference between being able to nurse and not nurse, but I'd rather have avoided it due to the supply consequences.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Thanks again for the tips. 
    * Momofatoddler - That's one of my worries - that she isn't feeding as efficiently with the shield on.  I've been pumping and doing bottles at night though, so hopefully it balances out.  It was so obvious that she wasn't getting enough at night so this way I can keep her satisfied and sleeping.

    * If I keep using the nipple shield, will I go through the whole process of breaking in my nipples again a week from now?? 
    I suppose if the shield helps her latch then the trauma won't be as bad next time.  I will give it my best!  The past 2-3 days I have gone without the shield off once or twice a day to see how it goes.  They don't hurt like hell because they've had time to heal, but I can tell she isn't drawing them in far enough.

    * Can I put the shield in those microwave sterilizing bags with the pump parts?  I need to look at the packaging but figured I'd ask while I'm on the subject.

    *** For any of you who are still pregnant, please take heart that BFing gets easier EVERY day.  I'm not thrilled that I had to resort to pumping, but I've gotten used to it and haven't cried in a couple of days :oP 
    But seriously, it is a roller coaster and there are all kinds off issues, but at the same time it truly gets easier - and I've only been doing it for 11 days! ***
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I didn't use nipple shields at all but my daughter had trouble latching on my right (maybe it was the way I was holding her or something?) and I had some serious cracked nipples.  Breast milk helped, lots of airing out helped, and lanolin-based ointment helped a lot. Breastfeeding is so hard at first and then suddenly, it's 4 weeks post partum and breastfeeding is what you thought it would be, convenient, portable, not painful, etc.

    Hang in there!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonslp. Show bostonslp's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    I haven't had the baby yet but this information is very helpful.  unfortunately I can't offer any advice....yet. 

    I am curious though, did any of you "treat" your nipple before giving birth?  My Mom had told me to put cocoa butter on them, so that's what I've been doing for months now.  Hoping it will make a difference once I start to bf and curious if it helped others.
    Thanks!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    No, don't do anything to your nipples.  All my LCs have told me this - you should let them "season" on their own.

    Think of it this way, if you get lots of pedicures and have nice soft feet - it is harder to walk around barefoot than if you just left them to toughen up on their own.  Kind of a lame metaphor, but true.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Some of you have mentioned the shield leads to inefficient feeding... How long should BF sessions last??  I just fed her for 25 mins on one breast and then 16 on the other... And she was screaming for more an hour later!!  I'm really trying to feed all day and pump only overnight, but it's hard!!  I can't sit with her attached ALL day!  Plus she obviously isn't satisfied from BFing.  But I'm not ready to give up yet.

    Stupid Harvard Pilgrim won't cover a pump unless there is an extreme issue like cleft lip!  Luckily I got one for $15 off and 15% off.  Still going to ask my ped's LC if she knows of any tricks to get it covered.  I sure as he!! do need it!

    DH went back to work today :o(  He took 1 1/2 weeks off unpaid.  Luckily my mom is here and sleeping over tonight.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Fram - you are doing great.

    Sounds like she may still be hungry.  Is she coming off on her own or are you switching her.  If you can watch and see when the swallowing starts to slow down, you may have a better indication of when the milk flow slows.  You can actually look at her throat and for the "gmm" gulp-like sound to try and track it.

    And you may not want to hear this but yep, you may have to stay attached to her round the clock for a few days.  Just forget everything else (laundry, chores, etc) and decide to have a feeding marathon for a day or two.  Just feed on demand with baby in one hand and the remote and phone in the other!  I did it a few times and it was actually a relief to just be me and baby and have an excellent "excuse" to ignore other stuff!  Hubby would pile up my favorite Trader Joe's strawberry bars on the night stand and then fill my giant sippy cup with water and ice before he left for work in the AM (no pat leave for him, bummer!) 

    The big problem with the shields as they can work against effective feeding.  She doesn't have enough of your breast and nipple in her mouth so your breast may not be getting enough stimulation.

    Have you had any luck without the shield yet?  Also, you should be able to rent a pump directly from your Lactation Consultant.  Mine came right to my house the day I got home from the hospital and had a pump.

    You can also buy a scale on amazon.com for around $50 and weigh baby before and after feedings so you know how much she's getting.  I know it is totally OCD but it made me feel so much better to have DS weighed before and after when the LC came over so I knew he wasn't getting starved.

    Keep us posted, you are doing so great.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Thanks Sarah, I really appreciate the encouragement.  I am so torn between wanting to give it my best and wanting my baby to be satisified.

    I actually came back to edit my post to say maybe this is just how it is for the first few weeks and I need to get through it.  At 8 days old she was only 1 oz short of birth weight... So I think she's doing well, but she wouldn't be if I weren't pumping as well.

    I should not be online but Nanny is feeding her a bottle and giving me a break!!  Earlier I was typing with one handm while she fed.  You develop all kinds of skills when you have to!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    Hey Fram, I just wanted to tell you that I looked up the relocated breast feeding vidoes and they are AWESOME.  Excellent examples of how to see when baby is sucking versus swallowing and good latches.

    http://www.drjacknewman.com/video-clips.asp
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from calico79. Show calico79's posts

    Re: Nipple Shields - Anyone use them all the time?

    You're doing a great job and it is definitely challenging!  I hope your LC visit went well yesterday.   I saw a LC after delivery and it was worth every penny.  My baby girl wouldn't latch and nipple shields were awesome.  Yes, they are a pain to always have with you and keep clean.  But, in the long run it's what allowed me to BF my baby.  I wouldn't change it for anything looking back at it now. 

    Also, I BF for a little over 3 months and used the shield for almost the entire time.  Near the end she would latch on alone but it was very rare.  It was a matter of not BF or BF with the shield so I picked the obvious choice :)  Also, a tip I was given from my LC was not only to try without the shield first, but also the other way around.  After you are feeding for a couple minutes, slip the shield off and see if they will latch.  That way they're in the groove and your nipple may be easier to latch onto at that point.  Keep trying and don't give up!  You are not alone in this battle, but as long as your baby is eating and you're with her, all is good :)  Easier said than done, but try not to be stressed when you're trying all of this because that can be a factor as well.  As I say that, I think back and know I was so worried in the beginning, so it's all good :)  It's been almost 6 months since I've stopped BF and I miss it so much! 

    Congratulations on your new baby and hang in there! Wink
     
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