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Thread: Nipple Shields

  1. #1

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    Question Nipple Shields

    I'm about to have my second baby (due in 7 weeks). I wasn't able to BF DD - she was really jaundiced and just way too sleepy to attach, but I expressed for 8 weeks. I also have inverted nipples which didn't help my cause! I would really like to BF this bub, and have already joined the ABA with hope that I'll have a better support network to access this time.



    Anyway I want to get some nipple shields just in case I need them in hospital (I want to be prepared!). Can anyone recommend a particular brand. I have contacted the ABA and they have just said to look for one that is silicone and as thin as poss, and to maybe have a few different ones to try. Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Hi there,

    I was only able to BF DS with nipple shields for the first four weeks or so, due to him having a tongue-tie and me having "flat" nipples. I don't still have the box they came in, but the hospital sold them to me at the time, I think they were medela. They were good ones, but using nipple shields is a bit of a pain (ie needed to be washed after every feed and would sometimes come off and leak milk), but at least I was able to feed. For two days before we tried them I was having to express and feed DS with a bottle which is even more of a pain!

    Joining the ABA sounds like a great idea - they have been a huge support for me. With good support you should be able to get past any hurdles.

    I wish you heaps of luck!

    Melanie.

  3. #3

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    I have the Pidgeon brand nipple shields but never managed to succesfully breastfeed with these (I bought them due to extremely sore boobies thanks to bubby's 4-hour long cluster feeds). Perhaps I just don't have long nipples, but I found that my nipples were too short for the shields.

    Joining the ABA is a great idea and a way to empower yourself to have the best shot at breastfeeding that you can have. Hope your journey is successful!

  4. #4

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    The lactation consultant here bought me the Avent shields. They are great! They are a contact shield which means that your baby's chin and nose still have contact with your skin cause the shape is sort of oval. You can get them from the pharmacies and maybe supermartkets that sell Avent.
    She said these were the best for newborns, and I didn't have too many troubles with it. I only had to use it on one side though as that was where the ulcer was. They are a pain to keep washed and carry them around with you, but if it means your baby gets to be breastfed, its a small sacrfice I reckon!
    Good luck this time around, ABA will be a great help I'm sure

  5. #5

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    Thanks heaps for the info guys. I might get one Medela and one Avent and see how we go. And washing them can't be as painful as doing all those bottles!

  6. #6
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    Hi Wheatie - I used the Avent shields (they come in at least 2 sizes, btw, so try to buy the one most like your nipple (very amusing pharmacy experience!)). I only used it on one side, and when DD was about 4 months old. Suddenly my let down on one side got really "fierce", and would freak her out. I read in Sue Cox's "Breastfeeding with Confidence" that shields can slow down flow, so used them for a few weeks to great effect.

    Early on, I used Lansinoh cream religiously (you can BF with it on), and nipples stayed supple and pain free.

    Best of luck - sounds like you are going to be well prepared and supported - ABA are great!

    G

  7. #7

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    I used the Aventi or something like that (the ones that make the fancy bottles) they were great, had to use them until DS was 9mth old and then weaned him off. We went on to BF until he was 2yrs old. I had lots of people tell me not to use them and to get rid of them as soon as possible but the best advice was from the ABA - just do what you have to do to BF. Another good tip was to let bub have a go at BF without the shield at the end of the feed as it helps to encourage your immunity that you then pass on to bub

  8. #8

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    Fletch - thats why they "say" the Avent ones are better - becasue they allow more contact with mums skin so the baby thinks there is no shield there. Helps with hormones and milk production and all that.
    I think its great some mums have got on and said that they used shields fora long time. They aren't the best things for baby, but for goodness sakes - if it meansthe difference between breastfeeding and bottle feeding for some mums - so be it!
    Wheatie - the only reason its a pain is cause if you go out and you expect to feed while you are out more than once, they need to be cleaned between feeds. I used to wash it withsoapy water maybe once/twice a day, andevery other time it was just cleaned using really hot, hot water. Then when I did a batch of sterlizing I would chuck it in there, just to be on the safe side. I used to have to feed Jenna in the car alot at netball and football, soI wasn't too keen on the grubby fingers thing.
    But they are great, and they should help if used correctly

  9. #9

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    Thanks again girls for all the info. Fi - if I end up using them I might just get another set and then I should be ok out for a while. Just really hope I can BF! I only tried them once with Lucie (at about 3am in the hospital) and it didn't really work, but she was such a lousy sucker (I am talking one suck and then she was out to it, couldn't wake her doing anything!). I got some of the Avent ones but can't track down the Medela ones in small. Our pharmacy might be able to order them but it won't be for a month or so! I might need to see if my mum or sis can find them and post them to me.
    Thanks again guys!

  10. #10

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    When I spoke to Margaret Callaghan (sp? good Melb LC) she said that in her opinion, and contrary to what some others will say, that nipple shields reduce the milk going through by 30% - she doesn't see them as helpful to milk production or for baby.

    Have you thought about seeing an LC so hopefully attachment will be okay from the start and you wont have any attachment issues / nipple problems?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  11. #11

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    I will definitly back you up on that one Kelly. They are difficult to feed the baby through, and the sensation is lessened on the nipple, which will go against making more milk for mum. Its basically like a nipple condom - and we all know those suck!!

    It was certainly a last resort for me, and they were only used on one side, so Jenna was still getting normal nipple action, but if I hadn't come across them, it was going to be seriously, seriously bad news for me. I was borderline mastitis (bright red sore booby and cold/hot sweats during the night), so it was a godsend. And it was about 6 weeks for me before I could part with it. By that time the ulcer had almost gone and I didn't have any more pain, althought I have a lovely scar!
    I think though the point thats being made is if you have to feed with a shield, its still better than going for the bottle.

    Fletch - mine used to fall off too sometimes, I'm trying to think what I did to keep it on. I think I sort of held it with one hand while attaching her with the other, then adjusting and stuff and then I think I was able to relax. Once the letdown came through it stayed on.

    They are only about $15 a set Ithink, so if they are the way you go Soph 2 sets are probably affordable, andfar more convenient.

  12. #12

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    Kelly - Yeap I certainly hope I won't need them, and have done some research which says basically to try each feed without the shields after using them initially to kick it off. I have dodgy nipples, so just want to be prepared if I need them, and hoping it will be an interim measure anyway. It's just my back up plan, I really want to BF this bub! I had soooo much milk with Lucie that I don't think supply will be an issue to begin with (I am already leaking a tonne!). I'll see what happens anyway, and keep you all posted, hopefully with a BF success story!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BellyBelly
    When I spoke to Margaret Callaghan (sp? good Melb LC) she said that in her opinion, and contrary to what some others will say, that nipple shields reduce the milk going through by 30% - she doesn't see them as helpful to milk production or for baby.

    Have you thought about seeing an LC so hopefully attachment will be okay from the start and you wont have any attachment issues / nipple problems?
    I second that! I am also surprised that the person you spoke with from ABA told you what sort to get. I mean don't get me wrong nipple shields do have there place but you really need to try all other options first. ABA has a policy about recomending Nipple shields & it is that they be used as a last resort.

    I think you should get incontact with an LC or if you like I can find out of an ABA counsellor who is experienced with inverted nipples to help. There are lots of things you can do to help your baby attach.
    For example sometimes expressing a little before trying to attach can help draw the nipple out to make it easier for baby to attach.

    This may be TMI so don't feel the need to answer it on here but think about it. A truely inverted nipple doesn't become erect when cold/stimulated. Do your nipples ever poke out? If they do then you should be able to master bfing without a nipple shield. It just takes the right support to get you there.

  14. #14

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    Fiona - Thanks for the info. The ABA woman did not recommend a brand, I took the recommendations from the post here. And yeap I think they are more flat that truley inverted and I hope I don't need the shields. I just want them there if things go pear shaped and would rather be able to BF with them than resort to formula, and there is no way I will have time to express again this time with a 1 year old and a newborn.

  15. #15
    Fee Guest

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    The midwives at the hospital gave me a nipple shield on Day 1 due to a blister on my left nipple. The brand is Avent.

    When my milk came in they said I would have to use the shield on both nipples as my nipples are very flat and with my breasts so engorged Cooper just could not latch on. He is nearly 2 weeks old now and I'm still using the shield. I really want to get rid of it because I know it will decrease my milk supply (although initially I was not too worried as I have had TONS of milk). Sometimes when I am halfway through a feed I will take the shield off - my nipple is then drawn out a bit from the sucking and Cooper can sometimes attach. I feel so happy then. But I tried this morning to attach him from the beginning and had no luck. He just screamed and screamed and could not latch on to anything.

    I'm stressing about it! But the midwives said as long as it helps me to BF then that's all the matters. They know women who have used shields for 3 months with no problems.

    PS. Should the shield go vertically on the breast? Then that way Cooper can have his chin/nose contacting my skin? I think I've been putting it on the wrong way!!! Although the midwives never said anything to me...

  16. #16

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    2 weeks is still early. In another week or 2 you might have some luck.

    I am very sure that it is true that nipple shields reduce milk supply so should only be used if necessary, but that is not to say that it can't work for some people. I used nipple shields for 4 weeks until Jack could attach properly without them and he put on 400g in week one and 300g in each of the other weeks, and he was only feeding for up to 10 mins at a time (mostly 5 mins). He was clearly getting plenty of milk anyway and I had tonnes of milk. This would not be true for everyone, I was lucky that good milk supply is in my genes.

    Another thing I would add though, is that while many women use nipples shields when they are sore, I found the ns actually made the pain worse, and I was better off without them. This was especially true after Jack was feeding without them and I tried them on the odd occassion to try and protect my nipples from more pain.

    I think it is worth keeping all options in mind but the best advice is to have a lc available.

  17. #17
    Fee Guest

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    I'm looking forward to Cooper being weighed next week. I'm sure he'll do great! He already went past his birth weight while we were still in hospital! And then all my milk came in and he was guzzling it down in 10-15 minute feeds. So fingers crossed all is well.

    It's just a bit of a pain using shields - just one extra thing to have to get ready! But I really want to BF and it's helping at the moment.

  18. #18

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    Fee, Try hand expressing alittle before attaching Cooper. When your breast is full your nipple would be flat so by expressing alittle first it helps o draw the nipple out & soften the breast to give him something to hold on to.
    Some people find that by cutting the tip of the nipple shield off it helps with weaning them off it. Just start of witha tiny snip & slowly cut it bigger till its gone. Do it over a few days though, not just a few feeds.
    And yes I think it should be placed so Coopers Chin is touching your skin.

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