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Thread: Nipple Shield - Help!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Exclamation Nipple Shield - Help!

    Just a quick run down of my situation.
    My DD2 is 6 weeks old today, I have been expressing since she was 2 weeks and giving her the bottle as I had major issues with cracked nipples and constant pain when feeding. After seeing a LC, she told me the attachment was great and DD was doing fine, however it was still painful.
    Anyway, I had decided to stop expressing, 1 feed every 2 weeks - taking me in to the middle of September, then putting DD on formula. But I have since thought I would try the nipple shield - but just need a few questions answered:

    1. Do I need to make sure she is attached the SAME way as putting her straight onto my nipple or do I just make sure she has a wide mouth and gets a mouthful of the shield?

    2. Does it take longer to feed using a shield?

    Any other things I should know about using a shield would be GREATLY appreciated and helpful, I would really love to try to and feed her.



    However, I feel a little guilty because I expressed solidly with DD1 for 3 1/2 months then she was on formula, I just feel like a should have given it more of a go with her but I had a 3rd degree tear and was dealing with that (3 months recovery) so the breastfeeding was really getting me down.

    Anyway, please help!
    Cheers,

  2. #2

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    I was never able to bf without a shield, so i cant give you much answers, but DS latched perfectly and all i was told was the special K mouth. There are different shields available, try to get really thin plastic (dont know the exact making of it lol) so she can really push the milk out, and if shes usto a bottle, try to get a shield that resembles the bottle teat.

  3. #3

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    Good on you for giving the nipple shield a go. In difficult circumstances (such as the ones you have been through) they can allow a baby to breastfeed when it would not otherwise be possible.
    Yes, you just attach as you would onto the breast - wait until the baby has a wide mouth and gently guide her onto the breast making sure she has a big mouthful of shield and breast. Like anything new, it can take a little while to get the hang of it, and you can feel all fingers and thumbs at first - it's worth persevering. Most babies feed very efficiently on the nipple shield. At 6 weeks it is still early days, though I do recognise that 6 weeks of expressing can seem like a long time. Many mums transition from bottle to breast with nipple shield to feeding without the shield and go on to have a long and rewarding breastfeeding experience - no reason why you couldn't have that too. Get in touch with the LC again if you felt you got on well with her, or seek another one, or a breastfeeding counsellor for help and support

  4. #4

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    Barb has given you some great advice. I fed my DD for 10 months full time, starting from birth, with a shield and she was a quicker feeder than some of my friends who didn't use shields so I don't think using a shield would change the length of time. I used the medela brand shields and found them great. Best of luck and well done for perserving and giving it a go. Don't forget if you need any help, day or night, the women on the ABA helpline are absolutely brilliant. Their number is 1800 686 2 686 (1800 mum 2 mum). Good luck.

  5. #5

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    Just wanted to tell you what a fantastic job you're doing! I had similar problems with cracked nipples, like you the LC kept telling me that our attachment was great, but my nipples kept getting butchered. Mind you I also did a lot of expressing, which in hindsight I think made it harder for the cracks to heal because the suction is so strong and does give your nipples a bit of a beating. But I have to say that I wouldn't have been able to continue breastfeeding if it wasn't for nipple shields. I used them until DS was 12 weeks. By that time, DS's mouth was a bit bigger and my nipples were a bit tougher so attaching got easier and easier. 12 months on and we're still breast feeding.

    Like Liviam said, I also found the Medella ones were by far the best, they are a bit bigger so they allow more of the aereola (sp?) to get sucked in which makes it a bit more efficient and more like feeding without them. Good Luck and good on your for perservering, you're doing a great job

  6. #6

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    Thanks everyone! I am giving them a go very soon when DD2 wakes up! Bit scared and nervous as its really like back to square 1 for feeding, because if it works ok we may have a different routine and we may have to work on the supply as I did drop 1 feed already. I haven't got high expectations, I said to DH if it doesn't work it doesn't work and I will just keep expressing until the time I had planned for.

    I will let you know how i go!

  7. #7

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    You need an LC!
    Really.

  8. #8

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    Good luck hon, hope you are off to a good start. Just one tip I forgot to mention in my original post. I found using the nipple shield was much easier if I hand expressed a few little drops of BM onto the shield first as it let me 'stick' it in place iykwim? It also means that your let down comes faster and it is a bit easier to encourage bubs to attach cos they can smell the milk there. HTH

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    We used a nipple shield under similar circumstances and ditched it at around 11 weeks.
    Please find yourself an LC to help guide you through this - they are literally worth their weight in gold.
    Good luck!

  10. #10

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    I used a nipple shield for DS1's entire feedings...we fed til 11months. It was my lifesaver, but it also was a hindrance (especially now that've I've seen the other side with DS2). It was so much easier to attach him and painfree, but it also meant I had to have them everywhere I went, so if he wanted a feed (which sometimes could be unpredictable) I could provide. This time with DS2, for the first couple of weeks I struggled a little - but hesitated to start with the shields, just took the pain. I was about to look into a LC but then thankfully we worked it out, just in time. Now I don't have to worry about washing, sterilising, packing them safely (and enough of them) for our adventures out or even have them on the ready for the varying amounts night feeds. So yeah, I agree give them a go to ease the pain temporarily, but do try to find an LC to help. Goodluck - I hope you find something that works and eases the pain, because at the end of the day thats what matters.

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