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What are your thoughts on nipple shields? Lock Rss

I have an almost-3-week-old baby girl and am breastfeeding. However I have inverted nipples (one more than the other) and when my DS was born I had an horrendous time with b/f and the pain was excruciating. But I managed to stick it out and I b/f him for 11 months. I used nipple shields at the start, then saw a lactation consultant, which helped but I always had some degree of discomfort. This time I've experienced some pain in my right nipple to the point where I just dreaded when she latched. I bought some Medela nipple shields today and fed her and viola, almost no pain and she latched and fed well. I used the same brand of shield at the hospital after she was born as she was having trouble latching. I plan to use them to give my nipple a break when needed - I just won't tell my midwife and they tend to frown upon them.

Is anyone else using nipple shields and if so what kind, and how long have you been using them? Do they work for you?

Interesed to see if there's anyone else in the same boat as me! Cheers smile
[Edited on 07/12/2009]

Congratulations on your breastfeeding journey so far. You are doing great.

I think that nipple shields are very good when used appropriately. I think that they are frowned upon because they can reduce supply as the nipple isn't getting much stimulation. And it cone sometimes be hard to wean the baby off nipple shields and back onto the breast.

The are a great short term solution for some people who have damaged nipples, but they don't really solve the problem for most (incorrect attachment).

For you, with your inverted nipples, it sounds like long term occasional use of nipple shields has enabeled you to continue to breast feed which is great. A fine example of how they are great when used correctly.
[Edited on 08/12/2009]
i found that a sheild was very useful to feed on the day that my milk came in in spades and i was so engorged i had watemelons strapped tomy chest. The sheild allowed my bub to feed, but not stimulate the nipple so much it filled up again. After 12hrs the breast felt so much better but had enough milk left to keep feeding.

I think if you had some success feeding with a sheild before, you obviously know how and when to use to the sheild enable a successful feeding regime for both of you.
im a beleiver in the saying "what she doesnt know cant hurt" when it comes to feeding. Just be careful not to overuse it in case it slows your milk production.

Hey there,
Congrats on making it this far with all the difficulties! I also think you're doing great smile I used nipple shields with my DS for around 11weeks. I found them an absolute life saver. My nipples aren't inverted, but for whatever reason they didn't come out very well for him to latch on & feed, so the nipple shields helped me ENORMOUSLY! I started using them for the entire feed, but then after awhile I just used them to help him latch on & draw the nipple out, then eventually I was able to not use them at all. I found they helped hugely with the pain also. I wouldn't hestitate to use them again if I needed to, though I do understand it's better if I don't due to nipple stimulation, etc.

I think nipple shields are a life saver! When my first baby was born I had pain for about the first week. I didn't know they existed then. When my second came along, oh my goodness.... she was the most aggressive sucker ever and she tore, split etc my nipples and I was reacting before she even latched. A friend told me about them and after using them for about 2 weeks and then weaning off them (weaning my boobs that is to get use to my little one) I was then pain free and able to successfully breastfeed her until she was about 9 months when I only stopped due to her having allergies that I kept accidentally flaring up from foods I wasn't even realising I was eating.

I am now 17 weeks pregnant with my thrid and while the midwives at the hospital can be so unreasonable, I will be taking nipple shields and a dummy in with me this time. They can say what they want but I'm not going through that again when it can be so easily overcome.

At the end of the day I think whatever works for you and bub do it. You want to be relaxed and comfortable and that helps everyone.

Good luck!

With both my babies the midwives gave me medela nipple shields to use for sore nipples etc and happily encouraged using them as it meant that I was able to breastfeed till they healed. I saw a lactation consultant with my new bub as she wasnt latching on properly and got mastitis and she had no issue with me using the shield.

A friend of mine even used shields for 5 months and breastfed for 12months.

I totally agree, I used them for a few weeks too, and was encouraged by the midwives smile

I have been using a nipple shield since my son was 2 weeks old. Hes now 2 1/2 months old. I swear by it. Why suffer through the pain of cracked and bleeding nipples when you can feed easy with the shield. The midwives do seem to frown upon it, but so long as your baby is putting on weight and happy feeding, how can it be a problem?
One lactation consultant told me there is nothing wrong with using the shield unless it reduces your milk supply, which happens to a small percentage of people. Its frowned upon because the baby eats lazily. They don't have to work for their food, it just comes out for them with the shield.
My boy is big and healthy. Without the shield I probably would have stopped breast feeding due to the pain it caused my poor nipples. A shield is better than formula.
i had an awful time getting my first baby to latch on i had to syringe feed her for the first 4.5 days (we were still in hossy because she wouldnt feed), i was about to try formula and was given AVENT brand by the hospital to try and it worked beautifully, with my second i started using them on day 2 of no attachment and successfully breast fed for 6 months,

finally when i had no 3, i was told by the midwife that i have flat nipples and bubs couldnt draw it out far enough.....

the baby clinic knew and were really supportive,

my only suggestion would be to express after feeding (and freeze for later use) to stimulate milk production because they can cause your supply to dwindle....

good luck...

I have been using nipple shields for the past few days.. i have been having HUGE trouble getting my DS to latch correctly, and i ended up with massive problems with my nipples to the point where i just couldn't make myself put him to the breast anymore. So first thing one morning i went and got some advent nipple shields! They were a life saver, my nipples have been able to heal, i now put it on at the start of a feed for a little while as at the start he's starving and he is very rough, then when he calms down i will take it off.

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