I'm a first time mom and having such a horrible breastfeeding experience! In the hospital I was given a nipple shield for flat nipples, and have been using it for two months now. The first month was really difficult, the shield irritated my nipples terribly, oddly enough, and I had severely cracked nipples to the point where the pain was so bad that I could feel little adrenaline rushes. I met with a LC and she worked with us and helped him to latch properly but my nipples were so damaged at that point that it was more painful to breastfeed than to use the shield. So now a month later, I have been using the shield. This month has gone smoother, (with the shield) but the last week has been difficult again. I have had two clogged ducts and I am starting to worry my supply is getting low. The last two night feedings have been frustrating - very slow let down and a fussy gassy baby so I tried without the shield and I thought it was working perfectly! Its been 24 hours, and I now have two blisters and one of them is a blood blister. Back to the shield again... I'm about ready to give up! My goal was to breast feed for 12 months, and I'm already wanting to call it quits! Can anyone offer advice, encouragement, shared experiences, tips, etc..?