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Thread: breast shields

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    82

    Default breast shields

    Does anyone have any experiences they can share on using breast shields? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    458

    Default Re: breast shields

    Just to clarify... you mean the silicone nipple shields some of us have to use to nurse in order to correct latches, deal with inversions, assist with preemies, etc., right?

    If so, my experience... my DS was born 5 weeks early. Physiologically, he just wasn't capable of nursing. His weight took a bad drop right at the beginning, and we had to supplement. The LC worked with us in the meantime to get him on the breast, and she suggested a nipple shield. That worked great! We've been using it ever since, but he's now 10 weeks old and after several other minor issues (bad advice and a back-to-work nursing strike), I'm now working on weaning him off the shield. He's doing great and has even latched on all by himself before I could even pick up the shield to put it on. Of course, my nipples are totally unused to this, so I'm slathering on Lansinoh to compensate for my late bloomer's enthusiasm. LOL

    If you have any specific questions, let me know. And remember, don't use a shield without getting some assistance from an LC or LLL first!

    -Beth
    Last edited by ladypembroke; December 4th, 2006 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Spelling error

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    1,967

    Default Re: breast shields

    If this is what you need info on, I am bumping up some threads for you to read.

    Edit- okay, bumped some up but they popped up in different forums. All in the top three forums though. Tried to get some with some good links but if you need more info, do a search of old threads. HTH!
    Last edited by sweetiejo5; December 4th, 2006 at 02:27 PM.

    Misty
    Loving my two sweet girls Audrey (7/18/06) and Annie (6/18/09) Baby #3 due to appear 8/5/10

    Feel free to ask me about my successful HBAC , food allergies, cloth diapers, and the joy of having a high-needs, non-sleeping little dear who has grown into a wonderful preschooler.

    Blogging here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    32

    Default Re: breast shields

    The silicone nipple shields are the single most important thing (along with good antibiotic drugs and the occasional vicodan) that helped me get through mastitis. I had severe cracked and bleeding nipples with plugged ducts. The pain of nursing was almost unbearable. Then I met a wonderful midwife while at the hospital that introduced me to the nipple sheild. Nursing because bearable while my breasts healed. Now my baby is 10 weeks old and we are still exclusively nursing. Things have improved greatly. No more sore nipples. I was able to put the shields away after just a couple of weeks by using them less and less during feedings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    2,700

    Default Re: breast shields

    After my c-section, I had a terrible time getting DS to learn to latch on properly. A nurse immediately introduced me to nipple shields, as my nipples are short and flat, to help DS latch on, and told me I could continue to use the nipple shields throughout my nursing period (1 year or so). Initially, they helped enormously, however I often found when the shields became too full of milk, they would come away from my nipple and the milk would fall out the bottom instead of going where it should, into DS's mouth. When I first realized the shield had come loose, DS had been nursing for 15 minutes, and he hadn't got a drop of milk! Subsequently, DS had some weight gain issues at the start, and was still losing weight at 10 days of age. I immediately went to a LC and learned how to get him to latch on without using the shield. DS would not take to the nipple, and had a terrible latch, as he was used to the long nipples on the shield. I had enormous problems for the first month, and really regretted using the shield - in fact, if I could do it over again I would not touch the shields with a 10 foot pole. For most people, however, they seem to be a great tool to assist with sore nipples, though I will never use them again for fear of ruining the great BF relationship we have since established.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: breast shields

    The lactation consultant at my hospital encouraged me to use one when my daughter was first born. She had trouble latching on, and I probably would not have been able to breastfeed as easily without it. I finally got her off of it at about 3 weeks, it was a bit difficult. I didn't really like the shield, as it leaked, as previously mentioned, and was a pain in general, though looking back, it definitely helped.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    799

    Default Re: breast shields

    I have been using the shields for 3 months now. I started in the hospital to help DS latch on but have not stopped using them. They work well for me and DS is growing like a weed. I did have a LC show me how to get off the shields but we are so used to them w/o any problems that I have not stopped using them. The only issue for me is the inconvenience of having one nearby for feeding and NIP which I have not done. I would like to stop using them but if not oh well-Bfing is going great.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    40

    Default Re: breast shields

    In the hospital they got me using the nipple shields pretty quickly. I only regret that I didn't get much of a chance to try and feed her without them before using the shield...but they worked great for her to get food that is for sure. I personally did not like them though- even though it made it a lot less painful, I just preferred not having to use them. It took some effort to get her to stop using them, but we did it and I am glad we did. My friend used them with her LO since birth though, and still does (baby is 5 mo.) and never had a problem. So...whatever you think about that...! HTH

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: breast shields

    Nipple shields have their place and can be an extremely useful tool, like to protect severely cracked nipples or to draw out flat or inverted nipples. But like a PP said, don't use them without a LC supervision. If they are used incorrectly, it can lead to poor milk transfer and eventually a baby who is failing to thrive and you with a depressed milk supply because the breast isn't being drained. A good friend of mine had this happen to her because the LC she saw at the hospital for 15 minutes declared her to have flat nipples and said she needed to use "these," and then they never saw each other again.

    If you are using a shield to draw out flat or inverted nipples, there are a few things one can try before resorting to a nipple shield, such as pumping for a few minutes before nursing, or using breast shields, which are worn before your nurse then removed when it's time, to break the skin adhesions that are holding the nipple in. Some people have a very difficult time getting baby off the shields, or have troubles like my friend, and that's a bummer if they might have solved their trouble without them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: breast shields

    My daughter has been nursing with a nipple shield since she was in the NICU (6 weeks premature) and is now 15 months old and still uses it for every nursing. She won't even try to latch on without it. I have flat nipples and with her being preemie, it was the only way for her to nurse in the beginning. When I attempted to wean her off the shield, something would happen totally unrelated to the weaning of the shield and we were admitted right back into the hossy, and with her being in unfamiliar place, she then would not latch on without it. It has not effect my supply (I actually have a over suppy) and it is a pain to always have it with me (I put it in a washcloth and stuff it in my bra between my boobs for safe keeping. In public, I do show more than the "normal" nursing mom, but if someone wants to look that close, they deserved a eyeshot of boobie/nipple .
    If you are talking about the breast shields that are like a cup thing and a rubber/silicone deal that goes over your boobs with a hole for the nipple, I have tried those for my flat nipples (I think by medela) and all it ended up doing is giving me a blister on my boobs where the hole sat on my areola and rubbed it raw with the moving around I did.
    HTH

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