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Thread: New to BF, Need Help!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default New to BF, Need Help!!

    I'm a first time mom who is having some difficulty in getting started. In the hospital I was told that I have flat nipples and they gave me a nipple shield to use. I was trying to use it for a few minutes, remove it and then place DD directly to the breast, that wasn't working. She couldn't get latched on and we both ended up frusterated.

    I've taken to using the nipple shield the whole feeding. It's the only way that I can get her to eat for more than a minute at a time. She is only 3 days old and I'm wondering if once my milk comes in will she have an easier time latching on without the nipple shield or am I going to have to use it forever?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: New to BF, Need Help!!

    I would use caution when using a nipple shield except on the advice of a lactation consultant (IBCLC). They can introduce a host of all new problems for your baby such a reduced milk transfer and are difficult to wean baby from. Of course, if you have gotten help from a lactation consultant and tried other options, then it is most certainly better to have your baby breastfeed with the shield than not at all.

    LLL's Site has an excellent section on flat or inverted nipples here:

    My doctor said I have inverted or flat nipples. Can I still breastfeed my baby?

    LLL states regarding nipple shields:

    "If other strategies are not working, a nipple shield could help baby latch on and nurse well by providing the stimulation to the roof of the baby's mouth that signals his suck reflex. Nipple shields should only be used with the guidance of a lactation professional as they can lead to problems if not used properly."

    See also:

    Nipple shields
    Nipple Shields . . . Friend or Foe?

    I think the best idea would be to have your local LLL leader evaluate your situation, and they can take a look at your latch and positioning. They can guide you much better than anyone can over the computer where they can actually see mom and baby and eyeball any obvious problems.

    Is there a La Leche League Group in your area? The leaders will help you for free.

    Here is the link to find one:
    How to Find a La Leche League Leader Near You

    You can find a list of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant's here.

    Good luck!!

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Charleston SC

    Default Re: New to BF, Need Help!!

    Welcome! And Congrats on your dd, a wee girl just think of all the fun that you are going to have...
    Since you are still so early in the game I think that I would use the NS and make sure that you are nursing at least every 3 hours around the clock. Once your milk comes in good I would take another look at things. Did the LC show you how to take your areola and kinda make a pinch or a sandwich right behind the nipple, I remember doing that and it would help Thomas latch on.
    Also, I second the advice from paint the moon, call a LLL first off tomorrow, it is surely better to get help early as opposed to later. Please keep us updated and All the best! Brittan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: New to BF, Need Help!!

    this was our biggest problem when we started. i remember feeling like such a failure in the hospital when i had to call a nurse every time i tried to feed dd bc i couldn't get her to latch due to my extremely flat nipples. i tried everything - pinching into a sandwich, pulling them prior to latching her to make them stand out. my first couple weeks home were awful i would dread every time she would start to act hungry cuz i didn't know how i would get her to latch on. - they also gave me a NS, i tried it but i didn't want to end up using it forever so i stopped using it. finally i had the idea to use an ice cube. i would just grab an ice cube before nursing and rub it on my nipple and it would stand out so she could find it & she finally got the perfect latch! it also helped bc my nipples were sooooo sore & it numbed them a bit. i only used the ice for about a week and then they started standing out on their own. you could try it to see how it works for you. hang in there, i know how frustrating BF can be at first.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: New to BF, Need Help!!

    yup I agree sometimes the more things you add to breastfeeding the harder it gets.
    3 days old is still very young.
    Flat nipples are realy something that you should see a lll leader or lc for.
    Most nurses and doctors realy don't know what they are looking for or at.
    My new ob told me that I had flat nipples and I would never be able to nurse a baby, what he didn't know was that I had nursed my 2 older ones with no problems at all!
    Part of her latching on problems at 3 days might be engorgment
    you can try this for engorgment

    are they wanting you to give bottles? I would avoid them if possialbe and use some other feeding mythod like a cup.

    gets some help either from a lll leader or a lc..

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