has anyone had to use nipple shields?

Christina - posted on 02/24/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My little one will not latch properly, he as "tongue tie" (flap of skin under his tongue prevents proper extension of tongue and latch) so our consultant recommended trying a nipple shield, has anyone used these with success?

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Sue Jane - posted on 02/25/2009

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yeah I use one off and on for the last one and then our newest addition. Our middle child was also tongue tied...we had her clipped but that didn't seem to help.



I just use the soft silicon one so that the newest one can latch on. I have an inverted nipple on my left side. Makes it difficult...but mainly she is lazy...doesn't want to work for it sometimes. I have to use it when she is tired (or when I am tired)



It works great..can be messy sometimes but it works.

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My son was a preemie and the LC at the hospital figured he was tongue tied. I wonder about this 'diagnosis' since pretty much every baby in the NICU at that time got the same 'diagnosis'. Anyway, we used a nipple shield for 3 weeks while he was in the hospital  and breastfeeding. In the end, he just kept mouthing it off himself to get at my nipple. We have breastfeeding down now. At for his tongue, it's fine. We didn't have to get anything snipped and by 3 months old he could practically lick his chin. I asked questions and found out some babies really are tongue tied and that little snip does the trick. BUT, I feel that the tongue exercises through feeding and vocalizing help the tight tissue stretch. My legs don't feel right until I stretch them first thing in the morning either. Luckily, my son liked to mimicked sticking out his tongue when I did from very early on.

Nikki - posted on 03/03/2009

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my son has a tongue tie (he's now 2 months old) I had so much pain, so we assumed this was because of his toingue tie and tried a nipple shield. i don't know if it really helped or not. he didn't get dependent on it, but i only used it a couple time a day on the worst side to help it heal. is he/she getting milk??? anyways i FINALLY healed after 6 weeks!! i was in so much pain-crying every time. the pediatritian did not think that his tongue tie would really effect anything. they believe it stretches out enough after some time. i was ready to give up, but hang in there 6 weeks or so  and see if it gets better as long as he's gaining weight.

Heather - posted on 03/02/2009

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My son was born 7 weeks early and was too small to nurse from me because I have flat nipples. Enter the breast shield. It was wonderful. I used it at every feeding until he was 6 and 1/2 months, when he decided he didn't need it anymore. He's been nursing without it ever since (he's a year now). While it was frustrating, I desperately wanted to be able to breastfeed and I was willing to try just about anything. It still allowed me to bond with him and feel close to him. I talked with several consultants and read all I could about the use of it (the LeLecheLeague website was helpful). I think it's definately worth doing.

Jacklynn - posted on 03/02/2009

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I used a nipple shield for 4 months and I think it was a great decision for me. My little guy also had latch-on problems. My pediatrician told me it was fine to use and that his wife used one for 6 months. My son is now 6 months and we are still breastfeeding without the shield. Some say it might reduce milk supply, but this was not a problem for me and my pediatrician also rejects that idea. Just my 2 cents. If it means you can breastfeed, then go for it. I was prepared to use one for as long as necessary.

Brandy - posted on 03/01/2009

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Yes I used one with both my son's It really helped me out due to latching on issues. I used one for about 6 months with my first and about 3 with my second.

Alison - posted on 03/01/2009

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I used them for the first few weeks because bf was so painful for me (no tongue issues) and they helped. At first my daughter (now 9 months) would not nurse without them and then out of nowhere she wouldn't nurse with them and then that was it. They were a pain in the butt but in the end I wouldn't have made it without them.

Christina - posted on 02/25/2009

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Thank you to everyone!!! I am so greatful for all the responses. We see a peditrician tomorrow to assess if he needs a clip.  So far he takes the shields with no problem even though we have had to bottle feed too, after I pump.  His appetite is insatiable!  It has also been nice to give my poor nipples time to recover.  They are fairing well now.  :)

Erin - posted on 02/25/2009

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I just had a baby and the nipple shields work wonderful.  My nipples were to hard for her to latch on to more than the tip.  I think it will help in transitioning to bottles as well. 

Hope - posted on 02/25/2009

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Oh my goodness. get that snipped. my daughter had this at birth and made my nipples bleed the first night. i had to YELL at my ped to snip it. He tried to tell me i could just suffer through until she got bigger. NO WAY ...i told him if he didnt do it i would find someone else who would. He did it that hour.

Rebecca - posted on 02/24/2009

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I had to use one when my baby was first born becuase she couldn't latch on properly.  I had to wean her off of it after 3 weeks because it was decreasing my milk supply.  I started with the small kind of shield because that is what the lactation consultant gave me in the hospital.  I graduated her to the normal size and eventually she could just nurse on her own.  I would always try to get her to latch on first before using the shield and one day she could just do it on her own.

Kristen - posted on 02/24/2009

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I had to use a nipple shield because my newborn had difficulty latching on because he would keep his tongue at the roof of his mouth. I was successful with it.. it made nursing alot easier for the first 2 weeks. Now at 4 weeks old I don't have to use the nipple shield and my baby is nursing very well and is gaining weight. The shield does move a bit if your baby gets distracted and moves away from your breast. I only had to hold the shield in place at the beginning when Connor would latch on then I could let go. Hope you have success.

Angela - posted on 02/24/2009

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I have used nipple shields for a week of two but my friend used them for the whole year. Her boy just wouldn't latch right...ever she went to all kinds of people. I told her hey at least he is getting your milk.

Kelly - posted on 02/24/2009

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I did with great success.  I used this one as recommended by a consultant.  http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/pro...



My son was also tongue tied and on recommendation by the pediatrician we also let my son use a pacifier to actually "stretch" the muscle a bit.  It was a long month, I'd say but we spent a lot of time alone just focussing on nursing and eventually we graduated to a perfect nursing relationship.  I nursed for 14 months and am 28 weeks pregnant with my second.  Hoping things will be a little easier this time around.

Holly - posted on 02/24/2009

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I had trouble with my son latching so at the hospital before we left the lactation consultant got me to use a nipple shield, but he didnt want to latch on it either so she gave me some enfamil already made formula and a dropper. i would put a few drops on the shield and he would nurse on the shield. i only had to do that for 2 days. then he started nursing on the shield. my son is now 7 1/2 weeks and i havent used the shield in a week. i was able to ween him off. i would def. recommend the shield!

Kim - posted on 02/24/2009

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i used one with great success for 2 weeks before i was able to wean my DD off and her latch on properly

[deleted account]

My son had tongue tie and couldn't nurse properly. we got it snipped when he was a few weeks old and he nursed better immediately! I really recommend looking into it your baby will be less frustrated and so will you.

Lauren - posted on 02/24/2009

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I used the shield for about 4 months.  It was a life saver.  We had latching issues and that solved all our problems.  I used it until she was ready to nurse without it.  At about 4 months she started playing with it while nursing.  Then one day she took it off all by herself and started nursing without it.  We have not used it since.   

Brittany - posted on 02/24/2009

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i've used them with great success. my daughter is now 9 months and i used the nipple shield up until about 2 months ago when she started taking it off and nursing on the actual nipple. i personally would recommend the shield for any mom who's baby doesn't latch on well.

Dawn - posted on 02/24/2009

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Hi.. I used nipple shields with most of mine due to sore nipples.. I found them a great help. Not sure if you can buy the Avent ones where you are but i would recommend them.. have tried other makes but found these the best. They are softer, others had a huge nipple part. Good luck and i hope you can carry on as long as u want to breast feeding.

Charmaine - posted on 02/24/2009

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My little girl is 7mths and she has a mild tongue tie. When she was born she could not latch on properly so I tried a nipple shield and whilst it does assist I found it annoying after a while because you have to keep holding it in place and I found it quite awkward to use. I ended up expressing and giving her my milk in a bottle which she didn't have a problem taking. As I wanted to breast feed her I used a cross cut teet for the bottle which forces the baby to suck the milk, as opposed to normal teets which doesn't force the baby to do much work for the milk. This meant that I could still breast feed her even though she had been getting the bottle. Initially she would get a little impatient developing her suck but after around 8wks she took to the breast without any problems and I have been breast feeding her without problems ever since. If your baby cannot latch onto your breast and will not take a bottle you will need to see your Pediatrician as some tongue ties need to be cut, depending on how severe the tie is. Normally a baby DOES NOT need to be cut if a baby can either breast feed or drink from a bottle. Please note that I have done significant research for my own daughter and please don't let anyone tell you that having a tongue tie means your baby needs to be cut. Please seek a second opinion in the event you have been advised it is required. I hope this helps in some way.

Kat - posted on 02/24/2009

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Hi, I used Nipple Shields for a bit over 3 months with Success (but due to flat nipples). Sometimes they did move if bub moved her head but it is part of the process. I usually only needed to hold them on during attachment & once she was on I could let go. Not sure what else you might want to know so please ask if there is something.. :)

Serena - posted on 02/24/2009

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Ideally the tongue tie should be snipped so that your baby can latch properly. It doesn't hurt the baby, they just don't like being pinned down while its done! Using nipple shields is only really recommended for very short periods, like 24 hours and I don't think it is the best solution for your issue.

Hannah - posted on 02/24/2009

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I used them to get over sore, bleeding nipples. it still hurt for a split second when he latched on but definately helped and he didn't notice the difference (never took to a bottle so obviously the shield felt more like a nipple than a teat). you really have to hold them as the baby latches on 'cos they do move around. good luck. xx

Rebecca - posted on 02/24/2009

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I haven't used them personally but my best friend had to use them and had success for a short period of time. I think It's worth a try.



On the subject of her tongue we were told that my daughter had a "tongue tie" too so we went to an oral specialist. As it turns out she didn't but if your daughter does they actually can do a simple procedure to snip the tongue tie which will help with latching and speech down the track!



Hope this helps.

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