Shonna - posted on 09/03/2009
I never hd trouble with it and my milk supply I hated it though when I was in the hospital we couldnt get my little guy to latch on so they tried that and let me tell you it was a pain because then I couldnt get him to nurse without it. It took while to get him to not use it. So my advice is if you dont use one, dont start it is a hassle especially if you go somewhere and forget it and then you ave a fussy baby because he/she is starving and cant eat. BIG PAIN IT WAS!!!
My son won't latch on if I'm not using a breast shield now, the midwives forced him to feed when he just wasn't hungry which made my nipples black and scab iver so i was forced to use nipple shields, the midwives werent too happy about it but i said its better that i use them than give up breastfeeding at all, I asked about the ins and outs of breast shields and one of the midwives said that even she used them from time to time they are perfectly fine, they definatly do not affect your supply as i have too much milk and ive been using them since day 3 my son is now 5weeks +1 I've tried to feed without one and he just can't do it. The only reason any medical people will tell you not to use them is because they cause nipple confusion and will affect him from latching on without one, I'm not planning on ever trying without one now, after the way my nipples went in the hospital, I'm too scared too. I'm not sure about any other nipple shields but the ones i use are brill. Hope that helps =)
Monika - posted on 09/01/2009
i have to use a sheild for my son but he is slightly tounge tied so its so hard for him to latch on a bare breast but hes done it a few times and liked it too. Never has it ever affected my milk supply in a negative way or had him get less milk. If anything he gets alot of milk out everytime. He just cant start to nurse without feeling the silicone first. Try the latch assist that you can buy for around 10 bucks. It does work. I still have to work at nursing without the sheild because hes 2mos and so dependent on it.
I used one for both my kids because of an semi-inverted nipple (yes, just one). With my firstborn, he didn't have any trouble feeding with or without it and I was finally able to stop using it after about 8 months. It took a couple days before one of the midwives in hospital suggested I use one, because I was having so much trouble trying to get him to latch on to almost nothing. At the time I was cautioned that shields drop your supply by 20%, so use it as little as possible.
When my second son came along, I tried not to use it. He had all sorts of trouble with latching (even on my good side) that I wasn't aware of until I ended up with cracked, bleeding nipples. Ended up using the old shield on both sides for a while then.
I'm not one of those women who have tons of milk, but I produce enough. Even with the shield, supply was never a problem for me despite what I was told.
So good luck and don't worry about what will happen over time. Use the shield if you need to (and as someone else suggested, make sure you have one in your bag and at home) and get advice from an LC. A good one is worth her weight in gold!
Tara - posted on 08/31/2009
It could... U should try to wean baby off if possible. It also depends why u were put on them in the 1st place. If you have flat or inverted nipples you will probably need to keep using them, but if baby had a lil mouth or was having problems latching proprely at first they can be weaned off slowly. Getting help from a Lactation educator will be your best bet. Good luck!
Diana -n Craig - posted on 08/31/2009
I've been using a shield for almost 11 months and I have not had milk supply issues. My advice is to get your baby off of a shield sooner rather than later........as of now I'm sure that I can get her off. But I'm just happy she is a good nurser. You would be amazed how many mothers use shields! Many of my friends used them the whole time they breastfeed. Some practical advice: keep one at home and one in the diaper bag :) I also have a spare in the baby room, but never needed it. They carry them at Target and Walmart, so if you misplace one it's easy to find another :)
Hannah - posted on 08/31/2009
I don't think it would really affect your milk supply, but baby could get less milk if you're not using the shield correctly, making you more at risk for plugged ducts and after using it for a long time it could be hard to wean baby from using the shield.
Elizabeth - posted on 08/31/2009
i had to use nipple shields due to flat nipples. i weaned bubs off using it on one breast at a time, in part because she had a bad latch on one side, so it was too painful ti feed without it. i think i started a feed with the shield and then when she was a quite sated and was just about at sleepy-sucking stage, i'd take the shield off and offer her the breast again. took at least a week, as i recall, and was frustrating enough that i was really cursing the midwife who convinced me i needed to use it, but we got there eventually.
ironically, bubs now sucks very strongly and pulled the whole shield off last time i tried using it (which was, literally, a pain as i had a very sore nipple that feed)
Jessica - posted on 08/31/2009
Thanks for your thoughts/experiences everyone! I am currently at 34 weeks and my midwife recently told me that one of my nipples is slightly inverted so I may have to use a shield on that one just for her to be able to nurse. This is my first, so alllllll of this is new to me...reading your comments is very helpful.
Topaz - posted on 08/30/2009
it didnt affect mine. without the shields i wouldnt have been able to nurse.. my daughter would not latch on to me without them. and sadly she weaned off of the shield at 3 months by herself. :( i wish i would have been able to nurse her longer, but i couldnt force her to latch to me. i am thankful that i was able to nurse for as long as she would latch with the shield!
I came home from the hospital with my nipples already cracked and bleeding, but a determination to breast feed. After a few days of agony and tears, my husband remembered the LC from prenatal class mentioning shields. We went to Babies R Us and bought two types. It gave my nipples the break they needed and taught my little man how to open big enough to latch. I weaned him off the sheilds about 3 weeks later. One thing I noticed was when he was nursing without the shield, we was choking on the milk, so that would lead me to believe that is affects flow for sure. Not sure about supply - he gained 2 lbs in the first 2 weeks
Ana - posted on 08/29/2009
Dear Amali, my opinion is that you should use shields as long as you need, but every time on the end of feeding take them off and offer your baby to eat without them. My son was born 25 days premature and if there was no shields I wouldn't be able to nurse him at all because he was too weak and I found them very helpfull. After 2 months I started to nurse him without it, he simply accepted the nipple and we are still nursing (he'll turn 12 months on wednesday ;)). But important is (as someone has told you) to keep contact skin to skin and offer your nipple as much as you can. Good luck!
Adrienne - posted on 08/29/2009
Yes, nipple shields can greatly affect supply. Some mommies of course have tons of milk, so it's not a problem, but in general nipple shields should only be used for a very short amount of time and only if absolutely necessary. I had to use them with my 24 weeker, and he got too used to it after several months. My milk supply started to dramatically drop. Took me a week (and a lot of resistence) to get him to nurse without the shield. When I was given the shield to start using in the NICU, I didn't know anything about them. If I knew then what I know now, I never would have used it at all.
Stina - posted on 08/29/2009
My son also didn't want to latch on to my bare breast at first... Once he was opening wide enough for the shiled, I would get him started eating using the shield and then remove the shield so he could latch onto the breast.. This way he would suckle a bit and be rewarded with milk that was flowing.... It was VERY frustrating. He'd take a few swallows without the shield and then just look at me as he played with my nipple in his mouth. So we'd be switching- shield on, shield off. I also spent a lot of time while I was trying to get him to learn to nurse- holding him skin to skin.
Because I was getting so frustrated, I set a date (thanksgiving) that if he wasn't nursing by then, we'd just use up the pumped milk in the freezer and bottle feed. Born September 23, 2004, brought him home October 18 with a tube in his nose, bottle feeding whatever he would drink and finishing with the tube feeding.... then teaching him how to nurse with the shield.... He was nursing by thanksgiving (without the shield) and continued till his first birthday. Eventually he even refused bottles with a preference for the breast. Hang in there... keep working with your LC- they are great support. If it wasn't for mine, I never would have been successful nursing my son.
Amali - posted on 08/29/2009
my daughter couldnt latch on when born due to my slightly flat nipples....the LC told me that with time, using the nipple sheild and pumping the nipple tissue would become more elastic and baby would latch on then...i've been using the sheild since my baby's birth (1month 2weeks) and have noticed my nipple instantly comes out but baby refuses to latch on-not because she can't but because i noticed hates/is not use to the feel of my nipple compared to bottle nipples and silicone nipple sheild...she's a bit confused...i am trying everything for her to just accept it and she is not having it. in the end we both get so stressed i end up putting the sheild back on because in the end i do want her to eat.....does anyone have suggestions?
Stina - posted on 08/29/2009
It is my understanding that nipple shields are generally tools to help improve a babies latch/ let sore nipples heal. The end goal is to stop useing them. I don't know if they affect supply- but I remember with my son, I had to get my milk going first in order to get him to suckle at my breast. In his case we were useing shields to get him to open wider after he had been in the hospital for a month with tubes and whatnot in his mouth. I worked very closely with a lactation consultant. We started with a small shield and moved to a larger one and eventually didn't use one at all. The whole time I was pumping since his nursing lessons were finished with a bottle feeding until he learned to nurse.
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