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Anyone bf successfully with a nipple shield?


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#1 Woodland

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:03 AM

Hi guys,
Im just wanting to know if anyone here successfully breastfed from birth or not long after with a nipple shield?
I had a terrible bf experience with my DS and only bf him for 3 weeks because of it. This time I'd like to bf for longer.
My midwife has said I have quite flat nipples and that is probably why things didn't go so well last time. She has suggested a nipple shield to help with that. Im keen because I don't want the severely damaged nipples and subsequent mastitis which ended up requiring hospitalisation like last time.
Did anyone else use nipple shields early on and bf successfully? How soon did you start using them? I'm thinking if I use them from pretty early on then baby will get used to it and won't know any different?
I will probably only bf for a few months so Im not too worried about the inconvenience of sterilising the shields or long term problems I'd just like to get a good few months bf in before switching to formula. I had a really good supply last time too so Im not overly concerned about nipple shields affecting supply.
I'd love to hear your advice and experience with this.
Thanks.
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#2 Malibustaci

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:49 AM

I used them for about three months with with DS1 - he was born hyperglycaemic so was given formula straight away and after that struggled to BF unless it was with a shield.


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#3 jantastic

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:21 AM

I did! 13 months of feeding with only nipple shields. I used Avent shields on my hospital's recommendation. It meant the was still a little skin to skin, whereas some shields are like little Mexican hats-if that makes sense!

Expressing to boost supply helped earlier on but i overdid it and ended up with mastitis a couple of times before we found the right balance. Tbh I think my supply was changing a bit by 12 months, but it is possible.

I think Amelia Jane had some success too.

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#4 claire_p

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:11 PM

My SIL fed only with Nipple shields from the start. I think it went really well, but she ended up giving it up at about 8 weeks though because she was diabetic and the feeding was causing her sugars to play up too much. I used them for a week or so while my cracked nipples healed with my son.
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#5 jantastic

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

I should probably say - I expressed to feed colostrum and we fed with a syringe, a little cup (he lapped it like a little kitten, very cute) and a bottle. Depended on the midwife at the time and their preference.

Once my milk came in on day 4, I started with shields. I had one fabulous midwife who really helped out with the shields. Had she not suggested them, provided them and showed me how to use them, I would not have ever successfully fed DS.

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#6 truffles

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:18 PM

Reading this thread with interest.... We had great difficulty with breastfeeding DS sad.gif I also have very flat nipples and did use a shield. had that been our only problem I think we could have overcome it and worked with it for longer. Unfortunately we only made it to 6 weeks.

DS also lost a lot of weight and was a very lazy feeder tongue.gif We also had breast refusal, slow letdown, nipple thrush and other things going against us too wacko.gif I will be looking for lots of ideas and inspiration from some of you lovely Ladies in here and hoping that we can also acheive a longer breastfeeding relationship second time around wub.gif
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#7 ~AnA~

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 04:43 PM

Absolutely! I used shields from about day 3 or 4 - very soon after my milk came in, as DD just couldn't latch very well. I used it up until about 3 months when she learnt to latch better.

Definitely try it smile.gif

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#8 Amelia Jane

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE(jantastic @ May 20 2013, 10:21 AM) View Post

I think Amelia Jane had some success too.


I did! I was going to say, "Jan did too!" She was a great support to me in the early days.

I used them for every feed for 4 months. My nipples, particularly the left, are very flat. I started on day 4, at the home midwife's suggestion. By that stage DS was starving and very dehydrated. sad.gif I didn't realise how useless the attachment was because I wasn't getting much pain.

One day at 4 months he latched on by himself by accident after I'd taken the shield off and I realised then that his mouth was big enough to attach himself.

I found that the midwives were quite dismissive of them and I felt guilty, like I was doing the cheat's form of breastfeeding and it wasn't quite good enough. I truly believe though that this is an outdated attitude that is drummed into them during training. The Avent shields are so thin and flexible that I could feel every suck and there was no way it affected my supply...although I did express in between feeds just to make sure!

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#9 SEA

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:53 PM

Shields were a life saver for me! I started using them with my son who was premmie, and used them until around 9 months with him. He was tiny and couldn't latch properly.

My daughter started feeding without them but she had a really narrow latch so I ended up with a massive crack on one side and it was so painful to feed. She breastfed until 13 months and wouldn't feed without the shields, despite me trying.

I also used the Avent ones, but I had a Tommee Tippee set once that were great as well.

Best of luck - I think they're great!


#10 Woodland

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:54 PM

Thank you so much guys for your supportive and positive responses! Im really excited about giving bf a good go with nipple shields this time around. Fingers crossed it goes as well for me as it did for most of you guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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#11 goodgirl

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:33 AM

I used a nipple shield with Lucas from close to birth. He was syringe fed to start with and then I had a lactation consultant who suggested using shields. She gave me a Medela one which worked so I kept using that brand. L was prem so he couldn't suck properly. I did try many times to get him to feed without them but in the end we used them for every feed for 6 months until he finally figured out how to breastfeed without them. We would never have breastfeed at all if it wasn't for the shield.

I've never used them with Ayla and I can honestly say that there is no difference between the way they both feed bar one having a shield. My supply is the same, my bond is the same, the nutrition is the same. smile.gif

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#12 HayleyNZ

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:31 AM

I have one nipple that does what it wants- its inverted but can come out for feeding. I used a shield in the beginning as DS was too small to be able to suck the nipple out and get a proper latch.

After a while I found the shield, gave an improper latch as you poke it in their mouth (as opposed to them latching properly and getting a good mouthful of breast) and it still hurt my nipple anyway as he was just chomping on it through the shield. At 6 week mark feeding was agonising and I was literally screaming in pain, which would cause DS to scream sad.gif

My midwife showed me how to get DS to latch with the inverted nipple (and someties the use of ice wink.gif when he was still little ) and we fed for 11 months smile.gif

However lots of people get a great result from shields. One tip- don't clean them with detergent as it taints them and baby won't take it.
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#13 angel_gabs

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:26 PM

Another Shield success story here - 8 months and still going strong smile.gif We attempted initial feeding in hospital but by day 3 my nipples were shredded so I expressed until he was 10 days then the LC gave me some Medela shields and we never looked back. There's actually been a few feeds lately where he's knocked the shield off halfway through and been able to latch and feed without it for a few minutes. But even if he never manages to feed without them, they were a lifesaver and I love my LC so much for enabling us to breastfeed. You don't need to sterilise them, as my LC said 'your nipples aren't sterile' - just a wash with washing up liquid and warm water well rinsed after each use. Oh, and have a few pairs if you find you need them. I've always got a pair in the Nappy bag so wherever DS goes, a pair goes too plus 2 pairs at home.
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