Informed Births, Empowered Women

My experiences with flat nipples using an nipple shield
October 26, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I used a shield, because I had flat nipples. They would not "stand out" so my son could stay latched. I pumped for two weeks and practiced with nursing, but it was a nightmare! If I wasn't pumping, I was cleaning bottle, if not cleaning bottles, trying to get him to latch, if not trying to latch, I was changing his diaper, if not changing his diaper, it was time to pump again... On and on and on.... Day and night. No sleep. I finally got the shield and it helped me actually bond with my son! I would put it on, nurse him a couple of minutes, then would take it off and "practice" latching without. If he did it great, if not great.... Then, at one and half months he latched to my left side during a "practice" session and two weeks later, the right side and we have never used it since! : ) You can also get a product from Medela, called a "shell" that you wear when you are not feeding that keeps constant, gentle pressure and helps draw out your nipples. You can buy them at Target. You asked about the down side. If you use it, you really MUST try latching without it EVERY time! (Okay, I did not at night, but every day time feeding I did.) You also, MUST make sure the baby is latching up high on the shield, like they would if they were latching on to you. You really need to make sure they are getting a deep grasp on the shield and you- otherwise it hurts like the dickens and is not teaching them a proper latch. If you use it and don't wean them off of it, your body is not getting enough saliva from the baby, so your supply could hurt and it also won't adjust as well the nutrients for the baby. It is a great tool, if you are dedicated to using it properly, with the understanding it is temporary. But, it can be a burden and very detrimental, if you feel you can depend on it and not put the work in to getting baby to latch to you.


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