When I was pregnant with my son, I was so worried I wouldn't be able to nurse because of my flat nipples. I was talking to the midwife at my dr's office about it, and she pointed out that if no one with flat nipples could nurse, that trait would have been wiped from the human race eons ago because their babies wouldn't have survived. She told me to remember that it wasn't impossible, it would just be a little trickier. She told me that she had flat nipples and had nursed all five of her kids. It gave me hope. :)
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness
I'd actually discourage using a nipple shield unless all else fails. In my opinion, they complicate things, and can effect supply negatively. Not to mention that babies will often refuse to nurse without one and then that becomes an issue.
I agree with this. I did have to use one for my left breast. For some reason DS was latching fine on the right but just couldn't get it on the left. The nipple shield was working (kind of) in the hospital, but once we got him home it became apparent to us that he had extreme nipple confusion. Between the nipple shield on the left, my nipple on the right, and the bottles the nurses gave him at the hospital (he had really terrible jaundice and my milk hadn't come in yet) he just didn't seem to know what was going on. I finally just ditched the nipple shield and decided he would only have my nipple in his mouth. I would try nursing first on the left. After several attempts, if he just couldn't latch we would move him to the right and I'd pump on the left. (Pumping was really just to keep my supply up. I was so scared that his nipple confusion would come back, I never even gave him a bottle.) After a few days, he started to latch on the left occasionally, and after about two weeks we had it on both sides. We're still going strong at 20 months.
Even if you have to pump this time too, maybe it will be different without the return to work looming over your head and stressing you out. It might give you more time before your supply runs out. And every baby is different, so you may not have the same difficulties.
I second the suggestion of contacting La Leche League. I really wish I had had their support when I was going through our nursing difficulties. I didn't even know they existed until DS was about 6 mo!
Good luck to you!