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post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have experience with a breast shield and if so did it affect your milk supply?
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 


I meant nipple shield/guard not breast shield.
post #3 of 18
The kind worn DURING feedings can definitely cause supply and latching problems and in my opinion should only be used with expert support (such as an IBCLC lactation consultant, not the average pediatrician.)

Can you tell us more?
post #4 of 18
shields are the plastic flexy ones you use during feeding. Use with help and caution.
shells are the hard ones you wear between feedings. I found them not confortable and ridiculous. I thought pumping and bf got my flat nipples out ok wihtout the shells.
post #5 of 18

nipple shields

The LC at my hospital recommended I use a nipple shield as a LAST RESORT. The info brochure that came with this Medela nipple shield states a warning: "Because the use of a Nipple Shield has been demonstrated to decrease mothers' milk supply, it is important to use the sheild under the direction of a physician, breastfeeding consultant or other health professional". I vaguely remember reading somewhere they can reduce milk supply by 58%. My baby wouldn't latch on anyway so this was a last ditch attempt to get her ON the breast. So I had nothing to lose. Hope that helps.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 


The reason I asked about the nipple guard/shield is for pain mainly. There are 3 different things going on--a case of thrush that makes for very sore nipples, vasospasming mainly after nursing my nipples blanch with pain and sometime between nursing and third my little one's latch on needs help. He's 2 months old and up until a few weeks ago nursing was painless. Mainly he won't open his mouth wide enough. We've been to the LC twice and the midwife numerous times but I'm still having trouble getting him to open wide enough tho the midwife said his latch on was good enough so that I shouldn't be experiencing the amount of pain I am. Even when he yawns he doesn't open that wide. The pain was so bad the other day that dh suggested pumping which I did. Though there was still pain it was considerably less which makes me think the latch on problem is causing at least 60 percent of the problem. So for the last few days I've been pumping and giving him bottles of my milk during the day and then nursing at night. This has given my nipples some relief but I would naturally prefer to nurse 100% of the time. But since nursing was becoming so frustrating for both of us and not a time of peace this has helped. I tried a nipple guard the other day and it helped tremendously with the pain. Any suggestions?
post #7 of 18
I had months of bf problems and I thought I had a poor latch problem but it was a poor positioning problem. We used the shield for almost three months and it was pure hell to get ds to latch onto me and not the shield. It took a month of trying then one day when he was about three months I just threw the shield away...cold turkey! He cried and cried but I didnt look back.

Anyway I had a lot of pain issues, a nipple blister, clogs from not being able to get on the breast well with the shield and a poor position! We used the shield from day one b/c it was the only way we could get him latched on and to stay on. We had a very poor start.

At eight months I realized b/c of my breast size that I could not do the cradle hold b/c I was trying to bend my breast to him in the crook of my arm which was not allowing milk to flow in the outer areas of my breast and I developed black spots on my breasts. Docs told me to wean...blah...blah...blah...I tried other positions but they never seemed right b/c I "thought" it was easier to get him latched on properly with the cradle hold. Now we use the cross cradle hold and modify it. I use a pillow on my lap to bring him up higher and my breast hangs down very low. We've been doing great with this for six months now!!

Whatever ya do just keep trying and dont give up! It's all worth it and I hope you get to the bottom of your situation and just try to breathe, relax, and think baby when you are nursing. Here's a and a lot of good vibes to you and your babe!
post #8 of 18
What are you doing to get rid of the yeast? Here's a page with a lot of great suggestions:

post #9 of 18
I used nipple shields with the support of my IBCLC, and they saved our nursing relationship. I know this is not a popular response. My daughter has a high palate, though, and she just couldn't latch on when she was newborn. She wasn't getting enough milk at all, was losing too much weight, and we were facing the possibility of supplementing. The nipple shields helped her have something to hold on to. She gained just fine. I used contact shields by Medela, so her chin still contacted and compressed my areola. My milk supply was fine. We used the shields for 4-6 weeks, weaning completely off of them by 6 weeks when her coordination had improved, and have been nursing successfully ever since. She is now 9 months old, and I'm SO grateful that there was something out there to help us and to allow her to keep nursing.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh I knew all you mamas would be supportive. Thanks so much for your input. It's really kind of depressing when the nursing relationship which seems so primal and so total goes out of wack for whatever reason. I mean that's where we and our little ones do so much communing those first few months.

Rachel--thanks for sharing your experience. My friend is also using one and it hasn't seemed to affect her milk supply.

Jane--we're on our 2nd round of diflucan orally, nystatin topically, plus vinegar washes on nipples, acidopholous, garlic capsules and boiling bras etc. plus a yeast free, sugar-free, wheat-free diet and lots of air on the nipples.

Curly Locks thanks so much for the good vibes you're sending our way. They are so appreciated.

It's very encouraging to hear that all you mamas managed and are now successfully breastfeeding because part of me feels we'll never get it right. We tried again today and it was minimally successful. I've ordered one of those 'brest friend pillows' (dumb name ) in hopes of at least not having to pile up 2 or 3 pillows and then trying to keep them in place. Anybody have success with these? Ds is a very physical nurser and thankfully is getting enough milk despite all the issues in place right now. Our next feeding time is coming up soon. I'm not sure whether to nurse or pump.
post #11 of 18
Good for you for hanging in there! I didn't get ds on the breast one hundred percent until he was 9 weeks old or so.....the combination of pumping and bottlefeeding and breastfeeding is truly the worst of both worlds.

I loved the My Brest Friend pillow; eventually ds didn't need it any more but it was a lifesaver when he was little.

On the yeast: the thing that finally kicked it for us after going through all the other hoops was gentian violet for 4 days. Made a terrible mess, but it did the trick.
post #12 of 18
I am almost certain that if we hadn't started using a nipple shield that I wouldn't have continued to BF. We started using one under the care of a LC when DS was 3-4 days old and I finally got him weaned off of it when he was 4-5 mo. I was aware of all the advice against using one, but IMO that was the only way for us to continue BF. The LC and I tried for over 2 hours to get DS latched on properly and finally she gave me a nipple shield to try. We had to fill it with formula to get DS to start sucking and keep refilling it whenever he started to fuss. My milk didn't come in until 5-6 days after birth, but when it did I was filling the shield with EBM. So our routine was nurse for 15-20 min, then I pumped with a Lactina for 10 minutes afterwards. We did this for 2 weeks with frequent weight checks and then when we got good at that we started working on weaning DS off the shield. Well, it took quite awhile, partly because of my laziness, but it got so much easier to get him latched on when he got bigger (the mouth gets bigger too!). We have not had any supply problems, in fact I still have a little bit of an oversupply problem. We continued to see our LC on occasion until DS was 2 mo for new ideas on weaning him off the shield and weight checks and finally she told me that since it's not causing any supply problems, I didn't have to keep coming back.

So I definitely agree that a nipple shield is not a good first resort. Nursing AND pumping is not convenient, nor is weaning the baby off the shield. However, for us it helped a great deal and now I can't believe that my DS, who can now find my nipple and latch on in his sleep, ever had latch problems!

I thought about and wanted to give up nursing and just pump and feed DS EBM fulltime but I kept telling myself - just do it one more week and then reassess. So after doing that many times it suddenly got so much easier! I think it was the hardest thing to do, but so well worth the effort. I used the nipple shield for quite a longtime, hopefully you wouldn't have to, but having your baby at your breast, even if there's a piece of silicone between you, is better than feeding EBM, IMO of course.
post #13 of 18
If your baby isn't opening his mouth wide enough, can you help him by pushing it down with one finger as he latches on? Some moms may even need to keep a finger on the chin throughout the feeding. Be patient, keep taking him off and re-latching until he gets it. If he cant' seem to open his mouth wide at all, I wonder if chiropractic would help? Perhaps he has a mis-alignment of some kind. Then again, he should outgow this issue as he grows.

Be careful with bottles, if he isn't opening wide enough now, bottles can make this worse. Try a Haberman feeder for this problem. It is a bottle that encourages a wide mouth and proper tongue use too.

Yes, a bfing pillow can be a great help. Breast size can affect your latching. Small breasted women benefit from a nice thick firm pillow. OTOH, very large breasted women, whose nipples hang down low, can benefit from a rolled up towel or receiving blanket under the breast, to raise the nipple to the baby.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
In the past 24 hrs ds has only had one bottle of my milk, the rest has been from nursing him. The pain seems somewhat less and a couple of times he's opened really wide. But when he latches on with a good opening he then pulls back so he has less of the breast in his mouth. This has me keeping him in position with my hand which he strains against and this feels awful like i'm forcing him. I'm also worried that he's getting enough. He's only tending to nurse for about 10-15 mins. At least with EBM I know how much he's gotten. i can't imagine he's getting as much as he was when I was pumping--tho I only got an oz this am which has me a bit concerned.

DaryLLL--when he takes the bottle oddly he takes the entire head of the nipple into his mouth almost down to where it meets the plastic. Where can i get a haberman?

Sparkeze--I too have thought about pumping full-time and using only EBM

i've gotta go ds is very fussy today.
post #15 of 18
Habermanss are available thru LCs or Medela pump rental stations. They encourage a breastfeeding type latch and also have adjustable milk flow.

If he keeps slipping down off the nipple, rather than pushing agaisnt the back of his neck, which might feel scary to him, I suggest break the latch and let him reattach deeply again. Have you tried nursing lying down? Some newborns find this more comfortable.
post #16 of 18
With the pulling back from the breast thing...my DS did that too and the LC showed me how to hold his head so that he can't. I had a lot of success with the football hold then because I could get a good grip on the back of his head and keep him right up there. If he was on my right breast (in football hold with a pillow under the baby), I had my right hand pushing his head into my breast, and my left hand holding my right breast so that the weight of it wouldn't pull the nipple out. Does that make sense? I did feel like I was forcing his head but it seemed to work.

I know a woman who pumped full-time. Her DD is 6 mo now and she's in the process of weaning to formula. I know it seems like a good option when you dread every nursing, but if you want to go longterm I don't think it's very conducive.

Good luck!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 


It's been a couple of weeks since I posted my question. We've been breastfeeding exclusively--no bottles and no nipple shield . The pain has diminished considerably. My right breast is almost pain-free, my left breast still has some pain particularly when ds first latches on--left breast is bigger and in the past has had overactive letdown tho this seems to have evened out--so I'm thinking perhaps it's a positioning thing. However that is the breast that was excruciating to nurse him on initially and I've been taking diflucan for close to 3 weeks so I'm thinking a persistent yeast problem.

I've ditched the nystatin ointment since it makes no sense to me to set up another warm, moist environment and instead have abandoned clothing on top while at home and no bras when I go out since I'm not leaking nearly as much as I was. I'm taking acidopholous and swabbing my breasts with vinegar/water solution plus an olive oil/tea tree oil/lavender oil mixture. Someone suggested swabbing ds's mouth with this also but I'm not comfortable doing this since I don't know about those oils taken internally. I should be swabbing ds's mouth with nystatin suspension but do that only sporadically. I'm coming up for a refill on the diflucan and am considering taking it since the left breast is still somewhat painful and I know the standard treatment is 2 weeks more when symptoms have disappeared.

Basically I still don't know if I'm dealing with yeast or latch on. I got the brest friend pillow and have used it occasionally but I prefer to nurse lying down. Anyway just wanted to let you know where things are at and that I am soooo grateful everytime I can nurse ds with joy and for long periods of time without much pain any time he wants . Thanks for all your support and suggestions.
post #18 of 18
YAY for you!
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