or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Activism Archives › Target is selling nipple shields! Ugh!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Target is selling nipple shields! Ugh! - Page 2

post #21 of 45
They can be extremely helpful but if you need them you can get them from the ped's office or the hospital. I was told (incorrectly) that I had flat nipples and would need them so I was sent home with them from the hospital. When dd refused to nurse correctly I did use them as a crutch until a few days later when I got in to see the LC. They were a lifesaver for me. They should only be used with instruction from someone qualified to show one how to use them and that will be there to help wean you off them when they are no longer needed.
post #22 of 45
I wish I had tried them with my son. He nursed for 22 months and I was in pain every day of that time.

I probably would have tried nipple shields if A) they had been readily available and B) I hadn't heard so much about the EEEEEVILS of them from BF books and support sources.

Instead I got useless advice and "sorry, I just don't know what else you can try" from LLL leaders and LCs.

I used them briefly with my DD, got them from an LC. DD still nurses at age 3, and it is a joy.

Change the way they are marketed, certainly. But don't make them out to be some horrible, certain-doom scenario. That isn't helpful either.
post #23 of 45
COB, this is kind of OT, but you have piqued my interest. You say you had pain for 22 mos nursing #1, then after a few days of nipple sheilds, had no pain with #2?

Well, that seems miraculous. To what do you attribute this change?
post #24 of 45
Interestingly enough, I saw a woman last night who's ds was born premature and is now 2 months old. She was given nippleshields in the hospital and has never been able to nurse her ds without them. He is still very tiny at 2 months. At night she nurses him with the shields and during the day is pumping and giving him her milk in a bottle because he is so small and not getting enough trying to nurse through the shield. She has been trying to wean him off for 2 months and the nurses and LC at the hospital that gave her the shields have been of no help in getting him off them and onto her breast.

Could this have been handled differently in the begining so as to avoid this problem? Probably, but shields are an easy "band aid" fix and the people who hand them out are rarely the ones who end up helping with the real issues and the problems caused by the shields.
post #25 of 45
Thread Starter 
Devrock, please know that I was not saying anything about your situation. I referred to thrush because it is something that causes breastfeeding to be excruciatingly painful - it was not about YOU. I was just referring to the things that can cause painful nursing that may not be researched further.
post #26 of 45
It just sounded like you were advocating banning them from the market, so I was just pointing out that I am an example of why they should be available. I also wanted to point out that I would be really ticked off if they took them off the market, because I would feel like I was being treated like a child who is not trusted to be able to make choices or to be able to handle my own needs.
post #27 of 45
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm not for banning them altogether, but I do think they should only be available through a professional. I may be alone in that thought here, but I know from my own experience that it's really nerve-wracking and heartbreaking for mamas who have used them and then had to wean their babies from them.

Incidentally, at our local hospital, they give out a baby care video which tells women point blank to avoid nipple shields at all costs. Then, the LCs at the hospital dole them out like they're no big deal. The sad thing is that the follow-up care is difficult and there is some major disagreement between the LCs that work in the same office about this topic.

I just think that, from what I've seen with serious supply issues and overdependence on them, that they do not always benefit a nursing relationship.

And, I do trust women to make their own choices. however, we live in a crappy culture around breastfeeding with little or no support and contradicting advice from nurses, pediatricians, midwives, LCs, LLL, etc. all the time. Then, throw in your Aunt Jo and her advice - perhaps I live in a different culture than others do, but damn, if there's something that's being sold out there like it's benign to the nursing relationship and can only help women (rather than a warning that it can adversely affect supply), then I take serious issue with that.

I just don't think that they should be used without a professional involved. That's how I feel about it. I guess that's where my beef comes in.

I understand where others are coming from, and that their nursing relationship may have been saved by nipple shields, but I do not advocate their casual use.
post #28 of 45


I just don't think that they should be used without a professional involved.
I'm glad many of us agree about this point.
post #29 of 45
I still disagree.

I do favor changing the language on the packaging.

I do not consider my use of the shield "casual" just because I didn't involve a professional.
post #30 of 45
Thread Starter 
No, Alice, but I'd bet you had more support than most women have.

This has been enlightening and informative. I hope that those who have a strong opinion either way will speak out.
post #31 of 45
I have a very strong opinion that they helped me and my baby and I was glad to have them.

They helped me start a long successful period of nursing.

I hope others who need this kind of help in the beginning can find them too.
post #32 of 45
Originally posted by DaryLLL
COB, this is kind of OT, but you have piqued my interest. You say you had pain for 22 mos nursing #1, then after a few days of nipple sheilds, had no pain with #2?

Well, that seems miraculous. To what do you attribute this change?
Well, the way you interpreted my post, yes, it seems miraculous, even a bit...preposterous.

However, it was not a miracle, it was lots and lots of hard work. DS and DD had different nursing issues, similar yet not the same. I could fill a book describing the two experiences -- it's hard to boil it down to a brief summary. With DD, it took a very dedicated LLL leader/LC, a skilled occupational therapist, a wonderful chiropractor, and my own determination to overcome our problems. The nipple shields were just a tool in the process, not the whole reason for our success. Alone, they certainly would not have done the trick, but I was glad to have an LC who was not afraid to try them. (I was also glad to have contact with an LC who recommend occupational therapy, rather than the same tired "her latch looks OK to me, you shouldn't be in pain" crap I got from way too many sources. Incidentally, I also sought help from three other LCs, two other LLL leaders, and a different OT -- none of whom had the skills or understanding to be of any use at all to me.)

There is of course no guarantee that nipple shields would have worked with my DS. But I wish I had felt that they were a possible option to try -- I remember wanting to try them, the idea of protecting my nipple from pain and damage was so appealing. I would like to be able to look back and feel some peace of mind from having tried everything to improve our situation. Instead, the strident negative attitude about nipple shields in the BF literature and among the pro-BF "crowd" made me so fearful of them that I wouldn't even consider them. I can't begin to describe the grief I still carry from my poor nursing relationship with DS -- I would give a lot to have a do-over, knowing then what I know now.

Anyway, gotta go help DD with something. Hope I provided enough to assuage your interest in my experiences, DaryLLL.
post #33 of 45
Thanks, COB!! Didn't mean to intrude, but I do appreciate mom's success stories, it helps me help others.

You were extremely persistent in finding the kid of help you needed, it is very inspiring. So I assume it was some kind of palate/tongue issue? Or neurological? PM me if you want...don't want to go too OT here.
post #34 of 45
Originally posted by pamamidwife

It is a band-aid to cover up issues that may be alleviated and solved by other avenues. I just think that this sort of temporary fix can cause more harm than good.

Then again, maybe it's a reflection on the lack of support many women receive altogether regarding breastfeeding.
I agree with you on the lack of support issue, but I have to disagree that they cause more harm than good. I have spoken to several moms who went on to have a positive BF experience after starting off on a nipple shield, myself included. I used one for 5 months and was able to wean w/o too much of a problem. For me in that specific experience (not generalizing here) general weaning techniques worked for us. I think there's so much pressure to get the baby off the shield ASAP and when you do that before the baby is ready it's really hard. I tried weaning DS off the shield starting at 2 mo but he wasn't ready and I tried periodically, but when I tried at 5 mo he was ready and it was not a problem at all!

In hindsight and after more research, I think the cause of our BF woes (flat nipples, bad/no latch) was the epidural I had during labor. Probably the long labor, prolonged pushing, and delivery by forceps (which is why I got the epidural at the end) didn't help either. I had read that an epidural can make a newborn less alert for BF but I hadn't known that it can be the cause for flat nipples in the mother, and flat nipples + non alert newborn is a bad combination! And imagine how many women have epidurals in this country! Would I have not gotten the epidural? Well, I don't know what other options there are for pain relief with forceps but at least I would've been prepared for problems instead of having all the nurses say it would be fine once my milk came in except my milk didn't come in for 5 days because DS wasn't nursing well.

But I digress... I am a mother who thinks the nipple shield saved our BF relationship - for that I am grateful.
post #35 of 45
How on earth could it be imagined that an epidural could cause flat nipples? Is that what you are saying, or do I misunderstand?
post #36 of 45
Thread Starter 
It is a temporary fix to those issues that can and should be resolved another way. In this way, it can end up causing more harm than good. It's not always the case with every shield user, but for those women who could be helped another way, it could end up being more difficult and problematic if other avenues are not tried first. That's what I meant.
post #37 of 45
Thread Starter 
I think she was saying that the combo of flat nipples + a less than alert baby created issues.

And, also, flat nipples are not something that always needs a shield. Babies do not nipple nurse - it takes a bit more time, but I think that many times flat nipples are over diagnosed and made into this huge deal. (Especially with first time moms!)

True inverted nipples, now, are a bit more work....
post #38 of 45
Nipple shields (not shells) saved my nursing relationship. My dd was nipple confused in the extreme and with a certified LC we used the shields along with EBM squirted into them with a syringe to get her to keep at it.

I think they need to be used correctly to be effective just like oh...anything from condoms to a breast pump. Oh and BTW, Target also sells formula and all manner of non-AP baby equipment. Does that mean I won't shop there? Um. No. It does not.

Nipple shields are the least of things to get upset about a company selling.

I don't think this ia realistic thing to take grave offense at. :
post #39 of 45
Originally posted by pamamidwife
Well, I'm not for banning them altogether, but I do think they should only be available through a professional.
Pamamidwife: I understand your concern for the strong drawbacks to this product, but your perspective reminds me of something a lot of us here dislike about mainstream medicine -- the idea that we are not capable of making our own decisions about what is best for us and need a professional to approve.

Already a lot of health products are regulated by the government so that they can only be accessed with professional approval. I don't think that power should be extended to retailers. Parents and people have the right to make choices.
post #40 of 45
Thread Starter 
Perhaps you're right, Lisa. Perhaps the women I've seen experience problems have been the minority. I'd like to think so. Perhaps the drawbacks to nipple shields have been grossly overstated and overpublicized.

I would accept that maybe my belief isn't right for everyone. However, as a midwife who runs against the grain within my own profession, it isn't a lack of trust on the part of the women purchasing this product. It's misrepresentation and a lack of information on the dangers of this product that I take aim with.

And, no, I won't be boycotting Target because of this. I may contact Ruth Lawrence, though, and let her know about Medela's retail distribution plan.

We may all disagree on this topic, and that's ok by me. However, it's not a matter of me not trusting women. We each have our own perspectives and ideas about this topic - and it's perfectly fine to disagree.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Activism Archives
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Activism Archives › Target is selling nipple shields! Ugh!