Target is selling nipple shields! Ugh! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-18-2003, 02:05 AM
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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.
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
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.
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:19 AM
 
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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.
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Old 09-18-2003, 01:03 PM
 
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Quote:
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.

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Old 09-18-2003, 02:27 PM
 
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How on earth could it be imagined that an epidural could cause flat nipples? Is that what you are saying, or do I misunderstand?
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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....
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:54 PM
 
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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. :
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:06 PM
 
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Quote:
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.
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 09-19-2003, 03:02 AM
 
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Let me get this straight.

Because *some* women *might* use this product without personal professional guidance, the paraphenalia to aid/help with breastfeeding problems should be denied to all women who don't have contact with aforementioned breastfeeding professionals.

This is supposed to improve things how?

I am all for cups, syringes, syringe attachments, SNSes and all things of that nature being freely available. Why? Because not everyone can afford a frikkin' lactation consultant (or they may not have ready bus access the way that many Target stores do). Not everyone can spare the time for an extra appointment. Not everyone has access to a professional. Perhaps the one they DO have access to is a real jerk. (Happened to me once or twice in the hospital with the twins, luckily I was able to blow her off because I knew what I was doing. I would not have wanted her to earn any extra $$ from me!)

Seems to me this IS a trust issue. The weight being thrown to professionals disturbs me. If someone is reasonable well-educated about breastfeeding, then they know that nipple shields are not to be used lightly. That is screamed ad nauseum in just about every breastfeeding book I've ever read. So, my first thought would be that women who buy the things at Target *must have a reason to do so* and it's not because they're stupid or uninformed.

Target sells pacifiers, johnny-jump-ups, swings, bouncy chairs, and infant bucket seats too, which some might equivocate to child abuse/severe impediments to bonding. Yet there's no high moral outrage that they'll sell them there! Seems to me the outrage should be directed towards Medela, not Target. But you know, Medela is in it to make a buck too. Maybe they want to cut out the middleman, I dunno.

For the record, I've never had to use any breastfeeding aid, even though they were pushed at me with the boys. I ignored the LC's sage advice and tossed the toys into the garbage. We did just fine. I'm lucky, my kids have all been born knowing how to nurse and nursing easily--and the "professional" advice I was given could have really screwed it up for us. Therefore, I can easily see things happening the other way, where an LC is dead set against the use of those tools and is dead wrong too.

Therefore, I'd want free access. That way if I get someone who puts their vision of how things should be above listening to me even if it goes against they typical way of doing things, I can still get what I need when I need it. Medela's good about providing nice inserts, I don't see why they couldn't just do the same thing in the shield packaging and call it good.
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:29 AM
 
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It can be very hard to accept that something we have always believed to be bad has now been found to be good. But it is my understanding that one of LLL's goals is to stay always up to date on new research and get that info out to mothers...if LLL has seen fit to change their stance on nipple shields then it must have been for good reason. Here is a link to an article summarizing why LLL has changed its stance. If nipple shields truly can help mothers breastfeed when otherwise they may not have (which I now believe) than it is good that they are being made more readily available. http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleade...ebMar03p3.html
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Old 09-19-2003, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I'm working on outdated information.

I do not equate nipple shields with nipple shells, Lansinoh, SNS systems, etc.

I guess I should do more research on the benefits and safety of this item.

Sorry to all those I've offended highly. I had no idea sheilds were so great and there were little (no?) risks involved.

I still will not recommend them to my clients as a norm. I've worked with women with inverted nipples, flat nipples, etc., and have not had to use them. I suppose if I cannot help a woman without them, then I will refer them to a LC that can help them with them.


Thanks, Tina, for the link. It has helped.
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:16 PM
 
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I just thought I'd let you know that I for one was not offended by your reaction...I had a hard time accepting the change in stance at first...but the more i thought about it the more I realized that I do trust LLL and the information they provide. It's kind of funny to look back at the oldest copies of the Womanly Art and see other instances in which they had changed their stance, I'm sure it was hard for women to accept those changes too.
BTW - I appreciate your passion!
I'm glad the link helped.
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Old 09-19-2003, 06:09 PM
 
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I took no offense at the opinion that nipple shields carry risks and should only be used with extreme caution. I still agree with that, even after reading the article.

The only thing that I found offensive was the idea that I should not be allowed to buy one unless I'm under the care of a LC. I should be allowed to make my own decision.

I still think the language on the packaging should be changed, even after reading the article.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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