Target is selling nipple shields! Ugh! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 09-13-2003, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was in Target the other day, looking at all their breastfeeding stuff, and I saw Medela nipple shields!

Nipple Shields are NOT something that should be used as lightly as breast pads and Lansinoh. They can create a horrible situation of low milk supply with a baby that becomes so used to them, they do not latch on the breast without them. I'm horrified that they would be selling something like this - and I'm wanting to get other people's opinions on possibly doing a letter-writing campaign. Perhaps I should contact LLL, too?

What do you all think?
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#2 of 45 Old 09-13-2003, 06:28 AM
 
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now here is some activism! thanks!

anything that would involve education would prolly be appropriate. I don't know if I feel Target is at fault for selling them tho. I think it is great that Target has a breast feeding stuff prominently displayed, & prolly importnat that a mom who was trying to breast feed & let's say was told by a LC to get nipple shields can find them. Now, if they had them on a "must have for every breastfeeding mom type list" then maybe not.

wait a minute~ there are 2 different things~ nipple shells & nipple shields or something & 1 of them is ok if you have inverted nipples & 1 of them is old fashioned things that don't help anybody, but then there's also something that protect against chafing... which one are we talking about? I don't know what I'm talking about & have to go back to bed...can you educate me?: sorry! Really, I just wanted to get you a reply bcz this is the kind of activism I really like, not just debate about controversial topics!
thanks! Maria
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#3 of 45 Old 09-13-2003, 09:24 AM
 
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Nipple sheilds are those things you wear when actually feeding at the breast. They have come a long way and are now much more flexible, allowing for more breast stimulation to keep up milk supply. They also have a cut-out to allow baby's nose to touch mom's breast.

But no, in 14 yrs, I have never recced one. I have helped quite a few moms wean off them successfully. It is not easy, but can be done.

Breast shells are hard plastic cups that fit over the areola, to be worn between feedings. They have a choice of 2 removable inserts, one to draw out inverted or flat nipples (break or stretch adhesions), and one to just keep clothing away from damaged nipples.

Do I think Target should carry these? Along with good breast pumps, yes. To be used without the support of an IBCLC or LLL Leader, no.
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#4 of 45 Old 09-13-2003, 10:54 AM
 
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Here is a new thread about shields in Breastfeeding:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=71022
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#5 of 45 Old 09-13-2003, 10:52 PM
 
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that could not have nursed without one. The baby wouldn't latch one, period (usually nipple confusion). Now the moms are getting stimulation to the breast instead of having to only pump, which doesn't work out so well for many moms.

But I think the outside of the packaging should carry a big message: "Please do not use without first consulting with a lactation consultant or La Leche League" or something to that effect. I would hate for someone to use it just because their nipples are sore instead of correcting the most likely problem, a bad latch.
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#6 of 45 Old 09-14-2003, 01:52 AM
 
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Although I agree that they should come with some instructions to consult a professional before using them, I think it is a great thing that Target is selling them. I think anytime materials for breastfeeding, baby carrying and the like being stocked brings these things more into the mainstream, and that can only be good.

edited for goofy sentence...still not great, but you get the idea now.

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#7 of 45 Old 09-14-2003, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, but the thing is, professionals are not recommending them (or should not really be recommending them!) any longer. Plus, if you are a professional, you will have access to them.

I just think they're damaging to the success of nursing. I guess I should go to the thread mentioned - perhaps I'm the only one that feels that they are anything but helpful anytime.
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#8 of 45 Old 09-14-2003, 11:45 AM
 
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from IBCLC's: that there are times when they are very useful, and prevent a mother and baby from giving up on breastfeeding. They just feel like they shouldn't be seen as a panacea for all problems and proper use and how to wean need to be taught.

The nurses frequently provide them for all babies born at 35 weeks and under who are trying to nurse at the breast, based on Paula Meirs' research (I think).
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#9 of 45 Old 09-14-2003, 11:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Delilah
. The nurses frequently provide them for all babies born at 35 weeks and under who are trying to nurse at the breast, based on Paula Meirs' research (I think).
"The nurses?" Which nurses? Certainly you don't mean every single nurse in the developed world? Since when are all nurses informed of latest research on lactation, as well? Not IME.

Nurses should not be handing them out like candy. I have seen lots of premies who do not start out on nipple sheilds, but do start out with cup feeding, finger feeding, tube feeding, or bottles, or actually--breastfeeding!
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#10 of 45 Old 09-14-2003, 09:04 PM
 
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Nipple shields saved my breastfeeding relationship. The circumstances are posted on the thread mentioned above. I did just fine without the assistance of a professional.

-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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#11 of 45 Old 09-16-2003, 10:21 AM
 
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i think it is great target sells nipple shields. i used them for a while and they worked.
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#12 of 45 Old 09-16-2003, 10:24 AM
 
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I still think this thread would get more informed responses in BFing Support and Advocacy.
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#13 of 45 Old 09-16-2003, 02:17 PM
 
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yeah, but the thing is, professionals are not recommending them (or should not really be recommending them!) any longer. Plus, if you are a professional, you will have access to them.
Agreed!

I have been a breastfeeding councelor for 20 years and have never seen a case where nipple shields were used that would not have been better managed without them! Yes, they can be helpful but the problems they create can be avoided by using other methods of solving the original latch on problems in the first place.

Selling nipple shields in places like Target and Babies R US, creates a mindset that they are widely used and needed. We have fought againest this mindset for the past 20 or more years and have succeded in getting nurses better informed for the most part. Let's not digress by marketing such products to the average breastfeeding mother, unless of course one wants to increase the likelyhood of breastfeeding failure.
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#14 of 45 Old 09-16-2003, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally posted by barbara
Yes, they can be helpful but the problems they create can be avoided by using other methods of solving the original latch on problems in the first place.
I didn't have a latch-on problem. My baby had thrush. I really don't know what else I could have done during that week besides use a nipple shield. It reduced the pain and it didn't cause any problems.

I understand your point, and I agree that it isn't a product that should be marketed to the average breastfeeding mother, but they do need to be available for the times they are needed -- for the times when they do more good than harm.

If I hadn't had that nipple shield, I don't know if I could have continued breastfeeding. The pain without the shield was unbearable.

-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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#15 of 45 Old 09-16-2003, 09:35 PM
 
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And if the LC isn't 100% always available to take care of that latch-on problem, that's when the mother can easiy give up and start bottle feeding, especially when she's tired, can't think clearly, and is tired of having an antagonistic relationship with the baby. I've met too many mothers who've also been able to wean off the shields after their nipples began to protrude better. Otherwise, they never would have made it that far.

As far as the hospital protocol goes, that's up to the Dir of Nsg for that dept, and I've met a few who adopted that protocol with preemies to get them to the breast. Nurses are looking for quick, easy answers, unfortunately, and many are stretched too thin, but I think it is better than giving up completely and sticking a bottle in the baby's mouth.
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#16 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 12:07 AM
 
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In the middle of winter, in those snowstorms we had in February, I went over to Target to buy the right size nipple shield. My hospital LC had given me some (after weeks of trying other things to get my dd to latch on properly) but they were the wrong size. Not the LCs fault, she told me they seemed a bit small and told me where I could buy larger ones. Just the LCs supplies were funded very well by the hospital. Thank God, Target stocked them cause I was in pain from a c/s, not used to driving in snow, didn't want to drive far with my newborn.. I only used them for about 4 days, it was enough to tempt my dd to latch on to my breast.

Compare the ease of buying the nipple shields at Target to trying to find a SNS. I wish Target had stocked SNSs!

I can understand the concern that Target stocking them normalises them but maybe I'm just really dumb cause I think if the LC hadn't shown me the nipple shields, I don't think I would have noticed them at Target. Just like I don't always notice the strange devices in the homewares section or the electronics section. Don't have a clue what half that stuff is. Target isn't the kinda shop I BROWSE in. You go in to get something specific.
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#17 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 01:42 AM
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Gee I have small nipples and my dd couldn't latch onto them when she was born and they gave me nipple shields at the hospital. I never would have been able to start nursing without them - when she was about 8 weeks she got the hang of my little nipples and I threw them out - but without them I would have been lost. As result she got 13 months of breastfeeing.
I don't understand the hub bub. I needed to buy more nipple shields at one point ans was glad to be able to.
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#18 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 01:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by pamamidwife
yeah, but the thing is, professionals are not recommending them (or should not really be recommending them!) any longer. Plus, if you are a professional, you will have access to them.

I just think they're damaging to the success of nursing. I guess I should go to the thread mentioned - perhaps I'm the only one that feels that they are anything but helpful anytime.
Actually I felt that the feeling on nipple shields had changed quite a bit in the new edition of "The Breastfeeding Answer Book." The new silicone ones are nowhere near as damaging as the old rubber ones were... in fact I felt that the BAB regarded nipple shields as a helpful tool that babies will grow out of needing. JMHO, of course!

Personally I think it's great that Target sells them. USA Baby does too actually! But I totally agree that the user needs to be well-informed and should seek professional care/advice.

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#19 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, they still cause supply issues. That's my beef: that you can easily have a situation with failure to thrive with using these without help.

I worked at an online medical supply place and we received a stern notice from Ruth Lawrence (author of a breastfeeding textbook) saying that NOBODY should be selling these to the general public. After the research I did on the topic, I have to wholeheartedly agree.

For those that used it and didn't have problems weaning babies from it, that's great. However, even as just a midwife, I get calls all the time from women trying to wean their babies from them. It is extremely difficult work - enough to make some women want to give up nursing altogether.

I don't think that this product should be viewed as a "well at least they're breastfeeding" issue. It's not that at all - they are potentially harmful to the baby and milk supply. I doubt many women picking them up at Target are under an LC's care. The way the box reads, it sounds really harmless and like something you can use to avoid any sort of pain while nursing. I"ll go back and re-read the box, but the description made it sound like the shields were benign, like it was no different than Lansinoh nipple cream.

What if it's a mama with just a latch problem? Or, yes, thrush? What if it's just sensitive nipples that need some time? What if it's these issues that need to be considered, but her friends tell her that she used it and it worked and then she runs and gets them, without treating the CAUSE of the problem? Many women encounter supply issues with nipple shields and babies have alot of difficulty - especially when they're used for INVERTED NIPPLES (UGH!!!!) right from birth - weaning from them.

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.
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#20 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 03:11 AM
 
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I did treat the thrush, which was the cause of the problem. I used vinegar and activated charcoal and yogurt and I can't remember what else. BUT IN THE MEAN TIME, the pain was unbearable without the shield over my nipple. It felt like my baby's mouth was made of scissors. What do you suggest I should have done instead of using a nipple shield? There was no question of being able to get her to breastfeed without the shield when the thrush went away -- she HATED the shield! No, I was not under a LC's care, but sometimes mothers need to be given credit for being able to take care of their baby's needs. If I had developed supply issues or if my baby failed to thrive, I would have sought help. I was able to handle the problem by myself and there were no negative consequences. If nipple shields were made unavailable to the public, I would feel like I was being treated like a child. And many women, had they been in my situation, but without access to nipple shields, would have ended their breastfeeding relationship.

If there's a problem with what the package says, then they need to change what the package says. That can be done without taking them off the market.

Even if I did have trouble getting her to go back to breastfeeding without the shield, do you think that would lead me to give up breastfeeding, when having my nipple in a mouth that feels like a pair of scissors didn't lead me to give up breastfeeding? Trying to breastfeed, with that amount of pain, without a nipple shield, would be MUCH more likely to lead me to give up breastfeeding, than having difficulty with transition from using a shield to not using a shield would.

-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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#21 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 04:24 AM
 
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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.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#22 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 08:27 AM
 
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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.
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#23 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 08:30 AM
 
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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?
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#24 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 10:11 AM
 
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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.
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#25 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#26 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 08:52 PM
 
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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.

-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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#27 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#28 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 09:48 PM
 
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I just don't think that they should be used without a professional involved.
I'm glad many of us agree about this point.
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#29 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 09:58 PM
 
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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.

-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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#30 of 45 Old 09-17-2003, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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