Join Date: Aug 2005
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Mama to my beautiful Ana Carolina (2/07), Isabel Cristina (6/10), and #3 on the way in August 2013!
You are NOT a failure. You are an awesome mom doing your very best for your baby.
I too have flat nipples. I used a shield for 2.5 months with DD. I hated the shield. I hated the LC that gave it to me prematurely. I felt like my body wasn't good enough. However, I didn't have sore nipples (until I weaned from the shield).
I suggest sticking with the shield until you're ready to try without. Cover your nips with lanolin, put the shield on, and nurse your baby. Use soothes and such for your nips. Pump when you just can't take it. Get BF well established. Get your milk supply established. Love your beautiful new babe.
Once you aren't having such a hard time, once you feel better, your nipples are healed, your milk supply is established, and you feel emotionally prepared to spent some time transitioning, then work on weaning off of the shield. By then your nipples will be a bit more elastic and pulled out, your babe will have a larger mouth and more head control to help out, and things should be better.
I really hated the nipple shield. I don't think it's a great first line of defense, but in your position, I think it's probably the best way to go. Cross the bridge of weaning from the shield later.
You can do this. Good luck. We're all rooting for you.
Wife to J, SAHM to W (03/06) at 32w4d, C (10/08) , and H (02/11)