Sizing Nipple Shields? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-16-2008, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD was born exactly one week ago, and while we had a fairly intervention-free hospital birth, our stay there was less than so. She latched on well 20 minutes or so after birth, but became extremely sleepy while we were in recovery. I struggled to wake her for more than a few seconds at a time - used all the standard techniques (skin to skin, down to diaper, tickling, teasing with the nipple, changing the diaper, cold wet wipe on her skin....etc). Her latch began to worsen, and the hospital LC is entirely too overworked to spend enough time with any one mama. Of course, she would latch well with the LC - and as soon as she'd leave the room, pop off, fall asleep, and be unable to relatch properly (very very shallow latch). This started a nasty cycle of jaundice and nearly having to put her on an IV...I chose the lesser evil of the bottle and EBM. She will still attempt to latch to me no problem, and in fact still prefers the breast to the bottle. I want to get her back to that before she loses her preference for me.

I have flat nipples for the most part, and it was suggested to me to try nipple shields, but there was a problem. There's roughly three sizes at the store, and I have no idea which ones I should get. If they're sized to the baby, she was born at 9lbs 1oz, but she doesn't open wide so well to latch. If they're sized to me, I have no earthly idea of what size to buy.

Any suggestions? TIA!

~ Kiera 12.9.08
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#2 of 5 Old 12-16-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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I don't have info on sizing. However, nipple shields might not be a good idea:

http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJunJul00p39.html

May be you can call a lactation consultant to come and help you guys?
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#3 of 5 Old 12-16-2008, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm aware of the pros and cons of trying a shield. I find that to be the lesser of two evils when faced with continuing to exclusively pump for my daughter and keeping her on a bottle. Our insurance does not cover consults with LCs, so it makes my choices limited unfortunately.

~ Kiera 12.9.08
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#4 of 5 Old 12-16-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I'm sorry you have to deal with this

The sizing is supposed to match the baby's mouth not your nipples. I would start out with the smallest, but also get the next size up just in case. There's a little bit of info on this site:


http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com...nipple-shields


I had to use nipple shields briefly at the recommendation of my LC due to flat nipples causing extremely bad latch. If you feel that you must use them, I would just try to use them for as short a time as possible. But, just to give you some encouragement, I used them probably for two weeks and then didn't need them anymore. It still took a couple of weeks after that to really perfect her latch, but it gets easier as their mouth grows, and they are able to open wider. Hang in there!
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#5 of 5 Old 12-16-2008, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm definitely looking for this to be a short term solution until we both work the kinks out. ) Thanks for the info and the proof that they can help! I just don't know at this point what else to try other than continue to be a slave to the pump. If it comes down to that, then I'll do it to make sure she gets my milk (she refuses formula anyway...took one taste and spit it up on the nurse in the hospital without even drinking it!)

There are some local breastfeeding support groups here, and I figure to start attending meetings as well (once Oklahoma defrosts from the ice!). But this will give me a place to start with her during the day.

~ Kiera 12.9.08
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