Nipple shield and supply - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 10-01-2010, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering if anyone knows if there is a link between using a nipple shield and supply?

We have been using a shield for 6 weeks now (DS is 7 weeks old) and are now weaning off it. It's going ok, his latch often hurts and I'm still using it at night if he can't latch, and honestly sometimes I want to go back on it because it's easier and less painful!!!

But my question is, since coming off it (which was only 3 days ago), my boobs HURT! It feels like when my milk was coming in, and they start hurting about 10 minutes after feeding. Is this normal? I expected the nipple pain since we're working on the latch, but I'm starting to think him being on the breast is increasing my supply. Also with one breast he'll do the choke-and-pull-away thing, and instead of a drop of milk on his face, it's pouring out! I'm on domperidone because I was told I had low supply (and supplementing with formula) so it would be great if this was no longer the case.

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#2 of 15 Old 10-01-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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Nipple shields often lead to low supply because they prevent thorough emptying of the breast. If he is stimulating your breasts better there is every chance your supply is increasing due to that (which is GREAT! ).

The breast pain after feeds sounds suspicious to me - is he showing any symptoms of thrush (white coating in mouth (not just on tongue)? seems to dislike sucking bottle/paci or cries in pain after doing so?). Are your nipples stinging?
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#3 of 15 Old 10-01-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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I used shields for 3-4 mos with my twins -- just got off em recently in fact -- and I really see how much more efficient milk transfer is without the shield. It's bc the shield only squeezes the nipple itself, not much areola, but their mouths squeeze areola when latched well. Actually, one guy stopped the shield about three weeks before the other, and he gained about 8 more ounces in that three week timespan than the shield user did! Previously they'd always been neck and neck, within an ounce or two of each other. So it really does make a difference. Hope you can cut out the formula (and maybe the Dom too) soon!

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#4 of 15 Old 10-02-2010, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

The breast pain after feeds sounds suspicious to me - is he showing any symptoms of thrush (white coating in mouth (not just on tongue)? seems to dislike sucking bottle/paci or cries in pain after doing so?). Are your nipples stinging?
No, they more just hurt if they get touched or rub against my top. The rest of my boobs have more of an ache. I haven't seen any whiteness in his mouth - would he be in pain or anything?

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I used shields for 3-4 mos with my twins -- just got off em recently in fact -- and I really see how much more efficient milk transfer is without the shield. It's bc the shield only squeezes the nipple itself, not much areola, but their mouths squeeze areola when latched well. Actually, one guy stopped the shield about three weeks before the other, and he gained about 8 more ounces in that three week timespan than the shield user did! Previously they'd always been neck and neck, within an ounce or two of each other. So it really does make a difference. Hope you can cut out the formula (and maybe the Dom too) soon!
That's great to know! I'm glad you could come of them sucessfully, and kudos for bfing twins!

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#5 of 15 Old 10-02-2010, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This pain is getting bad, I'm dreading each nursing session

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#6 of 15 Old 10-02-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Jade some babies are in pain with thrush and some aren't. It sounds like his latch is still no good - who are you seeing to resolve his latch issues (an LC, LLL person, midwife...?). I think it's time to call them, pain, especially increasing pain, isn't something to ignore.
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#7 of 15 Old 10-02-2010, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw an LC last week, so I think I will call her tomorow (sunday here).

I spent all day crying and dreading feeding (and then feeling like the worst mother ever for not wanting to feed my child) so we've gone back on the shield for this feed. Right now my sanity is more important.

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#8 of 15 Old 10-02-2010, 10:54 PM
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Jade, I'm guessing that the pain is due to poor latch--we had the same issue after weaning from the shield. When you're using a shield, you don't have to be careful about latch so you get lazy. I kept trying to stop using it but the pain was so intense I would use it part time, and then gradually decrease using it as I got used to it and improved my latch. Please see the LC again! And if you're crying the whole feeding for goodness sake use the shield some to give yourself time to heal. I didn't wean fully off it until 6 months and I'm still nursing at 21 months.
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#9 of 15 Old 10-03-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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I used a shield for about 2.5 months due to a shallow latch (caused primarily by a teeny mouth). Really, I had no supply difference. Yes, she emptied my breast quicker without the shield, but the actual supply did not change.

I tried to wean at 4-6 weeks with the help of an LC but it didn't work. She would latch correctly by me basically doing it for her, then pull back on my nipple. I would take her off, and try again. And again. And then finally let her eat with the shield because she was hysterical and hungry, and it wasn't worth it to me (I also had a forceful letdown by then).

At 11 weeks or so, I happened to be out somewhere and forgot the shield on the kitchen counter after washing it, and my daughter got hungry. So I decided to feed her and let her latch however she needed to so she could eat, and she did...correctly! We were able to very quickly drop the shield then.

It could be thrush, especially if your entire breast hurts, but it could also be that the latch is still not right and you need to work on that, or you need to let you son mature a little bit more and keep using the shield a little bit longer.
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#10 of 15 Old 10-03-2010, 04:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by *Jade* View Post
Just wondering if anyone knows if there is a link between using a nipple shield and supply?

We have been using a shield for 6 weeks now (DS is 7 weeks old) and are now weaning off it. It's going ok, his latch often hurts and I'm still using it at night if he can't latch, and honestly sometimes I want to go back on it because it's easier and less painful!!!

But my question is, since coming off it (which was only 3 days ago), my boobs HURT! It feels like when my milk was coming in, and they start hurting about 10 minutes after feeding. Is this normal? I expected the nipple pain since we're working on the latch, but I'm starting to think him being on the breast is increasing my supply. Also with one breast he'll do the choke-and-pull-away thing, and instead of a drop of milk on his face, it's pouring out! I'm on domperidone because I was told I had low supply (and supplementing with formula) so it would be great if this was no longer the case.
The link between the nipple shield and supply is that the baby is more efficient now at getting milk out and stimulating your breast, plus all the hormones from his saliva are sending messages to your body to make more milk - so yes it sounds absolutely possible.

I would have a look at the position you are in - www.biologicalnurturing.com is a great website and may help with both latch and position. if this doesn't resolve things then you may have to have a look at his mouth - but try this position first.

If your milk is 'pouring' out, then I'm guessing that you don't need to supplement, try weaning yourself slowly from the Dom and see what happens, it seems to me that if he's choking and pulling away from the breast that you have an Over Active Letdown, if you think that this is the case, then you can put him to the breast to start off the nursing session then when you feel the 'let-down' take him off and either collect in a towel or a bottle or something and keep just in case you need it at any time, then when you feel that the let down is over the worst then put him back on to the breast.

If you're breasts still hurt then look into the thrush thing but if you relate it to post colostrum breast pain as when 'your milk comes in' then you should be ok within a couple of days when your body organises things a little more for you and baby - let us know how you are getting on.

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#11 of 15 Old 10-03-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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I'm curious. What are the indications for using a nipple shield? I've always thought they were terrible things, due to supply issues, but it seems like a lot of people use them for various reasons. Can someone enlighten me?
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#12 of 15 Old 10-04-2010, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Eligracey View Post
Jade, I'm guessing that the pain is due to poor latch--we had the same issue after weaning from the shield. When you're using a shield, you don't have to be careful about latch so you get lazy. I kept trying to stop using it but the pain was so intense I would use it part time, and then gradually decrease using it as I got used to it and improved my latch. Please see the LC again! And if you're crying the whole feeding for goodness sake use the shield some to give yourself time to heal. I didn't wean fully off it until 6 months and I'm still nursing at 21 months.
The LC commented his latch was "perfect" on Thurs, but if so it wouldn't hurt!

I'm glad to hear you're still going strong!!

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Originally Posted by bella99 View Post
I used a shield for about 2.5 months due to a shallow latch (caused primarily by a teeny mouth). Really, I had no supply difference. Yes, she emptied my breast quicker without the shield, but the actual supply did not change.

I tried to wean at 4-6 weeks with the help of an LC but it didn't work. She would latch correctly by me basically doing it for her, then pull back on my nipple. I would take her off, and try again. And again. And then finally let her eat with the shield because she was hysterical and hungry, and it wasn't worth it to me (I also had a forceful letdown by then).
This is exactly the issue we had - he would slip off the breast and onto the nipple. When I saw the LC last week we semi-solved it by putting a rolled up facecloth between his chest and my breast to stop it slipping out, which seemed to work.

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Originally Posted by ewe+lamb View Post
I would have a look at the position you are in - www.biologicalnurturing.com is a great website and may help with both latch and position. if this doesn't resolve things then you may have to have a look at his mouth - but try this position first.

If you're breasts still hurt then look into the thrush thing but if you relate it to post colostrum breast pain as when 'your milk comes in' then you should be ok within a couple of days when your body organises things a little more for you and baby - let us know how you are getting on.
Thanks for the link, I will check the site and try that position.

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Originally Posted by teton1898 View Post
I'm curious. What are the indications for using a nipple shield? I've always thought they were terrible things, due to supply issues, but it seems like a lot of people use them for various reasons. Can someone enlighten me?
I had heard the same thing - and in fact cried when the LC suggested it in the hospital! But I think it saved our nursing relationship, nothing worked before we tried the shield.


- Couldn't get hold of the LC today, so trying again tomorrow. Back on the shield and theres still pain latching, but it eases off a bit. No crying today at least!

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#13 of 15 Old 10-04-2010, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update - spoke to an LC today and the plan is

- Let left nipple (currently cracked and still sore) heal, use PureLan and shield
- Right breast, feed without shield every second feed
- Make him open his mouth wide, point nipple upwards, unlatch him if he slips down
- Wed afternoon can try without shield on left if not too sore
- Go back Fri to see original LC

Hopefully this and the appointment on Friday will mean we can eventually lose the shield altogether!

I love going to visit the LC, they have this set up in a house, they help put the baby to nap, give you a hot drink, even let you sleep while the baby sleeps if you need to! Last time they gave me home-made muffins and vege soup for lunch! They don't get any govt funding, so I will remember to take a donation this time, such a great service for stressed out new mothers!

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#14 of 15 Old 10-14-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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I'm curious. What are the indications for using a nipple shield? I've always thought they were terrible things, due to supply issues, but it seems like a lot of people use them for various reasons. Can someone enlighten me?
Nipple shields are used sometimes when a baby will not latch (though cup feeding is another option). We used a nipple shield all the time for the first 3 weeks, then off and on until DD was 5-6 weeks for this reason -- I had a sleepy, c/s baby who just would not latch and hadn't eaten.

They're also used with premature babies and sometimes with women who have severely damaged nipples (open sore, crack, etc.)

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#15 of 15 Old 10-15-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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Jade - it sounds like yeast mama... What do your nipples look like?

I was just diagnosed with yeast after a week of feeling extreme pain latching and feeding and sore/achy breasts. My nipples hurt so bad so add in bad latch and boy oh boy is it bad...

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