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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you need them? My sister is due with her first child and plans to bf. She said that one of her friends told her about nipple shields and has been using them to prevent sore nipples. I thought the shields were used if there is exessive discomfort or in the case of inverted or flat nipples. I'm thrilled that my sister plans to bf, so I've been careful to support anything that will make it more comfortable and easy for her. I'm wondering if there could be any nipple confusion with the shields? She does plan to introduce a bottle at some point so her DH can share feeding the baby as well as for when they go out for a couple of hours. Should the nipple shield she uses be the same brand as the bottles she plans to get? Sorry to sound so <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: about this. I bf both of my kids but didn't have any comfort issues so I never really looked into these before. Thanks!
 

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I had flat/small nipples and used them.<br><br>
Never any nipple pain but I could not wean my daughter off them and had to have one to nurse for two years. It was a pain.<br><br>
I'd tell her if she can get through the first week or two without them she should - for sure. For some people they affect supply and I sure would not want that to happen to her! Anyway - better to be able to nurse without something. My dd would literally not latch on without it so if I forgot it at home - crisis! Sometimes it felt as confining as bottles.
 

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I don't think they should be used unless necessary.<br><br>
I had flat/inverted nipples and a baby who couldn't latch, so they were our salvation. But I was warned to wean baby off the shields as soon as possible, and am lucky that I was successful (weaned from them in 2-3 weeks), because I have heard many stories like the PP where it is impossible to wean from them.<br><br>
Seriously, unless there is a real and pressing REASON to use them, I say NO, don't even have them around. Try to get the baby to latch without them and even if it is more work at first, it will be far worth it not to have to wean from the shield. In my case, the baby had not latched in 3 days with 24/7 trying everything we could think of, before we tried a shield - and as I said above, in such a situation, I think nipple shields can save a breastfeeding relationship. An LC showed me how to use one and gave me tips on weaning from it - if your sister thinks she needs a shield, I encourage her to talk to an IBCLC certified LC about it.<br><br>
And, she should not introduce a bottle until breastfeeding is well-established, to prevent nipple confusion. You might want to get her a copy of a good breastfeeding book or encourage her to take a class, or attend LLL meetings before the baby is born.<br><br>
Edit: one more thing about nipple shields - as I recall, in some cases they can negatively affect supply, especially when used over the long term. It won't always be the case, but that possibility combined with the inconvenience of always having to use a shield (which is awkward to use) once baby is used to it - means that this is NOT an easy route to take. I would not be surprised if your sister's friend weans early, because long-term nursing with a nipple shield is going to be far more difficult and cumbersome than nursing without a shield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, mamas! You've all said pretty much what I'm thinking. I just wanted to have some solid advise for her before I let her know what I think. You all are much more current with the bf world than I! I love the book suggestion and will pick it up Monday to give to her. Huge thanks!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/thanks.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thanks">
 

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ya i think we really needed the shield after some serious issues with latching and so forth. i never tried weening her off it hard enough so we still use it at 10 mos. i dont know any better but can imagine it would have been much easier without it. i would tell her to give it a try for a day or so atleast without one first and maybe even have an lc come to their house if she has troubles first b4 resorting the the shield...but they certainly arent the evil that ppl make them out to be. they are so thin now that i really cant imagine it effects supply....it hasnt effected mine!
 

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I had to use them for a while. THey saved BF"ing for me totally. My boobs were too big and my nipples too flat for a little baby.<br>
I weaned her off them at about 3 weeks and it wasn't too bad but I always got her to try before and after I would use a nipple shield untill one day she latched on and we never looked back.<br>
I think it's better bec she was being lazy with her latch on the nipple sheilds and it was hurting me. I can only imagine what a pain it would be to have to use them the whole time you BF though.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IndyNanny</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9824451"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I thought the shields were used if there is exessive discomfort or in the case of inverted or flat nipples.</div>
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I think they can be used for that reason, but, primarily, they are used when there are nursing issues (sucking issues, latch issues, etc) on the part of the baby.<br><br>
Many babies, particularly NICU babies started on formula or pumped breastmilk, have nipple confusion. Therefore, nipple shields are CRUCIAL and NECESSARY to establish nursing.<br><br>
Babies can be weaned from a nipple shield.<br><br>
I'd use them if you have to, but use them sparingly so if you are doing it for your own comfort.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IndyNanny</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9824451"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Should the nipple shield she uses be the same brand as the bottles she plans to get?</div>
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I don't think they have to be the same brand.<br><br>
La Leche League has recommendations on nipple shields and when they are appropriate. Check out that wonderful resource.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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As someone who has been using them for SIX %&#! MONTHS, I would strongly suggest that she not use them unless she absolutely needs to, and to use them only under the guidance of a lactation consultant. Tell her that they are not convenient AT ALL, and if she looses the shield or if it is dirty, she'll be in a world of trouble. They can also lead to low supply, blocked ducts, and infection.<br><br>
If she thinks she is going to have trouble breastfeeding, including sore nipples, suggest that she attend some La Leche League meetings to get her off on the right foot.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sparklett</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9827817"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As someone who has been using them for SIX %&#! MONTHS, I would strongly suggest that she not use them unless she absolutely needs to, and to use them only under the guidance of a lactation consultant. Tell her that they are not convenient AT ALL, and if she looses the shield or if it is dirty, she'll be in a world of trouble. They can also lead to low supply, blocked ducts, and infection.<br><br>
If she thinks she is going to have trouble breastfeeding, including sore nipples, suggest that she attend some La Leche League meetings to get her off on the right foot.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: A close friend of mine is having the EXACT same issues (Props to you for continuing to BF after 6 months!!!) . I would always consult a lactation professional as I was given a book by my LC that strongly suggested not using nipples shields as it can be very hard to break the habit.<br><br>
When dd was born, she was an agressive sucker that led to VERY sore nipples after only 3 days of BF'ing! It was a horrible first week (dumbhospital never sent the LC that I requested) BF'ing but everything's working out now- nobody ever said BF'ing was easy but it is truly the best for your baby (and who can't resist seeing that little face looking up at you?!)
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tonimk19</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9827912"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: A close friend of mine is having the EXACT same issues (Props to you for continuing to BF after 6 months!!!) . I would always consult a lactation professional as I was given a book by my LC that strongly suggested not using nipples shields as it can be very hard to break the habit.<br><br>
When dd was born, she was an agressive sucker that led to VERY sore nipples after only 3 days of BF'ing! It was a horrible first week (dumbhospital never sent the LC that I requested) BF'ing but everything's working out now- nobody ever said BF'ing was easy but it is truly the best for your baby (and who can't resist seeing that little face looking up at you?!)</div>
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THANKS! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again! I do remember that my nipples were a bit sore at the very beginning, but after a week or so there was just a little discomfort with let down. Noting big,though. I'm wanting to encourage her to push through minor discomfort because I know it will be so much easier in the long run. I plan to pick up some cream and/or soothies for her just in case. What did you guys like for tenderness? What's a good cream that she could use as needed?
 

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Nipple sheilds can be a godsend, a PITA or precipitate a breastfeeding failure. They should only ever be used with the advice and assistance of an IBCLC for very specific problems and on-going guidance.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IndyNanny</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9828139"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I plan to pick up some cream and/or soothies for her just in case. What did you guys like for tenderness? What's a good cream that she could use as needed?</div>
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I just use the lansinoh cream for any nipple soreness and good old moist heat (washcloths or warm showers) for general soreness.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>miche28</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9828178"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">They should only ever be used with the advice and assistance of an IBCLC for very specific problems and on-going guidance.</div>
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I check in with my LC at least once a month. It's part of the regular routine now and barely a blip on my radar, but still contributes to everything that makes shields a huge PITA.
 

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to be honest i love nipple shields i was almost ready to give up on b/f my d/s at about 3 weeks because he just couldnt latch well and we would both end up frustrated then i was given a nipple shiled used it for about 3 weeks and it saved our breast feeding relationship. i would use em as a last resort not for comfort (then again my lo has no teeth yet so i dunno about further down the line lol)
 

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Some people swear by nipple SHELLS to prevent soreness. They keep clothing from rubbing. You could get her some if she's worried.
 

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DD had to use them for about 6 weeks since she was early and had issues latching onto my semi-flat nipples. But, they are a HUGE inconvenience and I wouldn't recommend them unless you have a real need for them. It took me over a week (and I was lucky) to get DD off of them. Some babies never wean off and trust me, cleaning and carrying around those things is awful, especially if you even think about NIP.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>IndyNanny</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9824451"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She said that one of her friends told her about nipple shields and has been using them to prevent sore nipples. I thought the shields were used if there is exessive discomfort or in the case of inverted or flat nipples.</div>
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I'm with Jillian, I think it sounds like she's talking about SHELLS, not shields.<br><br>
I used <a href="http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2403352" target="_blank">these</a> shells and they were my salvation for soreness! I used them again with this baby BEFORE soreness, and never had any!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You may be right about shells vs shields. Either way, I think I'm going to suggest that she try just the bare boob first to see how things go. Thanks, mamas!
 
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