Nipple Shields

Early latch-on problems are not

We need nipple shields as early latch-on problems are not unusual. For many mums, breastfeeding takes a bit of practice! Most of the time, a little coaching from a skilled helper is all that is needed to get things going.

When there are
constantly  latch-on problems, many breastfeeding experts suggest the temporary use of a nipple shield. Made of thin, soft, silicone that doesn’t interfere with nipple stimulation, it is worn during breastfeeding. Holes at the tip allow milk to flow to the baby.

A nipple shield may help protect breastfeeding when:
-Your newborn baby is premature, ill, or small. It may make feeding easier for a small or weak baby. Because suction inside the shield holds the nipple in an extended position, the baby can pause without ‘losing’ the nipple. Milk remains in the tip of the shield, and provides an immediate reward when the baby resumes suckling. Research shows that the milk intake of premature infants increases when a nipple shield is used. As the baby gains weight and matures, the shield becomes unnecessary

-Mum with flat or inverted nipples. Some new mums have nipple tissue that is not very stretchable. If it is difficult for the baby to draw in the mum’s nipple, the baby may pull away, cry, or simply fall asleep. The

 shield provides sensation deep in the mouth that stimulates the baby to keep sucking. As the milk begins to flow, the baby discovers that breastfeeding works! Over time, mum’s nipples will become more pliable, and the shield is no longer needed to trigger the sucking reflex.

-The baby has had many bottles and now refuses the breast. Because the nipple shield feels similar to a bottle nipple, it can be used to coax an unwilling baby to accept the breast. Try this trick when the baby is not very hungry and the mother’s breasts are full. Drip a little expressed milk onto the top of the shield to moisten it. Drip milk into the corner of the baby’s mouth to reward the baby for trying. Some babies need only a few sessions with a shield to return to full breastfeeding. Other will need more practice, or perhaps brief use of the shield at the beginning of each feed. Bottles can be decreased or discontinued as the baby becomes comfortable with nursing.

 Nipple Shields to Breast Feeding Problems or Breast Feeding Links