Early latch-on problems are not
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
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.
shield may help protect breastfeeding when:
-Your newborn baby
is premature, ill, or small.
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.
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.
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.