Nipple Shield Breastfeeding
Nipple shield breastfeeding is used to help babies who are unable to latch or nurses effectively, or have a poor suck. In addition, it is sometimes used for mothers with flat or inverted nipples, and to help address pain from nipple trauma or engorgement. It is important to remember that nipple shields should only be used as a temporary solution until the baby learns to latch without them. It may take time, but it is possible for most infants to learn how to breastfeed without nipple shields.
The duration of nipple shield use varies greatly among women. Some mothers continue to use them for a few weeks or longer, and others stop using them within a few days. The reason for this variation is not completely clear, but it may be due to the individual mother’s tolerance for witnessing her infant struggle at the breast, or her own level of frustration with breastfeeding issues.
To reduce discomfort with nipple shields, it is recommended that they be rinsed and soaked in warm water prior to use. This will soften them and create a more supple seal when they are rolled onto the nipple. It is also recommended that a drop of breastmilk be expressed and put on the tip of the shield where the holes are, to encourage attachment. The nipple shield should be positioned centrally over the nipple and onto the breast, and any ‘cut-outs’ positioned where the baby’s chin and nose will touch the shield. nipple shield breastfeeding