Nipple Shields - are they ok?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by dacosta, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    Merry Xmas all.

    My LO is 9 days old and we've had some initial problems with bf, which I thought were all sorted. She seems to be latching on fine now and the midwives agree the latch is good, however my nipples are becoming very sore - to the point where i'm beginning to dread the feeds. The pain is intense (brings me to tears) when she begins sucking but passes after a few mins.

    I'm wondering if I should use nipple shields for a couple of days to let the nipples heal? I've heard so many bad things about using the shields that I'm worried I could be making the problem worse.

    I would love some advice from Mum's that have been through this pain. Is it natural? Are nipple shields ok in small doses? I've tried different positions but because they are already cracked the pain isn't going to go away until they've healed.

    It's really starting to get me down.

    Would appreciate your advice.
     
  2. MummyKaya

    MummyKaya Guest

    Personally I would recommend you not to start using them until bf is properly established, usually around 6weeks, due to nipple confusion, especially as you had initial problems with your latch. I have used them since birth as a last resort as kaiden couldn't latch on at all, and trying to wean him off them is just not happening! It's a bit of a pain having to sterilize them everytime, and also sometimes they can affect milk supply as they are a barrier to your nipple and lo has to work harder to get the milk. Saying that, they are good for sore nipples, but perhaps you can get some of that lansinoh/lanolin nipple cream as that's pretty good x
     
  3. Nickij

    Nickij Mum of 2

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    I would say if its getting you down so much to the point you are thinking about giving up them using them maybe every other feed might give your nipples time to heal a bit more.

    Make sure you use lansinoh after every feed, although its expensive it does last for ages and works wonders. I have been BF for 9 weeks today and am only on my 3rd tube of it. I don't use it for each feed now, but still put it on a few times a day - just to prevent them getting sore.
     
  4. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    hi guys, thanks for the replies.

    I'm plastering Lasinoh on all the time but it doesn't seem to have a chance to help the healing process.

    I've just tried LO with a shield and she did have to work very hard to get her milk, so much so it was taking almost two hours to feed her and eventually we ended up swapping to the other nipple without a shield anyway. Whilst that nipple is sore, it's not as bad as the other one.

    It's difficult to know what the best thing is to do. Perhaps I just have to bear it and hopefully it will get better over time (please god!) - I really don't want to use the shields and it seems as though it may be counter-productive anyway. I'm just going to have to live with the pain. :(
     
  5. helz81

    helz81 Mum of 3

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    Sorry, I don't have any advice, just wanted to congratulate you on breastfeeding (I know how hard it is, I've been doing it for nearly 8 weeks) and give you a huge christmas :hugs: xx
     
  6. LilianA

    LilianA Well-Known Member

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    I've been where your at and its not fun I feel for you..I used the shields and actually grew dependent on them for a while until i started feeling burning in my breast tissue when he would feed and the doc told me its from the sheilds because he doesnt actually suck everything out of the breast with them on and that caused blocked ducts so i had to stop using it and my nipples started hurting all over again but it got better shortly afterwards so my advice is to use them to help heal your nipples but don't use them at every feed.
     
  7. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone - it's good to know the pain isn't unusual. I'm working through each day as it comes at the moment and trying to avoid the shields. I'm really hoping my nipples toughen up in a few days or somehow heal soon. Congrats to Helz81 - 8 weeks seems a long way away for me at the moment! :)
     
  8. Blah11

    Blah11 ☼ Mummy to Amelie ☼

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    I'd say to just keep going and grin and bear it. The pain totally disapears after a month or so, but after the first few weeks it decreases a lot. I remember dreading feeding Amelie and wincing whilst she sucked but it really does get better. Now I don't feel a thing when she feeds and we've been going for almost a year:cloud9:
     
  9. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    Thank you - almost brings me to tears reading this to know there's hope at the end of the tunnel!
     
  10. Jchihuahua

    Jchihuahua Mummy to 3

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    Oh gosh, you are right, we are going through exactly the same thing. I just saw you had replied to my post and found yours. I know what you mean about the being reduced to tears the first few moments . It hurts so, so much. Hopefully we'll get there in the end, eh hun :hugs:!
     
  11. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with the bf - let me know how it goes eh :hugs: Fingers crossed we both get through it soon and are able to enjoy bf again.
     
  12. bonbon

    bonbon Mum to Seb born nov09

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    Hi, I can completely sympathise with you. I had 6 weeks of extremely sore nipples... it was toe curling when my little one was latched on & I used to hope that he would go longer between feeds as it made me cry each time I fed him. But well done for persevering... I promise it will get better.
    I tried the shields for a few feeds and it did help with the pain but like u said it takes so much longer to feed. I ended up expressing for a few weeks as I was bleeding and I got mastitis and I found that helped me, but everyone is different and some people choose not to use bottles in case of nipple confusion. I didn't find that a prob and my lo happily feeds from a bottle and from me now.
    I found it easier to wear no bra as often as poss even tho I leaked all the time! Also hot baths help, lansinoh cream is great and changing the positions that the lo feeds in each time to give diff bits of the nipple a rest.
    I am so proud if myself & my lo now & I'm so pleased that I persevered. I hope u find that it gets easier soon & well done for keeping going, xxx
     
  13. Seraphim

    Seraphim Amazing Baby Girl

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    I had a time of being brought to tears, with a good latch and without damaged nipples.

    Although your nipples may be sore... are you sure the pain isn't maybe what they call 'letdown' ?? Because you say it eases off after a few minutes??

    This makes me think it is your letdown (initial release of milk) that brings the pain... like it did with me. Boy did I yelp and cry!!

    Good news is this passes pretty quickly (or did for me) once my supply stabilised.

    :hugs:
     
  14. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you've had a terrible time in the past- congrats on getting through it! This does bring hope to me.
     
  15. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    My nipples are red and sore, sometimes bleeding, although the bleeding seems to have passed for now so I'm pretty sure it's not the letdown. I can lay in the bath and my nipples will release milk without any pain. My supply is getting there - we had a very windy night last night with lo and my boobs are feeling a little heavy this morning but otherwise we seem to be matching to lo's demands after some initial problems with engorgement.

    The advice about changing positions is good - I've been a bit scared to change things in case I make it worse but I have to ask myself how worse can it get? I'll try that.

    Again, thank you everyone for your replies. It's reassuring to know I'm not alone!
     
  16. puppycat

    puppycat Mum & PAL

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    I used nipple shields at about your stage and I thought WOW the answer to my prayers but unfortunately Laura didnt then want to latch without them and the lack of stimulation affected my supply so she's on formula and i'm trying to build back up. Its very hard to get over the having feeding feeling, I used to cry when I knew she was due a feed, it was horrid. The creams are ace but also use a bit of your own milk to rub into your nipples as that makes them better x
     
  17. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about what you said and it could be the letdown... My nippls appear to be healing - at least on the surface - but the pain is as intense as ever - so perhaps it is letdown that's causing it. I really hope it passes soon though as if this is a permenant thing then I don't know if I can carry on bf.
     
  18. Seraphim

    Seraphim Amazing Baby Girl

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    :hug: it does pass, but it can never be soon enough, it can be seeeeeriously painful.

    If my MW hadn't commented in passing that some women 'hit the roof' for the first few minutes - at first - I wouldn't have know what the hell was going on. But luckily knowing it would soon pass helped me tough it out.

    You're probably almost there already xx
     
  19. lucilou

    lucilou Cooking again!

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    no-one tells you how hard bf is, do they ? i had no idea- i just assumed it would be easy! how wrong can you be?

    we had to use shields from day one as H just couldn't latch on at all. if we hadn't used them, we wouldn't have been able to bf at all, so from that point of view, i am grateful for them. however, we didn't manage to fully phase out the shields until about 8-9 weeks and my nipples got a real shock then! it's still a bit painful now as my skin is just getting used to it, but it is getting easier. if it is really painful i use a shield now and then, but not for every feed. i also try to only use one side per feed to give the other side a rest. given the option of using a shield or not bfing at all, i'd take the shield.

    incidentally, i didn't have any supply pobs at all from using a shield.

    good luck!
     
  20. dacosta

    dacosta Well-Known Member

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    Yea I've been trying to keep to one breast per feed to give the other a break. They seem to be healing now but the pain is still there so it must be the letdown reflex.

    You're right, nobody tells you how hard it is to bf! My MW's seem to give the impression that it should be simple, easy and stress free!
     

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