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Old 07-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

I will be a first time mom and trying to prepare for breastfeeding. Someone gave me soothing gel nipple pad things but then someone else told me I won't need those if I get the baby to latch properly. What is your experience? Did you use them? Do they help? Are they necessary? Or are they just a complete waste of money?
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mom and baby and that learning process can cause rawness and pain till you get to the point where latching is regularly good. There's no way to know if you will have an easy experience or if it will be a learning process. For me, even the second time, the medela gel pads and shields were necessary in the beginning. Mostly this is due to an inverted nipple that is hard to latch onto. Usually the hospitals have these on hand if you need it. If you don't have help in the house or LLL nearby for the first weeks you might want to have one available for just in case.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

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Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mom and baby and that learning process can cause rawness and pain till you get to the point where latching is regularly good. There's no way to know if you will have an easy experience or if it will be a learning process. For me, even the second time, the medela gel pads and shields were necessary in the beginning. Mostly this is due to an inverted nipple that is hard to latch onto. Usually the hospitals have these on hand if you need it. If you don't have help in the house or LLL nearby for the first weeks you might want to have one available for just in case.
The bolded is exactly true For us, the only thing I found necessary were some good nursing pads.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

I didn't get any of that stuff, but I did have a friend give me a tube of lanolin. I only used it a bit in the beginning and that's it. I haven't had any bfing problems luckily, so if I had gotten any of that it would have been a waste. I would just get that stuff if you need if after the baby is born.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:05 AM   #5
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

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I didn't get any of that stuff, but I did have a friend give me a tube of lanolin. I only used it a bit in the beginning and that's it. I haven't had any bfing problems luckily, so if I had gotten any of that it would have been a waste. I would just get that stuff if you need if after the baby is born.
If you have leftover Lanolin, try rubbing it into your feet (with socks) at bedtime. It's like magic.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

IME, i was sore even with a good latch. i mean, someone's sucking on something (a lot!) that has never been sucked on like that before...they're going to get chapped. i found that the gel pads didn't work. i thought that leaving them "out" to get air is what helped the most. lanolin wasn't a big help, either. i liked the gerber balm better. i know, it's not "all natural", but it worked! and a little bit of ibuprofen can help, too, in that first week.

i never tried nipple shields (they didn't really fit), but i know they have really helped some people. although, i've heard of babies refusing to nurse without one, so be careful.

there's a lot of trial an error at first. i don't know that you'd need any of these things right away. you won't get sore until the second or third day? but if you want to prevent a lot of visits to the baby store in the first week or so, it wouldn't hurt to have them around.

good luck!
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:52 PM   #7
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If you get cracked nipples they are good for moist wound healing . I used them off and on while my nipple damage healed and was glad I had them on hand.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:25 AM   #8
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If you get cracked nipples they are good for moist wound healing . I used them off and on while my nipple damage healed and was glad I had them on hand.
Me too

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Old 07-20-2011, 08:53 PM   #9
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

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If you get cracked nipples they are good for moist wound healing . I used them off and on while my nipple damage healed and was glad I had them on hand.
ditto - they're the only thing that got me through beginning nursing. Even with baby #4 who was a great nurser from the get-go I still used the pads for the first 3 weeks. They were really a life saver for me but everyone is different!
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:00 AM   #10
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Re: Are nipple soothers (gel pads, cream, shields etc.) necessary?

necessary, NO
helpful if you have problems, yes

I was most sore during the first week or so. I only used a nipple cream and lanolin

oh wait, I also got nipple shields but only used them the first few days. I could have gone without them, no biggie
I wouldn't go out and buy the stuff but if you get it as a gift then why not use it?
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