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Old 07-27-2006, 11:26 AM   #1
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Sheild users and/or sheild advice

So.. we're still truckin' along breastfeeding... but I still "have" to use the sheild (Medela) that was given to me at the hospital. Apparently I have one nipple that is slightly inverted (although *I* never thought that). I didn't use it while I was actually in the hospital because I was stubborn and became an absolutely bloody pulp of a mess due to DS's poor latching. I was desperate the night that my milk came in and ooof... engorment happened so I busted out the sheild. Ever since then I've used it and DS doesn't choke on my massive flood-gate let-down, I haven't bled once and life, in general is easier for me (despite having to play the "Where's the Sheild?" game--I keep it in a new travel soap container-- and washing and steralizing it religiously). I figure it's one step better than using a bottle (haven't had to pump at all)... but it seems to me like using a sheild is looked down upon. I'm not sure where I came up with that idea.. but I feel like it, nonetheless.

Does anyone else use a sheild? Since using it my nipple has "righted itself"... but I still use it as it does make my life and DS's feeding a lot easier.

Why SHOULDN't I continue to use it? Please.. no flaming.. I just would like some information. At this point the sheild is keeping me breastfeeding.. so I figure it can't be THAT bad.. but please let me know!

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Last edited by Manna00; 07-27-2006 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

I had to use the shield for awhile due to the fact that DS was a preemie and his mouth was too small for my huge nipples, plus I had inverted nipples as well. The down side to using a shield is that it can impact your supply. Your body doesn't feel him sucking as well and your supply can go down a lot. But, it's just like you said. It's keeping you breastfeeding, so good for you! DS just weaned himself one day. I decided to just try and see if I could get him to latch without the shield, and he hasn't needed it since.

Good luck momma!
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:40 PM   #3
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

I used a shield until dd was around 6 weeks old. The shields of the past were made out of a different material and did make milk supply go down. My lactation consultant told me that the currents ones don't have that problem and that in her opinion there was no reason not to use it if it keeps you breastfeeding. She said she knew one mom who used one until her baby was 9 months old and weaned. She herself used one with her youngest until 4 months (she didn't need it with her others). I weaned dd off of it by trying to latch without it at the beginning of each feeding. If she got frustrated or I was tired and didn't want to deal with trying, we just used the shield. Pretty soon we didn't need it. DD is now 10 months and still bf. I would recommend getting at least one more shield as a backup or so that you don't have to get up and clean them as much at night. They are about $5 at target or babiesrus. If your baby is above 8-10 lbs you may want to get the regular size rather than the extra small they probably gave you at the hospital. Hope that helps!
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:26 PM   #4
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

Oh yeah.. I got an extra one at our local pharmacy (it's the closest place that carries Medela)! And we started off on the regular size when my ten pounder was born! Woof.

Thanks for the encouraging thoughts! I tried to get him to latch without it yesterday and once again, I was sore... so we're still not latching properly... we'll keep trying though!

Thanks again!
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

I think my only concern would be that he and you would get dependent on the shield and then he wouldn't get a proper latch down. YOu may just want to work on it a few times a day, and you probably will get sore.
But he's still really new, so I wouldn't worry about it. BFing my first was very difficult so I would have used anything they gave me! You're doing great! Keep doing what you're doing and everything will work itself out, shield or no shiled!
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:43 PM   #6
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

I don't have any sheild advice for you but I just wanted to say that it's good to see you on the boards again!

Breastfeeding is a lot harder than I ever imagined (especially in the beginning) but SO worth it

Good luck and
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

aww.. thanks mamas. Yeah, the dependency is what concerns my as well... it's soo easy to take the "easy" road....

It's so nice to be back!! I missed DS!
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

Awesome job breastfeeding! I started out with the nipple shield too!
My son at about 6 weeks old just one day decided to refuse to take it anymore and it was 100% breast after that. After you feel like you've got the hang of things, I would start offering the naked breast at first and see what he does.
I have inverted nipples too, or did(!!), I think DS sucks hard enough now that he's fixed that little problem for me.
Do you have access to a women's center or a LC in your area? They could really help you out, in person, with this. It would be really great for you!
PM me if you need anything, I've def. BTDT with the nipple shield and transitioning to the breast.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:41 PM   #9
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

We do have an LC in the area... but having a c-section just 3 weeks ago, dealign with visitors and all of the other excitment that comes with a new baby have sooo fully exhausted me that I can't even THINK about having the LC come here yet! I'll definatly call her once I get at least SOME energy up!

It's really comforting to hear from "sheild survivors"! I'll start offering without starting tomorrow and see what we get!
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:37 PM   #10
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Re: Sheild users and/or sheild advice

I had to use a shield on one side at first with DS because that side was inverted, and the shield was the only way I could get him to latch.

I think I used it for about 3 weeks when feeding on that side, plus all the suction from the nursing started to pull that nipple out so it was easier for him to latch on to. That nipple would usually go flat again between feedings though, so what I did at that point was start out with the shield on, let him eat for about 5 or 10 minutes which allowed the nipple to become nicely pulled out and then attempt to latch him without the shield. Plus that's usually when they're really hungry and are a little rougher on the poor nipple!
It took a lot of persistance, and didn't always work everytime, but he eventually took to it after a few weeks. At the time I didn't think it was EVER going to happen, plus that nipple had the biggest sore crack in the center that took forever to heal!

It can take alot of time and patience, but your baby can will be able to bf without that darn shield! I really started to hate mine after a while because I felt like I wasn't really bf'ing because I had to use it. But in the end it was what saved us, even though their use is somewhat controversial. People can say whatever they want but it worked for me

I know you can do it
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