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Breastfeeding nipple shield

What You Should Know About Nursing Breast Shields

There are some things about nursing that no one ever tells you.

The truth is that some breastfeeding stories conveniently omit the icy, unforgiving facts. You know, things like clogged milk ducts, a fussy infant, and cracked, numb nipples that never seem to get better.

You might be prepared to stop nursing if you’ve had any (or all) of these problems, especially nipple soreness. Don’t give up just yet, even though the struggles are genuine. The bond between you and your baby may be kept, at least during those trying early weeks, through nipple shields.

What are nipple shields?

In order to assist your infant if they have trouble breastfeeding, you can wear a silicone shield over your nipple (chestfeeding or nursing). Breastfeeding nipple shield contains a cone-shaped space for your nipple and a base that wraps around your areola (skin around your nipple). There may be a cutout in certain breast shields to promote more skin-to-skin contact between you and your child. Tiny holes in the nipple portion of the shield’s tip allow milk to enter your baby’s mouth. The majority of nipple shields are transparent, thin, and flexible.

When your baby isn’t nursing or is only nursing ineffectively because of a bad latch or other problems, you use a nipple shield. When your baby becomes more adept at nursing and the difficulties with breastfeeding disappear, you stop wearing a nipple shield. When all other attempts to establish breastfeeding have failed, nipple shields are used as a final resort. Under the direction of your healthcare professional or a lactation consultant, they should only be used temporarily.

Benefits of nipple shields

Of course, breastfeeding can be done without using a nipple shield. Some women and infants can function just fine without them. A breast shield, however, can reduce some of your stress, shame, and anxiety if you’re having trouble nursing.

You might experience latching issues more frequently if you have a preemie or a baby with a tongue-tie. Your infant may latch on more readily if you use a nipple shield. A nipple shield might be compared to “breastfeeding training” for your child. You should be able to nurse without the shield once you have mastered the art of latching on and nursing.

When your nipples are cracked, bleeding, or uncomfortable but you aren’t ready to give your infant a bottle, nipple shields are also helpful. Nipple shields relieve some of the strain on your nipples during nursing because they act as a barrier between your breasts and the baby’s mouth.

If you have flat nipples and your child has trouble sucking milk, nipple shields can be quite beneficial. When nipples are erect, a baby may usually nurse more easily.

What is the best type and size?

Nipple shields are not one size fits all, just like boobs themselves. It’s crucial to pick a size that fits your nipples properly because they come in various fits. In addition to improving milk flow, this can lessen pain and friction.

The size of your nipple and the size of your infant must be taken into consideration when choosing the correct shield. Ask your physician or a qualified lactation counsellor for suggestions to help you select the best one for you.

If it’s a long-term investment, you’ll need a range of sizes as your child becomes larger. Therefore, while newborns typically do fine with a little nipple shield, as they become older, you’ll probably need to raise it to medium or large size.

Breastfeeding nipple shield

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