Using Nipple Shields For Breastfeeding

If you’re having trouble with breastfeeding, nipple shields can help give your infant a firmer latch. However, nipple shields are not a substitute for finding qualified breastfeeding support and should only be used as a temporary solution to help you as you overcome the underlying problem. If a breastfeeding problem isn’t addressed with the right guidance, it can lead to blocked nipple ducts, mastitis, and milk supply reduction.

Using a nipple shield correctly can increase your ability to produce more milk during each feed, allowing your baby to latch better and breastfeed longer. When the nipple shield is properly positioned over the nipple, negative pressure seems to be produced inside the chamber of the shield and the mother’s nipple, which balances out the weak infant suck and increases the length of sucking bursts and the amount of milk accumulated during breastfeeding (17).

Position the nipple shield centrally over your nipple and areola so that your nipple and areola extend into the tip of the nipple shield. Gently press down on the nipple shield with your fingers to make sure it is securely in place and that there is no excess fabric or air between the nipple and the shield. It may be helpful to express a few drops of your own milk and drip them onto the inside of the nipple shield prior to a breastfeeding session to encourage your infant to latch.

When your infant has attached deeply to the nipple shield, you can usually tell by the way their lower jaw flexes and their mouth cups the tip of the shield, as well as the soft ticking sound that occurs when they’re swallowing. Be careful not to over-use nipple shields as this can cause sore nipples and restrict milk flow. nipple shields for breastfeeding

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