Breastfeeding is a process which is very important after pregnancy. We do take regular precautions with breastfeeding and also take simple measures massaging our breast during pregnancy for better milk supply. The mechanism of breastfeeding is a tough one. And the main problem we can face in the area of latching. A nipple shield can help you in various ways for this.
The nipple shield covers the areola of the breast during breastfeeding and has holes at the end which is towards the nipples. These holes facilitate the flow of milk and help the baby feed in an easier way.
The reason to use breastfeed is that the delayed use prevents the engorgement of breasts. Just after the baby is born and the mother’s breasts are ready for milk supply. The baby may not immediately learn to suckle with the shield on and it may result in engorgement.
Need of a nipple shield.
Nipple shields tend to protect the areola and also help in breastfeeding. And they can also help you with several reasons like:
- Latching on problems which is the primary issue with breastfeeding.
- If the baby is premature or underweight
- A tendency to a sore breast.
While using a nipple shield make sure there is frequent sterilization and wash the shield thoroughly before putting it on the nipples during breastfeeding. Always rinse the shield gently with warm water. This will make the nipple shield soft and make it easier to put on. Use the shield only after it is dry for better attachment.
Make sure you choose the nipple shield in the right size and shape so that your work becomes easier.
How To Put On A Nipple Shield For Breastfeeding:
- Putting on a nipple shield is not that difficult if you have the correct size it would be better.
- Turn the inside out of the nipple shield and then place it on the nipple.
- After adjusting the shield on the nipples appropriately, then place the back of the shield on the areola with the tip which is drawn out. At this point make sure that your nipple is inside the nipple of the shield properly.
- The placement should be such that the nipple of your breasts should be inside the tip of the nipple shield.
- Dampen it with breast milk to seal the shield in place.
- Squeeze out some breast milk or extract onto the nipple shield. Hold your breast with one hand and the baby’s neck and head gently with the other. Bring the baby’s mouth and nose near to the breast and help him latch on to the nipple shield.
- Once the baby senses the breast then ensure that the baby opens his mouth wide. If his mouth is not open wide then he may not be taking enough milk but consuming only air which can cause colic.
To know if the baby is feeding well so that you know nipple shield is working you could seek help from your obstetrician.
A correct latch is important. The baby chin should remain close to the breast but not out on the near the shaft of the nipple shield. With his urine and stool routine going right you know that everything is in harmony with baby’s health.
Pros of A Nipple Shield:
- Most obstetricians would ask you to avoid nipple shields with your breast conditions.
- A nipple shield can be of real help if you have sore or cracked nipples. The use of it which should be for short time and is necessary only until your baby learns to properly latch on breasts.
- Breastfeeding a baby in a better and easier manner is the main advantage of a nipple shield.
Cons of A Nipple Shield:
Natural things are always better than artificial ones. So, these artificial things have their cons also.
- The mother’s ducts may get obstructed or plugged if the milk flow is unlike the way it should be. If the size of the nipple shield is not right then it can cause pain and problems for the mother. The mother could have mastitis which is inflammation of breasts after too much use of it.
- Breastfeeding can be a tiresome process and can leave into the midst of whether to go natural way or choose any artificial way of it. If in dilemma you can contact your obstetrician and can take advice on it whether your breast condition after delivery is favorable for it or no. It solves your confusion easily.