When & How to Use a Nipple Shield
Breastfeeding is an incredible experience filled with many benefits for both momma and baby, BUT is not easy! It is a journey that you and your baby will go through together as you learn what works best for you both, through latching, positions, and comfortability.
If you and your little one have a hard time finding a good latch a temporary option that can help is using a nipple shield. It is important to note that nipple shields are for moms experiencing serious latch problems and should be used under the guidance of a Lactation Consultant.
A nipple shield is a thin piece of silicon that is placed on your areola and nipple. The firmness of the shield stimulates the roof of your baby’s mouth and encourages improved suckling. Your Lactation Consultant will help you find a nipple shield that is fitted well and give you tips for allowing the baby to latch with the shield on. The intention of a shield is to help your baby latch properly at first and then remove the shield throughout the feeding to get the baby to latch directly onto your breast.
Certain circumstances that might call for a nipple shield include:
- Sore nipples
- Premature baby
- Flat or inverted nipples
Nipple shields are a temporary solution for helping your baby latch. As your little one grows and is able to latch without assistance, the nipple shield can be put away. If your baby continues to struggle with latching it is best to work with your Lactation Consultant to understand the cause and what you can do to fix it.
All of our mothers at Charleston Birth Place are given breastfeeding education and support as part of the birth center experience. We also have a relaxing lactation lounge and have IBCLC certified Lactation Consultants available for your breastfeeding needs. Please call the center if you are having breastfeeding issues at 843-818-1123 or send us a message!