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Ok, when my son was born 6 1/2 years ago, we had problems with getting him to latch right away. I figured out later I have flat nipples. There was no lactation consulant at the hospital but the nurse gave me a nipple shield & we never looked back. I used nipple shields the entire time he nursed and never had a problem with him getting enough to eat. Now with another baby on the way, I was looking at some bf tips to refresh my memory and I see all these articles about how terrible nipple shields are and they cause undernourishment, etc. Are they really that bad? I did try a few times to get him to latch without one, but it never worked and since using the shield DID work, we just kept on with that. I read that you can pump a bit before nursing to possibly elongate the nipple before feeding, but seriously, if we're out somewhere or for some reason she's screaming for milk, when would I have the time or place to do that? I had just been planning on using the shields the whole time again, but now I'm really upset & not sure what to do.
Do whatever works for you, but i would try without a shield. I would even start going to some La Leche meetings now and talk to them about it so you have a support system and some help prior to the baby's arrival. Also, it may not be flat nipples, it could also be tongue tie. As far as undernourishment, some babies cannot extract enough milk with the shield on vs just the nipple on it's own, so for SOME it is not a good option and if they are not getting hte milk out efficiently enough, your supply can suffer. How is the hospital now on lactation support?
We'll be at a completely different hospital that does have a LC on staff, and I know they have a breastfeeding class there once a month. I may go to that this month and next. I hadn't really planned on doing that, but with all this new info... I don't think my son had tongue tie, I mean the nurse gave me the shield after like ten seconds. I just never knew it could be an issue to use the shield all the time. And we never had any problems so I never brought it up to anyone I guess. He is totally healthy and never seemed like he wasn't getting enough to eat while nursing, was always in the higher percentiles for weight/height...
Thanks, girls! I guess I was just feeling like I'd done something horribly wrong by using the shield the entire time. My plan (for now) is to go to a class, really get some serious help from the LC at the hospital, and if I end up using the shield, not feeling guilty about it