Nipple/teat confusion and cup-feeding?
Clare Byam-Cook says
I think it is a shame that so many mothers are told that they cannot use nipple shields as they can be a lifesaver for mothers who have such sore nipples that they are on the verge of giving up breastfeeding. I am a great fan of nipple shields (when all else fails) but I would like to make the following points:-
- Sore nipples are mainly caused by poor latching – they are not part-and-parcel of breastfeeding. If your baby is latched on correctly, it won’t hurt and you won’t need shields
- An experienced feeding counsellor will be able to show you how to latch your baby on so feeds are pain-free. If she can’t achieve this, you need to find a better counsellor!
- You must not use shields before your milk is fully in, as babies cannot extract colostrum through a shield.
- Shields will then only work well if you have a fast milk flow - if you can’t see and hear your baby swallowing the milk, you should stop using a shield
- Shields come in different shapes and sizes and the size of the shield you use is dependant on the size of your baby’s mouth not the size of your nipple. ie do not use a large shield because you have large nipples! Most of the shields available in the shops are too large for a newborn baby, so if in doubt, go online and order a small shield from Medela UK.
Note: shields can also be useful if the baby can’t latch on or your milk flow is too fast for him.