The first images of a new mother often include the most organic process of breastfeeding. The magnificence of a woman’s body often leaves me amazed. As I delivered my baby, holding him close to my heart, feeding him came in almost automation mode. With all the love and beauty, also came the excruciating pain of extremely sore nipples during the first few days of breastfeeding. I feel you, mommy, if you’re going through this right now. I would dread the sound of my little one crying in hunger. My gynaecologist came to the rescue and introduced me to breastfeeding with breast shields.
Oh, the benefits!!!
A nipple shield is a thin piece of silicone that is placed on your nipple so that your baby can feed at the breast. The nipple shield provides a definitive shape for mom’s nipple, making it easy to latch onto. A nipple shield protects your bleeding, cracked nipples, and allows them time to heal, while you continue to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding with a breast shield:
Breastfeeding with breast shields can also help babies who might not otherwise be able to nurse — for example, preemies or little ones with tongue ties — learn how to successfully breastfeed. Ideally, a nipple shield is temporary and helps these babies learn how to nurse on their own without having to rely on expressed milk or formula.
Breastfeeding with breast shields can also help ensure Mom’s milk production stays ramped up during this time.
How do I feed the baby?
Improper latching of the baby to the breast while breastfeeding is also considered a reason for chapped/cracked nipples.
Breastfeeding position is critical to your baby’s well-being, full tummy, and also the health of your breasts. Here are a few standard breastfeeding positions. Remember, your comfort while feeding is of utmost importance.
The cradle hold is the most common position to breastfeed. Your arms support the baby’s head at the breast. The baby’s head is cradled near your elbow, and your arm supports the infant along the back and neck.
The cross-cradle position uses the opposite arm (to the cradle position) to support the infant, with the back of the baby’s head and neck being held in your hand. Your other hand is free to support and shape the breast if required.
The baby is positioned at your side, with the body and feet tucked under the mum’s arm. The baby’s head is held in your hand. You could rest your arm on a pillow with this hold. This breastfeeding position may be advantageous for mums who have undergone a cesarean section since it places no or limited weight on the mum’s chest and abdomen area.
The mum lies on her side and faces the baby. This is the GO TO position when you’re exhausted and the baby needs to be fed in the middle of the night. The baby’s mouth is in line with the nipple. This position may also be advantageous for mums who have undergone a cesarean section.
Mummas don’t lose heart. Even with you doing everything right, being in the right breastfeeding position, breasts take time to adjust to that little suckling baby, and that process of feeding through the pain can be daunting and overwhelming. Breastfeeding with breast shields makes this process a little easier for you.
Now if you’re wondering which Breast shields to pick up, a wide array is available. My vote goes to Luvlap Silicone Nipple Protector/shield with storage case along with the Luvlap inverted nipple puller.
While all Breast shields use BPA-free and nontoxic material, LUVLAP breast shields are exceptionally soft.
The design makes breastfeeding with breast shields a winner for me with a slightly flatter tip that ensures a natural latch. Extremely easy on the pocket. Breastfeeding is a time of bonding with your baby, of nourishing the little life. Don’t let anything deter you from truly enjoying this irreplaceable joy.