A nipple shield is a kind of a breastfeeding product which can be used if some special situation arises. It is a kind of a soft piece which is made from silicone or rubber and it mainly covers the area of the nipple. There is a very small opening at the tip of the nipple area and it helps the breast milk to flow from the breast to the baby through the shield.
There are certain advantages there but there are nipple shield breastfeeding disadvantages too. A nipple shield becomes useful when one has a problem with breast feeding. If one can breast feed their child normally then there is no use of using a nipple shield.
Here are some reasons why one needs a nipple shield:
Latch on Difficulties
Nipple shields are mainly used to help the newborn babies who have a tough time in latching on. This can be easy for a baby to latch on to the shield than directly to the breast.
There are some premature babies who can do really well with a small sized nipple shield. Those can help the baby to latch on because the nipple size can be a bit bigger for them. Also some premature babies feel very comfortable when they use a nipple shield than directly start feeding from the bare breast.
Tongue Tied Infants
There are some babies who are born with ankyloglossia which is also known as tongue tie. It can make the situation troublesome because the baby fails to latch correctly. They also cannot get enough breast milk due to that and they cannot gain proper weight. In fact if a tongue tied baby tries to latch poorly it can also lead to swollen nipples. S, it is a better idea to use a nipple shield.
Flat, Retracted, or Inverted Nipples
Nipple shields can be a bit helpful to draw out the retracted, flat and inverted nipples. It makes easier for the baby to latch on the breast. The human body is going to pump on the model of demand and supply. The more you are going to remove milk from the body more the body is going to produce milk. This could be one of the major benefits of nipple shield advantages. As with a nipple shield the baby would not be in a position to drain complete supply of milk. This calls for the use of a breast pump after you nurse in order to express milk supply as the body goes on to regulate supply of milk. If you do not use a breast pump the supply of milk is expected to decrease if you are not in a position to remove the entire supply of milk. With pumping the problem of clogged ducts can also reduce. The insurance companies are going to provide you with a breast pump at no extra charges.
A proper breast shield can always protect the sore nipples. It becomes very painful for the mother to breast feed when one has sore or cracked nipples. Then a nipple shield can make the process more comfortable.
But one should remember that these shields are mainly used as the last resort. One only needs to wear this device if a doctor or a lactation consultant has recommended them to do so. This is because a nipple shield can also negatively affect breast feeding. There are certain disadvantages of using nipple shields. Not a single size of a nipple shield fits all. So, one needs to pick the right size for themselves. Otherwise it may also block the flow of milk from the breasts. Also, when one is using a nipple shield, they also need to check whether the baby is getting enough breast milk or not. it is also a good idea to not to make a habit for the baby or else they will never be able to breast feed normally.