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Nipple Shields: What They Are & How and When to Use them


Wondering about nipple shields? Let's break it down!


Nipple shields are a helpful tool for breastfeeding parents facing challenges like sore nipples, latch issues, or inverted nipples. They're a soft silicone shield placed over the nipple during breastfeeding to aid in latch and protect sensitive skin. Here's a quick rundown of the pros and cons:


Benefits:

  1. Aid in latch: Shields can assist babies in latching onto the breast properly, especially if they have difficulty due to various reasons.

  2. Protect sore nipples: They provide a barrier between the baby's mouth and sore or cracked nipples, allowing them time to heal.

  3. Manage inverted nipples: shields can draw out inverted nipple, making it easier for the baby to latch.


Risks:

  1. Milk supply issues: Extended use might affect milk supply as they can interfere with the stimulation needed for milk production.

  2. Dependency: Some babies might become dependent on nipple shields, making it challenging to wean them off.

  3. Reduced milk transfer: There is a risk of reduced milk transfer, potentially leading to insufficient feeding and inadequate weight gain.


Remember, while nipple shields can be a lifesaver for some, it's essential to use them under the guidance of an IBCLC to help ensure proper usage and minimize any potential risks.

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