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For mothers who have difficulties with breastfeeding, such as the problem of the baby “hooking” the nipple, experts sometimes recommend using silicone nipple protectors. Nipple protectors are thin and flexible silicone discs with holes for the exit of breast milk. If you decide to start using a nipple protector, it is preferable that you contact a lactation expert to guide you appropriately to your case.
Why do women wear nipple shields to breastfeed?
The arrival of a premature baby earlier than expected sometimes requires more patience and training for their care. Their natural sucking reflexes may not be strong enough yet, and nipple shields can cause them to snag and suck.
Flat, short or inverted nipples.
When it is time to start breastfeeding, some mothers realize that their nipples are flat, short or inverted. You may notice that your baby always cries, retracts or falls asleep. Nipple protectors can help your baby get hooked on your nipple and cause deep sensations on the palate to stimulate suction.
Breastfeeding can be painful, especially during the first few days, when your nipples have not yet become accustomed to friction. An appropriate size breastplate can be a short-term solution for breastfeeding when your nipples are cracked, irritated or peeled. When used correctly, the nipple protectors fit perfectly and give temporary relief, until you find the cause of the problem.
If your baby has become accustomed to drinking milk from the bottle, it may take some time to get used to any other drinking method. A nipple shield is a simple way to help your baby during its transition from the bottle to the chest. The feel and taste of the nipple shield are similar to those of bottle teats, so the transition should be smooth.
Advantages and disadvantages of nipple protectors
* They are a solution to most of the difficulties of breastfeeding and help prolong its duration.
* They allow the baby to drink breast milk.
* Minimize the risk of postpartum depression.
They can be a good transition from bottle feeding.
* They can make weaning difficult.
* Nipple protectors slow the flow of breast milk, so breastfeeding may take longer.
* Some types of liner limit skin to skin contact.
They can be painful if an inappropriate liner size is used.
How to wear nipple protectors?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use nipple protectors to increase the likelihood of success:
1) Avoid using the teat cups between the first two and six days from the birth of the baby, or at least until the milk rises.
2) Dip the teat cups in warm water for a few minutes to make them more flexible.
3) Apply some breast milk on the inside of the base of the nipple so that it is well sealed and minimizes friction. Squeeze to pour some breast milk into the tip of the nipple to stimulate the milk exit reflex. This will encourage your baby to get hooked.
4) Press to pour some breast milk into the tip of the nipple to stimulate the milk exit reflex.
5) If you have placed it correctly, there should be a small space between the tip of your nipple and the end of the nipple. If your nipple touches the end of the nipple, the nipple is too small.
6) Point the nipple towards the tip of the baby’s nose. Once the baby opens the mouth, direct the nipple towards your palate to make sure it snaps properly.
7) The experts and lactation consultants can offer you recommendations and advise you to use the teat cups properly. Be sure to tell them if your nipples are irritated, flat or deformed due to breastfeeding.