Is Nipple shield a real solution to latching issue?
Absolutely not, before suggesting nipple shield there are few things one should know. Breastfeeding is definitely blissful but it comes with lot of challenges, pain and soreness. It is true that suckling is natural process and it comes to baby naturally but not necessarily for every one. Few babies struggle to latch & suck and it is okay nothing to panic or blame yourself.;
Cases of latching issues:
If a mom has inverted nipples then baby might find it difficult to latch and suck. But gynecologist can help you with few pulling excercises and inverted nipple can be corrected. Remember babies suck the entire areola and not just the nipple.
Few preterm babies will not latch immediately but as you keep trying they will latch.
Latching issue is not a matter of concern, Do not give up. Watch lot of YouTube videos on latching and learn the technique. Nursing pillow will help in holding the baby, keep a small stool under your feet and latch the baby, this will give both mother and baby a comfortable position.
Nipple confusion with Nipple shield:
Babies are very smart to differentiate between the two, and they might prefer one and ignore the other. If the baby gets comfortable with the nipple shield alone he/she may not take the breast nipple. Long term breastfeeding is not possible because breast needs stimulation from the baby's lips hence the mother will stop lactating.
Home remedies for sore nipples:
A mother might consider nipple shield when she goes through nipple pain and soreness but the good news is there are some home remedies which works as a magic.
1. Massage with your own milk, after every feed massage your nipples with your breast milk gently, it will reduce the soreness. That's the magic of breast milk.
2. Coconut oil , apply coconut oil twice a day it helps a lot.
3. Desi ghee, dab a cotton with desi ghee keep it on your nipples and then wear a bra. It keeps the nipple soft and supple.
4. Keep latching , Yes baby's saliva works wonders hence keep latching the baby to your breast often.
5. Nipple Butter, there are lot of nipple butter available in the market and you can buy and use. Nip care, palmer's nipple butter, the mom &co nipple butter are few of then.
Lactation specialist will be of great help with latching issues and suggesting nipple shield will be the last choice. Consulting them at the right time makes difference.
Pic Credited: Kelly Mom