Breastfeeding was the most difficult task I had to deal with when my daughter was born. I wanted my daughter to breastfeed very badly. But, breastfeeding for some women is really really hard. And it’s easy to give up, and I understand why moms do. My issues with breastfeeding dealt with two main problems. First, my daughter was crappy latcher. I could not get that kid to stay on the boob to save my life. Second, and a reason why my daughter was such a crappy latcher, is the fact that I was not blessed with those nipples that stick out so far you’re at risk for losing an eye with sudden movement. As moms will come to learn, your nipple needs to a reach far enough back into an infant’s mouth to trigger the reflex that causes them to latch on and suck. Well, if you have flat nips or inverted nips (two different things), your job just got really hard.
I was so stressed out about breastfeeding because it wasn’t the happy, amazing, wonderful experience you imagine. It was frustrating, and I constantly worried she wasn’t getting enough milk. But, my mission to have my daughter be a breastfed baby caused me to do a few things that eventually allowed her to nurse better, and calmed me down. The most important thing I did was buy the Medela Nipple Shields. Those things saved my life. At first, I was so worried about everything negative about them on the internet. IGNORE ALL THAT SHIT! I used them regularly, and I found that they helped my daughter learn how to latch better.
How did they help her latch better? What I would do is I would always start her on the real nipple. If she latched, great. But, if she was struggling, I used the shield and let her nurse until she came to a natural break. Then, I would take the shield off, and attempt to again latch her on the real thing. Over time, by doing this exercise repeatedly at every feeding, her latching improved, and I no longer need to use the shields. I never experienced any problems with the shields. I’m sure you won’t either. And, if you are worried about blocked ducts or reduced flow from using the shields, then pump.
So, if you are having problems similar to mine, get the shields. And if you’re about to give birth and you notice your nips are looking a little flat, get the shields in advance.
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