I haven’t done product review in a while so I would like to review something that I’m currently using.
Damien has been breastfeeding for a full week now and I’m so happy that we haven’t introduced to him a single drop of formula. Although I never feel that breastfed babies are superior to formula-fed babies, I’m just happy because I’ve always wanted to exclusively breastfeed since Sophia.
I attempted breastfeeding with all 3 children of mine and I used nipple shield at the earlier stages of breastfeeding.
I used nipple shield the first time with Eros because my nipples were rather short then and he couldn’t latch on properly. With Sophia was because she was nursing so often my nipples were sore and cracked and with Damien it is simply because I used it with Sophia and it made breastfeeding so much easier.
There is, of course, a wide range of nipple shields sold but I’ve used only 3 brands so far and so my review will be based on these 3 only.
1. Pigeon Rubber Nipple Shield
I used this when I was breastfeeding Sophia. What I like about this nipple shield is that the tip of the shield where the nipple should be isn’t hardened like some nipple shield. The texture is consistent all over so it’s very pliable and fits into the baby’s mouth perfectly. Because it’s made of rubber, it needs to be washed with soapy water immediately after use or otherwise milk deposits will gather and accumulate on the inside of the nipple shield. I ruined one because there were several occasions I forgot to wash it right after use during midnight feeding. Although it’s a little big and the color is not at all conspicuous (as it is the color of latex rubber), I used it for quite some time as Sophia adapted to it immediately.
2. Anakku Silicone Nipple Shield
I am currently using this when breastfeeding Damien. Unlike the Pigeon rubber nipple shield above, this one has its tips hardened so your baby may have a little difficulty at first in adapting it into his/her mouth. I like how the rest of the shield is and how it fits perfectly to your areola, giving it a firm grip and do not come off during breastfeeding. However because of the hardened tip, it may take some time before your teat can fully fill the nipple area. It can cause a little discomfort for the first few seconds but once steady suckling is established, you can hardly feel that you’re wearing a shield.
3. Avent Nipple Shield
I used this when I was trying to breastfeed Eros. Avent carries two types of nipple shield – a soft one and a hard one. We bought the soft one as it was our first time trying out a shield. For me, it is still hard for an infant’s mouth. Although the silicone is of a good grade, this is a shield that I liked least. I find that it slips off easily and my son had a hard time adjusting the hardened tip into his small mouth.
Using nipple shield is entirely up to the mother.
Some lactation consultants swear off nipple shield like the plague because it doesn’t help the baby to natural suckle and learn to breastfeed on his own. However, for breastfeeding mothers with sore, cracked or inverted nipples, nipple shields are a heaven sent.
For me, I find it useful in the early stages of breastfeeding, those first few days home from the hospital when your milk just coming in and your breasts are engorged to the size of melons. But once my child has gotten the hang of breastfeeding, I discontinue using them.
What do you think of nipple shield and have you ever used them? Share your experience and which one do you like best!