#1 Flat, short, or inverted nipples
A hard nipple against the roof of the mouth frequently wakes up a tired baby’s sucking reflex and helps focus the latch (the way the baby attaches to the breast). Because this trigger is absent in some mothers, their babies may struggle to latch properly if their nipples are flat or inverted. Finding a flatter nipple may be challenging for a sleepy baby born under stressful or medicated conditions. It’s in this condition a properly fitted Lasinoh contact nipple shield can help initiate breastfeeding.
Seek professional aid
With enough skin-to-skin time and competent assistance with latching and positioning, many newborns can nurse with flat or even inverted nipples. Before using nipple shields, contact your IBCLC lactation counsellor for advice.
Avoid using shields for a few days
Preventing the mother’s milk from entering the nipple should be avoided. Soon after, the baby latches on. If the baby has a nipple shield, the mother may wait until the milk comes in before seeking aid. It isn’t, and the milk supply often diminishes over time.
#2 Premature babies
Premature babies, who may initially struggle to latch, can have feeding issues. Skin-to-skin or kangaroo care can assist these newborns’ bodies stabilise and prime their instinctual feeding behaviour so they can focus on learning to suckle. A well-fitted nipple shield may help a preemie latch and suck by providing a firm sucking trigger. Getting competent qualified help may be all you need to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
#3 Nipple Aches
An effective nipple shield can relieve pain and protect the mother’s nipples until she can seek help with the latch or her nipples recover. Shields can aid both mother and baby by preventing suckling. However, the shield should not be used as a quick cure for the original nipple injury. See Why Does Nursing Hurt? for solutions or to find a breastfeeding helper. Your baby may not obtain enough milk if he/she continues to latch on the nipple (or shield tip) rather than the breast. It is possible to breastfeed comfortably even with a sore or injured nipple.
#4 Nipple confusion
Because a nipple shield feels, smells, and tastes like a bottle teat, it can assist your baby transition back to the breast if they are used to bottle teats and are confused about latching to a breast.
#5 A tongue workout
A nipple shield can be used to train a kid who isn’t utilising his tongue properly, like a newborn who is retracting his tongue (holding it back instead of extending it to wrap around the breast). Consult your IBCLC breastfeeding consultant first; babies with high palates or tongue ties may have a sensitive gag reflex that the shield may trigger, requiring other activities or therapy.