Baby Hints & Tips

Breastfeeding with a Nipple Shield

BreastfeedingWanting to hear from other mums who are breastfeeding using a nipple shield. My LO is 3 weeks old and I am having to use one which is fine but I’m wondering if it is necessary to pump (and how many times per day) to maintain supply when using the shield. I have been told by midwives that it is absolutely necessary.

  • I have been using nipple shields while breastfeeding for almost 7mths and never needed to pump to keep up supply, feeding on demand is what will increase supply but the shields don’t hurt your supply at all so don’t stress, if your worried you can pump but it’s not necessary Jacqui
  • My lo is 8 weeks old and I have been using a shield since day 7 due to extremely sore and cracked nipples. I have never had to pump and I wasn’t told to from my mchn. Not sure about that. I have even tried to take her off it but she prefers the shield. If it does effect milk supply it hasn’t effected mine in anyway. Kerry
  • It isn’t. I pumped once per day (in the morning) when by bubba was about 3 weeks then stopped shortly after because I had an oversupply and very full and uncomfortable breasts at other times of the day. I think my midwives stated that a 20% reduction in supply had been observed in some (I don’t remember the percentage) of women feeding with shields. So clearly some women will do just fine without expressing. Good luck! And if a midwife tells you that feeding with shields isn’t breastfeeding please yell at her/him on my behalf. Sarah
  • I was also told to pump when using a shield but some days (OK most) I don’t find the time and it doesn’t seem to have a huge affect on my supply, however it is great to have some in “storage” for those times when you just need a break. Leela
  • My baby boy is eleven weeks old and has used a shield since my milk came in. No troubles with supply or feeding since we used the shield. I never pumped until 8weeks as I had so much milk and now I do it occasionally for storage. I’ve tried to wean him off few times without luck but it doesn’t bother me to use the shield now as I’m used to it. He also takes expressed milk from bottle really well I think the shield has helped that as he is used to the plastic of the shield. X Amie
  • I was instructed by my LC to pump twice a day to maintain my supply. I only pumped once a day (after bubs was in bed) until I stopped using the shields at 3 months. It was good to have stored milk to be honest. Never had issues with supply. Melanie
  • ‘m 12 weeks in using a shield (medela). My supply is ok without pumping, but I have lactation cookies and breastfeeding support tablets. I would see a lactation consultant (maybe at your baby clinic, or call Aba) to discuss everything happening to you. Midwives know a lot of general info, LCs are trained to apply it specifically to your situation. I had oversupply and was told to pump till dry! Then when I stopped pumping I went to low supply. Taya
  • The reason the midwife probably told you to pump is that when shields were first used they were a lot thicker and your skin-to-skin stimulation was decreased so it could affect supply. However the silicone they use now is so thin that the stimulation is like normal breastfeeding so the shields don’t affect supply any more. If you have to pump due to low supply that would be the same regardless of using a shield. I used a shield for 4 months and no issues with supply Nell
  • I have used a nipple shield from week one, bub is now 4.5 months, I haven’t pumped, I have a good supply though. I think it completely depends on your supply and how your bubba feeds. Mine feeds for AGES! Minimum half hour each side, so I know she must be draining my breasts and also stimulating them enough! Layla
  • I use a nipple shield with my almost 4 month old, I was also told I’d have to pump but I could never find a good time in the beginning because he wanted to feed all the time, also I don’t get that much when I express. My milk supply seems to be adequate without using the pump. Leslie
  • I used a nipple shield early on due to engorgement, the midwife advised that it can affect your supply due to decreased nipple stimulation and suggested taking it half way through feed so that the nipple is still getting stimulated. Jodi
  • i used a shield until about 6 months i also expressed some mornings when i was super full. Drink plenty of water if worried about supply bubs will drink only what they need Plan on using a shield for our twins due in 8 weeks Cindy
  • I have been using nipple shields since the birth of my baby. He’ll be three months tomorrow. I’ve had no issues with supply & haven’t needed to express. He is a big boy & is putting on weight without any issues. Kayla
  • My DS is 5 months old and have had to use a nipple shield since my milk came in due to flat nipples (finger fed prior to shield) I have never had a problem with supply and I only pump if and when I need to for convenience sake i.e. out and about, so partner and grandma can feed. Kelly
  • My daughter is 3 months and still using shield. I was not recommended to express and have had no issues with supply or her weight gain. I am demand feeding Michelle
  • I’ve used a shield since day one and my girl is 11 weeks. No supply issues here. And I had help from a doula who is certified lactation consultant and she never said anything about that. Jessica
  • Still using a nipple shield, bub is now 3 months old and I’ve had no problem with supply. I only pump in the mornings as bub sleeps through and I have more than enough by morning!!! Natalie
  • I got told it would affect my supply also – 13 months using them to feed both of my kids, and no issue at all ever ! Jacinta
  • I had to use a nipple shield as my boy had a tongue tie. It wasn’t picked up until day 5 and it was only suggested to me by a district nurse who was filling a shift. I produced enough milk but was trying to express as well with no luck. My bub went into breast rejection 3 months in. I think the expressing helped me to produce just enough for my boy but I would only get 50 per express. Jenny
  • For me personally I would have agree with your midwife. I used a shield at the start & had to pump twice a day. I actually still pump (dd is 5 1/2 months) at night after she has gone to bed & in the morning when she is napping. Lori
  • Join this group… We are all BF mums battling low supply mostly.. You’ll have great support, access excellent ideas and feel a whole lot better about BF! There are mummas using nipple shields, supply lines etc.. And it’s not a judgemental BF page! Just mums helping Mums reach their BF goals! Kerryn


 What is your experience breastfeeding with a nipple shield?



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