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Do nipple shields make feeds much longer?

Hi all,

My LO is only four days old. He latched perfectly from the start but my nipples still got very cracked and sore so I took a day off feeding and expressed. This evening I put him back on using nipple shields which seemed to work very well (had tried them with my DD and she couldnt latch on). As my milk is now fully in I knew he would feed for longer but he was feeding for an hour and a quarter and was still obviously starving afterwards. I couldn't sit feeding him any longer (had to bath and bed DD) so offered I him a small bottle of formula of which he took 2oz! Seeing as he's been taking 3oz bottles of expressed milk he must have only got 1oz from me whilst bf for over an hour!

Can that be right? Do nipple shields make feeds take that much longer? I was so chuffed to have got him on painlessly but I cant be sitting there for hours on end each feed!


  • hey, fellow BIM mummy! i've been using nipple shields since day 5 as my nipples were sore and bleeding by that point! the shields are the only reason i'm still able to bf and pain free!!, now at 12 days. my little man is more of a snacker, he feeds 10-25 mins and then seems to ready for another feed an hour later!! he's pretty much pinned to my boob but i think thats pretty normal at this stage. i haven't noticed a difference switching to shields. i also read that it's a myth that nipple shields decrease intake, as long as they are latched correctly.

    Ds1 would feed from 45-1.5 hours on both breasts in the early days without shields. so this can be pretty normal but thankfully the feeds got shorter in time. in the early days they're building up your supply and less efficient at feeding so they can take a lot longer. also if they are offered a bottle of formula/ex milk they will always take some even if they don't necessarily need it.

    it may be worth checking your latch too to make sure he is on right and feeding well. good luck! x
  • Hi, late reply here sorry. I used nipple shields with my DS as he would not latch any other way. I thought they were fab but my midwife warned about the decrease in my milk. he would feed for a long time sometimes and still not be particularly settled, other times he seemed to feed normally and settle. I thought the shields were perfect but then my ds begun to loose weight and no amount of breastfeeds could make him gain good amounts of weight. I had to introduce some formula feeds.

    I have just had ds 2 and the pain is horrendous when he latches but there is no way I want to use the shields again! Maybe it's different for everyone but they definately reduced my milk supply.
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