Nipple shields can be a life saver for your breastfeeding journey, but let’s face it…they can be annoying! Sometimes they slip off or move around when your trying to feed baby or the end fills with milk and baby unlatches suddenly causing milk to leak all over you (as if you didn’t have enough laundry to do).
Until you decide to wean your baby off the nipple shield you’ll have to work around the shield. We’re here to help by listing the best breastfeeding positions for moms who use nipple shields.
This is one of the more classic and iconic positions for breastfeeding. First, this position is much easier and more effective with a great breastfeeding pillow. A great pillow can help support baby as well as take strain off your back and arm. You can also use extra pillows behind your back. This position requires you to sit up straight and cradle baby’s head in the crook of your arm with baby’s body across you with their tummy to you. This position is great because you can use the arm that is not supporting the baby’s head to hold the nipple shield in position while the baby latches.
CROSS CRADLE HOLD
This positions is very similar to the Cradle Hold with just a few changes. The baby is supported by forearm which leaves your other arm and hand to support the head and neck of the baby allowing you to tilt the head up to your breast. This position is great for newborns when they need extra head and neck support. Just like the Cradle position, nursing pillows can really help support you and baby in this position. It can also help free up your other arm to hold the nipple shield in place while you guide baby to your breast.
This position is great for using a nipple shield because only one arm is needed for supporting the baby. In this position baby lays along your side with their tummy to your underarm area. Your hand supports baby’s head and your forearm holds baby to you. Again a breastfeeding pillow can be a huge help. Depending on the type you have it may be necessary to rotate it around your waste so the most support is at your side under the baby. This position is also great if you had a C-Sections as it doesn’t put any pressure on the incision area.
SIDE LYING HOLD
This position can be a little tricky with a nipple shield depending on the shape of your breasts. In this position you lay in bed on your side with baby laying next to you on their side with their tummy against your tummy. This is another great breastfeeding position for if you’ve had a C-Section. It’s also the perfect night feeding position for when you are too tired to sit up and stay fully awake. You can doze as you feed baby and then shift them to their bed when they finish.
There are some other great positions such as laid back/reclined breastfeeding but with a nipple shields it’s best to get the help of gravity and have baby’s head tilted up and your breast somewhat pointed down to help milk flow easier and prevent any pooled milk in the shield from running back all over you.