Our local hospital has a breastfeeding class twice a week, consisting of everyone undressing their babies, weighing their babies, nursing their babies, then weighing the babies again. This is to make sure they 'have enough milk'. The lactation consultants (most of whom are IBCLCs) seem to hand out nipple shields like there is no tomorrow.
These 2 facts make somewhat despise the this 'class'. I have yet to see a mom go there and come away with helpful, sane information. It really just makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration! It makes it even harder when clients go there for help, without ever calling us to tell us they are having problems, even after repeatedly telling them to PLEASE call us if they need anything.
Back to nipple shields. I am sure that there are some rare cases where they can be a true blessing, but they are so hugely overused and, in my opinion, really are a danger to the success of breastfeeding. I have emailed with Dr. Jack Newman regarding nipple shields in the past, and here is some of what he had to say:
"No, a nipple shield is not better than a bottle. With the bottle, the milk supply is maintained and the chances of getting the baby to latch on are good. With the nipple shield the milk supply decreases, and that makes it more difficult to get the baby to latch on. I am appalled by the wide spread use of nipple shields by anyone, but particularly lactation consultants."
Dr. Newman totally rocks.
I just wish them shields weren't handed out like candy everywhere. :(