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Midwifery. 2013 Jun;29(6):616-21. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

A description of breast-feeding outcomes among U.S. mothers using nipple shields.

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1
Kootenai Medical Center, 2003 Kootenai Health Way, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

this study explored satisfaction with the use of ultrathin silicone nipple shields and breast-feeding experiences among mothers with early breast-feeding difficulties.

DESIGN:

a convenience sample of 81 postpartum mothers at a Baby Friendly community hospital in the northwest region of the U.S. participated in an exploratory, longitudinal descriptive study. A structured survey measured mothers' ratings of the helpfulness of the nipple shield, duration of nipple shield use and breast feeding, and infant weight gain patterns.

FINDINGS:

the majority of mothers were satisfied with the nipple shield and 72% found it to be 'extremely helpful.' The median duration for nipple shield use was 6.6 weeks, with close to half of mothers stopping use of nipple shields by the fifth week postpartum. On average, study mothers breastfed for 12.6 weeks, and 31% of the mothers were still breast feeding at six months postpartum.

KEY CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

study findings are consistent with prior research findings that nipple shields can help mothers who might otherwise abandon breast feeding. Problems with latch or painful, inverted or flat nipples may be managed in some cases with nipple shields. Health-care professionals should be aware of this option and offer mothers information on nipple shields when clinically indicated to alleviate breast-feeding difficulties.

PMID:
22795179
DOI:
10.1016/j.midw.2012.05.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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