What is that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you - it's my new Best Friend! I'm only sort of joking...
Seriously though, it's the Medela Nipple Shield, and it comes in three or four sizes, so that it fits your niple perfectly. And I think that it has seriously made breastfeeding easier on both myself and my little one.
I promise that I'm working on gathering my thoughts on breastfeeding into a post. There are some people that are pro-breast, and some that are not. I think that I might have a unique perspective on the whole subject as someone who did NOT breastfeed her first child, but is doing it this time around - and it sort of took me by surprise that I'm doing it this time.
But while I'm still working on that post, I thought that I'd share this little guy with you. You can find it sometimes at Target, but usually at Babies R Us or a Medela dealer/store, and it retails for $20 on the Medela site online, but I'm pretty sure that I paid around $10 at BRU...but I would totally pay $20 a piece...and I have three. One for upstairs, one for downstairs and one for the diaper bag.
This shield covers your nipple area (held on by suction) and protects your nipple from some of the harsher side effects of breastfeeding. Now, it says on the product that it's mainly for people with flat/inverted nipples to help the baby latch on...I don't know about that. I've never really thought about my nipples and if they're flat or not. But they gave me one of these at the hospital when Jax and I were both learning how to feed and he was having some trouble getting a good latch.
Since then, I've seen that the shield really could be a lifesaver. Cracked nipples? Little teeth? Not as much of a problem here since you have something between your nipple and the baby. I still do use nipple butter once every other day or so, just as a preventative measure against cracks and soreness, but I've seen no hint of cracks or bleeding and I think that I'm just being overly cautious.
In case you're wondering, the shield is BPA/DEHP free...just like most bottles today, so you're safe there. And my little guy? He doesn't mind it at all. In fact, I think that it maybe helps him avoid nipple confusion when he takes a bottle of breast milk at certain times - either when we're out or so someone else can feed him while I get some zzzz's.
And those zzzz's are SO precious these days!
I just thought that I'd share that product with you other moms out there. Don't hate me if you try it and it's not your cup of tea. I like it, but maybe that's just me!