Children’s doctors all over the world never tire of repeating the benefits of breast milk, even though today manufacturers offer many adapted formulas that are absolutely safe for the baby. But during breastfeeding, many women face difficulties. And it’s not just a lack of milk.
What are nipple liners
Pads are special products made of silicone or latex, which are attached to the nipples and help facilitate the process of breastfeeding. They also serve as a kind of protective barrier between the delicate skin and the baby’s mouth to reduce pain during sucking. They have the shape of a nipple with several holes through which milk enters the baby’s mouth. But getting the nutrient fluid through the pads is not as simple as from a bottle, so the crumb makes the same effort as when sucking without pads.
Experts warn that constantly using pads is not recommended. This can lead to impaired breastfeeding.
Types of overlays
If before women had a relatively small selection of personal hygiene products and accessories to help in a particular situation, today on the shelves of children’s goods stores and pharmacies there is a huge variety of products. The same goes for nipple overlays. Manufacturers use different materials for manufacturing.
This is the main difference between the accessories from each other:
- rubber. Today they are practically not on sale. Such models are a pacifier (similar to the one that we used to see on feeding bottles). It is attached to a plastic or glass base, and then worn on the chest. As a result, a distance of about 2.5 cm remains between the mother’s nipple and the baby’s mouth. That is why there is not enough stimulation of the nipple and the baby does not receive the necessary amount of nutrient fluid. Another disadvantage is that milk leaks and accumulates under the lining. It is inconvenient during the feeding process;
- latex. These models can be bought at the pharmacy or ordered through the online store. But most manufacturers also refuse to release them. The linings of this material are soft, have a yellow tint. But the main disadvantages are that they absorb odors, quickly become unusable, and in an infant they can cause allergic reactions;
- silicone. Today it is silicone pads that are the safest and most wear-resistant. They are transparent models, flexible, tight-fitting to the skin of the chest. Products made of this material do not cause allergies and irritations in infants, nor do they exude an unpleasant odor as they are used.
Photo gallery: types of nipple liners depending on the material of manufacture
Rubber linings are practically not used today and are discontinued by many brands
Latex pads can cause irritation in the baby
Silicone linings are the safest and most affordable today.
In which cases the doctor may recommend a woman to use pads during breastfeeding
Breastfeeding consultants and gynecologists do not recommend the use of nipple liners simply at the request of the woman. However, in some cases, if certain problems with HS arise, specialists may recommend trying to feed the baby with these products.
Very often, young mothers can not cope with the difficulties that have arisen and transfer the baby to a special adapted mixture. Doctors advise trying to feed the baby with pads that greatly facilitate the process itself. In such a situation, it is preferable to use these products, despite the possible negative points, than immediately switch to artificial feeding.
Experts explain that it is advisable to apply pads on the nipples in the following cases:
- the formation of cracks in the nipples. In the first days or weeks after the baby begins to attach to the breast, the woman experiences severe pain. Tender skin is injured during sucking, so wounds form on it. To protect the nipples, doctors recommend feeding the baby with pads until the abrasions heal;
- when moving from bottle to chest. Situations are different, so a baby could be fed for some time only from a bottle. So crumbs are much easier to get milk: you do not need to exert much effort. When the baby begins to be applied to the chest, it may refuse and do not want to suck, because the nutrient fluid does not flow by itself with ease. Many GV consultants recommend trying to feed the baby with pads that remind him of a pacifier on a bottle. In this case, the transition will not be so abrupt, and the child will gradually get used to sucking, making more efforts;
- mild sucking reflex in an infant. Heavy births, the appearance of crumbs born earlier than the due date negatively affect the health status of the newborn baby. His nervous system develops slowly, so the sucking reflex is weak or absent altogether. In order to teach the baby to suck, doctors recommend that mom try to feed him with pads;
- teething. Of course, all mothers go through this period of growing up baby. It is accompanied not only by vagaries, fever and sleepless nights, but also by pain during feeding the baby. The child wants to alleviate the discomfort in the gums, so he can firmly squeeze and even bite the nipple. In such a situation, the pads really save the nursing mother from the formation of wounds and abrasions;
Today, doctors do not consider the abnormal structure of the nipples to be the reason for using pads. The consultants on GV help a woman, explaining how to apply a baby correctly, and choose a convenient position for feeding. After a few days, the baby adapts and easily sucks milk.
An important point: what can the long-term use of linings lead to
At the time when the nipple liners were just put into production, all the doctors explained their exceptional ease of use and only the positive aspects of feeding the baby with this new assistant product for nursing mothers.
However, after a few years it became clear that in the case of prolonged use of pads, many problems arise:
- significantly reduced milk production. This is due to insufficient stimulation of the nipples: each time the nutrient fluid is formed less and less;
- the sucking mechanism is disturbed. The child begins to extract food more intensively, compresses the nipple more strongly, can bite the pad. After refusing to use the product, the baby continues to suckle in the same way, which often leads to even more severe injury to delicate skin than before using this accessory;
- the baby does not eat up. The baby needs more time to get the necessary portion of milk. However, babies spend energy very quickly, which is why they need many hours to recover. Often, children can not stand such a long meal and fall asleep during sucking, naturally, remain hungry. Regular malnutrition leads to underweight;
- stomach problems. During feeding, the child often swallows air, which causes colic, increased gas formation and discomfort in the epigastric region.
Which models to prefer: the most popular manufacturers
There are many companies from different countries that produce pads for the nipples used during breastfeeding. They differ not only in price category, but also in the number of pieces in the package, size and shape. The most popular manufacturers are models of such brands:
- Avent: Fine silicone products that are tasteless and odorless. The shape of the pads is made in such a way that they fit snugly on the skin of the chest, providing maximum contact between the mother and the baby;
- Medela Contact: Another of the most popular manufacturers of accessories for nursing mothers. The safety of linings has been proven by numerous studies. A plus is the presence of a special case for storing linings, which protects the product from dust and other contaminants;
- Pigeon: Model designers of this brand have carried out a large number of studies to create a patch that completely repeats the shape of the mother’s nipple. Due to the curved shape of the lining, the child does not experience difficulties in the process of sucking;
- Canpol babies: a fairly well-known brand in many countries of the world. It features high quality and low price for its products;
- Chicco: pads have a raised surface for the closest contact between mom and baby. The kit also sells a container for storing the product, which can be sterilized;
- Tommee tippee: the brand produces many accessories for feeding and caring for the baby. All models of linings of the highest quality, as the manufacturer uses only safe materials without the addition of hazardous components.
How to choose overlays by size
Not all women know that feeding pads are different in size. If the model is chosen incorrectly, the nursing mother will experience discomfort and inconvenience. Too small models rub delicate skin while feeding the baby, while large models, on the contrary, do not provide the necessary contact with the skin, so there is not enough stimulation of the nipples.
The size of the product primarily depends on the manufacturer. Each brand develops its own models, which differ in diameter. It is worth paying attention that, for example, the size L of two different brands may differ from each other.
Measure the pads in order to understand whether they are suitable for a woman, it is only necessary when the nipple is in a tense state.
You can determine whether you have correctly chosen the size of overlays according to several features:
- the product is easily put on the nipple, as if repeating its shape;
- the nipple does not rest against the edge of the lining;
But after the baby is attached to the breast and it starts to suck, the nipple will come in contact with the holes on the product to release milk.
- the base of the product fits snugly to the areola, like a second skin. The overlay should not fall or move.
If in the process of feeding the baby the nipple is too loose in the lining cavity, then the product is large, if, on the contrary, the woman experiences a feeling of tightness and constriction – small.
How to use overlays
At first glance, it seems that there is nothing easier than putting a pad on the nipple.
However, experts recommend using the right technique:
- if you are using a new product, the pad must be sterilized before first use;
- grab the model by both edges with your thumb and forefinger;
- put it on the nipple, continuing to hold by the edges;
For a more firm fit of silicone to the skin, you can moisten the pad in clean water.
- press the edges to the skin so that the product fits snugly;
- if the patch form has a notch on one side, then put the product with this side up: here will be the baby’s nose.
Lining Care Features
Nursing pads are intended for reusable use. However, they must be properly looked after to exclude the risk of infection or bacteria from reaching the mother’s chest or the baby’s body:
- after purchase, the product must be boiled;
It should be noted that this cannot be done every day, because silicone (latex) becomes hard, loses elasticity and becomes unusable.
- after each feeding, the pad must be washed with water and a soapy solution. Use only baby hypoallergenic soap to exclude the occurrence of allergies in the baby;
- dry the product after washing. No need to put the wet pad in the storage container;
- once every three days, boil the accessory for two to three minutes;
- if you have a sterilizer, then it’s much easier to maintain: you can steam the linings every day for about five minutes. This will not damage the silicone, as This material is not afraid of steam.
How to wean a child from pads
Doctors warn that pads can only be used in extreme cases. As soon as a woman and baby get used to breastfeeding, it is necessary to continue the process of feeding without the use of these accessories. Experts give some tips on how to help the baby break the habit of lining:
- put the baby to the chest using the lining, and after a few minutes remove the product. When the baby is hungry, he can continue to actively suck, not noticing any changes;
- start accustoming your baby to unprotected breasts at night: a sleepy baby tends to eat and fall asleep, so often does not pay attention to what captures the nipple without lining;
- For several days, try to spend more time with the child so that he feels the love and care of the dearest person;
- do not use dummies to calm the baby, feed only from a spoon, bottles are also better to remove.
The longer the woman uses the pads, the more difficult it is to wean the baby from them later. Therefore, breastfeeding consultants recommend using the product no longer than a few days.
Most young mothers have difficulty breastfeeding. This is especially true in the first weeks when a woman is just getting used to the natural feeding of the baby. The tender skin of the nipples is subjected to intense irritation: the baby sucks the breast with force, friction occurs, which causes redness, pain and cracks. To preserve HB, you need to quickly solve the problem. To do this, in some situations, experts recommend using special pads on the nipples. However, it is recommended to use them for a short period of time so that there are no problems with weaning the crumbs.