NippleNest Review and Giveaway

If you currently use or have used a nipple shield, you will be as excited as I am for this review! NippleNest is a nipple shield case. Sounds simple right? It is simple! Before I discovered NippleNest,  I was using a snack container to hold my nipple shield. I looked all over for a nipple shield case, but I couldn’t find any. Finally I found NippleNest! 

 NippleNest comes in a cute, eco friendly box. 
NippleNest is a storage case designed specifically for nipple shields. NippleNest is shaped like a nipple shield, with a drying rack on the bottom to allow airflow to your nipple shield as it dries. This is a wonderful feature. I don’t know how many times I had to quickly wash my nipple shield and try to dry it completely in a few seconds before tossing it in an air tight container to keep it safe and sanitary while in my diaper bag. When I did this, the nipple shield was always damp when I needed it next. NippleNest allows your nipple shield to dry while keeping it safe and sanitary. Now I can wash my nipple shield and put it directly into the NippleNest, toss it in my diaper bag, and go! 

NippleNest is BPA and phthalates free. NippleNest is dishwasher safe (yes!). NippleNest is made in the USA, which I love! NippleNest fits any and all brands and sizes of nipple shields. NippleNest is available in four colors: Lemon Lime, Orangesicle, Orchid, and Periwinkle
NippleNest is great for every day use. Nipple shields are clear. I lost a couple nipple shields, and the dog ate one. Losing a nipple shield is incredibly frustrating. With NippleNest, you will never lose a nipple shield again! The bright colors make NippleNest easy to find in your diaper bag and around your house. There are many benefits to having a NippleNest instead of a random container that happens to fit a nipple shield. With a container I found I would have a ring of residue on the bottom of the container, especially if I put my wet nipple shield in the container. With NippleNest you do not have that ring of residue. NippleNest allows your nipple shield to dry while inside, whereas a container keeps the moisture in, not a good thing. NippleNest is shaped like a nipple shield which keeps it from bending or pushing on the nipple shield and deforming it. I can’t tell you how many times I closed the lid on my random container to find out later I was compressing the nipple shield or had closed it in the seam of the container. I don’t have to worry about that with NippleNest! NippleNest hugs your nipple shield! 
I use a Medela contact nipple shield. It fits perfectly inside NippleNest. I use NippleNest when I go out and at night to store my nipple shield instead of having it sit there all night long in the open air. NippleNest keeps my nipple shield from getting dirty and lost. My only complaint is I wish I had found this sooner! If you use a nipple shield, you NEED this product! 
You can buy NippleNest online here for $14.99. I can not tell you how much I love NippleNest. I wish I had this from day one. If you use a nipple shield, or know someone who does, do yourself, or them, a favor and order this ASAP!


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My Experience with a Contact Nipple Shield

There is a lot of mixed opinions about the use of nipple shields. Some are against them, some say the negatively effect your supply, and some say they are a life saver. I am in the life saver camp. 

What is a nipple shield? A nipple shield is a soft flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mother’s nipple while nursing the baby. 

When Bunny was born she immediately nursed. When we were in the hospital, the Lactation Consultant said Bunny’s latch was good and she was doing well. We were discharged from the hospital and went to the well baby check the next day. Bunny was loosing weight. Too much weight. The Lactation Consultant decided to investigate Bunny’s latch and mouth to see what was going on. When Bunny was 3 days old we discovered she had a tongue tie. We were able to clip her tongue tie that day, but the ENT didn’t clip it as far as we would have liked. Because of that, Bunny and I started using a nipple shield. Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. With tongue-tie, an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. A person who has tongue-tie might have difficulty sticking out his or her tongue. Tongue-tie can also affect the way a child eats, speaks and swallows, as well as interfere with breast-feeding.

The nipple shield was supposed to be a short term solution. We saw a Lactation Consultant every few days. Bunny wasn’t able to latch without the nipple shield. The Lactation Consultant said Bunny had a small pallet (mouth) and still had a minor tongue tie. Because of these two issues, Bunny still needed the nipple shield to sustain her latch. Bunny was able to latch without the nipple shield, but because of her high pallet and her tongue tie, it was too much work and she could only nurse for a few seconds. The nipple shield allowed Bunny to continue nursing. 

When Bunny was 10 months old and still not able to nurse without the nipple shield, I saw another Lactation Consultant and asker her if she thought Bunny had a lip tie. This Lactation Consultant agreed with me that Bunny did in fact have a lip tie. Inside your mouth, there is a small fold of tissue which runs between your upper lip and gum (you can feel it with your tongue). This is called the maxillary labial frenulum (or frenum). Most people have no significant frenulum attachment, but sometimes this frenulum attaches further down the gum, or runs between the front teeth and attaches behind them, causing restricted movement of the upper lip. It’s similar to tongue tie, but involving the upper lip and gum instead. Often times the lip tie will effect the positioning of the upper teeth, causing a gap. 

Tongue ties often occur in conjunction with lip ties. I was very sad and disappointed that the first Lactation Consultant missed the lip tie when Bunny was 3 days old. Because Bunny was 10 months old when the lip tie was noticed, the procedure to correct her lip tie would involve her being put under anesthesia. Neither I nor My Love were comfortable with Bunny having the procedure done. We decided to wait until Bunny was older to have her lip tie corrected. The procedure would still be unpleasant, but at least she would be old enough to somewhat understand what was happening and why. Luckily, when Bunny was 14 months old, she fell and split her lip tie by herself. I wish the first Lactation Consultant caught the lip tie when she saw the tongue tie. 

When using the nipple shield correctly, there should be no supply issue. There are those who are concerned about your supply dropping if you use a nipple shield. The contact nipple shield allows the baby to touch the breast, which helps your milk supply to increase in the early days and weeks, and helps your milk supply to be maintained in the later months. 

In my experience, using the nipple shield did not decrease my milk supply. I would make sure the nipple shield was on correctly, that there was good milk transfer (I could see milk inside the nipple shield), and that my breasts were soft after Bunny nursed. You do need to make sure your baby’s latch is correct when using a nipple shield. It is a tool to help, not a replacement for good positioning and latch. 

Bad Latch
Good Latch

Using the nipple shield was very frustrating for me in the beginning. I was frustrated that I could not nurse without it. I was frustrated when it fell off. I was frustrated that I had to use the nipple shield to nurse Bunny. I was frustrated that I had to take the nipple shield with me everywhere I went. 

I was frustrated that I wasn’t actually nursing my baby. That I needed this piece of plastic to do something that was supposed to be so natural. It took me a long time to get over this feeling. I hated nursing Bunny in public because I was afraid someone would see the nipple shield. I was afraid I would be looked down upon. Eventually I stopped caring what other people thought. I was nursing my baby. I was fighting every single day to make the best choice I could for Bunny. I hated the nipple shield, but at the same time I loved it. I loved that the nipple shield was able to allow Bunny and I to nurse. To this day, we still use the nipple shield. 

Bunny is now 18 months old. We still use the nipple shield. Bunny is able to nurse without it and sometimes does. I think it is more of a comfort object for her now. Using the nipple shield is normal to Bunny, she doesn’t need it but I am glad it was (and is) there when we needed (need) it. 

I did end up buying 2 nipple shields so I could always have a clean one. I would use one, clean it and let it dry, and while it was drying I would use the second one. This was also helpful for the middle of the night when I would loose the nipple shield in the dark. 

If you are using a nipple shield, please know that it can be a long term solution. If there are circumstances where using a nipple shield makes your nursing relationship better, or even possible, embrace the nipple shield! Be thankful we have this wonderful technology. It took me a long time to do that, but once I did, I was much happier. 

The nipple shield we used was the Medela contact nipple shield. You can find this nipple shield at Target, Buy Buy Baby, and most hospitals. 

Toddler Tumbles are sometimes a blessing in disguise!

When Bunny was born she had a hard time nursing. When she was 3 days old she was diagnosed with a tongue tie. She still had trouble nursing even after it was clipped. When Bunny was 10 months old she was FINALLY diagnosed with an upper lip tie. I was very frustrated when we found this out, the ENT and Lactation Consultant should have check for a lip tie. Most of the time when there is a tongue tie there is also a lip tie. We were told it would be best to wait to correct the upper lip tie until her adult teeth were coming in, around age 6. The procedure would involve numbing her mouth, cutting the upper lip tie out, stitches in her lip, and multiple doctors visits. Doesn’t sound like fun. I so wish she was diagnosed with this when she was 3 days old, it could have been taken care of so easily then with little pain and little to no recovery time!

A few days ago Bunny fell, like a toddler is prone to do. She bumped her mouth and was bleeding. Her lip was fat, we assumed that was where the blood was coming from. She did not cry too much, and was happy with an ice cube. We didn’t think anything of it. Today, Bunny fell AGAIN! I guess I should get used to her falling, she is trying to go faster than her little legs allow! She seemed fine after she fell, no tears or anything. A few minutes later we were eating a bagel and I saw blood on her bagel. UH OH! I opened her mouth to see what was going on and much to my surprise I saw HER LIP TIE WAS NOT CONNECTED ANYMORE! She must’ve detached it when she fell!!!

The extra bit of skin on her lip used to be attached to her gum, in between her two front teeth. 

This is GREAT! It means no correction is needed when she is older! No pain for her, no tears from me, no huge doctors bill. No trauma!!! I did NOT want my 6 year old to have to go through that. This also means Bunny’s adult teeth won’t have a gap between them! (Her gap is adorable right now.) Bunny’s lip tie was so bad she wouldn’t let me lift her upper lip to look at it, she would always fight me. I could never take a photo of it because she would thrash around whenever I tried to look at it for more than a second. The following photo is similar to what Bunny’s lip tie looked like before she fell.
I am so thankful a tiny toddler fall corrected her lip tie. I was hoping something would happen all on its own so my sweet little girl wouldn’t have to endure any pain later in life. Another bonus- Bunny was able to nurse WITHOUT the nipple shield, latching and unlatching all by herself for the FIRST TIME since we started using the nipple shield! 13 months old, maybe we can start weaning from the shield!!!