I breast-fed for 9 months and used nipple protection shields for the first month when my breasts got sore. They’re silicone discs, shaped like nipples. The baby sucks through them to get the milk and they’re really good for preventing your nipples from hurting or cracking.
They look huge when you buy them, and you think, ‘My nipple’s not that big!’ But when the baby sucks on the shield the nipple and surrounding area gets pulled in to the formed silicone. They’re a must-have for all breast-feeders!
It wasn’t all plain sailing though. Two weeks after her birth, my daughter Ay suddenly stopped breast-feeding. It was as if she had forgotten how to do it. I think she was picking up on my tiredness, and for some reason got very stressed when it was time to feed. It was heartbreaking for me and I felt really guilty. I didn’t want to bottle-feed her because I’d heard that she would never go back to breast.
I had to feed her somehow, though, so I pumped out my milk with the Avent IQ Pump and bottle fed Amy for one week. I always offered her the breast and then the bottle if she couldn’t or wouldn’t breast-feed.
After eight or nine days, Amy suddenly started breast-feeding again. I think I must have been more relaxed and she picked up on that.
Claudia Winter, 29, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, mum to Amy