Other practices that can hinder milk supply are the use of a nipple shield. While they have a time and place to assist in latch. They are not a cure for sore nipples and should not be used unless necessary and discontinued as soon as possible. When using a nipple shield, a cut out ultra thin silicone nipple shield is best. Place the cut out at the baby's chin so that the skin to skin can elevate your hormone response which increases milk supply.
Another practice than can reduce milk supply is unresolved engorment. When the milk first comes in 3-5 days postpartum, softening the breasts with warm moist heat from a compress or disposable diaper doused with hot water and warmed in the microwave is essential before nursing or pumping so that milk is more effectively extracted. Milk that is not extracted actually reduces milk supply as your body is being signaled that you do not need the milk. That is why the practice of waiting for an insurance pump is not the best idea. If your insurance company will not allow you to get a pump until after the birth, go with a private pay DME. That way, you can order the breast pump on the day of the baby's birth and it will be at your doorstep between 3-5 days when you need it most. You then have to file for reimbursement with your insurance company, but it beats waiting around for a company to bill your insurance and you may not have your pump when you need it most.
Here is to a Healthy Milk Supply, Mamas!