What Are Nipple Protectors?

A nipple protector, or nipple shield, is used when an infant can’t latch properly to the breast and nursing causes pain. It may also help reduce milk leaking from damaged or injured nipples that are sore, cracked, and bleeding (3).

A modern nipple shield is made of clear ultra thin silicone and differs in flexibility between makes. It should be placed over the nipple and then stretched with the flat part of the shield down and baby’s nose or chin positioned at a point on the brim of the shield (not directly against the nipple). It’s important to have skin to skin contact well before trying to attach so that the nipple is stimulated to release milk (4).

The older types of nipple shield were made from thick rubber or plastic and this could interfere with how much milk was released. However, the newer thin nipple shields do not restrict milk flow. It’s important to note that a mum’s milk supply will go down a little while using a nipple shield and it’s good to make sure baby is getting enough to drink during feeding sessions (6).

It’s recommended that a nipple shield be only used temporarily and under the guidance of a healthcare provider or lactation consultant. It’s also important to use a nipple shield that is the right size for your nipples and that you understand how it works. If you use a shield that’s not suitable, it can damage your nipples and prevent the correct positioning of your baby to encourage a deeper, more effective latch. nipple protectors

What Are Nipple Protectors?

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