What is a Breastfeeding Nipple Shield? 

A breastfeeding nipple shield is a silicone device worn over your nipple that helps your baby if your baby is struggling to breastfeed. The nipple shield has a base that wraps around your nipple and a cone-shaped area for your nipple. The cone-shaped part of the nipple shield has tiny holes for the breastmilk to flow into your baby’s mouth. Commonly, you will find thin, flexible and transparent nipple shields. If your baby is nursing ineffectively due to poor latch or other problems, you should use the nipple shield. The nipple shield is not a must-have item for your baby to breastfeed but is considered a last resort if your baby still has trouble breastfeeding using the natural ways. Nipple shields should be used after getting a consultation from your healthcare provider and only used for a certain period of time, temporarily. 

breastfeeding nipple shield

What Does A Nipple Shield Help With?

Primarily, the nipple shield is used to help and assist your baby to latch onto your nipple during breastfeeding. You need to ensure that your baby has a good latch onto your nipple during breastfeeding. This is because you want to make sure that your baby receives an adequate amount of breast milk during each breastfeeding session. Each time your baby breastfeeds, your baby must consume as much as possible so that your baby is full to sleep well and reduce the chances of your baby requiring breastfeeding in short periods of time since your developing baby requires the most amount of rest and sleep possible. A common sign that is considered poor latching during breastfeeding is breastfeeding pain or discomfort. This happens when your baby is latching onto only the tip of your nipple and not the entire areola in their mouth. 

breastfeeding nipple shield

How Do You Put On A Breastfeeding Nipple Shield?

If you are required to use a nipple shield during the breastfeeding session with your baby, you have to make sure that you put the nipple shield on properly. Make sure that the nipple shield you want to apply and use is of the right size for your nipple. If you were to use a nipple shield of a size that does not fit or place it incorrectly, there is a high possibility of more breastfeeding issues arising or preventing the flow of breast milk into your baby’s mouth from the nipple. 

breastfeeding nipple shield

How Should A Nipple Shield Fit Onto Your Nipple?

There are nipple shields of different sizes. The size of your baby’s mouth determines the size of the nipple shield suitable to be used. The sizes of the nipple shield are measured in millimetres. When using the nipple shield, your baby should have the whole nipple in the mouth and lips around the areola. Do consult a lactation consultant if you are unsure about the size of the nipple shield to use for your baby. Your consultant will guide and demonstrate how to use the nipple shield. For more information, click here

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