If you’re struggling to get a good latch, or if your nipples are sore and cracked from a hard-to-latch baby, nipple protectors may be able to help. These nipple shields are soft, flexible and designed to promote skin-to-skin contact with baby, which can stimulate their instinctive feeding behavior. They’re also helpful for mothers who have inverted, short or flat nipples that are difficult to suckle.
There are many different nipple shields on the market, but most have similar features. Most are round in shape and cover the nipple and areola, and they often have a ‘cut-out’ near the tip to encourage skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding. Some shields are soft and pliable, while others have more of a ridge-like texture to ensure they stay in place and offer good suction.
Some shields are available in multiple sizes, so you can find one that’s the right fit for your nipple. Others have a butterfly-like shape that mimics the nipple on a bottle, which can help baby learn to latch. Still other nipple shields are crafted from a flexible, BPA-free pure silicone that’s easy to clean. Some even come with a carry case, so you can store your nipple shields hygienically and bring them with you on breastfeeding trips.
If you’re not sure what type of nipple shield is best for you, talk to your lactation consultant. They can give you tips and advice based on your nipple size, baby’s mouth size, and your breastfeeding journey. nipple protectors for breastfeeding