Nipple protectors are devices that protect nipples during breastfeeding to relieve pain and soreness. They can also help if baby has an improper or shallow latch that affects milk transfer.
A sore or cracked nipple is common during the early stages of breastfeeding and can result from a number of different causes, including poor latching, tongue tie, and premature birth. While sore nipples can be relieved by a variety of methods, including using nursing pillows and expressing to build up your stash, a nipple shield is an effective tool to help prevent painful, sore nipples during the early days of breastfeeding.
When choosing a nipple shield, one must take into account both baby’s mouth size and the mother’s nipple size to determine the correct fit. Most shields are marketed in a range of sizes, oftentimes marked with a small (16 mm or less), medium (24 mm), and large (28 mm). The Ardo Medical Tulips Contact Nipple Shield is a great option for mothers who have an underdeveloped nipple or low milk supply, as it stimulates the body to produce more milk through a proper nipple lock and helps baby to initiate a deeper nipple feed.
This nipple shield is made from BPA-free pure silicone and is ultra-thin, soft, and flexible for maximum comfort. It molds to the breast for a natural fit and comes with a convenient case for hygienic storage or travel. It’s also designed with a cut-out near the tip that encourages skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding and can be used on both nipples.
Another top pick among Truly Mama readers is the Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield, which can be a valuable tool in helping with short term latch issues caused by preemies, small babies, flat or inverted nipples, and tongue tie. It’s crafted from high-quality, soft and hypoallergenic materials and is available in three different sizes to meet the needs of most mothers and infants. It’s recommended that a nipple shield be used under the guidance of a lactation consultant to ensure proper usage and safe results.
The Medela Cradle Shell nipple shield and breast shell set offers two immediate solutions to nursing problems that new moms can face in their breastfeeding journey. The nipple shields are crafted from silicone that help correct poor latching and promote proper nipple position. They’re also soft and flexible, making them easy to clean.
These nipple shields are made from hypoallergenic, anti-microbial silicone that’s BPA-free and PVC-free, making them both comfortable for the mother and baby. They’re also designed with a unique cut-out that allows for a more skin-to-skin connection during breastfeeding and come with a carrying case for convenient storage and travel.
Using a nipple shield can reduce the amount of time it takes to feed a baby, but it’s important that you still keep an eye on your milk supply and ensure that baby is receiving enough of your breastmilk by checking for signs of fullness. A full nipple can be identified by 6-8 wet diapers within a 24 hour period, a healthy weight gain, and your pediatrician’s approval of breastfeeding progress.nipple protectors for breastfeeding