The Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding
|Medela Nipple Shield
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|Lansinoh Nipple Shield
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|Avent Nipple Shield
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|Livella Silver Nursing Nipple Protecting Nursing Cups
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Sadly, breastfeeding has become a contentious issue for modern parents. The pressure to feed your baby yourself is high and the acknowledgment that breastfeeding can be super difficult is low.
If you are finding the whole process stressful then don’t be hard on yourself. Stay calm and try all the options but if it’s really not for you then you are no less of an amazing Mama!
That said, using nipple shields can be the miracle cure for a Mummy and tot who are struggling with breastfeeding and if you’re interested in the question ‘What are nipple shields and what can they do for us?’ then read on!
The best nipple shield for you – a shopping guide
Our comprehensive guide is based on personal experience and nipple shield reviews from across the nursery industry. Trust us to find you the best nipple shields on the available in the U.K.
Medela nipple shield – helps baby to latch onto the breast to feed
Medela is a trusted brand that has a loyal following amongst midwives, health visitors and parents. The Medela contact nipple shield has an unusual shape which allows for more skin to skin contact, they look like a breastfeeding butterfly!
A Medela shield can be bought in different sizes and the PersonalFit guide is fantastic at helping women find the correct Medela nipple shield sizes for them.
The silicone that Medela nipple shields are made from is fantastic quality and completely BPA free.
You can also buy PersonalFit Medela breast shield inserts for breast pumps so that the act of expressing is as pain free and efficient as possible.
Lansinoh nipple shield – an effective breastfeeding aid
We loved the ultra-thin and butter soft nature of these nipple shields. The silicone is super thin which makes it easier for baby to latch on. We found the flexibility of the fabric created a great fit and were reassured that it is BPA and BPS free.
The value of these nipple shields is fab, unlike some brands, Lansinoh provide a set of 2 and you also get a useful carry case.
Avent nipple shield – protects and soothes
These Avent nipple protectors are designed to help defend and soothe damaged nipples. They have a close fit shield part and a ‘shell’ which will collect leaking milk and stop your underwear and clothing from getting soaked while you’re feeding from the other breast.
Reviews tell us that they are a joy to wear and that the ventilation lets sore skin breathe while preventing chafing.
Avent nipple shields also provide gentle pressure to ease engorgement and the subsequent hot and tight skin that excess of milk creates.
Livella silver nursing nipple protecting nursing cups – cooling and healing
We adored these as a quirky but simple way of beautifully protecting sore nipples. Silver is a natural anti-bacterial that soothes and heals at the same time. The cooling and gentle feeling of these nursing cups is delicious and plenty of delighted Mums agree.
Many women can be sensitive to metal against their flesh, but these shields are 100% sterling silver and have no copper and nickel in them to irritate.
What is a nipple shield?
Nipple guards are thin silicone teats that slip over a mother’s nipple to aid with breastfeeding and protect the delicate skin in that area.
Type of nipple shields
- Nipple shields for breastfeeding – help with a deep latch on and production of milk.
- Protecting nursing cups – they protect sensitive nipple tissue and already cracked skin as there is no direct contact between the broken breast skin and baby’s lips or clothing.
- Breast shells – collect milk and defend skin
- Nipple trainers – can be used before birth to encourage inverted nipples into a shape that will make breastfeeding easier.
It is important to use the correct type for your current needs.
How do nipple shields work?
- A breast shield, when it is the correct size, should slide comfortably over the nipple and sit against the areola.
- Small holes in the teat will provide the flow of milk as baby sucks.
- Your breastfeeding shield will be a noticeable, firm presence in the roof of your baby’s mouth. This will stimulate the suckle reflex and feeding will, hopefully, be easier and more effective.
- The silicone nipple cover will provide a barrier between your skin and anything that will irritate it, for example clothing or the insistent pull of your hungry infant.
Why you might need a nipple guard?
- If your little one is finding it difficult to breastfeed.
- You have flat nipples, inverted nipples or very soft boobs.
- Your baby has a problem with their tongue or mouth.
- Your baby was premature.
- Feeding has been established but baby is an inattentive feeder – a nipple guard will help them get more milk in a shorter time.
- If your need temporary respite from ‘touch’ on painful nipples.
How to use a nipple shield
Using a nipple shield is tricky! If you’re planning on trying breastfeeding nipple shields, then have a chat with your health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor.
Before you put on your nipple shield stretch it gently and warm it will warm water to make it a little tacky, this will help it stay in place.
A good trick is to almost turn the protector inside out and apply it first to the part of your boob that your baby’s lower jaw will touch.
Slowly and carefully pull it over your breast. It should be tight, and the nipple will extend into the teat but not necessarily touch the end.
The most important nipple shield breastfeeding techniques to master are positioning and attachment. A good ‘latch on’ will be comfortable for you and allow baby to end the feed contented and with a tummy full of milk.
If you squeeze a little milk into the end of the teat the smell and warmth will pique your baby’s interest and tempt them to begin their next yummy meal.
Remember, a breastfeeding nipple shield won’t magically take away the pain of sore nipples so keep using your nipple creams to moisturise and protect them.
How to choose the best nipple shield for your body
A silicone nipple shield is the norm as it is easy to wear, comfy for baby and won’t ‘flavour’ your milk.
Nipple shield size
Women’s bodies are all different and the size of your nipple protector is vital. If you have large nipples and you’re wearing a Medela nipple shield small, then that is going to feel horrible!
A guide to the size of Medela breast shield you need will be in the product descriptions. Comfort is key!
The shape of your nipples
Nipple trainers are great for extending inverted or flat nipples while you’re still pregnant. However, you will need sturdier, larger breast shields while feeding so that they remain in place.