The Benefits of Using a Nipple Guard for Breastfeeding
A nipple guard is a silicone teat shaped like an extended nipple that can be used temporarily to help a baby learn how to latch on to the breast. It can also be used to encourage milk flow in nipples that are overactive or producing excess milk. The tip of the shield has holes that allow milk to flow through it.
Health professionals use nipple shields in a variety of settings to support breastfeeding initiation, including hospitals, home visits, and clinics. In a survey of health professionals, the most common reasons for nipple shield use were to help infants with problems such as prematurity and tongue-tie latch and nurse, accommodate flat or inverted nipples, and assist with transition from bottles to nursing.
Women who use nipple shields for breastfeeding often report that their milk flow is increased and they experience less nipple pain with the shield in place. It is important to note that nipple shields are only recommended for a few minutes at a time and should be removed when the baby is ready to nurse without it.
To use the Medela nipple shield, gently insert the nipple through the hole and into the nipple-shaped part of the shield. Then, slowly wiggle the shield around the nipple to position it properly before feeding the baby. To maximize the benefit of using the nipple shield, hand express some milk and drip it into the tip or on the outside of the shield during breastfeeding to encourage milk flow. Always wash the nipple shield in hot soapy water or the dishwasher after each use. nipple guard