Nipple Shields, Help!

nipple shields Tutorial

Superpower your parenting know-how with comprehensive support and education from Nikki Mather IBCLC

nipple shields


What is a Nipple Shield?
Nipple shields are a thin silicone teat worn over the nipple during feeding.

How do nipple shields work?
Nipple shields help babies to attach to the breast and maintain a deeper attachment.

What can nipple shields help with?
– challenges staying latched on
– non-latching baby
– shallow latch
– sore or damaged nipples 
– tongue tie or oral dysfunction
– prematurity
– transition from bottle to breast

Nipple shield support

Sometimes, nipple shields can negatively impact feeding so it is important to find the right kind of support.

* Reduced milk transfer to the baby, and low/slow weight gain
* Potential for reduced breast stimulation and milk supply.
* Interference with correct attachment, leading to issues like blocked ducts and mastitis.
* Challenges in weaning from the shield.
* Possible loss of confidence in direct breastfeeding

Feeding with nipple shields
Seek skilled breastfeeding support; consult your local Lactation Consultant or breastfeeding counsellor for a plan to support you. It is important to do this so you can avoid some of the challenges noted above whilst using nipple shields.

Where to Buy: Nipple shields are available in stores and online. They may be sold individually or in pairs, with varying shapes and sizes from a variety of brands.

Choosing the Right Size: Measure nipple according to manufacturers instructions (commonly found on their website), and select a small, medium, or large size according to this guide. You may find each breast needs a different size nipple shield.

Cleaning and storing nipple shields: Clean and sterilize nipple shields before first use. After each use, wash with hot soapy water, rinse, dry thoroughly, and store in a clean, dry container.

How to fit a nipple shield

How to fit the Nipple Shield:
See the following video on how to put a nipple shield on.

  1. Hold the shield’s edges between your fingers and thumbs.
  2. Turn the shield half way in on itself.
  3. Place the shield over the nipple, attach securely onto the breast.
  4. Release the shield, creating a slight vacuum to draw the nipple into the teat.
  5. Ensure your baby has a good, deep attachment to the breast while using the shield.


How to feed your baby with a nipple shield

How to feed your baby with a Nipple Shield:
Here is a video on how to put baby to the breast with a nipple shield on.

  1. Hold baby close to you
  2. Baby tips their head back
  3.  Their chin touches the breast first, & opens their mouth
  4. Nipple shield is pointing up nostrils
  5. Support the back of the neck & shoulders as you bring baby quickly onto the breast
  6. Ensure your baby has a good, deep attachment to the breast while using the shield.


You’re ready to transition away from shields, great! Here are a few things to consider:

* Try latching baby without a shield from the start or remove it partway through a feed.
* Be consistent and patient; try when the baby is less hungry or sleepy.
* Some babies may need only one or two sessions practice without shields, while others may need to use longer term whilst problems are resolved to enable latching on the breast is optimum.
* Sometimes as baby learns new skills. They will latch without the shield for a short while but then want the shield back. This is fine and may be part of the transition away from shields for some babies.
* It is not advised to cut down a shield for weaning, please avoid this method.

Always seek support if needed.

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