Best Nipple Shield Protector for Breastfeeding Moms and Newborns

Learn how to select and use the best nipple shield for breastfeeding, ensuring a comfortable and effective feeding experience for you and your newborn. This guide will detail the various types of nipple shields available, explain their benefits, and demonstrate the correct techniques for use. 

Whether you're addressing sore nipples, latching issues, or transitioning from bottle to breast, finding the right nipple shield can significantly enhance your breastfeeding experience.

What Is A Nipple Shield?

A nipple shield is a thin, flexible silicone cover that is placed over the nipple before the baby attaches to breastfeed. It features small holes that allow milk to flow through to the baby. The design of the shield resembles a hat with a brim and a crown, providing structure and comfort. 

Some nipple shields are designed with cut-out sections around the brim, allowing more skin-to-skin contact as they enable the baby’s nose and/or chin to touch the mother's skin instead of the shield itself. This design helps facilitate a more natural breastfeeding experience while providing the necessary assistance.

The Benefits of Using a Nipple Shield for Breastfeeding

Nipple shields can be a lifeline for breastfeeding mothers, particularly when facing challenges such as nipple pain, latching problems, or transitioning a baby from bottle feeding to breastfeeding. Shields provide a protective barrier, reducing discomfort and allowing for healing. They also aid babies with latching difficulties by making the breast more accessible.

This not only improves comfort but also ensures that your baby can receive adequate nutrition despite these hurdles.

Choosing the Right Nipple Shield for Your Babies Needs

Selecting the appropriate nipple shield is crucial for your breastfeeding success. Consider factors like nipple size, comfort, and the specific challenges you face, such as sore nipples or a baby with latching difficulties.

A well-chosen nipple shield can alleviate these issues and support a smoother nursing experience, so it's important to evaluate the features of different shields to find one that best meets your personal breastfeeding needs.

woman placing a nipple shield over one of her breasts (bra on) showing how to use it

How to Properly Use a Nipple Shield with Newborns

Using a nipple shield effectively requires proper placement and attention to detail to ensure that it aids breastfeeding without complications. Before each use, make sure the nipple shield is clean. When placing it, stretch the brim of the shield outward and position it over your nipple and areola, making sure some of your nipple and areola are drawn into the crown as you release the stretch. This helps achieve a secure seal and minimizes rubbing.

Position any cut-outs in the shield where your baby’s chin and nose will touch your breast, allowing for skin contact which is vital for bonding and stimulation. Encourage your baby to open their mouth wide, and as they latch, direct the crown of the nipple shield towards the roof of their mouth. This positioning ensures that your baby can effectively draw milk through the shield without sucking in air or slipping off.

Always check for signs of good attachment, such as your baby’s wide-open mouth covering more than just the tip of the shield and their chin pressed into your breast.

Following these steps will help maintain a good milk supply, protect sore nipples, and support effective breastfeeding while using a nipple shield.

Nipple Shield Sizing Guide, Finding the Perfect Fit

Proper sizing is vital when it comes to nipple shields. A shield that is too small can constrict and cause pain, while one that is too large may not provide sufficient suction, leading to inefficient feeding. Measuring your nipple and consulting with a lactation specialist can help you find a shield with the optimal fit. This ensures effective milk flow and a comfortable nursing experience for both you and your baby.

Nipple Shield Care and Maintenance Tips

Proper care is essential to maintain the effectiveness and hygiene of your nipple shield. Always clean the shield after each use with warm, soapy water to remove milk residues and bacteria.

Rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry in a clean area. For silicone shields, consider sterilizing them periodically by boiling to ensure they remain germ-free. Storing your shield in a dedicated, clean holder will also help keep it safe and sanitary between uses.

Common Challenges and Solutions When Using a Nipple Shield

While nipple shields are helpful, they can sometimes introduce challenges such as reduced milk transfer and dependency. To mitigate these issues, ensure the shield is properly fitted and your baby is correctly latched.

Regularly consult with a lactation consultant to adjust your usage as your baby grows and your breastfeeding situation evolves. If you notice a reduction in milk supply, consider gradual weaning from the shield under professional guidance to promote direct breastfeeding.

Expert Opinions, What Healthcare Professionals Say About Nipple Shields

Healthcare professionals recognize the value of nipple shields for specific breastfeeding difficulties but recommend cautious use. Lactation experts advise that shields should be used as a temporary aid rather than a permanent solution and always under professional supervision.

They stress the importance of addressing underlying issues, such as latching techniques or nipple trauma, to eventually move away from shield dependency. By following expert guidance, mothers can use nipple shields effectively while working towards natural breastfeeding.


In conclusion, selecting and using the right nipple shield can significantly enhance your breastfeeding experience, especially when navigating challenges such as sore nipples or latching difficulties.

By understanding how to choose the correct shield, maintain its cleanliness, and use it effectively, you can provide your baby with the best possible start.

Remember, while nipple shields are valuable tools, they should be used as part of a comprehensive approach to breastfeeding, supported by advice from healthcare professionals. With the right information and support, you can make informed decisions that benefit both your comfort and your baby’s health.

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