A nipple guard is a silicone device worn over the mother’s nipple and areola to help a baby who has trouble latching on during breastfeeding. It has a base that wraps around the areola, with a cone-shaped area for your nipple and holes at the tip to allow milk flow into your baby’s mouth.
It helps babies who have inverted, flat or short nipples, which make them harder to latch on. It also helps babies who have been bottle-fed since birth, as it makes their nipples feel more like teats and may ease the transition from bottle to breast. It’s also sometimes used for premature babies who have difficulty attaching to the nipple because they are born before their nipples have fully developed.
The most important thing to remember when using a nipple shield is that it’s only intended for temporary use. It’s not a permanent solution to a breastfeeding problem and should only be used under the guidance of your doctor or lactation consultant.
Some women find that their nipples become sore or cracked when they wear a nipple shield, making it difficult to nurse. Others have a hard time measuring how much their baby is eating because the shield makes it difficult to see how much milk is flowing. It is also a challenge to know when to remove the shield because it can interfere with skin-to-skin contact.
The nipple shield doesn’t fix all problems associated with breastfeeding, such as weak or painful nipples or low milk production. It’s generally recommended that the shield only be used for a few weeks at most to avoid disrupting the baby’s milk supply. It’s important to work with a lactation professional to wean your baby from the nipple shield and ensure proper attachment. nipple guard