Nipple Shield Use – Can It Hinder Breastfeeding?

A nipple shield is a flexible and thin silicone cover that a breastfeeding mother puts on the nipple before breastfeeding. It looks like a hat with a brim and a crown. Some nipple shields are drawn with a section cut out around the edge, where the baby’s nose goes. How to use nipple shield for breastfeeding? We will describe the use and benefits of nipples shield here.

The nipple shields have been around for a long time. In recent times, there has been some controversy among breastfeeding professionals at the time of their use. This can be quite confusing for mothers. Most controversies over the use of nipple shields concern whether they help mothers breastfeed or cause problems.

The problems mentioned are that they could reduce the supply of milk or make it more difficult for children to get milk from the mother’s breast.

A nursing mother could use a nipple shield for a variety of reasons, such as when:

  • A child has difficulty attaching to the mother’s breast (for example, if it is premature or due to changes in the nipples)
  • The mother has sore nipples
  • An artificially fed baby is passed to the breast

Use nipple shield – does it help or hinder?

Can nipple shields help breastfeeding or not? Here are 3 things you should know.

1: Modern nipple shields are different from older ones

The nipple shields used these days are much better than the older styles. The nipple shields were made of latex and rubber, while today they are made of thin and flexible silicon. Because of this new material, breastfeeding professionals are much less worried about mothers who use nipple protectors and the potential risk of lowering the supply or influencing the way a child receives milk.

If you use a nipple shield, breastfeeding can take a little longer, as the milk flow is slowed to some extent. Taking care to position and tie the baby well, even with a nipple shield, is very important. Make sure you also monitor the reliable signs that your baby is receiving enough breast milk.

2: more research is needed

Little research has been done on nipple screens and most of them have been conducted on case studies with a limited number of subjects and on the basis of older nipple shields.

For example, in 1980, in a study of 34 mothers, the rubber nipple shields were compared to the latex nipple shields and the results showed that both types reduced the amount of breast milk taken from the mother’s breast.

A study in 2009, in which mothers were using thinner and newer silicone nipple shields, reported no difference in weight gain among children who ate a nipple shield compared to those whose mothers had stopped to use them. However, since 41% of children received a 2-week formula supplement, the study could not conclude that the nipple shields do not interfere with the way children take milk from the mother’s breast.

A study in 2000 evaluated how premature babies can get milk from the mother’s breast, with or without a nipple shield. It was found that premature babies could get milk much better when feeding on nipple screens.

Overall, more research is needed, in particular good quality clinical trials, to assess the specific effects of nipple shields on how children can get milk from the mother’s breast and milk supply. This type of study will allow researchers to reach b>

# 3: Some mothers find useful nipple shields

Despite the controversy over the use of nipple shields, there is no denying that some mothers find them useful. Studies on mothers’ perceptions of the nipple shield mostly show that mothers have positive feelings towards them.

If a mother believes that breastfeeding works better by using nipple shields, if she is happier using them and her baby is healthy, or if she feels she can’t continue breastfeeding without them, it’s probably best to keep using them.


As in many breastfeeding problems, there is no one size fits all. While it is important that the nipple shields are not seen as the solution to all breastfeeding problems, it is equally important not to write them down completely. When it comes to the use of a nipple shield, it is necessary to take into account the individual situation of each mother and child.