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Nipples shield

Nipple shields are a shield that is placed over the mother’s nipples to make it easier for the baby to breastfeed. During breastfeeding, mothers experience physical changes in their breasts, including swelling, pain, tenderness, and other symptoms, so it is important to take care of your nipples so that the experience of breastfeeding is not uncomfortable or even painful.

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Another very common use is when the baby has trouble learning to breastfeed, In this case, the nipple shield can help them hold on to the breast.

Your baby receives your milk through the holes at the tip of the nipple shield, eliminating or reducing the need to pump and deliver your milk in another way.

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Lansinoh Nipple Shield for Breastfeeding, 2ct 24 mm

X2 Medela Contact Nipple Shield for Breastfeeding + CASE

Medela Contact Nipple Shield for Breastfeeding

How to put on a nipple shield

What is the utility of nipple shields

Nipple shields protect the nipple in case of rubbing, especially when there is a lot of pain in them and cracks or irritation often appear. They are also used when mothers have flat or inverted nipples, which make it difficult for the baby to suck. Another important use is when the baby has trouble learning to suck. Nipple shields help the baby latch on to the breast. That way, the baby gets the nutrients in the milk directly from the mother, without the need to pump.

Nipple shields are worn when you are breastfeeding, protecting your nipple and allowing you to continue to breastfeed as close as possible to natural feeding.

Types of nipple shields

The teat cups can be classified by their composition, just like the teats exist in silicone and latex.

Latex Nipple Shield

In principle, the latex ones are more flexible and have a better feel. The downside is that the child or mother may be allergic to this material.

Silicone Nipple Shield

Silicone is a harder material and can make it harder for the baby to suck. The good news is that they’re hypoallergenic, which means this material isn’t prone to allergies. Nowadays, silicone liners are very thin and flexible and are gaining ground over latex liners.

Nipple Shield sizes, what size do you use?

An important point to consider when buying liners is the size. Good brands like Medela have several sizes to fit your chest perfectly. You have to take into account that if they are too small they will cause the nipple to rub against the plastic, which is completely counterproductive and very painful.

In case of doubt, consult the manufacturer’s information to find out which size to choose, which will be indicated according to the diameter of the nipple.

  • Size Nipple Ring Contact Medela:
    • S: 16 mm
    • M: 20 mm
    • L: 24 mm
  • Avent Nipple Sizes:
    • Mini: 16 mm
    • Standard: 21 mm

How to use the Nipple Shield

Although breastfeeding, without intermediate barriers, is best, in case you cannot breastfeed with liners, it may be the most appropriate option.

Before the first use

Before using the liners for the first time you will see that they are impregnated with a kind of fat. This fat is intended to prevent them from deteriorating from the time they are manufactured until they are used and must be removed before use. To do this, you only need to boil them.

On a daily basis, it is not necessary to sterilize them and it is enough to wash them well after each use with water and soap.

How to attach the Nipple Shield

Care must be taken when placing the nipples, the prominent part must be placed on the nipple in such a way that it is centered and does not rub. If the nipples are not round, they should be placed with the widest part facing downwards as the pressure the baby exerts is greater on the lower part than on the upper part of the breast.

It is important to try to empty your breasts by placing them in such a way that they do not move while you are breastfeeding, otherwise they will move and may hurt you. Avent liners are placed in the same way as Medela or Suavinex liners. The main thing is that they are well fastened and centered so as not to damage the nipple you are trying to protect.

How the baby should breastfeed with nipples

The baby’s position should be the same as if we were breastfeeding, there is no change:

  • You should get into a comfortable position, using a nursing cushion or a good chair where you can hold your baby for a long time.
  • Place the nipple of the nipple shield on your baby’s upper lip.
  • The baby should take a large bite, covering as much of the breast as possible.

When to use Nipple Shield

Although the most common case is for having cracks in the nipple there are other reasons to use them:

  • Nipple cracks and mastitis: If you have nipple cracks that do not heal and breastfeeding has become painful, they can help reduce nipple rubbing and help the cracks heal.
  • Baby’s tongue frenulum: If your baby has a very short frenulum, he or she will probably latch on poorly to the breast and this will hurt you. While your baby’s braces are being cut off, you can use nipple shields to prevent damage to your breast.
  • Other facial malformations of the baby: There are other types of malformations such as micrognathia that prevent the baby from latching on to the breast and cause discomfort when breastfeeding. For these cases they can also be useful.
  • When the baby doesn’t latch on: the use of nipple shields can avoid having to pump and then give it to the baby in a bottle.
  • When the baby refuses the bottle: If for some reason the baby has started taking a bottle and you want him/her to take it, he/she may refuse it. The nipple shield can be an intermediate step between the bottle and the breast.

How to remove the Nipple Shield

After a while using the nipples, the baby may not want to breastfeed without them, after all, we are animals of habit. Here are some tips to help you make the transition:

  • Try to give him the most asleep shots without nipples, this way the baby pulls more instinctively than he has learned and he will accept the change better.
  • Start breastfeeding with a nipple cup and switch halfway through. If you have just recovered from the cracks, but your breast is still tender, it may be a good idea to use nipple shields at first, when the baby sucks harder, and then remove them when the baby sucks more softly.

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The best brands of nipple shields

Here we are, as always, the main manufacturers of the sector: Medela, Avent, Chicco, ….

Medela Contact Nipples:

  • Material: Silicone. They come in a case for storage.
  • Sizes: they are available in three sizes: S, M and L with a diameter of 16mm, 20mm and 24mm.
  • Price: They are priced around $11 and you can buy them here.

Avent Nipple Shields:

  • Material: Silicone.
  • Sizes: They have two different sizes, the Mini with a diameter of 15mm and the normal size with a diameter of 21mm.
  • Price: They are approximately $12 and you can buy them here.

Nuk Nipples:

  • Material: Silicone
  • Sizes: M (20 mm) and L (24 mm)
  • Price: approximately 5$ See here

Chicco Nipple Sets:

  • Material: Silicone
  • Sizes: S/M and M/L (The manufacturer does not give information in mm)
  • Price: between 4$ and 6$ See here

There are liners from many other brands but personally I think the best manufacturers are Medela and Avent. In case you choose other manufacturers, keep in mind that if you have big or small nipples that have different sizes. A bad lace can cause you damage. As we have seen, the price of breastfeeding nipples varies between $4 and $12.

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