A nipple shield is a thin silicone device that covers the nipple and the areola. It is designed to aid mothers whose nipple size or shape presents a true obstacle to breastfeeding or babies who are cannot sustain a latch or who prefer a bottle nipple and refuse to breastfeed. A nipple shield is typically used at the start of each feeding, then removed after a minute or two. But it can also be used throughout the feeding.
How to use one:
– Soak in warm water.
– Gently stretch the shield onto the breast, drawing the nipple and areola into the raised portion of the shield.
– Tickle your baby?s nose with your shield-covered nipple.
– Bring the baby toward your breast while holding the nipple shield in place with your thumb and finger.
– Remove the shield once your baby starts to suckle and swallow.
When to use a nipple shield
If your baby has trouble latching onto your breast and one or both of your nipples are flat or inverted, try using a breast pump before each feeding to gently pull your nipple out. If that approach doesn?t work, consider using a nipple shield.
Babies who might benefit from the use of a nipple shield include:
– babies of mothers with flat or inverted nipples
– premature babies who cannot sustain a latch
– babies who prefer a bottle nipple and refuse to breastfeed
How to clean and care for nipple shields
Care for a nipple shield the same way you care for other breastfeeding equipment. After each use, rinse the nipple shield in cold water, then wash in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Store in a clean, dry place.
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