What is a nipple shield?
A nipple shield is a silicone device that covers the mother’s nipple and part or all of the areola. It has a cone that holds the nipple and goes into the baby’s mouth, and a rim that lies on the areola. The cone has holes at the front to let the milk out. Nipple shields are used mostly to help babies latch, suck, and get milk from the breast. They are especially useful for premature babies. Some mothers use nipple shields to reduce nipple pain. Mothers who are using a nipple shield need to make sure their baby gets enough milk. They should see a health-care provider when they start using a nipple shield and again in a few days and within two weeks to make sure the baby is not underfed. Not all babies have the ability to use a nipple shield.