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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best nipple shield is, I’d recommend the Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield.
As new moms, we always assume that breastfeeding will be a breeze. We’ll just place our baby on our breast and they will nurse away, right? Sadly, this isn’t always the case and for some moms, finding and using the best nipple shield is the only way to breastfeed.
In this article, I am breaking down the best nipple shields, and in the end, I’ll choose the winner.
Here are the nipple shield I will be reviewing:
- Breast Shell Milk Collector and Nipple Shields by JLR Industry
- Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield
- Philips Avent Nipple Protector
- Purifyou Nipple Shield
- NUK Barely There Nipple Shield
Do I Really Need A Nipple Shield?
A nipple shield is exactly what it sounds like—a soft protective covering worn over the nipple and areola when a mom is breastfeeding. The shield is made from thin, flexible silicone to mimic a natural breast and has holes at the bottom to allow milk to flow through.
Nipple shields aid the breastfeeding process for moms who have difficulties nursing their infants. It’s important for you to speak to your doctor first as they can also help recommend the best nipple shield for your use.
Some of the situations that can benefit from using a nipple shield include:
Getting your little one to latch on properly is crucial to the well-being of your nipples and your baby’s health. When your baby only takes the nipple into their mouth when nursing, you’ll most likely suffer sore and cracked nipples.
The pain can be excruciating and wearing a nipple shield will protect your nipple from direct contact with the baby’s mouth. This allows you to heal and nurse your baby as well.
Flat Or Inverted Nipples
Women with flat or inverted nipples have a harder time breastfeeding their children as the baby can’t latch on. This can lead to all sorts of trouble, from them crying the house down to refusing to take the breast.
A nipple shield will provide the much-needed grip to make the nursing experience more enjoyable.
Nursing A Preemie
Babies develop their sucking reflex while they are still in the womb. When a baby is born prematurely, they miss out on the opportunity to fully develop this skill. This may result in a weak suck and the baby will need help exercising this skill.
Nipple shields can also be helpful for a baby born with a tongue-tie and when transitioning from breast to bottle.
Will A Nipple Shield Affect Your Milk Supply?
If the nipple shield is not worn correctly, it can affect your milk supply. This can cause your baby to lose weight. Additionally, if your baby doesn’t drain the breast completely, you are likely to suffer from blocked ducts or mastitis.
Here’s how you can know that you’re using the nipple shield correctly:
- You will not feel any pain when the baby nurses.
- The baby is latched on well.
- You can hear swallowing sounds from your baby.
- Your baby has the recommended four to six diapers a day.
- The baby seems satisfied after feeding.
- Your baby gains weight and is healthy.
In case you experience any problems, speak to your doctor or lactation consultant about it.
How Do I Use A Nipple Shield?
Nipple shields are fairly easy to use. There are two major types of nipple shields, those that feature a cut-out and ones that are fully rounded. Shields with cutouts are preferable since they allow the baby’s nose to be in contact with the mother’s skin.
Once you have selected your shield, place it in warm water to make it more pliable. Then use your hands to express some drops of milk onto the shield. This helps to get the milk flowing and replaces the smell of silicone with your milk.
Stretch the shield over your nipple ensuring that your nipple fits into the crown of the nipple shield. Your lactation assistant or doctor can help you decide on the right size for your nipples.
There may be instances when the shield does not stick to your skin. If this is the case, apply some water around its edges and lightly compress it against your areola. This may help keep it in place.
Tease your baby’s lips with the shield and wait for them to open their mouth fully. Place your breast in the baby’s open mouth to allow them to nurse. Ensure that your baby doesn’t slip back off the nipple shield as this may hurt you and cause damage to the shield.
Pay attention to your baby’s nursing to ensure that they are actually drawing milk out and swallowing.
They may be able to recommend a good shield for you to use. Opinions from other moms can help as well.
Caring For Your Nipple Shield
Seeing as the nipple shield goes into your baby’s mouth, it is important for you to maintain high standards of hygiene. Fortunately, caring for nipple shields isn’t complicated and doesn’t take much time to do.
Once you’re done breastfeeding, rinse the shield in cold water then wash it in hot soapy water. You can use a soft brush for thorough cleaning then rinse the shield in hot water.
As with breast pump parts, let the shield air-dry before storing it in a clean and closed container. Using paper towels or a piece of cloth may introduce germs into the shield, so that’s why air-drying is recommended.
Worried about sterilizing the nipple shield? You don’t have to sterilize it after every use. Washing and rinsing it in hot water will do the trick.
What To Consider When Buying A Nipple Shield
Here are some things to consider when out shopping for one:
- Know the size of your nipple to help you get the right fit: Breastfeeding should not be uncomfortable, if you buy a shield that is too small, it will hurt you. Likewise, a large nipple shield will fall off and not serve its purpose.
- Go for quality: You don’t want something that tears easily or your baby can sink their teeth through.
- Budgetary concerns: Having a budget in mind is important but keep an open mind to settle more for quality than price. The higher the quality the longer the shield will last, giving you a better return on your money.
- Consider buying from a trusted brand: They’ll have far more experience and may have even used customer feedback to improve their products. Some brands even offer online lactation consultants to assist you when you buy the product.
- Talk to a lactation consultant: They may be able to recommend a good shield for you to use. Opinions from other moms can help as well.
My Nipple Shield Reviews
Having looked at the support a shield provides for breastfeeding, let us now check out some of the best nipple shields on the market.
Breast Shell Milk Collector And Nipple Shields By JLR Industry
Breastfeeding can be quite messy with milk leaking from your full breasts and going to waste. This product from JLR industry helps you with just that. You can enjoy nursing as you collect milk from your other breast using the shells provided. This ensures no milk goes to waste.
These nipple shields are designed to enhance more skin contact with your baby. They are an excellent option for moms with an overactive letdown. Those with sore, flat, or inverted nipples and baby latching problems can take advantage of these shields.
Wearing these shells under your clothes helps keep friction (which hurts) at bay, all day. Plus, you won’t have to worry about staining your clothes which is downright embarrassing and uncomfortable. The best part is that you can continue using the breast shells long after your baby transitions to your breast or bottle.
- You get a nipple shield and breast shell for each breast
- Nipple shield matches the shape of your breast
- No more breast milk stains on your clothes
- Breast shells can be worn all day
- Reduces nipple friction
- Excellent for milk collection
- The milk can spill when you bend
- Milk collected in the shells can’t be used if it stays in there for too long
Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield
When a product is made by a mom for moms, you know they are addressing a need. These Lansinoh nipple shields do just that. Plus, the company has been around for years, providing breastfeeding solutions for moms and their little ones.
Speaking of little ones, this shield was designed with preemies and babies with tongue-tie and lip tie in mind. They are made using ultra-thin and flexible silicone to ensure any baby with a weak suck can nurse in comfort.
Moms with flat or inverted nipples or those who have overactive let-downs can benefit immensely from using this product.
Safety is a key feature here, as the shields are made using BPA-free materials. Their soft nature makes them easy to use by you and your baby. Plus you don’t need to worry about keeping the shields clean and safe, the carrying case does just that.
- Fits well in small mouths
- Helps pull out flat nipples
- Comes in two sizes
- Easy to clean
- More rounded design to better fit your nipple
- Made by a trusted brand
- Some users have complained about the shield not sticking to the breast
Philips Avent Nipple Protector
Made in the United Kingdom by a world-renowned company, these shields are made using ultra-fine silicone that’s odorless and tasteless. Additionally, the nipple shields are BPA free which is important for your baby’s safety.
When it comes to increased skin-to-skin contact, this particular shield raises the bar due to its unique design. Your baby’s nose and chin will touch your skin as they nurse. This may make it much easier to transition to the breast fully when the time comes.
These shields are available in standard sizes and a small size that is ideal for women with smaller breasts. So take some time for a nice drink while your little one nurses.
- Unique design that promotes more skin contact
- A great option for cracked nipples
- Available in a twin pack
- Can be sterilized by boiling or steaming
- Small breasted women may find their fit
- Great for babies with tongue-ties
- The reduced surface may cause sticking-on challenges
Purifyou Nipple Shield
These oblong-shaped nipple shields are designed to fit snugly on your nipple and cover your areola as well. They are ideal for women with flat and inverted nipples in addition to other latching difficulties.
You’ll get a set of three shields to ensure that you always have an extra one handy. Plus the soft cotton drawstring bag can be used to carry your nipple shields and anything else you need.
These shields adhere to high levels of quality control. They are toxin-free and safe for your baby to use.
- Money back guarantee
- Sold in a set of three
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Super thin silicone making it easy for your baby to nurse
- Shield cases are purchased separately
NUK Barely There Nipple Shield
As the name suggests, this shield is super soft and thin, giving you the impression that it’s barely there. It comes in a triangular design to maximize skin contact between you and your little one.
It also features soft nodules to help stimulate milk let-down and the perfect holes for it to flow through. Sensitive nipples shouldn’t stop you from breastfeeding—not while this shield is around. It will protect your nipples and keep you comfortable as your baby nurses.
The shield is made using BPA-free materials and comes with a clear carrying case to keep things hygienic.
- Thin material giving it an almost natural feel
- Breast stimulating nodules
- Great shape for enhanced skin contact
- Compact sized carrying case that can fit easily in your diaper bag
- May not work well for women with smaller breasts
Nipple shields help turn an otherwise dreaded breastfeeding experience into an enjoyable time of bonding and feeding. They offer relief to damaged nipples and help your baby latch on and receive the nutrition they need.
There are good shields on the market that can help you achieve this, however, only one can take the crown.
My top choice of the best nipple shield is the Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield. This one makes it easier for babies to nurse, and the rounded design means it fits really well.