The Benefits of a Nipple Guard

A nipple guard is a soft, flexible shield that new mothers place over the nipple-areolar surface before breastfeeding to help infants latch and nurse. It can be helpful for babies who have had difficulty nursing, especially preemies or babies with tongue-tie and other mouth issues that may interfere with the sucking reflex. It is also sometimes used to encourage breastfeeding when an infant refuses the breast, such as when he or she has been exclusively bottle fed.

One study found that the use of a nipple shield does not negatively affect milk supply. The study included women who began breastfeeding with and without nipple shields, with both preemies and full-term newborns. It was found that there were no differences between the groups at 3 months.

Many health professionals have used nipple shields in their practices for many years, especially when dealing with preemies. The use of a nipple guard can make it easier for premature infants to nurse, and it can also be helpful for mothers with flat or inverted nipples or other conditions that prevent them from triggering the sucking reflex on their own.

It is important to carefully choose the right size nipple shield for your needs. The shield should be snug and stretch over the area of your nipple, and your nipple should fit deeply into the nipple shield. If your nipple does not fit well in the shield, it is recommended to try putting some nipple cream on the areola or stretching the silicone base of the nipple shield to a more narrow shape. It is also recommended to sterilize the nipple shield by soaking it in boiling water or running it through the dishwasher on a hot cycle after each use. nipple guard

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