Many breastfeeding mothers use nipple shields to protect sensitive or injured nipples while the baby feeds. They are not considered a permanent solution, but can offer temporary relief that allows the breastfeeding relationship between mothers and babies to continue despite nipple pain. Many trusted brands like Medela and Nuk make nipple shields, and are available at Walgreens.com.
Breastfeeding nipple covers
Nipple covers used for breastfeeding are made of rubber or silicone. They have one or more holes in the front to release milk into the baby's mouth during breastfeeding. These nipple covers can help a baby latch on and get milk when other methods have failed. Women with large or flat nipples may benefit from using nipple shields while nursing. One important thing to consider when buying nipple shields is the size. Using an incorrectly sized nipple shield may cause more pain, and a nipple cover that isn't sized right may be inefficient for removing milk from the breast. Women with injured or chaffed nipples may need to use lanolin or nipple cream between nursing sessions to help the nipples heal.
Using nipple shields
One concern about nipple shields is that the baby might become confused and refuse to feed without using a nipple shield in the future. After using nipple shields, you might need to gradually transition the baby back to feeding directly from the breast. One way to do this is to wait until the baby is sucking while using the shield and then stop the baby for a moment to remove the shield and let the baby continue on the bare breast. In addition to buying nipple shields, a nursing mother who is having breastfeeding problems might also consider purchasing a breast pump so she can feed her baby expressed milk if necessary.