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How to use a nipple shield for breastfeeding

how to use a nipple shield for breastfeeding

A nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple while she nurses.

When should a nipple shield be used?

  • Nursing with inverted or flat nipples:
    Nipple shields are helpful for people with shorter, flatter, or inverted nipples, making the latch difficult for the baby. Feeding through the shield helps draw the nipple out, to make it easier for your baby to latch onto the breast.
  • Breastfeeding a premature baby:
    Nipple shields are also useful for some smaller or premature babies who haven’t fully developed their ability to suck and have difficulty latching on to the breast. A nipple shield can help a preemie create suction and position the nipple in a way they may not yet be strong enough to do themselves.

Use nipple shield with guidance
Nipple shields should be used with the guidance of a lactation consultant to ensure proper drainage of the breast. They should not be used routinely, but in many cases do allow breastfeeding in cases where it might not have been possible otherwise.

In this first video, we demonstrate close-up the proper placement of a nipple shield on a (demo) breast to optimize breastfeeding.

In this video, Rebecca Koyf, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and boober provider, guides a mom on the proper placement of a nipple shield during a consultation.


  1. Once your baby is able to latch on herself and breastfeed effectively (this may take several days or several weeks), a nipple shield should no longer be used. Nipples shields are meant for short-term use only.

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