Breastfeeding isn’t always easy and some babies might experience issues when it comes to latching properly. Nipple shields are good for sore or cracked nipples and they are made of thin and flexible silicone.
A nipple shield must be placed on the nipple to improve the entire breastfeeding experience. Although breastfeeding-related difficulties can be quite overwhelming, finding the right nipple shields and purchasing them don’t have to be that hard.
Without further ado, here are some of the best nipple shields for breastfeeding that you can find on the market.
- 1 Top 11 Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding
- 2 1. Philips Avent Nipple Protector
- 3 2. Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield
- 4 3. Purifyou Nipple Shield
- 5 4. Medela Contact Nipple Shield
- 6 6. YIYEE Nipple Shields
- 7 7. Ameda Nipple Shields
- 8 8. MAM Nipple Shields
- 9 9. Bumblebee Nipple Shield
- 10 10. Ardo Tulips Nipple Shield
- 11 11. Momma Bear Premium Nipple Shields
- 12 Nipple Shields vs. Nipple Shells – What’s the Difference?
- 13 Using Nipple Protectors – Pros and Cons
- 14 FAQs
- 15 Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding – Drawing to a Close
Top 11 Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding
The following products are listed in no particular order. I’ve chosen them based on popularity, quality, and consumer reviews.
1. Philips Avent Nipple Protector
I love these Philips nipple shields due to their unique shape that doesn’t minimize the skin of the mother that the infant comes into contact with. As you know, skin-to-skin contact with your baby is important for his or her development, especially during breastfeeding.
The shape of the Avent nipple protector also keeps the nose of your little one away from the silicone so you don’t have to worry that your baby will feel the fabric’s smell. These are durable and thick shields that can resist without problems during multiple feedings and washings.
Finally, the Avent nipple shields made by Philips are pretty affordable and allow the mother to slip her fingers around the shield’s material to achieve a better grip. These protectors are amazing if you have sensitive nipples.
2. Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shield
The Lansinoh nipple shields are great, especially if your baby has ankyloglossia also known as “tongue-tie.” In the case of these babies, the range of motion of their tongues is quite restricted which further leads to issues regarding latching or proper suction.
These nipple protectors have a lower profile which comes in handy when the infant has a shallower latch. However, this product also works well for all the other infants because it helps them strengthen their latch.
The design is comfortable and easy to clean. The shield comes in two different sizes and the price tag is very affordable.
3. Purifyou Nipple Shield
If your nipple and small and perky, these nipple shields might be the best choice for your needs. After I’ve researched these nipple protectors, I found many positive reviews from new moms who said that the Purifyou shields have truly saved their breastfeeding experience.
What I like most about this product is the fact that the material is free of both BPS and BPA. The price is also affordable and users will get great value for the money. There’s also a money-back guarantee available for 30 days. So, it seems pretty convenient for me.
According to the manufacturer, these nipple shields will help purify your infant’s lifestyle. One set contains three nipple protectors and all of them are made in a non-toxic facility.
4. Medela Contact Nipple Shield
Medela is an international leader when it comes to breastfeeding supplies and accessories. This contact nipple shield created by Medela has a unique shape that enables more skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby. It is a great product if you have flat or inverted nipples.
The product also comes with a carrying case which is highly convenient and there are three available sizes that you can choose from 16, 20, and 24 mm). It seems that the size of the shield is linked more with how big or small your baby’s mouth is rather than the size of your nipple.
All the parts that come in direct contact with your milk are BPA-free so they are safe for both mothers and infants. According to moms who use this shield, they experience less pain while breastfeeding.
5. Haakaa Contact Nipple Shield
When it comes to unique shapes, the Haakaa nipple shield is definitely the leader. The way it’s created allows it to fit many nipple sizes. It may work better than other shields, especially in those cases of inverted nipples.
On the other hand, there have been a few complaints from the moms who bought these shields. They say the structure of the product can restrict proper milk flow. In other words, babies will have to work harder to get enough milk but, on the bright side, that helps them strengthen their suction abilities.
Moreover, the design of these shields prevents your infant from choking if the milk flow comes too fast.
6. YIYEE Nipple Shields
The nipple shields made by YIYEE are completely made of soft silicone. They don’t contain any harmful substances such as BPA and other toxic materials. Due to its unique structure, your baby will have plenty of help and support with his or her latching.
These nipple protectors will protect mothers from getting bit and babies from choking during nursing. It appears that these shields stick very well to the breast compared to other similar products. The material is lightweight, soft yet tough and durable.
The base design was upgraded to increase contact between you and your little one. YIYEE shields are resistant to heat so you can clean and disinfect them with boiling water.
7. Ameda Nipple Shields
This nipple shield by Ameda measures 24 mm and the material that’s made of is thin and flexible. It is a good product that helps new mothers with their babies’ latching issues. The fabric is free from both DEHP and BPA. Simply put, this shield is safe to use and the design is pretty basic and straightforward.
Moms who deal with cracked or sore nipples simply love how these shields protect them. However, a few buyers have said that this product might just be way too thin. While Ameda shields might not be as good as Medela protectors, they are still worth considering.
8. MAM Nipple Shields
Besides nipple shields, this brand also markets other products such as feeding bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, and more. Most buyers like certain features that MAM nipple shields have like their super-thin surface. They also allow airflow between the infant and the shield.
These products are available in two different sizes: small and regular (17 and 23 mm). The smooth surface features dimples that mimic the mother’s breast so that the child feels secure and connected to his or her mom.
The case is self-sterilizing. All you have to do is add some water and place the products in the microwave. Keep it there for around 3 minutes.
9. Bumblebee Nipple Shield
This Bumblebee nipple protector is fully covered in silicone and it is a great choice in cases of sore or inverted nipples. The product features not one but two different silicone layers that are very flexible. They are also thin enough to support and improve your infant’s latching.
These shields will help new mothers who have flat nipples and will prevent them from experiencing pain during breastfeeding. This product is easy to clean and it is low-maintenance. It’s dishwasher-safe. Still, make sure not to use any bleach-based cleaners.
The material that’s made of is safe and non-toxic and the corrugated shape of the shield is very comfy and convenient.
10. Ardo Tulips Nipple Shield
There are two available sizes when it comes to Ardo Tulips nipple shields. The product also comes with a convenient carrying case which makes these shields very portable and easy to use when you’re on the go. These nipple protectors were created to prevent breastfeeding-related pain and soreness and help mothers with chapped nipples.
The shape and design of the shield don’t obstruct the infant’s sense of smell and allows for a natural experience and skin-to-skin contact which further stimulates the essential bonding that’s forming between the mother and her baby.
These shields will also work well for premature babies who don’t have enough suction strength. Most users said that the Ardo nipple protectors truly exceeded their expectations.
11. Momma Bear Premium Nipple Shields
These nipple shields made by Momma Bear are very thin and easy to wear and clean. Their special cutout enables plenty of skin-to-skin contacts. Mothers with inverted or flat nipples will find these products exceptional.
You can purchase a set that contains six shields. The package also includes a reusable drawstring bag made of cotton that features a pink soft color. All the materials are free of both BPS and BPA. In other words, they are safe and non-toxic.
The silicone is a premium material that won’t interfere with the mother’s nipple and milk stimulation in any way. There are multiple holes on the shield’s silicone nipple to prevent milk loss. If you’re environmentally-conscious, you will certainly love this company which is also responsible. Therefore, none of their packagings contains plastic.
Nipple Shields vs. Nipple Shells – What’s the Difference?
Nipple shields or protectors are those items that improve the overall breastfeeding experience. They lower the pain for the mother while also supporting the baby with latching. Most moms who use nipple protectors don’t feel as much discomfort as the ones who don’t use these products.
On the other hand, nipple shells are used to collect breast milk that’s leaking when you aren’t nursing your little one and you’re not pumping milk either. So, these two products have different purposes.
Using Nipple Protectors – Pros and Cons
Here are the pros of using nipple shields:
- Instead of using bottles to feed your baby, you can use a shield whenever you need a break to heal your sore nipples;
- Premature babies or those who don’t have latching abilities will benefit from the use of nipple shields. These products make the breastfeeding process a lot easier, especially for babies who don’t have enough strength and get tired quickly;
- Some babies aren’t able to breastfeed directly from the mother’s nipple but the shields allow them to do that without problems.
Now, let’s take a look at some disadvantages of using nipple protectors:
- In some cases, milk supplementation might be necessary because the milk flow that goes through the shield might not be enough to satisfy your baby’s feeding requirements;
- Using nipple shields too much could decrease your milk supply because your little one might not stimulate it enough;
- Some mothers could experience mastitis or plugged milk ducts because the milk isn’t effectively drained from the breast;
- If you use the shields too often and your baby gets used to them, he or she might not want to go back to feeding directly from the breast.
Answer: There are many reasons and situations in which you should consider using a nipple shield. Mothers with flat or inverted nipples might experience troubles when breastfeeding. This type of product is useful to them. Cracked, sore, or engorged nipples all represent other reasons why you should use nipple protectors.
Nipple shields can also support a better latching and strengthen your baby’s suction. Some infants even prefer silicone nipples.
Nipple protectors also come in handy for premature babies who have underdeveloped sucking strength and their mouth is small. Some of them might even struggle with other physical challenges which is why a nipple shield could help.
Answer: Nipple pain during breastfeeding is a very common issue that many new moms deal with, especially in the beginning stages.
Both the mother and her baby have to get used to this process and many times, the baby isn’t sitting in a correct position or isn’t latching properly.
Both the causes mentioned above can lead to painful nursing. Moreover, women who have sensitive nipples will probably feel more pain compared to women who don’t have that problem. In some cases, the pain is caused by a common yeast infection that’s known as thrush.
Answer: You may think that the right nipple protector size is linked to the size of your nipple or breast but it has more to do with how small or big your baby’s mouth is. Premature or small infants need a 16-mm nipple shield. The average size that works well for most newborns is 20 mm.
If your nipples are larger or if your baby is older, then a 24-mm shield should work just fine.
Answer: You must follow several steps to put on nipple shields. First, you should warm the silicone protectors in your hands or even moisten the shields with warm water. Then turn the item inside out to place it over your nipples. Finally, roll the protectors back to their initial shape so that they also cover part of your breasts.
When placed correctly, nipple shields create a tight fit and the nipples must fill the shields’ orifice whenever you’re feeding your infant.
After each feeding, you must clean or even sterilize the shields. Do that by washing them with soapy and warm water. Then, let them air dry.
Best Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding – Drawing to a Close
I am aware that breastfeeding isn’t easy, especially at first. So, kudos to all of you out there who are doing their best to breastfeed their children. Some mothers have no problem breastfeeding their babies but others struggle with it.
Nipple shields can really lower the burden or the stress that’s linked to breastfeeding. To discover the best way to feed your baby and the best solution that suits your needs, I would also recommend you to talk to your lactation consultant and even consider joining a local group for breastfeeding support.
In my opinion, you should always opt for the best nipple shields you can afford. I would personally go with the ones created by Medela due to the company’s reputation and experience in the production of infant feeding products and accessories.