Luckily, most mothers don’t need to use nipple shields as they and their baby take to breastfeeding naturally.
Nipple shields are used for protection if the nipple becomes sore or cracked. They slip on over the nipple and the baby sucks through them. As there is no direct contact between the nipple and the baby’s mouth, this can be less painful for the mother.
It is most important to realise that sore or cracked nipples are NOT the norm and are usually the result of a poor latch so it is vital that the mother receives support from a breastfeeding support worker, midwife or health visitor. The aim is always to move to breastfeeding without nipple shields as quickly as possible.