Feeding With Nipple Shields

Nipple Shields can be a breastfeeding and nipple life saver! They are used in a difficult breastfeeding/latching situation.

They are used commonly used with premature infants, with flat or inverted nipples, for infant anatomical variations (like a high palate), sore nipples or weaning back to the breast with bottle use.

Generally nipples shields are reached for when there is a underlying issue that needs further investigating by a lactation consultant.

When using a shield it is important that the size is correct but even more important that milk transfer is effective. Milk supply can sometimes take a little longer to flow from the breast thus feeding can take a little longer- Even with a shield sometimes latching can still be uncomfortable which warrants further investigation.

Using a shield?  Get some further support to make sure it is working well for you and your baby book here:

What are the 3 most common breastfeeding problems?

Many new breastfeeding families are faced with common breastfeeding problems. It is really important to touch base with a IBCLC to ask for help as soon as possible to prevent a bigger issue from occurring.

In IBCLC world we know that as long as the issue has been about is as long as it takes to fix with most common breastfeeding problems.

The most common issues are:

  • Sore or cracked nipples- normally to do with position- breastfeeding is not meant to be painful. So if your toes are curling, your shoulders are up around your ears and your baby is damaging your nipples in a nipple cripple then time to seek help.


  • Not enough milk- most mums are worried their baby is not getting enough milk. Knowing how many wet and dirty nappies are day your baby should have can give you early confidence that your milk supply is enough. Hearing your baby swallow, Skin to skin, baby wearing all nurture milk supply.


  • Breast engorgement- this is when your breasts are full and swollen and painful. It can occur in the days following birth as your breasts swell with milk. The skin will feel tight and shiny- like your forehead. It can also mean your baby is not latching and draining the milk competently when feeding. If it does not settle down as your supply adjusts to your baby feeding its time to seek health. A swollen breast will make the nipple and areola area flatter- this means your baby may have a shallow latch, leading to smaller milk transfer.

If you would like further support please book a consult through this link:



Nipple Shield Sizing- how to get the best fit

Did you know that the wrong pump flange size or nipple shield size can lesson or even decrease the amount of milk you pump or transfer?

It is so important to get the correct fit so that you are comfortable and you maximise each pumping or feeding session.

Most pumps come with a 24mm and 22mm size flange.. which often is simply to large.

As a IBCLC I find the majority of my clients are using the wrong size!

Did you know that a nipple can be a different size?- Yes sometimes you do need diiferent size for each breast.

Did you know you measure your nipple size after a pumping session?

Did you know pressing the flange to hard into your breasts can block a milk duct?

If the flange is to big your areola will be drawn  up inside and pain…. OUCH!

Here is a FREE Nipple Measure Chart from Pumpables

OR to book a flange sizing/pump consult click here

credit pic- medula.

What to expect in a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Home Visit

Fixing breastfeeding problems is a process.  Sometimes it is a simple position adjustment that allows a deeper latch, sometimes there is a problem that will take deeper assessment, care, patience and time. 

Before your visit:

-Fill out your online questions/consent forms through the MilkNotes platform you will get a invite to.

This video can assist you:

-Make a list of ALL questions you have for me.

-Have any equipment you need help with out (pillows, pumps, bottles etc), so we can look at them together.

-I want you to be comfortable, so we can go into any room you normally feed in.

-Do not clean/tidy your house for me (ok I won’t say no to a cuppa if someone else is putting the kettle on).

– I want to see your baby feed, so try (ok I know) not to feed within the hour before my visit, so when I come your bub will eat whilst I am there for a proper assessment.

-We need to be able to chat freely without distractions and focus on you and your baby, so whilst I love older siblings if you feel that might be a challenge please organize an activity or distraction for them during our visit.

-I love pets (mad doggo person), but they can sometimes get a little territorial over you and your new baby as a stranger walks in, so please organize a space for them should you be concerned.

-Partners/other family members more than welcome.

During your visit

-I will wash my hands before we continue our consult, or before I touch you or your baby.

-Unless your bub is super hangry, we will sit firstly and go through your intake form, history, challenges and concerns.

-If possible before your baby feeds I will put gloves on and perform a oral examination and check oral function of your baby.  I am looking for normal muscle structure, neurological function, anatomy and development that is age appropriate for your baby.

-Then when your baby is ready to feed I will observe your feeding in whatever manner and position you use most frequently.

-I will also look at your nipples before and after the feed as part of my assessment of the feed.

-I may need to touch your breast to assist with improved positioning, BUT I will only do what is necessary and will always ASK for your consent first before I touch you, your breasts and your baby.

After Your Visit- In your MilkNotes Parent Portal

-I will upload for you your outcome of assessment, plan of action for your identified feeding goals, any pictures taken, referrals and report- that you can share with any other care provider.

-You have support for 1 week in a postnatal consult, and depending on what assessment and outcome is required I often touch base day 3, day 5 and 1 week after consult via email to check how you are doing.

-If I don’t hear from you I will assume all is ok.