Q&A: Are Nipple Shields Damaging?

I've been using nipple shields for my preemie. Can they damage my breasts or my milk supply?
ByCatherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC
Lactation Specialist
Updated
Jan 2017
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Studies show that nipple shields can help some preemies breastfeed better. But only use one if your preemie doesn’t breastfeed well without the nipple shield. Nipple shields that are fitted properly will not hurt your breasts or nipples. While you’re using them, make sure you’re under the supervision of a lactation consultant who can make sure your baby is able to get enough milk with the shield in place. As long as your baby is able to remove all the milk she needs, your milk supply will be fine. If not, you will need to pump as well.

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