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The Great Nipple Shield Debate

by Barbara Robertson, MA, IBCLC, LLL
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Handout: Yes

Most IBCLCs interact with nipple shields in their work whether a family has brought one in that they are already using or they have suggested using this tool themselves. Are we using them too much or too little? When does it make sense to use this tool? Some lactation consultations say never and some give them out too often. In this session, a brief history of nipple shields will be presented along with the possible reason one might use a nipple shield. The pros and cons of nipple shield use in clinical settings will be debated. Finally, the latest research will be discussed to determine which clinical experiences are grounded in best practice.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Explain the differences between the nipple shields of the past and the nipple shields being used today;

Objective 2: list three possible reasons a family might use a nipple shield to support breastfeeding;

Objective 3: Describe three factors to consider when helping families decide whether to use a nipple shield or not.

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