Nipple shields: a review of the literature

Breastfeed Med. 2010 Dec;5(6):309-14. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2010.0003. Epub 2010 Aug 31.


Nipple shields have become commonplace in the United States for a wide range of breastfeeding problems. This article is a summary of the current literature describing the evidence for nipple shield use. The authors reviewed all available articles on nipple shields and selected 13 studies for inclusion. The studies were organized into three categories: physiologic responses, premature infants, and mothers' experiences. This review concludes that current published research does not provide evidence for safety or effectiveness of contemporary nipple shield use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Milk, Human / metabolism
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nipples / pathology*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Weight Gain