A nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple during a feeding. Nipple shields should in general be considered a short-term solution and should be used under the guidance of a lactation consultant.
Often, nipple shields are recommended within the first few days of birth. Frequently in these cases, the shields are not needed and are handed out without proper instructions for using and weaning from them – a shield should generally not be used during the first week after birth unless there is an obvious problem such as prematurity or difficulty latching which is attributable to some physical characteristic of the baby. Here is more information on when baby is not latching on yet , sore nipples, and getting a good start on breastfeeding.