We Need a Standardized Approach to Use of Nipple Shields

by Teri McCown, RN, and Elizabeth Smith, MPH, ICCE IBCLC RLC

Abstract: The use of nipple shields is not new. They have been used for many years but there is a current trend for more frequent use on many postpartum units. Unfortunately, their use does not increase the longevity of breastfeeding but instead often results in early termination of breastfeeding and/or supplemental feeding. Quality improvement on evidence-based lactation practices in the postpartum unit increases successful breastfeeding and decreases the use of nipple shields.

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