Pros: helped me nurse my baby despite flat nipples
Cons: may require two hands to nurse baby.
When my first son was born, I was determined to breastfeed him.
He was born early and small due to pre-eclampsia and I pumped and dumped till the magnesium sulfate was out of my system that first day.
The next day, when they brought me into the NICU to try to feed him, I met the wonderful lactation consultant.
After trying ways to get my nipples to come out and finding that only made them invert (I have flat nipples, which I didn't realize until trying to nurse), she gave me a nipple shield and he instantly latched on perfectly.
I also got breast shells to try to get the nipples to come out, and used the pump, but over the next year, my nipples never stopped being stubborn.
My son was never able to latch on without the nipple shield because of this, combined with my very large breasts.
Not once did I ever have a lack of supply.
In fact, whenever I pumped at work, I pumped 2oz more than he took in a feeding.
He grew rapidly and never took formula. Without this wonderful silicone invention, I would have had to bottlefeed him, either with pumped milk or formula.
This can be a lifesaver for moms who have flat or inverted nipples and I would recommend it to anyone who needs it.
They come in two sizes, standard and large... I tried both and found the standard fit best. The large left space and prevented a good suck of the nipple all the way into his mouth.
The only issue I had was that it can slip easily. I had to use both hands to nurse my son... one at his head, one at my breast to keep the shield in place, even when he was older.
I wish they would invent a way to get it to stay on better.