Journal of Human Lactation
Review reprinted with permission from ILCA ©June 2012
ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
June 2012 – Available at www.ILCA.org
Independent Study Module: Clinical Use of Nipple Shields
Barbara Wilson-Clay and Kay Hoover
Cost: $15 for 15 day access; 1 CERP
This module concentrates everything that is currently known about nipple shields: history;
indications for use; benefits and risks; research, or lack thereof; and practical tips for application,
cleaning, and storage. It focuses on the limited evidence and the importance of “experiential best
practices” (slide 28) for appropriate justification in the use of nipple shields.
The training section of 65 slides downloads slowly, even with a fast broadband line. However
navigation is logical and it takes around 30 minutes to assimilate the information. Extra time is
needed for taking the pre- and post-tests, and for reading the background material.
The learning expectations are clearly outlined at the start of the course. Photos, notes and diagrams
help to make the content clear, and it is informative to see pictures of nipple shields from various
manufacturers compared and contrasted. The practical tips cover all possible aspects. Interestingly,
“Dogs are attracted to the scent of milk and often chew nipple shields’ (slide 54).
Three videos are included, to great effect. The video clip on slide 22 shows how to apply a nipple
shield using an inflated balloon. Slide 24 demonstrates an alternative application to a mother with
limited hand mobility, and slide 52 shows a baby feeding. Loading the first video clip is jerky for the
first viewing, but thereafter viewing is smooth. The photos, all in colour and of great quality, are an
important component of the learning experience.
The notes section includes chapter 7 of the Breastfeeding Atlas, 4th edition, which adds great
value to the module. There is also a four-page outline of the module and a reference list. All can be
downloaded and printed.
After completing the post-test and scoring at least 80%, the reader can download the printable
certificate (where the score is automatically included) and use it to claim CERPs from IBLCE.
The material is exactly what lactation consultants and other health professionals need to know about
nipple shields when deciding whether to use them with mothers. Since it includes an educational
certificate in addition, it is a good investment.
Jacquie Nutt, BSc, IBCLC
Wellington, South Africa