Nipple shields

ACCESSION NUMBER: 997037172 a-b
Object Name: Nipple shields
Manufacturer: Unknown
Date Made: Circa 1920
MeSH Code: Medical Subject Headings Breast Feeding; Breast Feeding — nipple shield


Nipple shields are worn over a mother’s nipple during breastfeeding.  They have been manufactured since at least the 16th century and are used to help babies to latch on at the breast or to protect a mother’s sore or damaged nipples.  These shields are made of lead, but they have also been made from silver, wax, wood, pewter, tin, bone, ivory, and glass.  Today, nipples shields come in rubber, latex, or silicone.

This pair of nipple shields come from Gananoque, Ontario where they were used in the general practices of Dr. C.H. Bird and his son Dr. H. Godfrey Bird in the first half of the 20th century.

Related: ‘Torture or Technology?’

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