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Medela SoftShells for Inverted Nipples

3.9 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews
| 11 answered questions
About the Product
  • Designed for flat and inverted nipples, and engorgement
  • Soft, flexible backs
  • Natural appearance under clothes
  • Made without BPA
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Medela SoftShells for Inverted Nipples
  • +
  • Philips AVENT Twin Pack Nipplette
  • +
  • Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Minis for Breastfeeding Mothers, .25 Ounce, 3 Count
Total price: $49.68
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Product Description

Medela softshells help solve some of the most common problems faced by breastfeeding women nipple soreness, flat or inverted nipples, and engorgement. Softshells are comfortable to wear while alleviating these conditions. Soft, flexible backs for superior comfort. Low profile design for a natural appearance under clothes. Made without BPA safe for mom and baby. All Medela breastmilk bottles and products that come in contact with breastmilk are and always have been made without BPA. 

Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight3.2 ounces
Product Dimensions12 x 9 x 3 inches
UPC782357736152 020451002101 782462533806 020451802206 786417022650
Item model number80220
Minimum weight recommendation16 Ounces
Maximum weight recommendation96 Pounds
Material TypeBPA Free, Latex Free
Batteries requiredNo
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank #1,979 in Baby (See top 100)
Shipping Weight3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping Item can be shipped within U.S.
International Shipping This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More

From the Manufacturer

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I was really not looking forward to wearing the hard plastic shells I'd gotten from La Leche League to help correct my inverted nipples during my last pregnancy. Knowing I was in for a world of trouble if I didn't wear them, I dug them out and just couldn't bring myself to put them on. Then I discovered these soft shells at Babies R Us, and decided to give them a try. They have a soft backing against the breast/nipple instead of rigid plastic, so comfort is key here. Instead of being small and highly domed, these are more shallow and larger, so that they are more discreet when you wear them. There are washable inserts to absorb milk, rather than having to deal with dried pooled milk. And best of all, they do indeed draw the nipple out to prepare for nursing. I'm wearing them now, and I can't even see them through my t-shirt or feel that they are there (I actually lifted the shirt up to make sure they were properly positioned, and they were!). If you have inverted or flat nipples, these are clearly the shells to get!
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Before breastfeeding, I had inverted nipples. My midwife suggested these. I started wearing them a few weeks before my due date. They didn't work at all. First of all, having the silicone surface against my breast, trapping sweat all day made my breasts get red and irritated, so I could only wear them every other day. Second, as soon as I took them off, my nipples would go back as flat as pancakes in a matter of a few seconds (far shorter than it takes to achieve latch-on). As far as I can tell, these shells have made no permanent change in my nipples at all.

I still use these guys but not for their intended purpose: when I nurse on one side, milk leaks profusely from the other side. So I use the breast shells to collect milk from the other side (without the absorption pads and after sterilizing them). I collect this milk all day and bottle feed it to my baby right before bedtime to help him fill up and sleep a bit longer. It is much less involved than pumping, but doesn't work very well on the go. It also saves me from going through tons of nursing pads.

Breastfeeding was a huge challenge at first, but after a couple of weeks we were doing fine. I would make several recommendations if you have inverted nipples... First of all, the only useful thing you can do before the baby is born is pumping on a regular basis. When I first started breastfeeding, I pumped in the hospital. It was incredibly painful and made my nipples red at first. The lactation consultant said that it was because my nipples were inverted and they were coming out, so raw skin was getting exposed. This made feeding and pumping considerably more painful than it needed to be during the learning phase. When you pump at first, you draw out the nipple and get that raw skin exposed.
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I have had inverted nipples my whole life, and breastfeeding was absolutely agonizing. These breast shells help SO MUCH I cannot recommend them highly enough. They fit over the nipple and allow it to stay dry and extended between nursings so that the ordeal of trying to draw out an inverted nipple from a swollen and engorged breast for a frantic and hungry baby is completely eliminated. I see that some women with large breasts are having trouble with them; my breasts are size E (++ when the milk first arrives!) and I have no problem using them. Perhaps the bra you use with them has something to do with it? As far as being able to "see" the shields through clothing, well, I never worried about it. I was so happy to simply have something that worked! I guess if you wear tight or light-colored clothing it might be obvious that your shape is different, or if someone gives you a particularly vigorous hug (ouch) they might think you are wearing some sort of body armor, but so what? I think being able to breastfeed without the agony was well worth it. Also, I only wear the shields for about the first month or so while baby is getting the hang of the process; after that, we both seem to get better at it at the shields become unnecessary. Hope this helps someone who is struggling! Inverted nips are the worst, but breastfeeding is so rewarding that I'm grateful to have found a product to get me through the hard part.
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By A Customer on August 20, 2002
I purchased these for my second pregnancy, and began wearing them about four days a week at 35 weeks. They really do work to draw out inverted/flattened nipples. I would recommend wearing a looser-fitting shirt because the shape will be visible if you wear a tight shirt.
If you are on your first pregnancy and have questions about shells, check with your doctor, especially because they may begin to draw out colostrum or even induce premature labor.
I had no idea the first time I was pregnant that I might have problems with breastfeeding! By the time my first child was five days old, I was so exhausted and frustrated that I was ready to switch to the pump & bottle method. I'm hoping with these that I'll be able to breastfeed my second child. So far, I've seen a definite improvement, and these are comfortable enough that I can forget I'm wearing them.
Nice side note: these are dishwasher safe. Try putting them in a dishwasher basket with a top so they don't go flying around the machine and melt... the baskets used to wash baby bottles will work just fine.
You might want to get two sets -- one to wear and one to wash. Good luck!
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