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1862-89|COMC100115|10303374

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Nipple shields are artificial nipples worn by mothers during breastfeeding. They have been made since at least the 1500s. They help babies latch on at the breast or protect a mother’s sore or damaged nipples. Nipple shields have been made from lead, silver, wax, wood, pewter, tin, bone, ivory and glass. Most were not good choices. Lead, pewter and tin are toxic and could slowly poison the child. Wood, bone and ivory are difficult to clean and prove ideal environment for germs. Nipple shields are now made of rubber, latex or silicone.

Object number:

A606829

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Glossary:

Glossary: breast feeding

The process of synthesising milk from the breasts, usually a child from its mother.

Glossary: nipple shield

A plastic or glass cap or dome used by breastfeeding mothers to help babies to latch onto the breast and/or to protect sore or cracked nipples.

Glossary: nursing

The study and practice of caring for and waiting on the sick, injured, or others unable to look after themselves or to deal with their specific medical needs.