A nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple during a feeding. If nipples get sore, use nipple shields (breast shields) to protect them during breastfeeding.
Basically, Nipple shield fits over the nipple, and the baby then sucks through it. Generally nipple shields are made from silicon type soft material however there are some sterling silver, and metal nipple shields are available in the market.
Small, weak or sick babies often have difficulty latching on to the breast. A nipple shield makes latching easier and prevents the baby becoming discouraged. You may want to try other options before using nipple shields whether you really need to use it. It is better alternative to have a baby on the breast with a shield than not on the breast at all.
You may want to consultant lactation consultant as nipple shields should in general be considered a short-term solution and should be used under them.