Breastfeeding study – understanding the effects of nipple shield use

Project Plan

I am Viviane Coentro, a PhD student at UWA studying nipple shield use in breastfeeding mothers. I am working in this area of research because I am a passionate about breastfeeding and I want to help the mothers who are having breastfeeding concerns.

In this study we want to understand the effects of nipple shield use on breastfeeding. We would like to know whether use of a nipple shield affects the amount of milk the baby takes from the breast, and whether it changes the baby’s sucking pattern. Also, for mothers with nipple pain, we would like to know if the nipple shield is effective in reducing pain during feeding.

Your Support

The Nipple Shield Study

We are looking for breastfeeding mothers and babies 1 – 6 months of age where the mothers are using a nipple shield for pain during breastfeeding.

There are 3 parts to the study:

  1. Two study visits at King Edward Memorial Hospital (Subiaco)
  2. Measurement of your baby’s milk intake when breastfeeding over a 24h period
  3. Follow up telephone call/s

At the study visits we will monitor your baby while you breastfeed. You will be asked to breastfeed with a nipple shield at one visit, and without a nipple shield at one visit. The visits typically last 60 – 90 minutes.

You will be loaned a set of baby scales to weigh your baby before and after each breastfeed at home for one 24hr period. Your baby’s weights are used to measure the total amount of milk taken at the breast.

We will phone you when your baby turn 6 months of age to ask you some questions about your baby’s feeding.


Mothers will receive:

  • Information about their infant’s milk intake at the breast and feeding patterns
  • Referral to breastfeeding support services if required
  • Refreshments at the end of each study visit

Thank you for your interest in our study

To get involved, please click here. Together we can learn more about the effects of nipple shields on breastfed babies’ sucking patterns. This information will be used to better support mothers with nipple pain during breastfeeding.