In the early days of breastfeeding, it’s common for new moms to leak or spray milk from their nipples. This can feel embarrassing, especially in a public setting, and you may feel self-conscious about nursing in front of others for a while.
Luckily, there are several inexpensive solutions to help keep your shirt dry when you nurse. Using silicone nipple covers is one way new moms embrace their bodies and embrace breastfeeding at the same time. Read on to learn how to clean silicone nipple covers so you can use them again.
What Are Silicone Nipple Covers?
A nipple cover is a small silicone device worn over the nipple to protect clothing from milk leakage. They come in different shapes and sizes, but most nipple covers have a two-teeth design that may help prevent milk from spraying out when your baby feeds. Some covers are one-size-fits-all and others come in different sizes. You can buy nipple covers online and at most large retailers.
Ready-to-wear nipple shields are silicon or latex covers that fit over the nipple and protect the breast from milk spillage. They’re used in cases where a baby has trouble latching on, or if a woman has a breastfeeding injury. Ready-to-wear shields come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually one-time use only.
How To Clean Silicone Nipple Covers?
You can clean nipple covers using warm water and mild soap. You may also want to sanitise them, especially if you’ve been using them for several feedings each day. Follow this guide for how to clean silicone nipple covers:
- Thoroughly rinse the nipple covers in warm water.
- Add a small amount of mild soap to a clean bowl and fill it with warm water.
- Submerge the nipple covers in the bowl until they are clean.
- Gently squish the covers between your thumb and forefinger to remove water.
- Drain the bowl, and squeeze out the nipple covers until they are as dry as possible.
- Store the nipple covers in a small bag or container between feedings.
Can You Sterilise Silicone Nipple Covers?
Yes, if you want to be extra cautious, you can sterilise silicone nipple covers. To sterilise silicone nipple covers, follow this guide:
- Place the nipple covers in a microwave-safe bowl with a few cups of water.
- Heat the water in the microwave on high for 3–5 minutes until it is boiling.
- Let the water cool for a few minutes, and pour it out of the bowl.
- Let the nipple covers air-dry until they are completely dry.
- Store them in a small bag or container between feedings.
4 Tips To Help You Stop Leaking While Breastfeeding
- Focus on Your Baby While Feeding: Focus your attention on your baby while nursing. If you are worried about leaking, you might tense up and cause your baby to swallow air, which could trigger spitting up.
- Try Different Breastfeeding Positions: Try different breastfeeding positions to see if that helps stop the leaking.
- Take A Look At Your Feeding Technique: Take a moment to examine your breastfeeding technique. Check to see if your baby’s nose is straight when latched on. If not, gently reposition your baby and try again.
- Treat Your Nipples: Treat your nipples with gentle moisturisers that are safe for breastfeeding, like lanolin.
Silicone nipple covers are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect your clothing from milk spray. And best of all, you can use them multiple times, which makes them a low-maintenance solution to the leaking issue.
If you find the nipple covers are not working for you, try a nipple shield which can completely cover the nipple and help prevent spraying. No matter what solution you try, know you’re not alone. Many breastfeeding mothers experience nipple spray, and it is all part of the journey of breastfeeding.