Nursing shells: a natural ally for mothers
Breastfeeding is a unique and beneficial experience for mother and child, but it can also be a source of pain and discomfort. The nipples may be irritated, cracked or engorged with milk. To relieve these pains and promote healing, there is a simple and natural accessory: nursing shells.
Source: Baby Shell
What is a nursing shell?
A nursing shell is an oval, concave shaped shell, made from a real seashell that has been sanded and polished. It is placed directly on the tip of the breast and covers it completely. It is held in place by the bra and remains invisible under clothing.
Nursing shells are a medical device recommended by midwives, which respects the physiology of the breast and the quality of breast milk. It is made from mother-of-pearl, an organic substance that comes from the inner layer of the shells of certain molluscs. Mother-of-pearl is known for its soothing, regenerating and antibacterial properties.
Nursing shells have existed for centuries in some cultures, such as among women in the Faroe Islands, a Scandinavian archipelago north of Denmark . They are now used by many mothers around the world, who appreciate their gentleness and effectiveness.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding shells?
Nursing shells have several benefits for breastfeeding mothers:
- They protect the nipples from friction from fabric or contact with air, which can worsen irritation.
- They keep the nipples hydrated by bathing them in breast milk, which has anti-inflammatory, healing and antiseptic properties. Milk thus promotes the repair of cracks and prevents their appearance.
- They collect milk spills that may occur between feedings, preventing stains on clothing or disposable pads.
- They help maintain the shape of the nipple, making it easier for the baby to latch on.
Nursing shells are therefore a natural and ecological solution to take care of your breasts during breastfeeding. They bring you softness and well-being, while respecting your skin and your milk. They can also help you prolong your breastfeeding, avoiding complications that could discourage you.
How to choose and use nursing shells?
There are several brands of nursing shells, such as Bébé Nacre , or Baby Shell , which you can find on the internet, in pharmacies or in specialized stores. To choose your shells, you must take into account the size of your nipples: if they are not very prominent, opt for flat shells, otherwise prefer deeper shells.
To use nursing shells, simply follow these tips:
- Clean your shells before first use and after each feeding with warm water and mild soap. Rinse them well and dry them with a clean cloth.
- Place your shells on your nipples after each feeding, making sure they are centered and do not compress your breast.
- Change your shells if milk builds up inside or if you experience discomfort or pain.
- Do not wear your shells at night, to avoid the risk of engorgement or mastitis.
How to take care of your nursing shells?
Nursing shells are easy to clean and store. Here are some tips to extend their lifespan:
- Wash your shells regularly with warm water and mild soap. You can also use white vinegar or baking soda to disinfect and deodorize your shells.
- Dry your shells with a clean cloth or in the open air. Avoid the dryer or the radiator, which could damage the mother-of-pearl.
- Store your shells in a box or fabric pouch, protected from dust and humidity. Do not expose them to sunlight or a direct heat source.
- Polish your shells with a soft cloth or chamois to restore their shine. You can also use vegetable oil or natural wax to nourish the mother-of-pearl.
Are nursing shells right for you?
Nursing shells are a natural and ecological solution to take care of your breasts during breastfeeding. They are recommended by many midwives and appreciated by many mothers who testify to their effectiveness. However, they are not suitable for all situations. Before using nursing shells, make sure that:
- Your nipples do not have open or infected sores, in which case you should consult a doctor or midwife.
- Your skin is not allergic to shellfish or molluscs, in which case contact with these products should be avoided.
- Your baby does not have difficulty latching or breastfeeding correctly, in which case you should seek advice from a breastfeeding professional.
If you have any questions or concerns about the use of nursing shells, do not hesitate to speak with your midwife, doctor or lactation consultant. They will be able to guide you towards the solution best suited to your case and your comfort.
Nursing shells are an accessory that can accompany you throughout your breastfeeding, bringing you softness and well-being. If you would like to know more about this product or about breastfeeding in general, please visit our blog or contact us. We will be delighted to share with you our experience and our passion for motherhood.