Glass nipple shield, Europe, 1801–1900

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Glass nipple shield, Europe, 1801–1900. 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. Contributors: Science Museum, London. Work ID: xvqcdzd5.

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