Medela SoftShells for Sore Nipples

Medela SoftShells for Sore Nipples

Medela softshells help solve some of the most common problems faced by breastfeeding women nipple soreness, flat or inverted nipples, and engorgement. Softshells are comfortable to wear while alleviating these conditions. Soft, flexible backs for superior comfort. Low profile design for a natural appearance under clothes. Made without BPA safe for mom and baby. All Medela breastmilk bottles and products that come in contact with breastmilk are and always have been made without BPA. 

Main features

  • Enter your model number above to make sure this fits.
  • Polypropylene
  • Imported
  • Designed for sore nipples
  • Soft, flexible backs
  • Natural appearance under clothes
  • Made without BPA
  • Designed for sore nipples
  • Soft, flexible backs
  • Natural appearance under clothes
  • Made without BPA

Verified reviews


Great but not perfect

This is the best shell out there. The others I give 1 star to and this item would get 3 1/2 stars.First of all, the backing part is soft. It prevents too much rubbing on nipples especially when you are first starting to breast feed.Issues I had:1. There is a circle in the plastic inside which is part of the manufacturing that sometimes rubs on the nipple – when you nips are sensitive you really don’t need extra plastic in there.2. They are obvious if you are wearing a thin cotton bra and 1 layer shirt. On me it was very obvious that I was wearing a round thing over my breasts. Looser tops probably wouldn’t be an issue nor would a double layer top which some nursing clothes are.3. I sort of believe that they made my thrush worse. I bought them to keep my nipples aired out but in reality it does still keep them fairly moist and yeast – thrush culprit- thrives in moist environment so I eventually stopped using them.Verdict: Good for the beginning of breast feeding – invaluable really. Not something I would wear often and not something I would use for the year of breastfeeding. Overall the best item compared to other brands that make shells.

Hope Niota, TN

ahhhhhh, relief

I had gotten some of the hard shells from the hospital but they were pretty painful & stuck to my breasts. These were much more comfortable & could barely be seen through my shirt… they look much more natural. the foam inserts soak up a ton of milk! the only negative was because i am dealing with overactive letdown… i read that shells of any kind may increase the problem. you will definitely need a large bra… if your bra is the right size for you, these may be pressed against you harder than necessary and could cause discomfort. I had a minor issue with these sticking to me but i cut a little scrap of flannel to lay on it, that helped. also, these slide around in sports bras or nursing tops with shelf type bra.

Rosetta Ellendale, MN


I ordered these sheilds after my baby started using my nipples as a chew toy, resulting in very sore nipples, and extreme trouble when I was trying to pump at work. By using these shield in between pumping sessions, I was able to let my nipples heal. These sheilds are very discreet, I was able to wear them at work without anyone noticing. So glad I found these shields, because without them I think I would have had to stop nursing my daugher. Instead, I am still nursing her 6 months later!

Francis Trevilians, VA

Waste of money, can’t wear out of the house

Sure, these help keep my sore over pumped and over chewed nipples from rubbing against my bra. They work fine now since I’m still on maternity leave and it doesn’t matter if I look dumb for my 6 week old or dogs or husband. But they look absolutely ridiculous under clothes and I won’t be able to wear them out of the house. My breasts are on the larger size, 40 D, so when I wear these they don’t sit right on my breasts to blend in. It’s like if you have a large ice cream scoop and then place a smaller scoop on top of it- that’s the profile I get with these. I wish I would have kept the packaging because I would definitely send them back.Oh and the foam inserts are stupid. I just roll up some toilet paper. Works just as well and you can just throw it out.

Amber Lakeside, AZ

Small hole

Ordered this product from Amazon. Breast feeding caused nipples to be sore. Ordered these shells to help them heel. Maybe I just have huge nipples, but I found the hole to be too small.

Clare Castle Creek, NY

Such relief when you have sore nipples from breastfeeding!

These were recommended to me by a friend who has a baby one month older than me after I had complained about my sore nipples from starting to breastfeed my newborn. These shells are so nice to protect your nipples from chafing and rubbing against your clothing. You can wear them for an extended period of time – like nighttime sleeping with no irritation unlike the Avent shells that I tried.It’s also nice to know that you won’t leak through your clothes and the profile is discreet so it’s not obvious that your wearing a shield. I’ll be wearing these when I return to work!

Kimberlee Freeport, NY

Stay away

Omg.TMI but I had flat nipples. I was freaked out that I couldn’t breast feed because of that so I brought these hoping that they’ll come out. I wore this 24/7 including sleep for several weeks. nOThing! Do not waste your money!! I even took a breast feeding class and they recommended these. Stay away tho if you are hoping these will help.. After having my son and breast feeding, I can tell you that a breast pump will bring them out but you just have to use the pump several times a day. For myself, at least 5 times a day for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Change the setting as you go to higher. It will help a lot!

Susanna Augusta, MI

Great concept – very uncomfortable though.

Loved these for the design. Still rather uncomfortable to wear – would cut into skin around opening. Need to make out of softer, more flexible silicone without rolled edges.

Della Hildale, UT


These were great at the beginning when my milk was just coming in and I was not on a pumping schedule. They saved a lot of milk for me and they allowed my very sore nipples to heal. Just don’t lean forward!! Any milk will run right out!

Darla Worthville, PA

Didn’t find them comfortable

I purchased these for flat nipples in order to help my son latch. Research I had done online stated that wearing them during the third trimester of pregnancy can improve inverted nipples and help little one latch immediately after birth. Wearing them was pretty uncomfortable in my opinion. The front “dome” of the shell is a hard plastic and the back, with the hole for the nipple, is a flexible silicone.What I didn’t like…–There is a ring of thicker silicone around the cutout for the nipple. I believe it is there to prevent the material from tearing, but it left an impression for my nipple and led to discomfort.–As other reviewers have mentioned, the shells create somewhat of an unnatural shape in certain clothing.

Felicia Bethera, SC


These were an absolute lifesaver in the early days of breastfeeding and when I was dealing with thrush. With thrush, it is extremely painful for anything to even brush your nipples, so if you have it definitely get these. It definitely makes things look awkward under clothing, but who cares when you’re in pain.

Nan Ashland, OH

Instant relief

I’m about a week into breastfeeding and my nipples are raw and sore. My baby latches on well but I’m a first time mom so my nipples are not used to this much use. This, about the nursing pads, above the creams, above the gel pads, is the best to help with the tenderness. A lactation consultant told be the best thing to do was to air out my nipples when they feel raw. Obviously I’m not going to walk around shirtless all day. The shells provide enough space between my shirt and nipples for them to air out. Also, it’s good for leaking breasts. Helps me collect liquid gold. I’ve caught as much as 1/2 oz. in one cup during a feeding session. Solid purchase!! I even have the o-cal-ette cups and they are ok to use but not as good as these.

Francine El Cajon, CA

No thanks

My LC recommended these during my first few weeks home with sore, cracked nipples so I bought them online and waited for relief to arrive in the mail. I couldn’t relieve the size of these shells, however. It’s like putting Madonna bras on if you swapped out cones for hemispheres. Imagine trying to hold your new little bundle but these stupid plastic cones are in the way! So I didn’t use them, although they appear to do just what they’re made to do.

Letitia Delray, WV

It worked

I wore them for less than a month and they provided ventilation and helped draw out my flat nipples. Also they have a soft silicone back that offered me a comfortable fit. But, I didn’t put 5 stars ’cause I think they’re too bulky and the "highly absorbent foam inserts" didn’t offer me optimal protection against leaking (it happened a few times). I didn’t try other brand so I cannot compare them.

Melanie Stirling City, CA

Rediculously HUGE!

These are giant! If you need to pad your bra these are for you. If your bra barely fits from engorgement get lamosil pads.

Sasha Newton Hamilton, PA

Perfect fit

These were great for keeping comfortable during Breastfeeding, especially during the first month. Now I use them to hold excess milk between feedings & they are great! I like that I can clean them easily too. The cups were a lifesaver during travels when feeding on demand was harder

Dominique Shook, MO

Didn’t do it for me; only caused more pain

Did absolutely nothing for me, other than make my breasts more sensitive. They are too big to wear in public anyhow

Marietta Terry, WV

Good if you have a small chest…not for me!

I wasn’t happy with this product. I wanted something to help protect my nipples (e while wearing nipple creams) as they were starting to get sore in my second week of breastfeeding and I didn’t want to damage them further while working to improve our latch technique. I have several issues with these.1. They are huge. Look at your palm, that is how huge they are.2. They are not for large breasted women or women with large nipples. If I wear them in any bra or under a tank, sometimes he tip of my nipple will touch the inside of the shell. That’s not helpful.3. If you have larger breasts, the pressure from the opening against your breast can cause your breasts to leak. I’d imagine it can be worse at night if you lay on your chest. The pressure is also uncomfortable. It makes you feel like someone’s pinching your breast.4. They are really obvious under your clothes unless you dress in loose layers. Maybe if you are an A or B cup it is less obvious.I wear a D cup so maybe this isn’t a good fit for a larger bust. The concept is interesting but not really what I wanted. I will use them on occasion, perhaps after breastfeeding while I’m wearing fresh Lanisoh

Reva Bally, PA


These are really helpful if your sore nipples need some air and space from being squashed in your bra. if you also leak significantly, it can help you collect that milk to use…although don’t lean over it will leak out. Or you can use the absorbent pads. My only complaint is b/c the flexible plastic back is still plastic it made me sweat and get hot. I used these a lot when I started nursing and only use them now when I need them, but I do recommend for new moms.

Alyson Palos Park, IL

Work well and easy to use.

Not to be worn under clothes, but great when you need to collect when you are engorged. My only suggestion would be to make the cavity anlittle larger and place the holes more at the top as I have spilled often.

Heidi Yoder, IN

Relieved pain but made me leak like crazy

Even though these helped with pain, I couldn’t wear them because the pressure made me leak so much. They’ve been sitting in a drawer for months. I was really disappointed

Michell Tell, TX

OK to help with pain from contact but not very practical

I used these because of the pain I felt whenever my tshirt etc brushed up against me in the beginning! It definitely helps with the pain but that’s about it. For some reason I don’t know if it’s the moisture etc being locked in it makes you swell in there… and if you wear them while sleeping it might catch the milk but it will just leak out through the holes if you turn to the side

Gabriela Rifle, CO

Nothing Special

Pros:SoftLarge holes for nipplesSufficient venting holesNo real cons, but I did find that it’s really easier to just allow my nipples to be out of a bra for a few minutes after pumping. By doing so, I’m experiencing far less soreness. These shells became obsolete for me by doing this.

Michelle Longmeadow, MA

Great for sore nipples. Fairly discrete inside bra

I bought these and the Philips AVENT Comfort Breast Shell Set, 2-Pack. I would say the Medela’s are better for keeping your bra off your nipples. They’re great if you’re sore or want to get more air to your nipples. The Avent are better for flat or inverted nipples. I opening of the Avent shells is much smaller so it almost keeps your nipples pushed out, however, the Avent definiately show under your bra much more easily. The Medela are more shallow and the opening over your nipples is bigger so it’s almost as if the nipple and the areola are getting aired out. Both are comfortable and I forget I’m wearing them. I use both. I use the Avent around the house and make the initial latch easier, and I wear the Medela out because they don’t show as easily under clothing.

Lorena Whately, MA

not helpful

These were not worth the cost. These were not particularly helpful for me and made my already enlarged breasts look ridiculous.

Mable Bay Shore, NY

Invaluable for sore nipples

I have not tried any other product for sore nipples but this one works for the purpose. Many other products had poor reviews and this one had decent review hence I went for this.Nipples feel comfortable write away with no more rubbing against clothing. I took one star away because the back silicone disc rim causes an impression mark on the areola and is mildly uncomfortable for all day wear.

Sylvia Pewaukee, WI

great idea, but….

it was a great idea, and I was super excited to get some relief from my nipples chafing against my bra, but even after buying a bigger bra it presses too hard into my boobs, and my nipples press against the inner part anyways.

Patty Lucerne, CA

A must for sore nipples

A must have if you have sore nipples. You wear them under a bra to protect your nipples from being agitated by clothes or from rubbing on clothes. Easy to use.

Leta Bristow, IN

Good if you like mastitis

These gave me a lot of relief from soreness. Until they gave me a miserable case of mastitis. Not recommended.

Freida Grampian, PA

Absolutely essential for nursing

These were lifesavers. Absolute lifesavers. If you are nursing and/or pumping, please make sure you take the time to get air to your nipples!!I had both my father and father-in-law staying in the house when my baby was first born so I had to make sure I was covered up unless I was behind closed doors – meaning I had very little time to air out! My cracked/bleeding/sore nipples (from the time when we were learning how to latch properly) were not healing because they were trapped behind damp nursing pads all day long. After I got the shells, I healed within a few hours.Pros:1. Hide under clothes well2. Protect sore nipples from baby’s kicks/punches/knees (my boy squirms a lot, especially while burping)3. Accelerated healing (at least for me)Cons:1. I noticed that if I wore the shells for too long continuously, the area around the shell’s areola opening would get sore itself. Nothing major, nowhere near as bad as a cracked nipple.2. If I bent over to pick up something from the floor or empty the dishwasher, etc, milk would sometimes come pouring out of the vent holes. Make sure you are conscious of your movements while wearing these!

Francisca Canton, MN