TheraShells™ FAQs

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Cleaning / Sanitizing

  • How do I clean the breastshells?
    • Before first use every day
      SoftShells™ should be sanitized once a day. For both Inverted Nipple and Sore Nipple Kits.

      If you have just used the SoftShells, the foam inserts must be cleaned separately before sanitizing. Squeeze the milk out of the foam, then rinse them twice with clean cold water. Dry them by squeezing between a clean cloth or paper towel. Separate and place the silicone back and dome in a small pan filled with cold water. Distilled water is recommended. Bring the water to a boil and allow it to continue boiling for approximately 10 minutes. Drain off the water and place parts on a clean cloth to dry.
      For Quicker Cleaning
      Medela offers Quick Clean™ Micro‑Steam™ bags for daily kit disinfection and QuickClean wipes for cleaning before and after each pumping session. Shells and backs can be put in the top rack of a dishwasher or an autoclave. Do not place foam inserts in a dishwasher, Quick Clean Micro-Steam or autoclave.
      Between uses during the day
      If you are leaking, special care must be taken to avoid the buildup of dried breastmilk on the shell parts and in the foam inserts. If the foam inserts become saturated, separate the shells, backs and inserts. The shells and backs should be washed with a mild soap or detergent in warm water, rinsed thoroughly in cold water and dried. Squeeze the milk out of the foam, then rinse them twice with clean cold water. Dry them by squeezing between a clean cloth or paper towel.


  • What material are the breastshells made out of?
    • TheraShell backings are made of soft, flexible silicone backs and include both backings for sore and inverted nipples.  The domes are made of polypropylene. 

      SoftShells are sold with only one type of backing, either sore or inverted. The SoftShell backings are also made of soft, flexible silicone backs, but have a more flattering contour under your clothing. 

Product Usage

  • How do I use breastshells??
    • Only wear breastshells during waking hours.  The reason that you would only wear them during the day is so that you do not have to worry about lying on them or having them shift.  If they shift they could apply pressure to the wrong area. If you are awake, you will know if they have moved out of place or if the pressure is too much and be able to adjust them.

      If using the SoftShells, do not feed the milk collected in the foam insert to the baby.  Discard this milk.

      For inverted nipples, begin wearing the breast shells during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy (contact your healthcare provider before pre-natal use).  Continue to wear them after the baby is born between feedings, until your baby latches on to the breast without difficulty.

      For sore nipples, breast shells can be worn continuously between breastfeeding sessions.