History of the Breast Shells

Since the Viking age nursing mums along the coast of Norway have been collecting sea shells and used them to soothe and protect their sore and cracked nipples.  The shells’ shape fitted perfectly around the nipples, the nacre inside provided a cooling effect and  - so the belief was - the shells contained minerals that in combination with the collected breast milk would promote healing.

This practise remained localised until, on the back of a request from a midwife in a Northern Norwegian hospital, Albueskjell Norge started providing these shells to health professionals and breastfeeding mums in Norway 10 years ago.  Since then the practice has spread throughout the country and to the rest of Scandinavia and today Albueskjell Norge’s customers include many of Norway and Sweden’s leading hospitals and pharmacies where the shells trade under the brand name ‘Albueskjell’.

No scientific study has yet been done to explore the exact composition of the shells and the validity of the old belief that the minerals of the shells promote healing when reacting with breast milk.  What we do know however is that nursing mothers find the shells soothing.  Two studies done in Sweden and Denmark respectively confirm this (one by a Swedish midwife and one by a Danish phd student) as well as plenty of positive feedback from Scandinavian midwives and breastfeeding mums!