However, there are some nipples, where their size as well as their shape, make it even more difficult for nursing. Most mothers and babies have a learning curve when it comes to feeding. This is especially true when the mother finds she has an inverted nipple while breastfeeding.
Difficulty with breastfeeding is especially true when mom has nipples’ are flat. For your baby to be able to get access to your breast milk, they should be able to latch onto your nipple so that they can stretch it forward and in an upward manner to hit the roof of their mouth. This allows them to get an ample supply of milk.
Unfortunately, if you have flat or inverted nipples, your baby may find it difficult to breastfeed.
Fortunately, there are breastfeeding tools and tactics that can help your baby get adequate feedings.
Breastfeeding tools and tactics;
- Learn how to tell the difference between inverted vs flat nipples
- Learn when to use a shell and a shield
- How a breast pump can be of help if you have flat nipples
Breastfeeding With Inverted Nipples
It’s not unusual for first-time mothers to have flat and inverted nipples. About a third of women may have some form of inversion in their breast. Inverted or flat nipples may decrease as you breastfeed, but there are some moms whose nipple inversion remains the same. The good news is that when your baby suckles, they do not just suck the nipple alone, but the surrounding breast tissue (areola) as well. This means that even if you have flat or inverted nipples, typically you will still be able to breastfeed your baby .
Just because you have flat nipples doesn’t mean that they are inverted. If your nipples are flat, they can still protrude to become a normal nipple when they are cold or stimulated. To determine if your nipples are inverted, do the pinch test on your areola to see if your nipples will protrude from your breast or they remain inverted. It’s best to determine beforehand if you will experience an inverted nipple while breastfeeding so you can find different techniques during lactation.
Breastfeeding with inverted nipples can be difficult at times. When a baby seeks out their mom’s nipples and latch onto the areola, the inverted nipple’s attachment to the breast tissue can cause the area to bleed due to suckling . Although breastfeeding with inverted nipples can be uncomfortable, some techniques can help ease the pain.
Inverted Nipple Solution Breastfeeding
How To Correct Inverted Nipples For Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can still be accomplished with flat or inverted nipples. There are several tips and tricks to bring out inverted nipples for breastfeeding. Mothers who have inverted nipples or nipples that are too flat, and are trying to ensure that their baby is getting enough of mother’s milk during lactation can try these tricks.
- Cold compress. One tip to correct inverted nipples for breastfeeding is to apply a cold compress on your breast, particularly around your nipple and areola. This can help draw out your nipple from the areola on your breast when applied directly before feeding.
- Stimulate nipples. Another way to achieve successful breastfeeding with inverted nipples is to stimulate your nipples. Roll the nipple gently between your finger and thumb to help it protrude . Breastfeeding with an inverted nipple may be difficult at first, but many times it can be easily alleviated.
- Skin-to-skin contact. The first thing that you should do when you want successful breastfeeding with inverted nipples is constant skin touching with your little one. Even when you have flat nipples, this technique can not only help your baby latch properly on your breast, but the skin-to-skin strengthens the mother-child bond.
Inverted Nipple Solution Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Tools For Inverted Nipples
There are also breastfeeding tools to use for an inverted nipple while breastfeeding that can help a baby latch on to the breast to gain access to milk. Here are some options for you to consider.
Breast shells. Breast shells are made from plastic that you can place over your nipples to help draw them out. You can use them throughout your pregnancy for inverted nipples, sore and leaky nipples, or nipples that are too flat. The round bottom ring is placed over the areola which allows your nipple to stick through a hole in the center. This piece puts a gentle pressure at the base of the nipple. A second dome-shaped piece goes over the bottom ring to protect your nipple and collect any extra milk discharge . The adhesions of the shells can make it easier for you to remove them before you feed your little one. Breast shells also help with mild engorgement thanks to the pressure. Keep in mind, though, that constantly wearing these shells may cause some skin irritation on the breast especially when it is hot, and you are wearing tight clothes .
Nipple shields. A nipple shield is especially useful for moms whose nipples are flat so that your baby will be able to latch easily on your breast. The shield is a very thin silicone or rubber ring that covers your entire areola as well as your flat or small nipple. There is a small opening on the tip of the nipple shield so that baby can latch onto the nipple . The shield can also be useful for sore nipples which can develop during breastfeeding. Remember, the biggest difference between nipple shields and breast shells is that the former is used to help those during breastfeeding and the latter is used to protect the nipples post feeding. Not every mom will need a shield, just those with inverted or nipples that are too flat. However, every new mom can benefit from breast shells.
Breast pump. When it comes to breastfeeding tools for inverted nipples, you will find that using pumps can also be useful. A breast pump not only helps ensure an adequate milk supply but aids in nipple protrusion.
How To Bring Out Inverted Nipples For Breastfeeding – Seek Out An Expert
Lactation consultant. If you have flat and inverted nipples during pregnancy, it would be a good idea to talk with your lactation consultation after giving birth. The consultant will show you how successful breastfeeding with inverted nipples can be done by using proper tools, adjusting your baby’s position on your breast to get a better latch, and how to make your retracted nipples pop out as well while minimizing having sore nipples after feeding. After you give birth, don’t hesitate to ask to meet a lactation consultant if you have trouble with your newborn accessing your milk. If you are still having issues when you return home, the La Leche League can provide guidance .
Additional Inverted Nipple Solution Breastfeeding
Hoffman Technique. If you find your nipples too flat, position your thumbs at the base of either side of the nipple and then press firmly on the breast tissue. As you press down, pull your thumbs away from one another. Do this technique around your nipple. This technique should be done once every day.
Breastfeed constantly. Another way how to bring out inverted nipples for breastfeeding is by feeding your baby regularly. Your baby can properly latch if you feed every time you see your baby’s mouth opens wide or when he or she seeks your breast. You’ll find that even flat or inverted nipples will go back to a normal shape.
How To Correct Inverted Nipples For Breastfeeding – Surgery
Inverted nipple surgery. For women who are considering how to correct inverted nipples for breastfeeding permanently, surgery may be a logical approach. Surgeons often use the “parachute flap” technique for an inverted nipple correction. Women who undergo surgery are still able to feed their baby because their milk ducts remain intact. During this surgery, the nipple and areola will be lifted from your breast then sewn back on to create a protrusion. The sensation on your breast, areola, and nipple will not change. Women with inverted nipples who are looking for a long-lasting solution to their flat nipple find that successful breastfeeding with inverted nipples is possible this way since the lactiferous ducts are still present. It’s the lactiferous duct that connects to the mammary glands and provides milk flow .
During pregnancy, you might have noticed that your breast has flat or inverted nipples which can be a cause for worry especially when you are about to give birth. After all, if you’re breastfeeding, teaching your little one proper feeding is essential for the well-being of your little one. If you have inverted nipples, you’ll need to learn how to correct inverted nipples for breastfeeding. First, determine that you truly have inverted nipples vs those that are just flat by trying the “pinch test.” Then, use the tips and tricks that are specific for how to bring out inverted nipples for breastfeeding. These methods have been used by many mothers who have flat or inverted nipples to help them give their baby the nourishment they need .
Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding
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Breastfeeding With Inverted Nipples Resources;
 Breastfeeding Basics; Flat or Inverted Nipples, Anne Smith, IBCLC, October 2013.
 Self; The Truth About How Inverted Nipples Can Affect Breastfeeding, Korin Miller, November 14, 2017.
 Essential Baby; Breastfeeding when you have inverted nipples, Evelyn Lewin.
 Very Well Family; Breastfeeding and Breast Shells, Donna Murray, RN, BSN, July 19, 2018.
 What To Expect; Flat and Inverted Nipples, October 12, 2018.
 Very Well Family; How to Breastfeed With a Nipple Shield, Donna Murray, RN, BSN, July 22, 2018.
 La Leche League GB; Inverted nipples, 2016.
 Health Line; How to Treat an Inverted Nipple.
 The Health Site; Are breast shells and nipple shields the same?, Bhakti Paun Sharma, September 15, 2015.