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Thread: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    Hello ladies. My son was born on Sunday, and I am looking for a little advice. I have large breasts, and my areolas are pretty large, causing my nipples to become really flat and hard for my son to latch on to when soft. Sometimes, it's hard for him to get onto the breast and he pulls away even when I get the breast tissue in his mouth. Are there any tips on getting him to latch on in these situations?

    My other concern is that my nipples are cracked and sore. I know that this should clear up as time goes on, but I'm afraid if I continue to have latch issues, the pain from the cracking and chapping won't go away. When we are done feeding, often my nipples are in the shape of a new lipstick. Any latch tips to prevent this?

    Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    You might try to ice your nipple for a min before feeding. It will help with the pain as the baby first latches and also hardens the nipple making out easier to latch. Just wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and wet it so it doesn't sick to the skin. Also between feedings, I used the ameda hydrogel pads. They can be worn for 6 days. Just be sure to rinse between feedings because they can be a sorce of yeast and cause thrush and you don't use any type of cream with them. If you don't use them you could do saline soaks to help them heal. Hope this helps! Just hang in there it gets easier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    I don't have any advice for flat nipples, hopefully some other mamas will stop in here to comment.

    Regarding cracked nipples-I used to use lanolin all.the.time, with a disposable breast shield/pad (because lanolin stains clothes). I used lanolin at nighttime when my girls slept the longest, but also between every feeding. Make sure not to use soap on your nipples in the shower, it will dry them out further. Also wearing breast shields/pads prevents bra from rubbing on your nipples (which was extremely uncomfortable for me, I still wear breast pads at 9 months!).

    Can you go to a LLL meeting or contact a lactaction consultant or IBCLC? Hands on help with latch and flat nipples will be worth it.
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    Congratulations on your new little boy! I am in the same boat as you, very large breasts with very large nipples (even moreso now that I'm BFing). I second using lanolin, use it often and be generous. It is a lifesaver for mine! Also, in order to make latching on easier for my daughter, I manually express some milk before offering a breast to her (which is why it's important for me to wash my hands before each feeding). It makes the nipple harden up just a bit so she latches easier, plus starts a light flow of milk which she can smell/taste right away so she's very eager to latch on. Lipstick shaped nipples are normal for me when she releases. I hope you find a solution!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,595

    Default Re: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    First, remember that moms of all sizes and shapes have been nursing their babies for thousands of years just fine. Your individual breast size may present unique challenges but they can almost always be overcome.
    Whenever there are latch issues, I suggest moms look at positioning. Many breastfeeding positions have mom sitting very upright and that can lead to latch issues. Try laid back positioning, which means mom is sitting in a reclined position or leaned back position. The body tilt can be small or great, but mom should not be laying flat.

    Many large breasted moms have difficulty with this position, but it works fine for others. Sometimes moms find they cannot have baby entirely on top of them and instead have baby on a firm pillow or pile of blankets or something next to them. The basic idea with laid back is mom is reclined in a comfortable position and baby is on their own front, this can be right on top of mom or next to mom as needed. No two moms are the same shape and no two babies are. You and your baby will fit together in your own unique way. Keep trying any adjustments you think will work for you. There is no wrong way to position yourself or your baby to breastfeed-if it does not hurt and baby is getting milk, it is good. If mom is very comfortable as well, so much the better, as you will be nursing A LOT in the next few weeks.

    You could also work on improving baby's gape and latch. Also there is the nipple sandwich technique.

    Nipple injury is not normal, it is a sign something is up with the latch, and this can lead to rather severe issues. If you are unable to improve the situation within the next few days on your own by working on positioning and latch, you may want to consider seeing a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for a full appt. You want someone who will take the time to watch you nurse, examine baby's mouth to rule out physiological issues, and give you suggestions. I also suggest contacting your local LLL Leader for info on what local support may be available.

    positioning tips: http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    laid back: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    more on laid back: www.biologicalnurturing.com

    asymetric latch video: http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

    what to expect in the early days: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 3rd, 2012 at 08:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    with our fearless LLLeader!

    In addition, here are some links which may be useful:
    -link on reverse pressure softening, which can help if you are engorged: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...cotterman.html
    -nipple sandwich technique: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/NippleSandwich.htm. Note that you may have to compress the areola significantly more than shown in the pictures.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Shallow Latch/Lipstick Nipple

    Thank you for the responses! Tonight seems to be much better as far as pain/discomfort goes and as far as the shape of my nipples after a nursing session. Breastfeeding is starting to be enjoyable, yay! Now, I just need to make sure to keep an eye out for any yeast infection/thrush symptoms. With our older son, we got a bad case of it that led me into Exclusively Pumping for 9 months!!

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