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Thread: lipstick nipple

  1. #1

    Default lipstick nipple

    A friend of mine frequently has lipstick shaped nipples after a feed. She does have some pain and cracks which are slowly healing. Thoughts on causes/treatments? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: lipstick nipple

    Lipstick-shaped nipples generally indicate a latch which is too shallow. Instead of landing on the "sweet spot" on the back of the baby's tongue under the soft palate, the nipple is landing in the front of the baby's mouth underneath the hard palate, where it is compressed and traumatized as the baby sucks. You can experience why this is painful by sticking your finger into your mouth and sucking on it. When your fingertip is on the front of your tongue, it will experience a lot of motion. When it's all the way back on the back of your tongue, almost down to the opening of your esophagus, it will experience relatively little motion.

    The cures for lipstick nipples are:
    - striving for the best latch every time
    - experimenting with different nursing positions
    - seeing a LC, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help
    - if the baby has a tongue-tie, it may need to be clipped
    - time- most shallow latch issues are a function of a small baby having a small mouth and being unable to latch on deeply enough, but babies grow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    SW Ohio

    Default Re: lipstick nipple

    with Mommal

    Additionally, a baby will often start out with a good, deep latch but through a feeding (or towards the end, especially if he/she is falling asleep) he may slide down the nipple, occasionally suckling.* This shallow latch can lead to the lipstick shape and soreness. At that point, mama can break the latch, burp baby, and offer the second breast.

    *Sometimes babies will slide down the nipple to slow the flow of milk if mama has a strong let-down.
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms

    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart

    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

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