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Thread: Nipples no longer getting hard

  1. #1

    Question Nipples no longer getting hard

    My daughter is 4 days old and tonight when I went to feed her, my nipples on both breast would not get hard. This has not been an issue before. Is this something that will correct itself?
    Last edited by @llli*amfrancis; May 11th, 2013 at 05:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nipples no longer getting hard

    can baby still latch?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nipples no longer getting hard

    No I have not been able to get her to latch but I am able to pump and bottle feed. It's taken a big toll on me because I want the intimate bonding moments of breastfeeding with her.
    Last edited by @llli*amfrancis; May 11th, 2013 at 05:14 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Nipples no longer getting hard

    Have you seen a lactation consultant, preferably one who is an IBCLC? When you have a non-latching baby, hands-on help can be really helpful.

    Babies don't NIPPLEfeed, they BREASTfeed. In general, the way the nipple looks (large, small, long, short, soft, hard) is not something that impacts whether or not your baby can breastfeed, because when a baby is latched on correctly she is sucking on the breast, not the nipple. An erect nipple can provide an easier target for baby when she is latching, but if it's soft all the time that shouldn't be a big deal.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nipples no longer getting hard

    We met with a lactation specialist the day before this started happening and she was doing wonderfully, now she just won't latch at all :/ I can schedule another appointment but wanted to make sure that there wasn't something I could do or try before hand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Nipples no longer getting hard

    As mommal said, your nipple being erect is not typically necessary for a baby to latch. IN fact, it is important for proper latch that the nipple and areola to be very supple, which is why it is a myth that nipples need to ‘toughen up.’

    HOWEVER, it can help a baby who is having difficulty latching and sucking well if the nipple is at least somewhat firm.

    If you cannot get baby to latch, you can try

    Using the breast sandwich technique-holding your breast in your hand, with your hand as far back from your areola as you can, gently squeeze your breast to make your nipple protrude.

    Manually stimulate your nipple prior to latching baby

    Apply cold to your nipple (not too cold.)

    Is your nipple hard after pumping? Some mothers find the pump brings the nipple 'out.'

    Try a nipple shield. Basically a nipple shield creates a firm surface to assist latching. Sometimes shields make it difficult for baby to transfer milk well, so you will need to pay close attention to baby's output and you may need to pump as well if you start using a shield when nursing baby. I strongly recommend talking to the IBCLC again about if using a shield would be appropriate in your situation. Shields are great tools, and nursing with a shield is much preferable to not being able to nurse baby at the breast at all. But best would be to get baby back nursing on the breast without the shield

    Things that can prevent nipples from hardening normally are pain, medications, discomfort, and tension. Try to eliminate these if possible. Find comfortable nursing positions, relax and hold baby, cuddle baby, admire baby. Hold baby skin to skin if that is comfortable for you.

    Several good articles, videos on latch and positioning: Tips on latch and positioning http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

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

    laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Here are two simple pictorials, one on latch, one on tongue tie http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.html

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html

    What is normal in the early weeks with a breastfed baby http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Help-my baby won’t nurse! http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    Nipple shields http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/wean-shield/

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