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Thread: Flat/inverted nipples

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    40

    Question Flat/inverted nipples

    Hi everyone,
    First time posting here so I'm not sure this is the correct forum for this question. I am 28 weeks pregnant with my 2nd daughter. I breastfeed DD1 for 2 weeks and struggled the whole while due to having one flat nipple and one that was inverted. I worked with a lactation nurse at the hospital and she was very helpful but it was very difficult for even both of us to get DD1 latched on. It was exhausting and especially so after having a c-section. She finally gave me some nipple shields and those worked okay but were a huge pain with having to clean them and also they tended to collect milk too much in them and DD1 would choke and gag if she stopped sucking for too long.

    I used a hand manual breastpump a few times but at 2 weeks just couldn't deal anymore and gave up with breastfeeding despite the fact I had a good milk supply. Now that I'm pregnant again I really want to breastfeed DD2. The inverted nipple has corrected itself so that's good but I now have 2 flat nipples to deal with. I am buying a fully electric double pump to prepare for the case I might have to pump to help pull my nipples out enough to get her latched and also in the case I have to just pump and feed for awhile. I have also been getting together anything that will help make it more comfortable for me like a good nursing pillow and glider chair. I wondered if anyone had some tips or ideas on how to prepare for feeding with flat nipples? I have heard breast shells in the last months of pregnancy can be used and I am going to ask my doctor for permission to use them but has anyone had success with them?

    Thanks for any advice or tips!

    -Val

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    Quote Originally Posted by momtobaby1
    Hi everyone,
    First time posting here so I'm not sure this is the correct forum for this question. I am 28 weeks pregnant with my 2nd daughter. I breastfeed DD1 for 2 weeks and struggled the whole while due to having one flat nipple and one that was inverted. I worked with a lactation nurse at the hospital and she was very helpful but it was very difficult for even both of us to get DD1 latched on. It was exhausting and especially so after having a c-section. She finally gave me some nipple shields and those worked okay but were a huge pain with having to clean them and also they tended to collect milk too much in them and DD1 would choke and gag if she stopped sucking for too long.

    I used a hand manual breastpump a few times but at 2 weeks just couldn't deal anymore and gave up with breastfeeding despite the fact I had a good milk supply. Now that I'm pregnant again I really want to breastfeed DD2. The inverted nipple has corrected itself so that's good but I now have 2 flat nipples to deal with. I am buying a fully electric double pump to prepare for the case I might have to pump to help pull my nipples out enough to get her latched and also in the case I have to just pump and feed for awhile. I have also been getting together anything that will help make it more comfortable for me like a good nursing pillow and glider chair. I wondered if anyone had some tips or ideas on how to prepare for feeding with flat nipples? I have heard breast shells in the last months of pregnancy can be used and I am going to ask my doctor for permission to use them but has anyone had success with them?

    Thanks for any advice or tips!

    -Val

    I know so well about the nipple shield, my DD is 10 months old and will not nurse without it on. I tried the breast shells after she was born and they ended up giving me a blister around where the nipple goes into them but I have heard that they do work for a lot of moms. Congrats on your 2nd LO. I didn't know I had flat nipples until after my DD was born so you have a advantage over me on that. I know this wasen't much help, but I do feel ya with the flat nipple issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    http://www.breastfeed-essentials.com...ednipples.html

    from this link I think it might cover everything:
    Getting help with latch-on and positioning is critical for the mother with flat or inverted nipples. The baby must learn to open his mouth wide in order to by-pass the nipple and close his gums farther back on the breast.

    Breastfeed early on and often - at least every 2-3 hours - to avoid engorgement and give the baby the chance to practice breastfeeding many times while the breast is still soft.

    If your baby becomes upset as you attempt to latch him on, stop, calm him, and take a break if needed. Offer him a finger to suck on, walk him, rock him, swaddle him, etc. until he calms down.

    While you are learning to breastfeed, avoid any artificial nipples - bottles, pacifiers, and nipple shields (if possible). If you must supplement, do so with an alternative feeding device such as a nursing supplementer, medicine/eye dropper, soft , flexible cup, or a spoon. Artificial nipples may confuse the baby and make an already difficult latch-on even more difficult.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    I have extremely flat nipples and also struggled w/ latch, as did the nurses and LCs in the hosp. I was given a NS but it was a pain in the butt and I stopped using it. When I was close to giving up, as one final stab in the dark, I tried using ice and it worked like a charm. I would just take an ice cube from the freezer prior to nursing DD and rub for a few seconds on my nipple and they would come out for her to latch. Once I used ice abt a week or so they came out on their own and I no longer needed to use the ice. Good luck w/ your new baby. Best wishes!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    ice that's a great tip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    Hi there:-) I think the ice is a fabulous idea -- I wish I'd thought of that! I had a lot of success with the shells -- however make sure you use the shells specifically for flat/inverted nipples. They sold me the wrong ones at the hospital and it only made me feel blistered. Good Luck and never give up!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    869

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    I also had a difficult time getting my son to latch on due to flat nipples. With the help of a lactation consultant, I used a nipple shield for the first few weeks. I was able to wean off of the sheild once ds realized he could get the milk out faster without it.

    Eight months later they're not so flat anymore.

    Another thing you may want to try is pumping for 1-3 minutes before nursing to pull out the nipple.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: Flat/inverted nipples

    No real advice! Just encouragement to let you can still nurse. I had flat nipples too and luckily a strong sucker, otherwise I may have had more problems. Now I have very pointy nipples. Sometimes I look at them and think whose are those. Just make sure your babies mouth is wide open when it latches. Best wishes for a great delivery.

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