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Thread: Flattened Nipple / Comfort Nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    69

    Question Flattened Nipple / Comfort Nursing

    Usually after feeding my DS, my nipple looks "flattened", sort of like the top of a lipstick. What is causing this, and how can I prevent this?

    He also seems to do a lot of comfort nursing, where he falls asleep, but just wants to keep my nipple in his mouth. Once I notice this I usually take it out, but sometimes when I try to he starts sucking again. Should I let him do this? It seems like it could form a bad habit, but he won't take a pacifier.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,357

    Default Re: Flattened Nipple / Comfort Nursing

    Lipstick-shaped nipples are usually the result of a too-shallow latch. When a baby is latched on properly, the nipple sits on the back of the tongue, underneath the soft palate, where it experiences relatively little movement during sucking. When the baby is latched too shallowly, the nipple sits further towards the front of the mouth, where it is compressed and flattened between the tongue and hard palate.

    Fixing this depends on what is causing it. When it happens at the beginning of a feeding, it may be happening because the baby is trying to control a rapid flow of milk by "crimping the straw" as he drinks. In this case, using nursing positions that slow the milk flow may help. If it happens midway through a feeding, it may be happening because the baby's mouth is getting tired, in which case the fix may involve supporting the breast throughout the feeding. If it happens at the end of a feeding, the cause may be simple sleepiness- once the baby no longer requires a good latch in order to get milk, he no longer troubles to use one. Taking him off the breast and relatching may solve the problem in the last case.

    He also seems to do a lot of comfort nursing, where he falls asleep, but just wants to keep my nipple in his mouth. Once I notice this I usually take it out, but sometimes when I try to he starts sucking again. Should I let him do this? It seems like it could form a bad habit, but he won't take a pacifier.
    It's not a bad habit- remember, the breast is the original pacifier! And even when a baby is comfort nursing, he's helping stimulate milk supply. However, if it troubles you or you're getting sore, you may want to try offering your little finger instead of the breast at the end of a feeding, with nail held down towards the tongue instead of up, where it can damage the delicate tissue of the palate.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Flattened Nipple / Comfort Nursing

    Thanks for your response! I think he may be "crimping the straw" b/c I do have OALD, so it makes sense. He falls asleep while nursing a lot, so it also could be due to sleepiness, or a combination of both. I didn't think the comfort nursing was nessessarily a bad thing, but it would be nice if other people could help comfort him better too. It is nice to have the easiest and quickest things to comfort our babies built right in though!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    grays harbor
    Posts
    744

    Default Re: Flattened Nipple / Comfort Nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Lipstick-shaped nipples are usually the result of a too-shallow latch. When a baby is latched on properly, the nipple sits on the back of the tongue, underneath the soft palate, where it experiences relatively little movement during sucking. When the baby is latched too shallowly, the nipple sits further towards the front of the mouth, where it is compressed and flattened between the tongue and hard palate.

    Fixing this depends on what is causing it. When it happens at the beginning of a feeding, it may be happening because the baby is trying to control a rapid flow of milk by "crimping the straw" as he drinks. In this case, using nursing positions that slow the milk flow may help. If it happens midway through a feeding, it may be happening because the baby's mouth is getting tired, in which case the fix may involve supporting the breast throughout the feeding. If it happens at the end of a feeding, the cause may be simple sleepiness- once the baby no longer requires a good latch in order to get milk, he no longer troubles to use one. Taking him off the breast and relatching may solve the problem in the last case.



    It's not a bad habit- remember, the breast is the original pacifier! And even when a baby is comfort nursing, he's helping stimulate milk supply. However, if it troubles you or you're getting sore, you may want to try offering your little finger instead of the breast at the end of a feeding, with nail held down towards the tongue instead of up, where it can damage the delicate tissue of the palate.


    totally agree with 100% i ha this issue for months and it left me totally soreeee i just had to wait until my DD was bigger and could get more of my nipple in her mouth. good luck mama STICK with it its worth it your doing greattt!

    CAYLA
    Mama 2 Allie who Self-weaned @ 2 1/2
    Korben Jon born 07/25/2011*

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