Breastfeeding can be quite challenging, especially for new mothers. If you add flat nipples, you may find it even more difficult to breastfeed. As the name suggests, flat nipples are simply the ones that don’t lift up. It seems that they lie at the same level as the areola and the skin of the breast. Basically, they do not protrude from the breast. If you have flat nipples, you may need more time and patience to help your baby latch on correctly. But rest assured knowing that it is possible to feed your child. You just need to know a few techniques so that your baby can get proper nutrition from her milk. So, read on to find out how to breastfeed with flat nipples.
Health Shots connected with Dr. Rashmi Baliyan, a Consultant OB/GYN at Primus Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, for information on flat nipples and breastfeeding.
She says that genetics, breastfeeding, hormonal changes, and medical disorders are just a few of the causes of some flat nipples in women. Nipples that are flat may arise later in life or be present at birth. Temporary inversion or flattening of the nipples can also occur during breastfeeding due to hormonal changes and the pressure of the baby’s suckling. The shape and appearance of the nipples can also be affected by certain medical conditions, such as breast infections, tumors, and hormonal abnormalities.
Breastfeeding with flat nipples
Wondering if you can breastfeed with flat nipples? The answer is yes, mothers with flat or inverted nipples can breastfeed, says Dr. Baliyan. It can be a bit difficult, but there are ways to simplify it.
1. Breast compression
You can help ease your baby’s latch-on ability by gently compressing the breast behind the areola.
2. Breast pump
Before breastfeeding, using a breast pump could help push the nipple out and make it more noticeable, says expert. Breast pumps come in different types, including manual and electric breast pumps.
3. Nipple shield
To give your baby a more pronounced surface to latch on to, a nipple shield can be placed over your nipple. But talk to a lactation consultant before opting for a nipple shield. If it is not used correctly, it could hurt your breasts.
4. Set your position
Lie down while nursing, as this will allow gravity to help the nipple come out. You only need to lie down with your baby on top of you while feeding your child.
5. Stimulate your nipple
Coaxing your nipple into gently stimulating it is another way to make breastfeeding easier. Try to roll your nipple between your index finger and thumb. You can even touch your nipple with a cool, wet washcloth.
6. Support your breast while nursing
When you sit down to feed your child, hold your chest. This simple trick can make it easier to give your baby a good latch (difference between a good latch and a bad latch). You can create a C shape with your hand so you can control the movement of her breast. This way, you can easily guide your nipple into your baby’s mouth.
7. Go to a lactation consultant
If you are in pain or having trouble making enough milk for your baby, you can contact a lactation consultant. The expert can offer advice on breastfeeding with flat nipples and help you better.
So while you are learning different nursing positions for your baby, you can also try these methods if you have flat or inverted nipples.