Breastfeeding is hard but breastfeeding with flat or inverted nipples is a major challenge. Flat or inverted nipples make it very difficult for your baby to latch to your breast. The good news is, it is still possible to breastfeed with these tips!
What are flat nipples? And how do they differ from inverted nipples?
Flat nipples lay even with your breast. They don’t protrude beyond it while Inverted nipples point inward toward your breast instead of sticking out. But nipple types are totally harmless except when you are breastfeeding, then it becomes challenging.
Tips to Breastfeeding with Flat or Inverted Nipples.
1. Nipple Shield
Nipple shields are thin silicone covers that can be placed over the nipple to assist with breastfeeding. They help your baby latch and feed more easily than struggling to latch into flat nipples.
Milk can take longer to flow from the breast when a nipple shield is used so patience is required when using a nipple shield.
When choosing a Nipple Shield, consider these;
- Regardless of your nipple size, go for a large size nipple shield. It aids effective milk transfer.
- Consult a lactation consultant if you have flat or inverted nipples. They will guide you to make the best nipple shield option.
How to use nipple shields
- Hand express some milk to start the milk flowing.
- Sprinkle some breast milk on the outside of the shield to encourage your baby to attach on and want more.
- Place nipple shield over nipple and hold it in place with your fingers.
- Tease baby’s upper lip with nipple shield, wait for a wide-open mouth then bring your baby quickly onto the shield.
- Monitor to Make sure the baby is sucking and swallowing.
- Do a frequent weight gain check to make sure your baby is getting enough milk.
2. Nipple Stimulation
Gently rub the nipples with ice before breastfeeding to stimulate the nipple to harden due to the cold sensation. This will only work however for flat nipples and not inverted nipples. You can also roll the nipple in-between your fingers to stimulate it.
3. Syringe Pull
You can also cover the nipple with an open syringe and use the suction effect to pull out the nipple.
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