Breastfeeding With Inverted Nipples – Natural Tips & Tricks
If you’re anything like me, talking about your nipples in public seems a bit much. But for some reason writing about it in public seems okay. Haha All I know is when I was pregnant with my first, I was so worried about how I was going to be able to breastfeed. I had so many questions like…
Is every woman capable of breastfeeding?
How do you breastfeed with flat or inverted nipples?
What happens to inverted nipples during pregnancy?
Trust me, I was so grateful to be able to read up about it online. However, I didn’t find that many breastfeeding articles on it from women who actually experienced this themselves.
So, with my maturity level skyrocketing, YES, we are going to talk about my nipple inverted breastfeeding journey.
First of all, ladies…
Let me just say that, Breastfeeding with inverted nipples IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE! If you have any beliefs in your mind that it is NOT possible, you need to throw them out the window right now and never believe them again. Trust me, I had believed for so long things like…
“I probably wouldn’t be able to”
“It’s going to be so hard for me”
blah blah blah
Yes, it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but if you are committed and determined to do it, YOU CAN. I am a perfect example of someone who did it. Listen, you may need some guidance, as I did, but with help and determination, trust me, YOU TOO CAN DO IT!
So lets get into it…
Newborn Breast Crawl
There I was birthing my baby and super anxious about whether or not she would, you know, do the newborn breast crawl. That’s when the baby naturally and instinctually crawls to the breast after being born and latches to the nipple. It’s one of the highlights you can hope for during the first hours after birth. Sounds lovely right? Yeah, I wish I had the confidence to believe that would be my situation.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have that experience. To me, it felt like lactation failure. Instead, I witnessed my little girl trying and trying and trying and yet she just couldn’t seem to latch on. But, I didn’t give up there. I was like “Ok nipple shield, here we come. Whatever it takes. You are going to get this baby girl on your breast and provide her the milk she deserves.” With plenty of help from the nurses, sure enough, we figured it out. She was on! It was a dream come true.
Breastfeeding Latching Tips
What is a Nipple Shield?
You might be wondering…”What th
e heck is a nipple shield?” A nipple shield is basically a thin, clear silicone tool that literally acts as a shield to your nipple. It temporarily helps the baby get familiar with the ability to latch onto the breast. They come in different sizes so it’s best to try a few to make sure you get the correct size for you. This will help your chances of getting a proper latch.
How To Put On A Nipple Shield?
Are nipple shields the most convenient thing to have to use every time you need to pull out the breast? No way, but if it’s going to get my girl to help me pull out the inverted nipples then, hey I will use them.
I recommend if you use the shields to purchase 3 or 4 and a holder for them. They’re clear and sometimes easy to lose, so having a holder and a few extra is definitely helpful.
One thing to be aware of is, they stick on better if you get them wet first. Lick them, or always have some wipes nearby. Here is a link where you can purchase shields if you are interested in going this route to help your baby latch on to your inverted nipples.
Breastfeeding Latch Trick
After about a month of nursing my baby girl with the nipple shield, I was able to take away the shield and have her latch directly onto the breast. The technique I used was a simple one. I literally would let her latch on first to the shield for a few minutes, then quickly unlatch and take away the shield, and then she’d latch back on directly to my breast. This allowed the shield to help pull out my nipple first, making it easier for her to directly latch on, a nice little breastfeeding latch trick.
How To Get Baby To Latch Wider?
Once we got that down, I started trying to take the nipple shield away completely by using the “nose to nipple” approach. This approach helps the baby open its mouth wider to get a better latch. Check out this link for more detailed information on this helpful tip and technique. It totally worked for us ==> https://www.laleche.org.uk/inverted-nipples/
So…mommas! With all this being said, again YES you can do it! Does it sound like a lot of work? Sure, I know it may sound overwhelming, but when it comes down to it, you just really gotta ask yourself, “Is it WORTH it?” And from my experience, “YES it absolutely is worth it.” Due to making that very first important decision, I was able to breastfeed my baby girl for a solid 2 years and 3 months straight directly latching to my breasts. Did we have some challenges along the way? Of course, we did, but in the end, it was all worth it and I encourage you, if breastfeeding is something you really want for you and your baby, JUST DO IT! Decide, and figure it out. It will and can happen for you regardless if you have inverted or flat nipples. There’s always a way. Have patience and never give up hope. Hope this post was helpful to you.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions for me or simply want to share your journey of breastfeeding with inverted nipples. I would love to hear from you.
5 Tips for Inverted Nipple Breastfeeding Solutions
Tip 1: Throw Out Beliefs That Won’t
Serve Your Goal
It’s super important to remember that if you want to achieve ANYTHING you need to believe you can achieve it. Do your research and find others out there that have done exactly what it is you want to do. Follow their example and gain their confidence within yourself on being able to do it.
Tip 2: Decide if you’re ALL in or not
Being wishy-washy about something will always give you wishy-washy results. You need to make a decision about whether or not you are going to give it your ALL or NOT. Deciding is half the battle. The rest will appear more easily once you actually decide where you stand on the subject.
Tip 3: Commit and DO The Methods
Once you decide, it’s now time to commit to implementing and following through with the methods you have researched. Allow yourself the opportunity to DO something great by following the first few tips. Committing will be much easier once you believe in yourself and have decided that you will do it! Then, be sure to actually DO IT. Get the nipples shields and holders for them. Use water, wipes or lick them to keep them from falling off your breast. Once you’ve got breastfeeding down with the nipple shield, start taking away the shield a few minutes after your baby has latched and get them latching to your breast directly. Once you got that down, use the “Nipple to Nose” technique I shared, and get them latching without using the shield at all.
Tip 4: Be Patient
Patience is key when having any experience with anyone outside of yourself, especially a brand newborn baby. They are learning day by day how to survive in this new world of theirs and having a parent who is patient with that process will not only help the process but allow better results. Remember to breathe and trust your baby’s natural ability to learn a new skill.
Tip 5: Celebrate Your Success
Celebrating your accomplishments brings so much joy to your experience, especially if you have had any type of struggle along the way. You’re allowed to express joy when you have achieved your goals. Sometimes we forget to relish in those moments and it’s often overlooked to fully embrace the accomplishment of your goal. I encourage you to celebrate all your successes with your children. It will encourage them to continue towards their goals even when things may seem hard or difficult. There’s always a way, and celebrating your success is always okay!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you breastfeed with inverted or flat nipples?
Absolutely, you can breastfeed with inverted or flat nipples. Remember, it’s not the nipple itself that the baby latches onto, it’s the areola. So as long as your baby can get a wide enough latch onto your breast you can breastfeed with inverted or flat nipples.
Can you express milk with inverted nipples?
The answer is YES! As long as when you pump, you pump long enough to draw out the nipple. Once the nipple is out, it becomes much easier to express milk for your baby.
Does inverted nipple affect breastfeeding?
It can make your journey of breastfeeding a bit more challenging in the beginning for you and your baby are first mastering the skill of breastfeeding. But it is totally worth it in the long run to continue getting good at this skill so you and your baby can enjoy the amazing benefits of breastfeeding.
What does an inverted nipple mean?
An inverted nipple means that instead of having your nipple protruding outwards from your breast, it protrudes inwards. Many women are born this way, however, some can develop inverted nipples due to trauma or disease.
How to get rid of flat nipples?
There are a couple ways to get rid of inverted nipples. You can daily manipulate your nipples with your fingers for a period of time and see if that works for you, or there is the route of getting plastic surgery.