One of the breastfeeding problems is breastfeeding with inverted or flat nipples. Young mothers with such nipples formations find it difficult to breastfeed as their babies cannot grasp such types of nipples. During breastfeeding, a baby latch on to the breast and more part of the breast the baby puts into his or her mouth, the more successful is the nursing. However, in cases of flat nipples, it is not just possible.
Before going into the solutions for breastfeeding with flat nipples, let’s first find out the causes of such nipples. Such cases of abnormal nipples usually happened during puberty when adhesion failed to open up. A woman generally has one of her nipples inverted or flat.
The other nipple is usually normal. As such, these women tend to breastfeed only with the breast with normal nipple. Breastfeeding with the abnormal nipple may also be painful as the baby makes an effort to pull it out with a sucking action. While some babies who are healthy can actually suck out and extract milk without much effort, some babies are not energetic enough to do so.
In most cases, the nipple tends to come out on its own once you start breastfeeding. Moreover, your nipple size increases as you breastfeed and it gradually comes out. Nevertheless, there are several solutions for breastfeeding with inverted nipple. Also, there are treatments for such abnormal nipples too. If you have such nipple formation, you can get it treated before you plan your pregnancy.
One of the solutions for breastfeeding with inverted nipples is to use a breast pump. While you can naturally feed on the normal side – if only one of your nipples is abnormal – use a breast pump on the affected side. You can bottle feed the expressed milk later on. Another technique is to hold the areola with your fingers and press it against your chest so that the nipple protrudes. There are also latch assist devices which temporarily suck out the nipples to enable breastfeeding.
One of the treatments for flat nipples include using nipple formers which are actually shells which when worn help the nipple to protrude. Cosmetic surgery is also an option to correct inverted nipples.