Can I breastfeed with inverted nipples?
Some people don't have pokey little gum drop shaped nipples, and they wonder if it will impact breastfeeding for them. When nipples do not stick out or evert, they might be called flat or inverted. And yes, it is possible to breastfeed with inverted nipples. While inverted nipples can sometimes present challenges during breastfeeding, with the right support and techniques, many people with inverted nipples are able to breastfeed successfully. First and foremost, it is important to seek support from a lactation consultant prenatally; while you are still pregnant. A lactation consultant can provide personalized guidance and support. We can assess your situation and provide specific techniques such as the following to help you breastfeed with inverted nipples. If applies to you, here are some more suggestions that may help:
Breast shells, supple cups or nipple shields: These devices can help draw out the nipples by applying gentle pressure. Shells and supple cups can also be worn between feedings to help prepare the nipples for breastfeeding.
Breast stimulation and manual manipulation: Gently massaging or rolling the nipple between your fingers can help to encourage the nipple to protrude. You can also try using a breast pump or hand expression before breastfeeding to stimulate the nipple and make it easier for baby to latch.
Alternative breastfeeding positions: Experiment with different breastfeeding positions to find one that works well for both you and baby. Certain positions, such as the "laid-back" or side-lying position, may make it easier for baby to latch onto an inverted nipple.
Using breast compressions: Applying gentle pressure periodically with your hand around the breast while baby is nursing can help facilitate milk flow and encourage baby to latch effectively.
Remember, each lactation situation is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It can take time and patience to establish a successful breastfeeding routine, especially with inverted nipples. Don't hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant for personalized advice and assistance. We got your back, and your boobs! ( . )( . )