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Thread: problem on breastfeeding

  1. #1

    problem on breastfeeding


    How can I breastfeed with inverted nipples? My baby doesn't suck much because I have inverted nipples. Will this affect my next pregnancy, I mean will I have successful pure breastfeeding next time, how can I solve this problem?

  2. #2
    Hi Carra,

    I'm sorry to hear you have had problems with breastfeeding. Although it is the best and most natural way to feed your baby, many women do find it takes a while to establish breastfeeding. However, I am sorry to hear that your breastfeeding problems have lasted so long.

    Were you able to exclusively breastfeed your 6 month old?

    Has a health professional advised you that you have inverted nipples? I am asking because it is sometimes misdiagnosed. You can check your nipples are truly inverted by pressing down on the aerola (this is is the darker part of your nipple) by about one inch and seeing if your nipple sticks inwards. Having inverted nipples is different to having flat nipples.

    If you are in any doubt, then I would highly recommend seeing a lactation consultant who will be highly skilled at helping you with breastfeeding.

    There are a number of things you can do to help to achieve successful breastfeeding when you have inverted nipples. Have a read of this previous thread about inverted nipples - it has some helpful suggestions from forum members as well as from our midwife Jane. Jane advises checking with a lactation consultant and also trying the product Niplette which helps to draw out your nipples.

    Breastfeeding itself actually helps to draw out the nipples. Most women find their nipples protrude more with established breastfeeding.

    The same is true of using a breast pump - a hospital grade pump helps to draw the nipple out.

    In your next pregnancy, you can wear breast shells during the end of the pregnancy to help put pressure on the aerola to begin to draw the nipple out.

    With all these techniques, the aim is to get a good latch so that your baby can get a good mouthful of breast. If the latch is not good (and the baby is feeding off the nipple) then breastfeeding will become painful and can cause cracked and sore nipples. This can be excruciatingly painful.

    Also, if you have a poor latch (and you say your 'baby doesn't suck much' so it sounds like this is unfortunately the case) then your baby will not remove milk effectively from the breast. Breastmilk is produced in a supply on demand basis - the more milk is taken (demanded) the more will be produced. This is why a poor latch can lead to your baby not getting enough breastmilk which is why it is so important to get it right as soon as possible.

    I hope this information is helpful to you.

    Please do post back and let us know how you are getting on and if you need any further help - we will be happy to support you.

    Best wishes,

    Last edited by ljmarsden; 10th July 2013 at 03:24 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    LJ had some great information to share.

    I had inverted nipples which made breastfeeding my first child a big challenge. One thing that I found to be helpful was to use a powerful breast pump which would pull my nipple out, and then as soon as my let down occurred, I would pull the pump off and put baby to the breast so that she could easily latch on to my nipple and would also receive the instant gratification of milk that was already pouring out.

    I ended up having a very successful breastfeeding experience with my first baby (after the first 3 months which were really challenging). With my second baby, my nipples were not inverted, and I had a successful breastfeeding experience with my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th babies. I breastfed all of them for 2 to 3 years and let them wean on their own.

    Hope this helps,


  4. #4
    Hi Carra,

    I hope the advice above helps you.

    What Kate has shared is really interesting and also highlights the importance of finding the right breast pump if you are going to be expressing breastmilk. I don't think a manual breast pump would have this effect (that Kate described) on inverted nipples.

    I hope this all gives you some techniques to try for getting a better latch when breastfeeding your baby. I also hope that is reassures that the same problems do not have to be repeated for future breastfed babies (both because your nipples are likely to protrude more and because of the additional breastfeeding knowledge and experience that you will have).

    With best wishes,


  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    LJ's response prompted another thought... When I was having trouble getting baby to latch onto my inverted nipples, my nipples became very sore, cracked and bleeding. I found that keeping baby off of the breast for even 24 hours (and pumping to keep milk supply up) gave my nipples just enough time to heal a little so that they eventually healed completely, even when I put baby back to the breast.

    I've since learned that it can be helpful to just do a full feed on a single breast. You can do this by using compressions to help baby get more milk. If you do a full feed on one breast, then that breast can have a break while you do a full feed (2 hours or so later) on the other breast. This can be very helpful at alleviating sore nipples. I sure wish I had known this, as I was putting baby on each breast for 10 minutes (like clockwork) with my first child. And every time baby latched on, it hurt so badly (tears running down my cheeks). I'd have preferred to just keep baby on the breast longer and do a single side feed. Would have been much better!


  6. #6
    Thanks Kate - really useful information.


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