Most new-moms wish to be able to breastfeed their newborns, as a lot of benefits from it have been encountered. However, there are several issues which might put you in doubt to be able to breastfeed, one of which is if you have inverted nipples.
What is Inverted Nipples and what causes them?
A nipple is called inverted when it is retracted inside the breast instead of erect and point outward. Some inverted nipples can point out easily by pressing areola area, some can point out when stimulated or put pressure into, while the rest keep retracted and need surgery to fix. This condition of inverted nipples might be caused by several reasons, such as short breasts ducts, wide areola muscles, sudden major weight loss, and pregnancy. Although believed as the sign of breast cancer, most inverted nipples are harmless and do not cause breast malfunctions.
Can I Breastfeed with Inverted Nipples
Some people may wonder whether it is possible to breastfeed if they have inverted nipples. Breasts with inverted nipples, in the first place, are still producing breast milk during pregnancy. As said, no breast malfunctions are caused by this state of nipples. Should you have the first and second grade of inverted nipples—your nipples can point out with slight touch or pressure, you might want to consider stimulating your nipples in your early pregnancy. Be sure to do it before reaching third trimester, as it may lead to premature contractions if done in latter stage of pregnancy. You can stimulate your breasts while taking a bath by pulling it out gently in several counts. If you do it regularly, your nipples may still be inverted, but it will be much easier to erect and come out. If you have the third grade of inverted nipples—your nipples won’t come out by any means, do not panic. You can still breastfeed as long as you use correct breastfeeding technique. Your baby should latch on properly on your breasts, not sucking your nipples. When your baby sucks your breasts, you do not have to worry although your nipple is inverted. She can still drink your breast milk sufficiently. To sum up, here are several ways to deal with your inverted nipples when breastfeeding.
- Stimulate your nipples twice a day while bathing to get the possibility making it come out. Do not do it excessively as it may lead to contractions. You can either pull the nipples out or press the areola.
- Be positive. Some pregnancies are proven to put inverted nipples into permanent erectile nipples. Breast enlargement in pregnancy pushes breasts muscles out and therefore, make the inverted nipples erectile. It is important to have positive mind during pregnancy. Be sure that you will be able to breastfeed despite the inverted nipples.
- When breastfeeding, try to apply correct breastfeeding technique, that is to latch your baby on your breasts, so that she will not only suck your nipples, but also the whole breast. This will make breastfeeding easier even though your nipples are inverted, because your baby will get the milk by “squeezing” the breasts, not merely the nipples.
- If you are not comfortable breastfeeding with inverted nipples, nipple shield might help you. You can put the shield on top of your breast during breastfeeding. However, this silicon nipple shield is not good for use with very young baby. Therefore, it is better for you to learn about correct latching on technique rather than using the shield with your newborn.
- Soak small towel into warm water and put it on your breast after breastfeeding. It will help you calm your sore breast and nipples after feeding. It will also stimulate your inverted nipples to erect. Do it regularly before or after breastfeeding your baby.
The importance of breastfeeding has made women find every trick to breastfeed their baby right. Hence, some issues in breastfeeding including inverted nipples may result in panic and confusion. Being consistent in stimulating your inverted nipples and being positive about your pregnancy can help you solving the problem. Despite the difficulties it may cause, inverted nipples is not a reason not to breastfeed.