Inverted Nipples, can I still breastfeed?

Yes you can still breastfeed even if you have inverted nipples 🙂

BFB-Inverted-nipple-drawing-264x300In the image to the left, inversion can be mild where it can be pulled out manually or it can be totally inverted where even with various massages the nipples are not showing up.

Yes, I will tell you to look for a lactation consultant. During pregnancy, if you already see that your nipples are inverted, I recommend to seeing a lactation consultant immediately because they can provide guidance on what to do with your nipples during pregnancy and when you give birth. They will be very helpful in the initial feedings of your little one because they will help your little one with latching and positioning. So prior to giving birth, a session with a lactation consultant can be very helpful.

Also, in order to encourage your little one to suck, in the initial feedings please AVOID using artificial nipples especially pacifiers in order to prevent nipple confusion of your little one. While your little one is struggling, try to cup feed your little one. I have a post on how to cup feed babies like newborns.

CaptureBut at home, initially what you can do is to do the Hoffman Technique especially during pregnancy in order to prepare you for breastfeeding, which is to place the thumbs of both of your hands opposite each other at the base of your nipple at 9 and 3 clock positions . Once placed, gently press your thumbs into the breast then firmly pull the thumbs away from each other (sideways). Then do the same by placing your thumbs at 12 and 6 clock positions and then pull your thumbs away from each other (up and down). You can do this technique twice a day for the first two weeks in order to prevent scratches and to stimulate first your nipples. Then on the third week you can increase the frequency up to 5 times a day.

A breast pump can also help out in pulling your nipples, just pump before nursing your little one. Do not worry if your little one will not get milk because you pumped before nursing. Remember, demand and supply 🙂 This can even help increase your milk supply because you are pumping and breastfeeding.

Also, worry not, your little one will surely become stronger in pulling out your nipples for sucking before you even know it. Once your little one consistently sucks and nurses, rarely does the nipple go back to being inverted so no need to worry that you will have to go through the same thing on your second baby. 🙂 Big brother/sister has already pulled out Mommy’s nipples 🙂

Happy breastfeeding 🙂

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