BREAST FEEDING WITH FLAT NIPPLES!

  • Okay, so this is my 3rd baby.. (finally a boy..YAY!)

    I was not successful breastfeeding my first baby. My nipples are not perky whatsoever and areola's are huge. I gave up after only a week or so. I pumped for about 2 months with my second baby... still didn't nurse directly on the breast becaues the latch on was so painful due to my huge flat nipples. I REALLY want to breastfeed my son (Due in May) and not pump like before.... it was soooo time consuming and I really want that bonding time. ANY SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE THIS WORK?

  • I've never posted on this before, but I had to reply because I feel your pain!  I too wanted desperately to breastfeed my children.  I also have very flat nipples, and the pain of my baby latching on is worse than anything I have experienced.  (I've had two C-sections.)  I have felt emense guilt about not breastfeeding, and have pumped for as long as I could stand it with my two children.  (This is also very painful for me, and I have a medela pump in style 300 hundred dollar pump!)  Anyways, my advice to you and what really helped me is this: breastfeeding is only bonding if you are enjoying it.  If you are holding your baby and going crazy, they can sense  that and that is NOT bonding.  I hope that you will give it as much of a shot as you can stand so that you will not have any regrets, but don't feel guilty if you have to stop.  Feeding your baby should be a happy experience, and I feel that some people forget that when they hear stories like mine.  They assume that I just wasn't willing to stick it out, or that I was a wuss.  You have to do what is right for you and your baby.  Crying in pain and being frustrated with yourself because you can't get your baby to latch on is such a hard experience to have to go through.  I had many questions like "what was wrong with me?", and "this is supposed to be easy and natural, why can't I get this right?".  In the end what helped me to get over it is that when I was trying to breastfeed it was one of the worse times in my life, not because I didn't want to or because I didn't love my baby, but because it hurt really really really bad!  I did so much research, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.  I had a lactition consultant try to help me.  I looked over the pictures on how I was supposed to get this baby to latch on,  I used a nipple shield (she could barely get anything out of my breast), and nothing ever worked.  So do what you can, and let it go if you can't.  Don't beat yourself up over it.  If you end up being successful this time, then awesome!  I do suggest getting help from a lactation consultant if you can afford it, and giving a nipple shield a chance.  Best of luck! 

  • My son is 5 weeks old.  This is my first baby.  I also had the same problem and during the first week, I used to pump and feed him.  After research,  I found about Medala Nipple shield.  I have been using it from his second week.  He is fine with it.  It is jus a silicon shield which separates U and ur baby while feeding.   U can try this nipple sheield.

  • Hi there! Without going into my 2 (awful) breast feeding experiences....

    I too have very flat nipples and large breasts (32G before pregnancy, 32K when nursing) Seriously, my breasts were both individually larger than my head and hard as rocks- how is a newborn supposed to latch onto that? lol

    I have tried EVERYTHING and was very dedicated to making breast feeding work. I didn't give up easily... Here is my suggestion:

    Try the nipple shield. I have heard from so many women that have used them the entire time, even some who are still nursing with it after a year. Or, I've heard that a lot of times you only need to use them for like 8 weeks or a few months and then can wean off of it. Nipple shields will help you with the pain of nursing/ latching and will give baby something to latch onto. Lactation consultants and LLL will warn you not to use them though because they can dry up or cut down on your milk supply. I didn't experience this problem though. A lactation consultant will also tell you that you should pump for 10-15 minutes after each feed (with the nipple shield) to make sure each breast is drained. Since you don't want to pump ( I don't blame you- I hated pumping), I would just give it a try and make sure baby is wetting/pooping the right amount. I think all the warnings against nipple shield use out there are because they maybe are a bit overused by people that don't need them, or used by someone that's trying to fix a different problem. But, nipple shields were designed for flat nipples. It even helped draw my nipples out, and after using it for like the first 10 minutes, I could take it off and baby could latch onto my nipple more easily. 

    This is what I plan to do with my third baby (due soon too :-) I'm going to try and make it work with the nipple shield. If it works out- great, if not I'm going to formula-feed and not worry about it or mourn the loss of breast feeding again.

    To second some of the other comments you've received- if it's just not working and you are not happy breastfeeding and your baby is crying at the breast, etc..... it's okay not to breast feed. It was not right for me and both my son's despite desperate efforts. In the end- I was crying every breast feeding session and so was my baby, not to mention having to hold the baby so far away from my (as my breasts were so large) it was very awkward and uncomfortable. This was not bonding for us- it was stressful. (We also had several other problems going on at the same time which contributed to me stopping)

    Switching to formula and bottle-feeding meant better bonding with my babies. I was able to relax, baby could relax, and we would look into each other's eyes while feeding and it was way more peaceful than breast feeding. (for us) (I should say though, bonding doesn't happen only while you're feeding baby :-) You can still feed baby bare skin-to-skin while bottle feeding, or wear your baby skin-to-skin in a Moby Wrap... you can cuddle and talk to baby while you're not trying to feed baby, too :-)

    It's not the end of the world to bottle feed with formula. There's enough pressure, guilt, decisions we have to make as mothers. As long as you are feeding baby and are a happy, loving mother you are doing the best for your baby. Good luck. 

    Ask me anything- I didn't want to bombard you with my whole story- but if you have other questions ask :-) I've been there.

     

  • I too vote for the nipple shield. I know many women with flat nipples who used them with success. I used a shield because my son couldn't latch. We only used it for about six weeks before I weaned him from the shield. It saved nursing for us. The down side is that the darn things are clear. I kept laying them all over the house and losing them! I needed them to be brightly colored, so my post partum brain wouldn't have such a struggle finding them. :)

  • Get a breast shield I have flat nipples and this really was helpful also if you pump just a little your nipple sticks out and that helped a lot.
  • I have very flat inverted nipples I used a Nipple Shiled I got them at the hospital they help reduce some pain (not all) But is was the only way my baby would latch to me. if that works for you get several shilds so that you can have one in the  dipper bag for when you are out and about.

  • Have you tried the shield yet? I hope it works for you!

  • my first child is a boy, i didn't do well with breastfeeding either but , my friend just had a baby boy and says it's starts out hard but eventually it gets easier and also says it was the best thing she has ever done just keep trying and you'll get the hang of it.

  • I just gave birth 4/24 and I too wanted to breast feed. But I also have flat nipples. I HIGHLY recommend nipple shells. You wear them with your bra and they pull your nipple out. Its not painful just kinda weird looking. I also use a nipple shield while feeding. I have a 10 year old, and I didnt even try with her. But with this baby I wanted to see what the hoopla was all about. And I love it!

    I hope this helps you. Otherwise...take advantage of the lactation nurses at the hospital, they were incredibly helpful in getting me on my way. However...they all frowned upon the nipple shield. For me, it is much more comfortable...especially when my nipples are sore. Also make sure that you have some Lansinoh lanolin for your nipples. It helps them from becoming dry and cracked. And its safe to feed the baby without having to wipe it off.

     

  • I have same issue, flat nipples.  My LC says do not use shields (i used with my first one and got so sore) the milk does not come out of nipple, make sure the mouth is open and RAM them on.  it does take alone time and gets frustrating, try pumping before to help the milk be there and the nipple to come out some.  My son I pumped and gave bottle, then switched him back to breast, he actually went! This time I am determined to do it.  Get with a LC several times, it will be worth it!  it really helped me. 

  • I didnt have the inverted nipple problem but I was so engorged that there was nothing for my newborn to latch on to. My LC gave me the Medela softshells to wear in between nursing and they were awesome. Check out Medela's website under breast care to get more info. Good luck!!

  • Nipple shields. Do breastfeed. Please.

  • I'm a kind of smaller person with kind of rounder boobs (5'2, 34D pre-birth, 34DD post-birth... Short with slighty larger breasts makes for roundness!!). The nipple shield did NOT work for me. It kept sliding off. Every time he'd try to suck from it, he was sucking air. They never worked for me. It depends on who you are. I have a 12 weeks old (today!) who STILL refuses with or without the nipple shield!

  • Sometimes if you roll your nipples between your fingers for a minute to make them evert/stick out more, the baby is able to latch on and then pull your nipple out with suckling. Another trick is pumping for just a minute before breastfeeding to help the baby latch on. Often after a little bit of time doing that, the baby is able to latch onto the flat nipple on its own. It can be very frustrating if you are having latch difficulties - I understand!