After giving birth, the next possible task for you as a mother is about being able to breastfeed your baby. But what happens if you are having flat nipples? You might be asking yourself “Is there any way to make my nipples bigger?” This is one of the common issues and problems that most new mothers experience nowadays. That is why they always end up feeding their babies with formula milk because they are having a hard time because they have underdeveloped nipples for breastfeeding. Some mothers would use breast pumps to produce milk somehow, but they always end up failing.
As long as your little one can take a good portion of your breast even if your nipples get smaller while breastfeeding, it will not cause any problems at all. A woman’s nipple is the area on the breast that is raised slightly in the areola’s center. Every nipple has its tiny openings that allow milk to flow out of the breast to the baby. If you are a mom, you wanted to know how to get rid of flat nipples to easily breastfeed your baby, this article will discuss breastfeeding basics for moms with flat nipples. Learn more about some tips on how to make flat nipples stick out for breastfeeding, and you will find out that it works to ensure that you and your little one will have a good start with breastfeeding.
How to know if your nipples are flat?
You can’t tell if your nipples are flat if you are just merely looking at your breasts. You can determine if you would be doing some “pinch” test. To do this, you are just going to compress your areola gently for about an inch behind your nipple. If your nipple doesn’t erect, then you will know that your nipples are flat. Always remember that if you are having flat nipples, your baby won’t latch. It must be noted as well that flat nipples will not erect when exposed to cold because there are some women would claim that their nipples would be flat unless they’re cold. Mothers should try the pinch test to determine because flat nipples do not stick outward and don’t even turn inward in the breast either.
Tips to make breastfeeding easier for flat nipples
Many women are having difficulties when it comes to breastfeeding their babies. If your little one is having a hard time latching on your flat nipples, these breastfeeding tips would help you find solutions to your problems.
1. Breast shells
If you are having flat nipples and having a hard time breastfeeding your baby, you can wear products such as breast shells. These shells for the breasts can help in making your flat or inverted nipples to draw out. It is made up into two pieces that are made out of plastic. Its inner piece has a hole to make it fit over your nipple. The pressure of tissues around your nipple may cause the nipple to rise or erect through the hole. These breast shells can be worn during your pregnancy as well to make your skin stretched and makes it natural so that when your baby comes, your nipples could somehow get protrude. After giving birth, you can use breast shells for just half an hour before you breastfeeding your baby. Just take note that these breast shells should not be worn at night for the milk that will be collected when you are wearing those shells should not be saved.
2. Breast pump
When you have already given birth to your little one, you must try using an effective breast pump or any other device that will help pull a flat nipple before breastfeeding. This process will make it easier for you to feed your baby. Breast pumps are a kind of device that can be used at times after giving birth to further break the sticking under your nipple. You can do this by simply applying gentle pressure from your nipple’s center portion.
3. Nipple stimulation before you breastfeed
You can do this by holding your nipple, roll it between your finger thumb and index finger for at least two minutes. When you are done rolling it, quickly make a moist and cold cloth touch your nipples or rub ice that was placed in a cloth. This will surely help your nipple become erect. Just avoid rubbing ice for a long time it can cause numbing of your nipple and areola that could let down reflex.
4. Reverse pressure softening
This method is very easy as you are just going to use your fingertips to encircle your nipple’s base. You can also gently push toward the chest wall for almost 3 minutes before latching as it helps to push other fluids. It also helps in making the milk flow and allows the nipple to become erect. With this method, your baby can easily grasp and have a good time while you feed him or her.
5. Nipple shield
Nipple shield is an elastic and skinny silicone nipple that can be worn on your nipple. It’s like breast shells that come with holes in the tip making the breastmilk flow to the baby. If you made methods that aren’t working, these nipple shields can be a big help for your baby to latch on. This is proven safe because it gives replication to the roof of your baby’s mouth that will make a sign of his mouthful reflex. These nipple shields should be used properly because it may lead to risks if not properly used.
6. Using a V-hold or a C-hold
These V-hold or C-hold can be used to mildly squash your breasts to make your nipples and areola visible to your baby. V-hold and C-hold make your breasts compress like a stress ball so your baby has something to latch on. When you know how to hold and offer your breasts to your baby would help to come up to a very good latching. Just make sure that you squeeze your breasts gently to avoid any risk.
7. Breastfeed as early as possible
Make breastfeeding sessions as soon as possible after giving birth to your little one, at least every 2-3 hours. This will help in avoiding inflammation or engorgement to occur and it allows the baby to practice breastfeeding before your milk is plenty. When you do breastfeeding over and over again while your breasts are still soft usually helps your little one to continue know how to do it, even if your breast will turn out to be firm that makes it hard for your baby to grasp because your nipple is flat.
Motherhood will never be complete if you haven’t tried breastfeeding. It is one way of bonding with your little one. With these tips about breastfeeding basics for moms with flat nipples will surely help mothers who are having concerns about their nipples. If the methods aren’t working at all, seek a doctor’s advice or ask the lactation consultant’s advice as soon as possible. They can help and give you appropriate and tested tips on how to solve your problem. They have trusted health practitioners with different experiences about breastfeeding that can provide the best ways on how to deal with this kind of concern.