1. A typical nipple protrudes from the breast upon stimulation.
2. A flat nipple does not protrude from the breast when stimulated.
3. An inverted nipple retracts or becomes concave when stimulated
Can a baby latch on a flat or inverted nipple?
At BSIM, we often repeat a quote - “babies breastfeed, they dont nipple feed”. What is implied here is that babies latch on to the breast and not the nipple. Therefore, the shape and size of the nipple can’t be a deciding factor for whether or not a baby can latch. Another very important thing to consider is that - for each baby, the only breast she latches onto, is her mother’s nipple. She doesn't have the experience to latch onto other breasts. So, a baby is never born with preferences. Preferences are created with experience. Here, that is not the case. That is exactly why, even though it might be a little challenging to nurse with a flat or inverted nipple for the mother as well as the baby, in most cases, the baby figures it out more readily.
Research has suggested that the babies of a mother with flat/inverted nipple(s) are more likely to latch and feed well when
Having said that, we cannot deny the fact that in some cases, the babies have been unable to latch. We also cannot deny the case-specific conditions that vary along with each case.
Useful Techniques to Draw the nipple out :
Some techniques to draw the nipple out are found to be helpful in latching the baby more comfortably.
Stimulating the nipple manually
Using certain devices to draw the nipple out
Other Useful Tips :
FAQ: Can a mother successfully breastfeed with Flat/Inverted Nipples
Just like breasts, nipples too come in different sizes and shapes. Many times, the same woman may have nipples of more or less different sizes and shapes on each of her breasts.
A lot of times, women who are told they have flat or inverted nipple(s), really don’t. It's important to understand when a nipple passes to be called flat or inverted. The following image and table are a helpful guide.
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DISCLAIMER: THE FAQ ARTICLES ARE INTENDED AS A SOURCE OF BASIC INFORMATION AND AN EXTENSION OF SUPPORT FROM BREASTFEEDING PARENTS TO BREASTFEEDING PARENTS. IT DOES NOT CLAIM TO REPLACE ANY MEDICAL ADVICE.
* MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: THE ADVICE SUGGESTED BY THE LACTATION CONSULTANTS/STANPAN SAATHIS/WEBINAR HOSTS ARE THEIR OWN. TO ACCEPT AND TO ACT ON THOSE IS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS SEEKING SUPPORT. IN NO WAY SHOULD THE ADVICE GIVEN REPLACE A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OR ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL. IF THAT HAPPENS, IT'S AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO CHOOSES TO DO THAT. BSIM WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES.
WE UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT PARENTS AND BABIES CAN BE OF VARIOUS GENDERS ON A SPECTRUM OF THE LGBTIQA+. FAMILIES COME IN DIVERSE FLAVOURS. HOWEVER, IN OUR ARTICLES, FOR THE SAKE OF SIMPLICITY AND CONVENIENCE, WE WILL BE REFERRING TO THE BREASTFEEDING PARENT AS THE MOTHER AND USING THE FEMALE PRONOUNS- 'SHE' AND 'HER' FOR BABIES. BABIES CAN BE NOURISHED AND NURTURED IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND WHILE WE HAVE USED THE TERMS BREASTFEEDING AND NURSING, WE RECOGNIZE THAT PARENTS CAN OPT TO CHEST FEED OR FINGER FEED.
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