It is possible to breastfeed with inverted nipples, that is, that are turned inwards, because for the baby to breastfeed correctly he needs to grab a part of the breast and not just the nipple.
In addition, normally, the nipple is more prominent in the last weeks of pregnancy or shortly after delivery, which facilitates breastfeeding. Even so, the mother may have her nipples inverted, and must adopt strategies to be able to breastfeed more easily.
1. Rotate the nipple
If the woman has an inverted nipple, she can try to rotate it with her index fingers and thumb, so that the nipple is more prominent.
If you have cold hands, the process can be easier, for that you can use an ice cube and apply a little bit on the nipples, but you should not overdo the application before breastfeeding because the cold can cause contractions of the breast ducts.
2. Express some milk
If the breast is too full, the nipple is less protruding, so you can express some milk manually or with a pump before placing the baby on the breast.
See how to use the breast pump to express breast milk .
3. Using a pump or syringe
To make the nipple more prominent, a pump or a 20 mL syringe can be used, as shown in the image. This technique can be used several times a day for 30 seconds, or 1 minute and, preferably, always before breastfeeding.
If the mother, even with these strategies, continues to have difficulties in breastfeeding, she should consult the pediatrician so that breastfeeding is maintained, at least, until the baby’s 6 months of age.
Tips for breastfeeding with inverted nipples
Other tips to help a mother with inverted nipples to breastfeed include:
- Place the baby to breastfeed right after delivery until a maximum of 1 hour after delivery;
- Avoid using teats, pacifiers or silicone nipple protectors, as the baby may confuse the nipples and then have greater difficulty in picking the nipple;
- Try different positions for breastfeeding. Know which positions to use to breastfeed .
In addition, the use of nipple molds during pregnancy is discouraged, as they may not help to improve the shape of the nipple and may even hurt them.