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Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

"I have an inverted nipple. It never pops out! I really want to breast feed and have heard about the shields. Will this really work? Is there anything else I can do to help the situation?" --mrsjrmiller

Re: "I have an inverted nipple. It never pops out! I really want to breast feed and have heard about the shields. Will this really work? Is there anything else I can do to help the situation?" --mrsjrmiller

The Bump Expert

Some women have nipples that don’t stick out and may appear flat or even inverted. With a little patience, you can get your baby to successfully latch onto your breast. Your baby’s sucking motion can draw the nipple out. Pumping just before nursing can help pull the nipple out too.

Some experts recommend using nipple shields during feedings; as the baby sucks, the milk comes out through a hole in the shield. You don’t want to use nipple shields long term because they can lead to decreased milk supply. You can also wear breast shells during pregnancy to coax the nipple to stick out. Finally, there are hand exercises that you can do to draw the nipple out.

Find a board certified lactation consultant to help you through this process. Your OB, pediatrician, hospital or local la leche league group can help you find a lactation consultant near you. You can also use the International Lactation Consultant Association to find an LC near you.

Andi Silverman

Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

My baby latches on to my inverted nipple better then the non inverted one

eidiva26 |

Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

The lactation consultant at the hospital gave me a Medela nipple shield and baby latches right on without any problems! They also gave me the Ameda shells, which help draw out the inverted nipples. I've only worn the shells once, but in that time period I did see a difference. You have to wear the shells for about 6 weeks and only during the hours you are awake, is what the lactation consultant told me. The shells are supposed to correct the inverted nipples so that you won't have to use a shield. The benefits of using the shield are that baby will breastfeed and take a bottle with no problem! She doesn't seem to mind at all.

rachelc6 |

Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

My lactation consultant gave me the shields and shells also. Within a week, I was leaking too much to use the shells. However, the shields have been great!! Now she needs them about 1/2 the time to latch, and she can latch without them about 1/2 the time, so it is making a difference. Pumping is helping also.

Diva416 |

Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

I had that problem and the shields were more of pain then anything else. I think each person is different so it's def. worth a try but I frustrated and so did my baby. good luck

cbcato82 |

Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

I had an inverted nipple as well, on one side. I got help with latching at the hospital with the LC there. I think what helped us is nursing the baby as soon as possible after delivery. I never used a shield. My inverted nipple cracked really bad on the third day and took 4 weeks to heal, but we persevered, and I no longer have an inverted nipple.

ebille |

Q&A: Nursing with inverted nipples?

My sister in-law had this condition and although she had a masters in nursing online, she wasn't sure how to handle it so she went to her doctor who told her to seek guidance from a lactation consultant. He also suggested that she briefly used a breast pump to draw out the nipple before nursing and pull back on the breast tissue while her baby is latching on to help the nipple protrude.This technique known as “reverse pressure softening” worked like a charm.

maller12 |