So many women have been told that they have flat or inverted nipples and that they can’t breastfeed. In most cases, that is not the truth. Often, if a mother did not have flat nipples prior to birth, they only became flat due to engorgement. There is a technique called Reverse Pressure Softening. This is when you place your fingers in a circle around your areola away from the nipple. Applying some pressure will move some milk away from the areola, leaving space for the nipple to protrude. If a mother had flat nipples prior to birth, then using a homemade (less expensive than store bought) device can help draw it out. Simply take a 10CC syringe and cut off the bottom (where the needle normally is). Then take out the plunger and reverse it (please contact me for an onsite consultation if you would like assistance). Place the now end around the nipple and GENTLY pull the plunger out. This will train your nipple to draw out. If you would like to buy a commercially made one, it’s called an Everter (please note, I am NOT endorsing any brand. Just showing where you can purchase). In most cases and with the right latch and position the baby will do a sufficient job of drawing it out themselves. If you are pumping and look inside the flange, you will see that your nipple is actually out. Well the baby is a much better sucker than the pump anyway. A proper latch will have the baby on your areola and pull the nipple anyway. The nipple essentially is a conduit for bringing the milk out of your breast. I believe it is important to mention that introducing a bottle at all while you and your baby are learning to latch with a flat or inverted nipple is not recommended. It will really confuse things as it is a completely different shape, size and flow. It is recommended that if you want to introduce a bottle, wait till well after your breastfeeding is established. Be sure to watch for signs of milk transfer to ensure your baby is getting the milk while latched. It will be a long suck, long suck, pause. The pause is the baby swallowing the milk. Look for wet diapers as well as weight gain. If all those are fine, then your baby is transferring the milk just fine. Be strong and seek out competent help if you are still unsure. There is no shame in seeking help. Even if it’s for moral and emotional support.


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