Do you have flat or inverted nipples, and are you expecting a baby? You may be worried that your inverted nipples can make nursing harder, or even impossible. Complications are possible, and establishing a proper latch may be an adventure for women with flat or inverted nipples.
Thankfully, you will usually be able to breastfeed. Here are some tips for you. Let me start off by saying that my dear friend with inverted nipples breastfed her son for over two years. Just having inverted nipples doesn't mean you should give up before you even get started it is unlikely that your nipples mean you won't be able to breastfeed at all.
Some experts recommend women with inverted nipples to start massaging them during pregnancy to encourage them to protrude. Others advocate the use of a so-called breast shell, a plastic device that applies pressure to the nipples to help them come into a shape that brings them out. Talk to your healthcare provider about these possibilities if you are interested.
After your baby is born, you might see that you will have no trouble nursing at all. If you do, finding a good lactation consultant will be very valuable. Some women find that a nipple shield helps, while others pump before having their baby latch on as pumping can help the nipples come out. Cold ice may also have the same effect.
Most of the time, you will find that breastfeeding is not difficult. Stay in touch with your baby's pediatrician or your lactation consultant until you are sure that your nursing relationship has been properly established, and remember that many women have breastfed very successfully with nipples just like yours, sometimes with a little help.