Some types of nipples, like concave, flat or inverted nipples might make it more difficult for a baby to latch. For a baby to nurse successfully, he/she must be able to grasp the nipple and stretch it forward and upward, against the roof of the mouth. The most important thing to remember, is that your baby should get as much of your breast into the mouth as possible.
Flat or inverted nipples are mostly caused by adhesions, which never opened up naturally during puberty, resulting in abnormal nipples. During nursing there will be some pain as the nipples are pulled out, but it is temporary and the nipples usually stretch out over time.
Most times, mothers will have one inverted nipple. In this case, you will be able to feed your baby on the “good side” while you pump the other side. You can always just keep the pumped milk for times when your baby needs a bottle.
If your baby is strong, healthy, full-term and vigorous, he/she may be able to draw out the nipple with ease.
Some good news is that the more you breastfeed, the larger your nipple will become and the more it will stand out. Breastfeeding will therefore become easier with each baby.
Gently compress your areola about an inch behind your nipple. If your nipple does not bulge out, then it is a flat nipple. If your nipple concaves, it is considered to be inverted. Flat and/or inverted nipples will never become erect when stimulated or when cold. If you just have small nipples, you should not have a problem getting your baby to latch on.
Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" in connection with flat or inverted nipples:
Gently draws out nipple for easier latch-on...
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