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Bit embarrassing, but err... are my nipples big enough?!

(16 Posts)
TallulahBetty Sun 31-Jul-11 18:56:17

Hi all

currently 23+3 with first child. Planning to BF but keeping an open mind at this stage.

One thing I've always noticed but never really given much 'thought' to is that my nipples are quite small blush both width-wise and sticky-out wise. Compared to pictures say of topless women or people I have seen.

Is this a problem? Will I still be able to BF? Should they grow before/after birth? My areolas seem to be 'normal' size and my actual boobs have grown a few cup sizes since getting pg.

Am I worrying about nothing?!

faverolles Sun 31-Jul-11 18:57:58

Mine were like that but they grew in the last month or so. They are still smaller than average (if there is an average!) but I've never had any problems feeding.

SoupDragon Sun 31-Jul-11 19:02:13

Oh, once they've spent a while being sucked by your baby, you may never thnk "they're a bit small" again grin

EauRouge Sun 31-Jul-11 19:40:09

One saying I've heard that might help you out- it's called breastfeeding, not nipple feeding. The milk comes out of your nipples but your baby will need a big mouthful of breast so nipple size isn't important.

If you're worried about BF or want more information then go along to a BF group, pregnany women are always welcome. Here's a list of LLL groups. Kellymom is a great online source if you can't find any groups near you.

Albrecht Sun 31-Jul-11 19:47:57

Yes the baby sucks the whole nipple and a mouthful of breast into their mouth and towards the back of their throat so it kind of stretches out. See here for a cross sectional picture of what's going on.

I've heard its very rare for women to be unable to breastfeed due to nipple size or shape.

TittyBojangles Sun 31-Jul-11 19:57:34

Another small nippler here and currently bf a 9mo, so yes you can do it. Good point by EauRouge that the nipple itself isnt really important as its more the boob that goes in the mouth iyswim.

TittyBojangles Sun 31-Jul-11 19:58:47

Oh and second the idea of going to a bf group whilst pregnant, theres nothing as helpful to bf as watching others do it, and you may well make some good friends there. Will also take the stress out of going ot a new place where you dont know anyone when your LO arrives.

TallulahBetty Sun 31-Jul-11 20:02:39

Thanks for all responses. Will deffo look into BF support groups etc and look at the websites mentioned.

Albrecht, bit concerned - my nipple is nowhere near that size. Literally not even a quarter of the size of the nipple in that pic!!!

Pippaandpolly Sun 31-Jul-11 20:11:39

I have exactly the opposite worry OP-giant boobs (G cups) = giant nipples...areolas are a good 7cm across. If the baby's supposed to get all that in her mouth I really pity her. (And worry about suffocating her when I'm feeling particularly unconfident!) Keep telling myself women come in all shapes and sizes and babies have been breastfed for thousands of years...

Nagini Sun 31-Jul-11 20:16:02

Mine are little, and BF two babies just fine.

size doesn't matter grin

BertieBotts Sun 31-Jul-11 20:19:36

My areolas are about half a centimetre of the palest, barely visible pink surrounding my nipples. The nipples themselves always looked like men's nipples - tiny - but they are now bigger. Have been breastfeeding DS just fine for the last 2 years, 10 months!

That diagram shows the mechanics but the breast illustration is inaccurate IMO. However your nipples will stretch quite a bit while the baby is actually sucking, even if it seems there isn't the physical skin there to stretch at the moment, there will be.

TallulahBetty Sun 31-Jul-11 20:24:58

Pippaandpolly I'm a 36F so mine aren't exactly small! Areolas are pretty big too, just teeny nips grin

Thanks again for replies.

TruthSweet Sun 31-Jul-11 20:26:41

Tallulah - what you think is the nipple is in fact the nipple and a load of breast tissue (what's behind the areola). It is not just the nipple, I promise!

In order for a baby to breast feed they have to get a large mouthful of breast (which must include the nipple or no matter how hard they suck they won't get any milk out!) and the baby uses it's tongue to compress the breast tissue against the roof of their mouth in a wave motion which 'milks' the breast. The wave motion is happening as they are suckling too, so the vacuum from the suckling helps move the milk as well.

FWIW I have tiny nipples too, Medela and Ardo (pump manufacturers) make sized breast pump shields (the bit your nipples go in) and even the smallest ones are miles too big for me. I have been bfing for nearly 5.5y (yes years) with 3 children and my nipples haven't changed size they are just a bit more prominent than they were pre-children (they were totally flat to start with).

Don't worry, it should all work out in the end and the more research you do and RL bfing you see (bfing support groups are fantastic for seeing lots of babies latch on) so ask questions, no matter how daft you think they may be as you certainly won't be alone in asking them wink.

Albrecht Sun 31-Jul-11 20:27:10

Fair enough BertieBotts I couldn't find a picture on any of the usually bf websites, was just trying to find something that shows the sucking down the throat business.

OP, mine don't look like that normally either! wink

Mollcat Sun 31-Jul-11 20:31:41

My nipples are quite flat-ish and I wondered the same thing, though I didn't really think mine were that flat until I went to breastfeeding groups and got nipple envy. Your baby will pull them out.

As the extremely experienced lactation consultant I'm seeing (not because of flat nipples, I should add!) put it, babies will have a pretty good go at latching onto your face given half a chance. They just go for any bit of bare skin they can find and shovel in as much as they need of the breast/cheek/man-boob so please don't worry too much!

MilesFlora Mon 01-Aug-11 12:19:31

Mine were small - I wondered where the milk would come out of! But it came out no hassles. Good luck to you.

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