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Flat nipples and getting depressed as unable to feed newborn!

(19 Posts)
dumpads Sat 03-Sep-11 21:33:51

HELP, newborn DD born on Tuesday and I'm unable to breastfeed due to a flat nipple!! Stayed in hospital whereby lovely midwives were trying everything to help me but with no success. I have also bought an electric breastpump but it doesn't express much/if at all any, more milk! I've been advised that my milk supply etc is fine but am feeling very disheartened about the whole thing. Am now having to use top up, and although controversial, also tried nipple shield- again no joy. Am worried that all I will be feeding her now is formula, any advice would be much appreciated :-(



Zipitydooda Sat 03-Sep-11 22:31:50

Congratualation on your baby! Sorry you are having problems with feeding, its horrible when things are difficult

I had an issue with flat nipples with DS1. The hospital gave me a kind of syrine thing I used before feeding to draw the nipple out. I think you can buy something similar Like

I only had to use it for a very short while then nipples became easy to latch on. Now on baby number 3 and I could hang a bag on them!

I would be surprised if you could express much at his stage, its really very early days. With DS1 I could only ever manage 1oz, now I can get 6oz in 5 mins!

Best of luck!

Mollcat Sat 03-Sep-11 22:33:31

You could have a look at the articles on kellymom: flat nipples

Mollcat Sat 03-Sep-11 22:35:55

Sorry, bit abrupt as on hols!! Hope it works out for you. I had/have quite flat nipples and a v experienced IBCLC (lactation consultant) pointed out that your baby will try and latch on to your face given half a chance... Don't let people who are supposed to be helping you use flat nipples as a reason why BFing isn't working out. That's what everyone said to me and I ended up expressing and mixed feeding. Turned out the baby had tongue tie, nothing to do with my nipples.

They do apparently get a bit more pointy as you start using them - pumping helped me with that.

supadupapupascupa Sat 03-Sep-11 22:38:33

( watches with interest as failed with DS1 exactly the same and expressed for 13 works combined with a bit of nipple shield, and due DC2 in January! )

supadupapupascupa Sat 03-Sep-11 22:38:55

weeks not works!!!!!

thisisyesterday Sat 03-Sep-11 22:43:27

dumpads, google niplette

it;s a small suction device designed to draw out the nipple a little

if you press your nipple between thumb and forefinger does it depress or does it stick out? if it sticks out then do that before latching baby on.

i agree with previous poster though about tongue tie... that stopped ds1 and ds2 latching onto me properly and had nothing to do with my flat nipples!

have you spoken to a proper breastfeeding counsellor? what area are you in? someone may be able to recommend a counsellor or group you could go to?

congratulations on your dd btw smile

thehappyprince Sat 03-Sep-11 22:52:06

Congratulations! I had the same problem, I found it particularly dificult before my milk came in, did much better after that with help of nipple shields. Before that I tried to express but also used top ups as was having so much trouble.
I think I was lucky but would have given up sooner without fantastic support from local bf counsellors and family. I would second the niplette too - used it second time and it seemed to go fine.
Whatever way you end up feeding, your lovely baby will be fine of course.

Meglet Sat 03-Sep-11 22:58:00

I used to squeeze my nipple into a sort of flat point and post it into DD's mouth. That way she got a great big mouthful of breast and a good latch. We never managed to do it without me squishing my breast but it wasn't a great hassle doing it and worked for us.

Mibby Sat 03-Sep-11 23:11:08


We had exactly this and all i can say is persevere. It will get better. Use a suction latching thingy or nipple shields or try pumping for five min to draw it out before you latch the baby on. Even if you use top ups for a bit you can always drop them later but the more you do it the stretchier the tissue will get and the better the baby will get at feeding

Zipitydooda Sun 04-Sep-11 09:09:05

It really annoys me looking back that I wasn't prepared for this while pregnant. I went to BF workshop but it was a complete waste of time; holding plastic dolls to us over clothes like kids playing 'babies'! If only the leader had actually looked at nipples, breast size etc and helped us to anticipate issues and be prepared.

dumpads Sun 04-Sep-11 17:11:51

Thank you all so much for your kind advice, I'll try the nipplette and let you all know how I get on! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one with this. I've never had an issue with non erect nipples so it was a shock when I was advised that this was potentially preventing me from feeding DD.

Thanks all and I will let you knwo tomorrow how it goes!

'A happier' Dumpads!x

MigGril Sun 04-Sep-11 18:30:09

Flat nipple's shouldn't prevent you from BF, although it can make if quit difficult to get a good initial latch to start with. Baby actualy feed's of the breast not the nipple.

Some advice from a BF counciler would be a good idea, they will have come across this problem before and be able to help. If you don't have access to someone trained at the hospital then ring one of the help lines.

Badgerwife Sun 04-Sep-11 18:35:20

Dumpads Same problem for me. DD is my first baby and only 6 weeks old. I would recommend that as well as using the nipple shield you do try giving her the flat nipple without the shield from time to time even for a few seconds, as you need to toughen up the areola. Yes it might hurt like hell but it will be worth it when she eventually manages to latch.

I expressed from the flat for about a week when I couldn't cope at all in the early days but continued to try to feed her from that side, pinching the areola in a raised shape that she could grab and basically pushing her face right onto it. The midwives were shockingly forceful in pushing her head in, but she really didn't suffer and could still breathe somehow! And they all said the flat nipple should eventually not be a problem to breastfeeding, but it takes some practice from both baby and mum to get it right. It involved a lot of tears on both sides with DD getting a bit hysterical at times around the 2nd and 3rd week every time I tried, but then for reasons I cannot explain, she just "got the latch". Now at 6 weeks, the latching on that side doesn't hurt anymore, I don't need to do it any different to the other side, as the nipple has now raised enough that it is no longer a problem at all, presumably because she is eating from it regularly.

Once your baby has a bigger mouth, she will find it easier to do this.

dumpads Sun 04-Sep-11 21:01:19

Thanks both- I will try anything for my DD to be breastfed, so thanks for the advice/links and will call them tomorrow too! Thanks x

dumpads Fri 09-Sep-11 08:24:22

Hi all, as promised, an update. unfortunately, niplettes did not work so i've resolved to expressing....:-(, have been advised by midwives that this will be a better option - thanks for all your help anyway xx

thisisyesterday Fri 09-Sep-11 11:45:35

dumpads i think it would be worth seeing a qualified breastfeeding counsellor.

expressing isn't always an easy option as when your prolactin levels naturally fall at around 12 weeks you can find it hard to keep up.
you need to pump approx every 2-3 hours for as long as you want to breastfeed, and it can be very hard to mimic growth spurts.

obviously right now it's important to express to keep your supply up, and there are people who successfully express long-term, but it's certainly easier if you can feed direct from breast.

have you had a look to see if you have a local la leche league group or similar?

PhylisStein Fri 09-Sep-11 11:49:44

I had flat nipples and premature twins both with tongue tie! I gave up BFing after an exhausting and frustrating and upsetting first month! My boys were nine last week - don't beat yourself up too much if you have to give up feeding your baby breast milk. It really isn't the end of the world.

Cosmosis Fri 09-Sep-11 12:54:10

I second the advice to see a bfc, in person as well. Unfortunately midwives aren’t always the best source of help for bfing issues.

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