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BF and flat nipples - or are they?

(12 Posts)
MuddyWellyNelly Fri 22-May-15 12:24:54

TMI alert...

This is a bit of a weird time to ask the question as I'm still only 30+3. But we've started doing BF at ante-natal etc and it's dawned on me that I have teenage boobs blush. All the women on the DVDs have grown-up, pencil-rubber-like nipples. Mine are often completely flat and don't seem to come out when squeezed. However, they do come out to be actual (if small) nipples when cold etc. Google tells me it should be either both or neither. So I'm not even sure if they are officially flat nipples.

However, I've got myself into a panic that I'm never going to be able to breastfeed. I know this worry is being magnified because we spent four years TTC and ended up using donor egg, so I feel ridiculously tearful at my body proving itself to be useless again. I'm worried I'll never get a good latch and have to FF. I'm not normally this much of a worrier but infertility doesn't do much for your trust in your body.

Anyway, does anyone have similar experience and found either that it's been ok, or that aids such as latch assist or nipple formers have helped; or alternatively that it's just been too tricky? I know I can't be sure until I try, but I'm glad that this has occurred to me now, it honestly had never crossed my mind before. I will feel better once I know in advance that I might have to adjust my plans somewhat, rather than being blindsided at my hormonal exhausted worst.

MrsHathaway Fri 22-May-15 12:40:25

ME! Those nipples that look like a raspberry on a pannacotta are nothing like mine but at breastfeeding group everyone else had them.

A latch assist (although I called it a nipple sucker) was useful in the first days with DC2*, but once I was feeding regularly it didn't really go back to flat - I don't think I used them once we were home from hospital two days later. With DC3 it was even less than that, I think.

* they weren't available with DC1. If they had been, we might have avoided a lot of faff and damaged tissue!

It was only when I wasn't bf at all between babies that my nipple gradually returned to normal: that is, normal for me.

The very good news is that you've cottoned on at 30+, rather than several months after the birth of your pfb, as I did blush

I would definitely look at a nipple sucker - I think mine was about £2 from one of the cheapy shops, so don't worry about needing a super expensive one. You can also use a breast pump.

How long did I manage to bf for? Well, even with the troubles I had at the start with DC1 we bf for over two years, and I'm about to celebrate my six- year bf milestone over three DC in total. Flat nipples absolutely don't have to be a bar to good bf.

It's worth planning in advance though - bf a newborn with flat nipples sort of means making a hamburger with your breast and getting as much of it into the baby's mouth as possible.

Good luck.

MuddyWellyNelly Fri 22-May-15 13:34:07

Haha, yes Raspberry on a pannacotta is brilliant. I just look like someone smeared a bit of Jam on the top!

That's really good to know that you managed ok (more than ok -wow!) despite this. I think I'll get the nipple sucker of some variety so that I have it from the get-go. Meanwhile I shall practice making hamburgers. Does this mean just sort of squishing it down as you would the bun in a hamburger? Good also to read that you didn't have to use the equipment on an ongoing basis as I can't imagine it makes public BF that easy.

Thanks, I feel much reassured already smile.

WishUponAStar88 Fri 22-May-15 13:45:34

Mine also sound much as you describe ... I have had no problems breastfeeding my dd and at nearly 8 months is still breastfeeding well too bloody well as she won't take a bottle but that's another story

MuddyWellyNelly Fri 22-May-15 22:09:00

Wish, that's good to read, thank you. I know BF can be very hard for anyone at first, but I hadn't factored in anatomical challenges! Think I need to just have the confidence that it CAN work so I don't get upset before I even start. I have this dramatic notion that my lovely newborn will be on my chest for skin to skin and the MWs will be telling me not to bother wasting my time with those boobs....

TheLastPickleInTheJar Sat 23-May-15 20:44:21

Mine are as you describe and they fed two dc until they were two and are currently feeding dc3 smile

sunshineandshowers Sat 23-May-15 20:51:11

How about finding a lactation consultant. I had one (!) flat nipple and really needed help to get it out. The lc was brilliant. Gave me lots of confidence too. The thing with breastfeeding is to get as much help as possible and as early as possible. Well done for being on it!

Jenijena Sat 23-May-15 20:53:43

I had flat nipples (not so much now). Definitely invest in a few nipple shields (get 2-3 varieties, I found only one sort worked well for us); they're not much ££ and if you're struggling after birth they could help massively. I had major problems feeding initially, but fed for a year til a nursing strike ended it...

Another thing is to take note now about where/when local breast feeding support is. If you're struggling post natally , they're quite used to people walking in needing help.

SASASI Sat 23-May-15 22:06:26

Nipple shields def brought mine out at beginning & theyve kinda stayed out since.

I found mothercare own brand brilliant, Medela are popular but they were much too big for DS newborn mouth.

I found the lanisoh latch assist didn't even bring mine out for long enough for DS to latch on! Mine were / are naturally maybe very flat lol

Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy & gd luck!

FWIW I found mumsnet much more useful than my local BF group but I still go every wk for the friendships & breakfast. Lol

Chatty987 Sun 24-May-15 01:55:46

I used the lansinoh nipple everter in first few days which I found really helpful in getting ds to latch on . I picked one up in boots. I too had flat nipples. Not any more though as (near constant) bf has cured that! The bf counsellor I saw said you font need nipples to breastfeed (ie if flat it doesn't matter) but I found it difficult in establishing the latch without so the everter definitely helped me. Phase out once you've got hang though.

MuddyWellyNelly Sun 24-May-15 22:23:37

Thanks everyone. Busy day so haven't had a chance to catch up. Will post again tomorrow when I can read thread properly smile

Letmeeatcakecakecake Mon 25-May-15 07:07:03

Haha yup! One of mine even only comes out at one side and half stays in!

I'm currently EBF my 5 week old DC2 and I EBF my DC1 for 7 months but I have only ever been able to do so using nipple shields!

You can get things to help PPP your nips out and a sucky thing that is supposed to help (mine go back to flat pretty much instantly!)

Don't get too hung up about using nipple shields (if you end up having to) ... To me the most important thing is that baby gets breast milk... So what if there's a shield over my nip!

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