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Do you think breastfeeding is harder with flat nipples?

(43 Posts)
CocoDeMoll Mon 13-Nov-17 20:28:30

Waiting forever at a midwife appointment today and saw on the video playing on a loop in the waiting room. It said flat nipples doesn't matter with breastfeeding because baby's breast feed and don't nipple feed. I was very lucky to have a baby last time that just got on and fed and my nipples are pointy. Two of my friends I met at baby group had a horrible time for months and one had to give up. Both said flat nipples were the problem. It makes me think it is a problem that should be acknowledged but anyth

CocoDeMoll Mon 13-Nov-17 20:29:12

...any promotion of breastfeeding says it's not a problem.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-Nov-17 20:30:11

I'm a midwife. Its not a myth. Harder for most, occasionally not an issue.

CocoDeMoll Mon 13-Nov-17 20:39:06

Thats interesting. I'm reading all the free baby mags and bits I got with booking and the baby websites I signed with and it all says it shouldn't be an issue. Midwives have the real knowledge though because you live it! grin

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-Nov-17 20:54:58

I guess the literature doesn't want women to feel like giving up/not bothering before they start? But then it's not fair on these women if they struggle more than most and don't understand why......though I'd have thought most midwives helping them would explain the issue and some of the work arounds to try and combat it.

demirose87 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:58:39

My nipples aren't quite flat but are only slightly pointy, unless erect and I struggled to breastfeed my first baby to the point where he wasn't getting anything at all and my boobs were black and blue from not latching properly. I gave up and formula fed and didn't even try with my next three babies as I knew I couldn't do it.

thepatchworkcat Mon 13-Nov-17 21:01:28

I think it’s a problem. Terrible time feeding DS. He did have a tongue tie but that was fixed after a week. We never seemed to be very good and latching on even after that and I’m sure my flat nipples weren’t helping, despite, as you say, all the info/midwives telling me it shouldn’t make a difference.

Misspilly88 Mon 13-Nov-17 21:02:10

I am SO cross that they keep saying this. I'm one of those people that would rather be prepared for the worst case scenario. Both my babies couldn't latch. First one had a tt divided, second didn't have a tt. Both could sort of latch on to one side where it's a bit more prominent but neither could latch on the flat side. I vividly remember sobbing saying 'how can he latch, there's nothing there to aim for?'. I'm sure it's entirely possible for most people with flat nipples but I'm also certain it must be more difficult in most cases.

chocolateorangeowls Mon 13-Nov-17 21:02:19

I have flat nipples and really struggled. I used nipple shields and they helped loads! I fed my baby using them until they were 6 months old.

FleurWeasley Mon 13-Nov-17 21:04:58

Another flattie who had loads of issues!

Wingingit321 Mon 13-Nov-17 21:12:10

Also have flat nipple. Loads of issues feeding first. Used nipple shields, lots of pain, cracked bleeding nipple ect. Eventually we got the hang of it and weaned off shields but took 6 weeks but then feeding was fine. Second time round didn’t have any issues but I guess I knew what I was doing

OlennasWimple Mon 13-Nov-17 21:14:56

Nipple shields are excellent for getting feeding established with flatter nipples

Wowzel Mon 13-Nov-17 21:16:00

I never managed to breastfeed with flat nipples, nipple shields didn't work either.

If I have any more children I don't know if I will bother even trying, I was so upset by it.

Ttbb Mon 13-Nov-17 21:18:27

Mind got pointier as o breastfed more.

Lilonetwothree Mon 13-Nov-17 21:36:55

I'm like ttbb my flat/inverted nipples (that only went pointy very rarely) became more pointy the longer I breastfed.

I struggled and had a lot of pain in the first 2 weeks. It was more painful than my C-section scar. I would kick out in pain and cry in the first few minutes of feeding. If it carried on longer I would have given up for sure.

Nipple shield helped when my baby refused to feed. I stopped using them at about 3-4 weeks as my nipples then became pointy and everything just clicked.

CocoDeMoll Mon 13-Nov-17 22:04:54

You all confirmed what I thought. I really sympathise. It was really painful to start with and I think if she'd struggled to latch on as well as painful feeding I would have given up. It seems like so much of breastfeeding is down to luck. I'm lucky to not have flat nipples but unlucky to have tongue tie in the family.

hollowtree Mon 13-Nov-17 22:06:59

Mine are quite flat. I've had the most emotionally and physically draining struggle trying to breastfeed =( I did wonder if there was a correlation. Looks like there is! Thanks for this post

mybreastsarentbest Wed 15-Nov-17 21:37:41

It has definitely made it harder for me.

FleurWeasley Thu 16-Nov-17 19:56:32

Does anyone have any tips to share? I found the lansinoh latch assist helpful.

mybreastsarentbest Thu 16-Nov-17 20:44:41

We definitely don’t have it sorted but things are improving, here are a few things that helped:

Nipple shields helped us get things going.

A technique called reverse pressure softening helps a lot.

And I find he latches more easily when I sit him on my knee, you can look up the koala position.

thepatchworkcat Thu 16-Nov-17 20:55:14

FleurWeasley does it hurt?! Watched the video on the latch assist website and it was making me wince slightly!

FleurWeasley Fri 17-Nov-17 21:01:27

It didn’t hurt me at all? But my nipples never got sore/cracked from breastfeeding- it was about the same as a breast pump.

mummabubs Sun 19-Nov-17 21:53:33

I have flat nipples and it's definitely harder. DS is 4 weeks old and I'm currently having to express most feeds as it's so painful when he latches on, even on latches that look good from the outside according to lactation staff. So frustrating to have to spend so much of my time a day pumping but it's too painful to attempt feeding at the moment. Staff said my flat nipples are definitely part of the difficulties we're experiencing. Sometimes DS gets really frustrated trying to pull my nipple out and even using a pump or latch assist to pull my nipple out doesn't seem to help sad

FleurWeasley Mon 20-Nov-17 10:38:21

Oh mummabubs, I'm so sorry! Have you seen a lactation consultant? Sometimes the midwives etc think that a latch is good but a proper consultant can sort it out. Some simple positioning stuff really helped me. And also, seeing a cranial osteopath helped him to latch better too.

(I know these are both expensive options! I would go for the consultant first if money is tight and look at the price of formula to help you stomach the cost!)

pemberleypearl Mon 20-Nov-17 10:44:58

For me it was a big part of the reason why I wasn't successful and gave up. If I did have another child I don't think I would even try.

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