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Anyone with flat nipples manage to breastfeed
I need some positive stories

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20 replies to this topic

#1 Natttmumm

Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

I didn't end up BF my first 2 children as I had flat nipples and it didn't work out. I am pregnant with number 3 and really want to make sure I get the right advice and stick it out.
I'm planning to buy a good pump - can anyone share their story and let me know how they managed with flat nipples. I will have a 3 and 5 yr old at the time number 3 arrives so I can't focus on feeding all day but I really want it to work out.

#2 PreachersWife

Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:57 PM

After a horrendous time in hospital with DD1 and very flat nipples, I spent a day with an excellent LC who helped me attach her using shields. I fed her for six months, DS for fourteen and I'm currently feeding DD2 who is almost five months with no plans to stop! I've used the shields all the way, tried to get off them a few weeks ago with DD2, but after a hellish two weeks, shredded nipples and a big discussion with the LC (I love that wonderful woman!) we're back on and feeding well!

I recommend trying to see the LC at the hospital, tell the about your history and see what they say!

#3 becstar101

Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

I was told I had 'flattish' nipples, and had lots of problems trying to feed dd. I ended up feeding with shields until she was 14 months. When ds was born, I had the shields in my labour bag, but he attached no problems and again fed to 14 months. The midwife said my daughter had pulled out the nipple and made it easier for him to attach.

With dd I expressed after each feed for round 8 weeks, and gave her a top up of ebm after each feed to make sure she was getting enough.

#4 zogee

Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:14 PM

I found it got much easier when bub grew a little bit and worked out how to latch properly (around 5-6 weeks). I ended up with cracked nipples and mastitis once but am still feeding ds now. original.gif What worked for me was being very careful about attachment in the early days, resting one boob completely for 48 hrs (pumped instead of bf) to allow the nipple to scab properly and heal and I used hydrogel discs and lansinoh. I never had an issue with nipple confusion etc thankfully.
I also saw the LC as an outpatient when ds was about a week old before I started bf from my bad side again so she could check his attachment.
Compared to my horrid experience with dd things have gone much better than I had hoped. For me the key was allowing my cracked nipple to heal properly and use EBM in the meantime. It may not work for everyone but I am certain it stopped me getting repeated bouts of mastitis like last time.
Good luck!!!

#5 Lokum

Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

Flat nipples here. Fed with shields for 7 months, and without shields for a further 8 months.

It was tough to get going, and I did need to express and give EBM for a few weeks to get it started, but it was fine. I did see a couple of LCs, but really it was persistence at home with the shields (and support from our MCHN) which made the difference.

#6 mrs*a

Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:20 PM

I highly recommend shields. I fed my son for 20 months, and my daughter is still feeding well at nearly 13 months.

Some LC's will warn you about them inhibiting milk supply, but I've never had any problems with Avent or Tommee Tippee shields.

The ABA forum has some good advice too.

Good luck original.gif

#7 Lainskii

Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:20 PM

One of mine is flat and I BF DD with a nipple shield for 12 months.
DS feeds on it fine this time.

As a PP suggested, go and see a lactation consultant to help you out whilst in hospital.

#8 lucky 2

Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

Some LC's will warn you about them inhibiting milk supply

It depends on how baby feeds from the shield.
If the baby attaches well and removes milk well and is thriving, then  milk supply will be perfect.
Sometimes a shield doesn't lead to an ideal latch and if this is the case then baby could underfeed, breasts can become congested and milk supply can diminish as a result.

#9 Copper and May

Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

I think you can still buy something like I had - they were plastic shield thingys which I wore inside my bra in the last trimester and they gently brought out my inverted nipple. I wore them every day and they did the job, so see if you can find something like this, because they really do work.

#10 Sezabear

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

I have flat nipples and only managed to BF my first baby for 4 weeks. I was using the nipple shields in hospital (think they are medela) and thought we had it all worked out. Well my supply only stayed up if I pumped after each nursing session and when I didn't my supply dropped right off.

LC kept telling me that to make more milk, you have to remove it. But what they don't tell you is that you make milk NOT because it is simply removed, but because of the NIPPLE STIMULATION that happens durin the removal. So when I was using the nipple shields the sensation was decreased and that means the signals were'nt being sent to by brain > Boobs to produce more milk.

So just be warned that the shields are meant for "temporary" use and that if in doubt you should pump after each feed with the sheild.

I am currently 6 weeks pregnant with bub#2 and looking forward to using all my knowledge this time around towards successful nursing original.gif

Good luck xx

#11 clm1982

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

My nipples are fairly flat and the best advise i was given was the feed the boob in like you would a hamburger i did this and had no issues. Goodluck OP.

#12 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

QUOTE (Winterdanceparty @ 03/11/2012, 07:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you can still buy something like I had - they were plastic shield thingys which I wore inside my bra in the last trimester and they gently brought out my inverted nipple. I wore them every day and they did the job, so see if you can find something like this, because they really do work.

Medela sells these. I think they are called nipple drawers or something like that. I have seen them on their website.

#13 Bernard Woolley

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

I have flattish nipples. We used Avent shields until DD was 10 weeks and then I made an impulsive decision to try without them and we haven't looked back.

I think they had multiple benefits:
- DD has a very small mouth, so they kept us going while she got a bit bigger.
- DD could break the latch and otherwise faff around over the course of a long feed without me feeling constantly anxious about whether she was going to shred my nipples. Lower anxiety was good for both of us, obviously.
- I had a fairly fast let-down, so they acted as a spacer. As she's gotten bigger she's more able to manage that, and I'm less freaked out at the prospect of causing her to choke rolleyes.gif . Again, less anxiety was good all round.
- And the biggest benefit: 10 weeks of sucking through the shield apparently got things to the point where DD has something to latch onto.

I had 7 or 8 shields in rotation and that was really helpful too - I could give them all a proper cleaning once a day, rather than having to get that done after every feed.

#14 Eirinn

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

Do they pop out in the cold OP? I had inverted nipples that would pop out with stimulation. I had no troubles breastfeeding. I never used shields or did anything during pregnancy. After a few weeks of breastfeeding, the baby had pulled my nipples permanently out. I fed her for 15 months, and DD2 for 22 months.

#15 jantastic

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:12 PM

I used shields and expressing with an electric double pump. I successfully breastfed for 13 months, and we stopped on our own terms :-)

#16 Nobody Cool

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:23 PM


Edited by AryaStar, 04 February 2013 - 05:59 PM.

#17 findingada

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

I am flat too and I breasfed my twins for 12 months and my third for 10 months.  I refused shields after seeing another prem mum with a bub in the crib near my boys have her milk dry up within a week after starting to use them (bub was feeding fine but she was in pain so a LC suggested them). I do know some women who have fed for a long time using shields for short periods of time but they all seemed to have established, abundant supply and strong flow.

Lansinoh helped me immensely and also shaping my nipples to make them fit into their mouths seemed to help (which I also had to do when my full-term third was born). I just gently pressed my nipple between my thumb and pointer finger (very gently because it can cause problems with flow but since my flow was very strong, it actually helped solve 2 problems).

My twins were in hospital for 5 weeks so initially they were fed EBM through a tube and it wasn't until 3 weeks later that they could attempt a proper breastfeed and even then they could only manage 1 a day. I think because I wasn't feeding constantly initially (only pumping), my nipples had time to adapt. I had a hospital grade pump to maintain supply though and kept pumping at 3 hour intervals day and night to keep the supply up until they were on the breast full time. The pumping also caused grazing and pain. I didn't need a pump for my third (well not until he abruptly booted me  at 10 months old) but I certainly used lashings of Lansinoh. I still had grazing and pain that took about 3 months before I was feeding him completely pain free.

I think pumping is not as good at maintaining supply as putting bub to breast. I have "pump friendly boobs" but I know a few women who have a huge supply but can't very much out of a hospital grade pump. If you do plan to pump, hire the hospital grade ones. Double pumps (pumping both boobs at the same time) worked best for me in terms of saving time and volume of milk expressed. I didn't need to pump with my third to manage the pain. It would have been too time consuming so I just managed with the pain. Lansinoh worked enough for me to get on with it. I also walked around home topless for the first few weeks after my third was born which I think helped the nipple healing process.

#18 BadCat

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

Yes.  I had no trouble after I figured out how to get the baby to latch on properly.

#19 Chazee

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:43 PM

My first breastfeeding experience failed miserably due to inverted nipples. sad.gif

When my second was born i used a Chicco Nipple Corrector to help pull the nipple out before feeding. I also ended up using shields as my nipples still got fairly damaged. We didn't use the shields for overly long before i attempted feeding without them and it all worked well. I was able to feed pain free from about 3 months. So took a while for everything to 'work' nicely, but well worth it in the end. She fed until 2.5 years. original.gif

Also, after 2.5 years of feeding DD2, my nipples became permanently corrected. I then went on to breastfeed baby #3 and #4 without any issues or pain. original.gif

#20 lucky 2

Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

But what they don't tell you is that you make milk NOT because it is simply removed, but because of the NIPPLE STIMULATION that happens durin the removal.

Although it is partially true for the early days after birth (both milk removal and nipple stimulation are important-they usually go together anyway), it is not true once the first 2 stages of milk production have been completed.
Both Lactogenesis 1 (production of colostrum in pregnancy) and Lactogenesis 2 (production of lots of milk after 30-40 hours after birth (ie milk coming in)) are hormonally controlled but once these two stages are complete (after the first week or so) the control of milk production switches to demand=supply, ie the more milk you take, the more milk you will make.
So when I was using the nipple shields the sensation was decreased and that means the signals were'nt being sent to by brain > Boobs to produce more milk.[/

Nipples shields will reduce milk production if the baby is not removing milk well from the breast (ie underfeeding), it isn't the reduced nipple stimulation that is lowering milk production, it would be the reduced milk removal. .
Nipple shield use is successful when the baby is removing milk in adequate amounts to maintain supply and normal growth.
If it were true that nipple stimulation and not milk removal controlled milk production then according to that theory no babies would thrive on exclusive bfing with a shield.
But many babies do!

#21 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:26 PM

Yeah I fed successfully with flat nipples - they weren't the problem - my kids have dodgy jaws and poor bites/latches. DS who doesn't have a malformed jaw to teh same extent fed successfully.

I used the football hold a lot in the early days to shovel breast into the mouth - that's the best tip I've got!

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