It is a good idea to know your nipple shape before starting to breastfeed. Compare yourself to these examples. Gently squeeze at the edge of the areola to see how your nipples react. There are three basic shapes.
These normally shaped nipples are easy for most babies to latch-on to.
The nipple is erect at rest or becomes erect when it is stimulated or the mother is chilled. If you gently squeeze at the edge of this nipple it remains everted.
These nipples can be difficult for an infant to attach to. They are flat and remains flat even when stimulated.
Occasionally lactation consultants recommend the use of breast shells prior to the baby’s birth. Regularly gently rolling and pulling the nipple it may help it become more erect. Do not wear breast shells or pull your nipples if you are at risk for preterm delivery.
The use of a breast pump just before feedings will help the nipples become more erect.
Check with your lactation consultant or knowledgeable health care provider to determine solutions that will work best for your situation.
These nipples actually retract at rest or when stimulated. Try gently squeezing at the edge of the areola. Usually these nipples remain inverted.
Occasionally lactation consultants recommend the use of breast shells prior to the baby’s birth.
They may suggest a breast pump just before feeding the baby to pull these nipples out for the baby. Check with your lactation consultant or knowledgeable health care provider to determine which solution will be best for your situation.