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Breastfeeding with Inverted or Flat Nipples

Not being able to breastfeed with inverted or flat nipples is an old wives’ tale that is completely inaccurate. It’s always possible to breastfeed, no matter what kind of nipples you have. Inverted or flat nipples may make latching more difficult, so here’s what you need to know.

Nipple Types

There are three main types of nipples, and all are completely normal. Protruding means the nipple does not stick out from the areola unless cold or aroused. Flat means the nipple lays flat either all the time or only occasionally protrudes when cold or aroused. Inverted means the nipple is pulled into the breast tissue and either never sticks out, rarely sticks out, or sinks in deeper when cold or aroused.

Tips and Tricks

Nipple Shields

Nipple shields are products that are used during breast feedings. They have a small opening at the tip of the nipple that allows milk to flow from your breast, through the shield, and to the baby. Babies may have an easier time latching on to the shield than your nipple.

Breast Shells

Breast shells are products you wear in-between feedings, not during. A round bottom ring is placed over your areola, allowing your nipple to stick through a hole in the center. This puts pressure at the base of your nipple, helping your nipple stick out when it’s time to feed.

Breast Pump

Pumping before you feed your baby may help protrude your nipple due to the suction of the pump.

Nipple Everter

Nipple everters look similar to turkey-basters. They help suction your nipple out right before feeding.


Many moms find that breastfeeding their baby using the C-hold helps protrude the nipple. This method involves squeezing your breast as you feed.

Is your baby not latching properly? Have your baby’s latch evaluated by a pediatrician at Pediatrix.

Posted in Baby Care, Blog on June 11th, 2018