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Flat or Inverted Nipples


baby lying on with head turned



If your nipples are flat or inverted, breastfeeding may be a little more challenging.  

Don't worry. Most babies will learn to latch on anyway.

Flat nipples don't stick out when they're stimulated by touch or cold. Inverted nipples sink into the breast - either all the time or when they're pinched.

If you're concerned about flat or inverted nipples, try these tips:

  • After birth, put your baby to the breast. Some babies will pull the nipple out with their sucking movements. Other babies will need time to learn to latch on.
  • Gently roll the nipple with your fingers before feeding and use a breast pump to help stretch the nipple tissue. While babies are learning to latch, it may be helpful to use a cup or spoon rather than a bottle to give colostrum.

The most important thing to do is create skin-to-skin contact after the baby is born. Start pumping and expressing your milk if the baby has difficulty latching. You and your baby can breastfeed - it just might take a bit more time.

Flat or Inverted Nipples During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it may help to get used to handling your breasts, just as you would when performing a breast self-exam. Some women with flat or inverted nipples have good results from gently rolling the nipples out with their fingers.

Resources & Links: 
HealthLink BC: Successful Breastfeeding 
HealthLink BC: Breast-Feeding With Inverted Nipples

Last Updated: August 11, 2013