HOW YOUR NIPPLE SHAPE EF­FECTS BREAST­FEED­ING

Tai­lor how you breast­feed to the size and shape of your nip­ples and it'll all get much eas­ier.

Living and Loving - - CONTENTS -

Small or large, point­ing straight out or hang­ing east and west, in­verted or pretty proud to see you… nip­ples come in all shapes and sizes and your anatomy can af­fect how well your baby latches, as well as which breast­feed­ing po­si­tion will work best for you both. Given that both you and your baby are unique, it makes sense that there is no one-size-fits-all so­lu­tion when it comes to breast­feed­ing. “Think of breast­feed­ing as a two-piece puz­zle po­si­tion and a text­book latch.” Sound fa­mil­iar? Then let’s nip those prob­lems in the bud right now.

“What­ever the unique anatom­i­cal fit of those puz­zle pieces, there is al­ways a way to en­sure your baby gets your milk,” prom­ises Geral­dine. So don’t worry if your nip­ples are small or ex­tra-large. “Nip­ples come in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes,” says Geral­dine “and there is no right or wrong. It’s all about how you and your baby fit to­gether.”

IF YOUR NIPPLE LOOKS TOO BIG…

“If you can see your baby is not go­ing to be able to scoop up a lot of are­ola close to his lower lip, make it eas­ier by pinch­ing your breast into a wedge shape,” sug­gests Geral­dine. “Shape your breast in line with his smile. So, if your baby is feed­ing across your lap, your thumb and in­dex fin­ger will be on the right and left sides of your nipple in a ‘V’ shape at roughly 3.00 and

9.00 on a clock, well out of the way of his mouth.”Be care­ful you don’t put your thumb and in­dex fingers in a “C” if you’re cradling him across your lap, as this shapes your breast per­pen­dic­u­lar to his smile and makes it im­pos­si­ble for him to latch on.

IF YOUR NIP­PLES

ARE POINTY…

“If your nip­ples are av­er­age in length, your baby will be able to scoop up more breast or are­ola when latch­ing,” says Geral­dine. “The trick is to po­si­tion him nose-to-nipple at the start. This way, he’ll have an off-cen­tre latch, with his lower lip on your are­ola and his top lip next to your nipple.

This will get your nipple to the back of his mouth where it’s com­fort­able.”

IF YOUR NIP­PLES ARE LONG…

“If you have long nip­ples, fo­cus on the po­si­tion of your baby’s lower lip when you latch on. The closer your baby’s lower lip is to your nipple, the eas­ier it will be for him to latch on. This is dif­fer­ent to the stan­dard ad­vice but, as your nip­ples are longer and your baby’s mouth can only open so wide, you need to adapt your po­si­tion­ing,” ex­plains Geral­dine. “So, think about plac­ing his lower lip about half a fin­ger’s space away from the nipple base. And, as your baby gets big­ger, po­si­tion his lower lip slightly fur­ther away from the nipple base.”

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