Inverted and Flat Nipple Treatments
Have inverted nipples or flat nipples been a problem in the
past to nursing a baby? Maybe it is only a cosmetic concern; either way, you
will find help here!!!
About 5-8% of the population have inverted nipples and men can be just as
affected as women. Flat nipples are even more common.
It is best for treatment to start at puberty, but individuals
of any age can find help for this delicate problem. Please let me know prior
to purchasing if this is for an adolescent. There are special precautions
needed and I prefer to discuss them personally with the parent.
Physicians do not know about many of the treatments available, nor do they
discuss the inversion with their clients. To them, it is a variation of normal
and since they have very little information to share, it is ignored. They may
question if the inversion is congenital verses something that has recently
occurred. If it is congenital, they will usually not be concerned. It would be great if all obstetricians did thorough exams of
nipples on all their patients because regardless of age, many would benefit
How do you determine if you have flat or inverted
It will be obvious on many people just by looking at the nipple....if it
doesn't protrude or has blended into the areola, it would be considered
flat, if it is hid inside where a hole is where the nipple should be, then it would be considered
flat or inverted.
Even if your nipples look normal, you could still have nipples that will
retract when stimulated, so do this test to determine if your nipples are
inverted or flat: place your thumb and index finger on the areola and
compress. If the nipple retracts or inverts into the breast, then treatment
may be needed before breastfeeding and it is best to start treatment before
pregnancy or early in pregnancy since correction can take some time.
Babies are suppose to breastfeed, not nipple- feed, so some women will have
no difficulty nursing a baby with flat or inverted nipples. Many times after
nursing, the nipples will be corrected from the baby nursing, especially if
the mother nurses for a long period of time. Most women will have difficulty,
so early treatment is recommended. If treatment has not started before
pregnancy, then it should be started ASAP.
What treatments are available for flat or inverted
- Cosmetic surgery- This option
is expensive, can impair the ability to breastfeed and is often not
permanent. I've had contacts with many people where the surgery didn't
last...some as soon as two months post op; and others within the first year
had their nipples invert again.
This is the most aggressive treatment available for inverted or flat
nipples and the only treatment designed for
permanent correction besides surgery with less expense and without
invasion. The Avent Niplette is usually recommended by Plastic surgeons
before they would consider doing surgery. They have been used my men
and women with great success for correcting cosmetically and for
breastfeeding purposes. They can help minimize painful nursing if worn
during pregnancy. They can also increase the likelihood of a successful
surgery if worn after the healing process from cosmetic surgery for
correcting inverted nipples. (If used after surgery, this must be approved
by your plastic surgeon.) The Niplette uses gentle suction to pull the
nipple into a small plastic thimble-like cup and is worn this way for at
least eight hours at a time. Please
click here to order the Avent Niplette.
More Information on the Avent Niplette
Helpful Suggestions for Using the Avent Niplette
Instructions on use of the Avent Niplette
- Breastpumps -
This can be used before trying to latch the baby on to the breast, but many
times, the nipple will invert so quickly, it takes a while before it will
stay out well and stretch the tissue. (Not as effective as wearing the
Niplette during or before pregnancy, or wearing the Niplette before latch
Evert-It Nipple Enhancer-
This consist of a syringe with a soft, flexible tip made of silicone.
Suction is used to help the nipple protrude to facilitate latch on. This
device was marketed after nurses and lactation consultants made a similar
device from a 12cc syringe. This device is for short term use to use before
latching a baby on the breast. It can't be used for a permanent solution.
These are cups worn inside the bra over the breast that have a small hole in
the center to allow the nipple to protrude through, thus helping to stretch
underlying tissue and to draw out the nipple. How effective is this? Studies
have shown no benefit and my personal experience is that is has helped, but
only for a very few.
Consist of exercises using your thumbs that attempt to loosen adhesions, but
no research proves this to be effective.
This is a product made by Lansinoh that can help draw
out the nipple for a moment before latching the baby on the breast. It does
not keep constant suction, so it is not useful for a permanent solution.
- This device is also a great treatment for inverted nipples, and also works much better for flat nipples. While it can't provide as
much suction as the Niplette, it is also an awesome product and is available
directly from us.