inverted or flat nipples
A pregnant woman may discover that she has flat or inverted
nipples. Inverted nipples are caused by adhesions which hold
the nipple back toward the chest wall. When baby tries to
grasp the nipple during a feeding, the nipple may pull away
instead of protruding into his mouth. A baby can learn to
effectively milk the breast without protruding nipples;
however many babies become frustrated by this situation.
It is ideal to check for inverted nipples during the second
trimester of pregnancy because they may be able to be
corrected before the baby arrives. A simple pinch test
will indicate if the mother has inverted or flat nipples.
Grasp the nipple about one inch behind the base (where the
nipple joins the areola) with the forefinger and the thumb.
Press fingers together several times around the nipple base.
If the nipple protrudes easily while pinching, the nipple
should not require any preparation for breastfeeding.
If the nipple appears to be inverted but protrudes during
the test, no prenatal preparation is necessary.
If the nipple appears to protrude but goes back in when
pinched, it is inverted and will benefit from prenatal
If the nipple appears inverted and remains inverted during
compression, prenatal treatment is indicated.
Occasionally the nipple will appear to be flat or only
slightly inverted and responds to stimulation as an inverted
nipple. Prenatal treatment is recommended.
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