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Today in Health & Wellness
GENDER CONCERNS

Breastfeeding Blues 2

"Flat or inverted nipples and baby’s teething"
By: Megg Murff TrinidadBreastfeeding Blues 2

Flat or inverted nipples can cause a mom to have sore nipples. Flat nipples, however, should not deter mothers from breastfeeding. According to La Leche League International, “babies breastfeed, not nipplefeed. As long as baby can take a good portion of the breast into his mouth, most types of flat or inverted nipples will not cause problems with breastfeeding.” Again, Mom should work on latching and positioning her baby correctly when breastfeeding. 

Flat or inverted nipples can be drawn out by wearing breast shells during pregnancy. Once the baby is born, Mom may use a breast pump to draw out the inverted nipple immediately before nursing her baby. 

When moms do not receive the right information or support, they sometimes stop breastfeeding their babies once the babies cut their first tooth. Truth: Breastfeeding can go on even when a baby has teeth already! La Leche League International explains, “It is important to understand that when a baby is latched onto the breast correctly, his lips are flanged and his gums land far back on the areola. His bottom teeth are covered by his tongue and do not come in contact with the mother’s areola at all. For this reason, a baby who is latched on correctly and actively nursing cannot bite.” 

When Mom starts to get hurt when her teething baby latches on, she can unlatch him by breaking the suction of the baby’s mouth with her finger. (Don’t pull the baby away as that will pull the nipple and cause pain!) Then, she can guide her baby to latch properly again. 

Usually, the sore nipples will occur before the new tooth erupts. A few days before a tooth comes out, a baby is usually fussy, may want to nurse more, and may use his mom’s nipple to soothe his sore gums. If the sore nipples are caused by teething, Mom can give her baby some relief by letting him chew on a cold teething toy.
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