Breastfeeding With Inverted Nipples

Topic Overview

Inverted nipples fold inward instead of pointing out. Most women with inverted nipples will still be able to breastfeed. If the baby is having a hard time latching on to the breast, ask your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant for help.

To find out whether you have flat or inverted nipples:

  1. Place your thumb and forefinger on the edges of the areola (dark area around the nipple) just behind the nipple.
  2. Squeeze the tissue gently.
  3. If the nipple is flat or inverted, it will flatten or retract into the breast instead of pointing out.

Special techniques and breast shells sometimes are recommended to prepare inverted nipples for breastfeeding. But how well they work is questionable. Inverted nipples may naturally become more erect after the birth of your baby. Your health professional or a lactation consultant is usually able to help you and your baby start breastfeeding if your nipples stay inverted. In some cases, he or she may recommend using a nipple shield.

Regardless of whether you plan to breastfeed, call your health professional if you notice that your nipples have changed from looking erect to being inverted.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: May 29, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Health Library