While breastfeeding, your baby’s mouth should surround your nipple and areola (both simultaneously) to ensure that milk is gently massaged but not forced by applying pressure on your breast.
Sometimes, when this positioning goes wrong, the shape of your breast will be a bit slanted after breastfeeding.
This condition is what we call lipstick shaped nipples.
But what is this condition by the way? How do you cure it? Let’s find out.
Do Lipstick Shaped Nipples Affect Your Baby’s Capability to Breastfeed?
Always keep in mind that no matter the shape of your nipple, a newborn child would still drink the milk without any hindrance.
So, the size and shape are not a major issue. However, it may be a bit difficult if your nipple is flat, but after the first two or three tries, you can quickly figure out the best position to help your child latch onto your breast the right way.
Some nipples are curved inwards while some are turned outwards.
But in both cases, your child won’t face any difficulties as long as he’s properly latched.
If your intuition tells you that there is something wrong, then there are a few ways you can follow to make it easier on your baby.
For example, you can lean back on a pillow so that you have shoulder support.
This will help your baby snuggle in the correct position, making breastfeeding less stressful.
Sometimes, not figuring out the correct latch can lead to lipstick shaped nipples.
This condition is not severe, but it can cause harmful effects on both you and your child over time.
Therefore, we recommend that you get the proper treatment before the case worsens.
How to Correct Lipstick Shaped Nipples
Even though a lipstick shaped nipple is not a serious condition, it might sometimes negatively affect both the child and the mother if not corrected soon.
To correct the problem, we recommend trying these out:
1. Make sure your baby’s mouth is wide open (unlatch in case of discomfort)
The wider your baby opens his mouth, the more comfortable the latch will be, thus reducing the risk of getting a lipstick nipple.
When your newborn latches onto your breast, the child’s mouth must cover both the nipple and the bosom.
Before proceeding, open your child’s mouth by pulling down on their chin, helping them adjust quickly to the process.
Sometimes, when your baby latches on for the first time, you may face discomfort in your nipular region (or an uncomfortable sensation through your entire breast tissue).
This discomfort may be in the form of pain or just pressure.
If you encounter this issue, immediately unlatch your baby and reposition their mouth again.
2. Listen and observe
When your breastfeeding baby first latches onto your breast, their suck and swallowing become rapid.
It shows that the baby is trying to get the milk flowing. But after a while, the sucking becomes rhythmic, and your baby’s jaw will start to move while swallowing.
This is a sign that your child has a good latch. It is what we call a suck-swallow-breathe phenomenon.
But sometimes, instead of rhythmic swallowing, you might hear a clicking sound, and this occurs when your baby is curling up his tongue or withdrawing from your nipple (usually a sign of discomfort).
When this happens, reposition your baby because it means that your child is having trouble consuming the milk from his current position.
3. Use a nipple shield for assistance
Sometimes, no matter the amount of effort you put in and the methods you try, you still can’t find the right dynamic with the way your child latches onto your breast.
In such cases, you should always consider buying a nipple shield.
A nipple shield helps your baby find the proper position and reduces the pressure of his gums on your tender nipples.
This will help reduce the bad effects of lipstick shaped nipples.
4. Make a U-shape
If you feel that your baby is finding it difficult to latch, then the best practice is to pinch the tips of your breast (i.e., your nipple and bosom) into a U-Shape and then let your baby have it in their mouth.
Doing this will make it easier for him to find the proper position.
If you have a lipstick nipple, then by following this method, your nipple will go back to its natural shape gradually.
Also read: How to Get Nipple Shield to Stay On
It can be challenging for both new and veteran moms when they try to breastfeed their babies.
And lipstick nipples (or blanched nipples) may cause uncomfortable pain for both of them.
Lipstick nipples occur when your child cannot latch appropriately onto your breast.
While breastfeeding, it is necessary that your child not only focuses on the nipple region but also takes a part of your areola into their mouth.
That makes it easier for the child to draw the milk out by applying minimum to no pressure on your breast.
Finding this position can be challenging initially, but you can figure it out via trial and error.
Sometimes Lipstick shaped nipples can cause complications for the mom or the child such as:
- Painful and unsettling sensation for the mom
- Improper growth of the child
- The reluctance of the child to consume breast milk
It is good to consult either a pediatrician or a lactation specialist in such cases to help you determine the root cause and cure it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it take a long time for your nipples to get adjusted to breastfeeding?
Usually, as a newborn baby consumes breastmilk more than two times a day, research shows that within 4 days to one week, your nipples should be accustomed to the sensation of breastfeeding.
Of course, it can take longer than that, but there is nothing to worry about as gradually you and your child will get used to the procedure.
Is there a technique that helps reduce the risk of lipstick nipple?
We call it a fipple technique where you, as a mom, try to get your baby to take as much breast tissue as they can into their mouth.
That will help your child latch properly and makes it easier for you to proceed thus decreasing the risk of lipstick shaped nipples.
Are there any other breast issues that arise while breastfeeding?
In addition to lipstick nipples, sore and painful nipples, compressed and blanched nipples, droopy nipples, and bumpy areolas, you may encounter a few issues.
When you do, it is better to consult a lactation specialist.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.
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