Many new parents worry that their nipples are not adequate for nursing their new babies. While breastfeeding/chestfeeding with flat and inverted nipples can be more difficult, especially if your baby also has challenges achieving a deep latch, nipple size and shape may be less of a concern than a parent may have anticipated. With ideal latch and positioning support, many people can nurse their babies just fine, despite non-protruding nipples. It might be reassuring to remember that babies latch onto the areola, not just the nipple and that they can even “pull” an inverted nipple out with good sucking.
There are many reasons a nursing parent may decide to stop breastfeeding or pumping. It can feel like a big decision or just a natural next step, but no matter why you are choosing to wean, it is really important to protect your health (both physical and mental) during the process. It might be comforting to remember that all nursing parents do eventually wean and that the body is designed for the transition.
Preparing for postpartum, in our culture which focuses heavily on pregnancy and birth preparation, may seem unusual, but along with the sweet newborn cuddles and overflow of well wishes comes very real challenges, adjustments and a need for deep healing. Even when your pregnancy, birth and early postpartum period is going “well,” it can be overwhelming for some people! And of course there can be concerns for the birthing parent or baby—expected or unexpected—that leave a family needing even more support. .“Nothing could have prepared me for this!” is a common and (oftentimes) exasperated refrain from new parents.
Are you experiencing pain while nursing? Cracked nipples? Super long or very short feedings? Slow weight gain? Shallow latch? Challenges with bottle feeding? Gassy/acid-reflux baby? Possibly combined with slow weight gain for your baby? Tongue-tie might be the cause of the problem. Medically known as ankyloglossia, this condition, present at birth, can restrict the tongue’s range of motion so it may interfere with compression and milk removal.
A nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple while she nurses. When should a nipple shield be used?
– Nursing with inverted or flat nipples:
Nipple shields are helpful for people with shorter, flatter, or inverted nipples, making the latch difficult for the baby. Feeding through the shield helps draw the nipple out, to make it easier for your baby to latch onto the breast.
– Breastfeeding a premature baby:
Nipple shields are also useful for some smaller or premature babies who haven’t fully developed their ability to suck and have difficulty latching on to the breast. A nipple shield can help a preemie create suction and position the nipple in a way they may not yet be strong enough to do themselves.
Even before the pandemic shifted our entire lives to Zoom, lactation consultants have utilized telemedicine to reach families in the comfort of their own homes. For many of us, all our training, experience and continuing education allows us the ability to assess and support families with expert care–even remotely. Seasoned lactation consultants have witnessed so many babies nurse and feed. We have seen many cases of damaged nipples and mastitis, and we have supported countless families in meeting their goals and overcoming challenges. Our experience means we know exactly what we are looking for when a three day old newborn latches or when a nursing parent is healing from an infection.
Jada, boober founder, and maternal health expert shares her top tips to help birthing parents get off to the best start with breastfeeding. Her top tips include:
Black Breastfeeding Week was started by Kimberly Seals Allers, Kiddada Green, and Anayah Sangodele-Ayok to highlight the unique challenges and triumphs of being Black and breastfeeding. This year, their theme is Revive, Restore, Reclaim. Jada Shapiro, boober founder, talked with LaShanda Dandrich, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) of Uptown Village Cooperative about what care does and should look like for Black birthing parents, how to reduce lactation disparities rooted in bias, lactation myths and facts, and so much more.
Boober founder, Jada Shapiro, talks about everything breastfeeding with Georgie Kovacs, on the Fempower Health podcast.
In this episode, Jada and Georgie talk through all of the topics around breastfeeding, including:
How women need better information about breastfeeding
Mental health issues for women in this season of life
What lactation consultants do
The options around breastfeeding
Reasons women may not produce enough breast milk
When babies need chiropractic care.
Watch this video with Jada Shapiro, boober founder & maternal health expert in conversation with International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Julie Rosen, IBCLC. The two experts discussed all things infant feeding: breastfeeding, pumping, and more during COVID-19. New parents had a chance to ask questions and solve challenges.
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