Nipple invagination, mother can still breast-feed?

During the pre-pregnancy examination, some expectant mothers with invaginated nipples are worried because of their congenital nipple depression, fearing that they cannot realize breast feeding due to their [defects] and lose the most direct intimate contact with their babies.

Can mothers with sunken nipples breastfeed?

Is what’s nipple invagination?

There are many classifications of nipple invagination, which can be divided into [unilateral invagination] and [bilateral invagination] according to the invagination site. According to whether the invaginated nipple can return to the natural erection state, it can be divided into [pseudo invagination] and [true invagination].

The difference between pseudo-invagination and true invagination is that the nipple will return to a natural protruding state when the former is pulled by hand or stimulated by cold and hot. However, the latter is often due to congenital developmental defects, which cannot be recovered naturally regardless of what stimulation and can only be corrected by surgery.

In Asians, the incidence rate of nipple invagination is about 3%, and most of them are pseudo and bilateral.

Differentiation of pseudopapillary invagination and true papillary invagination

Nipple invagination, how to give the baby breast-feeding?

Many people worry that invaginated nipples will hinder lactation. In fact, even if invaginated nipples look bad on the outside, they are not always directly related to the degree of lactation disorder.

There are many pseudo nipple invagination expectant mothers, in the early or late pregnancy, will naturally recover and become normal mother’s nipple condition. As long as it can recover during pregnancy, no matter how much invagination before, it will have no effect on the mother’s breast-feeding in person.

Moreover, we also encourage these recovered mothers to breastfeed.

International lactation consultants found in their work that after mothers with invaginated nipples gave birth to their first child, the invagination situation often improved significantly, and it was not easy to have invaginated nipples after giving birth again.

You see, the baby not only got the nutritious breast milk, but also became the [orthost] of the mother’s invaginated nipple. Of course, it is worth promoting vigorously to kill two birds with one stone.

Compared with the shape of the nipple itself, the shape of the nipple in the baby’s mouth is related to the lactation function.

When the baby sucks hard, the nipple will be extended to twice the length at ordinary times, which is enough to promote sucking reflex. Although the inverted nipple shrinks shyly behind the areola at ordinary times, it will not fall off the chain at all at the critical time.

Therefore, instead of worrying that invaginated nipples will affect lactation, it is better to learn more about the correct posture of lactation and lactation.

What about mothers with invaginated nipples?

For flat nipple mothers who do not have invagination, they can massage the nipples before breast-feeding, supplemented by ice compress to stimulate nipple erection.

Mothers with invaginated nipples can use their thumb and index finger to push back to the chest and pull the nipple forward at a distance of 1.5 ~ 2 cm from the nipple in the areola area to help the baby who is trying to find the nipple to lock in the target and adopt the breast-feeding posture of lying on his side.

The mother can also use the negative pressure breast pump to help pull out the nipples before starting breast feeding.

If none of these methods work, we still have a sharp weapon to teach each other: the magic breast shield.

Using silicone nipples with soft material and appropriate length and diameter can well solve the feeding difficulties caused by flat nipples and any type of nipple inversion.

Nipple invagination, these should be paid attention to

1. It is not necessary to deliberately pursue nipple emergence during pregnancy.

Some mothers have been trying every means to rebuild the sunlight of their sunken nipples during pregnancy, which is wrong.

Excessive pulling of nipples will cause damage to nipples and milk ducts, which will affect natural lactation later. Moreover, for pregnant women with high-risk obstetric factors such as placenta previa, frequent stimulation of nipples may lead to premature delivery.

2. Do not try nipple pulling instruments easily.


    Many nipple pulling instruments do not have medical device licenses, and their safety and effectiveness are questionable. Basically, they all use the simple principle of forming negative pressure pulling nipples, but they are expensive and improperly operated, which may cause edema of nipple tissue and rupture of milk duct.

3. Inversion nipple, pay special attention to cleaning

Due to natural structural defects, invaginated nipples are more likely to hide dirt and accept dirt, become natural places for bacteria to multiply, and are more likely to cause lactation mastitis.

Therefore, please keep your nipples clean after each lactation and observe whether there is any crevasse.


Breastfeeding can make the baby suck enough milk better, and the baby’s sucking can stimulate the mother to produce more milk, forming a virtuous circle.

Mothers with invaginated nipples and peaceful nipples should not easily give up the opportunity to breast-feed themselves and enhance the emotional dependence of mother and child. Instead of worrying about nipple problems, it is better to spend more time learning breast-feeding knowledge and have more patience to cooperate with the baby.

Editor: Yidan

Author: Zhang Zheng