The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be difficult for many mothers. Even if you’re doing everything right, your baby may still have trouble acquiring a good, deep latch and may suffer some discomfort in your nipples. It takes practice to learn to recognize when your baby is successfully latching and when they are not.
Lipstick nipple is a typical complication of a faulty latch that can be unpleasant and distressing for both baby and caregiver. You can, fortunately, take measures to avoid this.
What is Lipstick Nipple?
When the nipple briefly changes shape from nursing with misdirected pressure due to a poor latch, this is known as lipstick nipple. The nipple got its name because it resembles the pointed end of a brand new lipstick tube.
Why Does Lipstick Nipple Latch Happen?
In many cases, a shallow latch is to blame for lipstick nipple. It happens frequently, and sometimes it doesn’t even matter. But if it’s causing pain or low milk production, you’ll need to take action.
The most crucial aspect of breastfeeding is making sure your baby has a deep latch, which is more relaxed for both of you and results in an adequate supply of breast milk. You can avoid getting a lipstick nip by using the following methods to get a deeper latch.
How Can I Fix Lipstick Nipple Latch?
A healthy latch is essential for your baby’s health and development, and the methods below will help you achieve both goals.
First, rule out any possible medical issues.
Check for thrush and bacterial infections, and make sure your infant can nurse by ensuring they do not have a tongue tie or lip tie.
There is a tongue tie if the fold of skin that runs from the back of your baby’s tongue to the floor of their mouth is abnormally narrow. Similar to tongue knots, lip ties can occur at the same time. Babies may struggle to get a secure latch on because of this problem. If you take your baby to the pediatrician soon after birth, he or she should check for a lip or tongue tie.
If you notice lipstick nipple or are having trouble getting a good latch, it’s important to see a pediatrician. If a pediatric dentist notices a problem with a baby’s lip or tongue, it can typically be fixed with a simple operation.
Create a quiet, calm space to breastfeed.
After determining that your baby is healthy enough to breastfeed, it’s time to prepare a peaceful area where your infant may do so in comfort. Baby and mom can both benefit from a peaceful, distraction-free environment during feeding time.
Initiate physical touch first. Take off your top layer of clothing and place your infant on your bare chest. This promotes intimacy and closeness between them. Baby will often begin to explore the environment in search of the breast.
Let your baby lead.
Offer your breast while holding your baby’s head in place, and allow him or her discover the nipple on their own. To get the best connection, let the baby’s latch develop on its own.
Open your baby’s mouth wide.
Most babies will open their mouths wide when they discover the breast, but you may need to prompt them occasionally. Nibble around the top lip and pull gently on the chin to coax a broad grin from your infant. If you want your kid to have a good feeding experience and a deep latch, you should try to get your nipple past his gums.
When your baby’s mouth is in the correct position, it will engulf the nipple and the areola, and the baby’s lips will curl out (like a fish’s) as the infant eats. A infant with a shallow latch has lips that do not fully encircle the nipple. You’ll have to undo the latch and give it another go.
Unlatch and start over.
Discomfort is the major symptom of a poorly functioning latch. It’s also possible that your kid isn’t getting enough breast milk if they’re becoming irritable and frustrated. It’s advisable to release the latch and give it another go in this situation.
Remove your finger from the breast and place it into your baby’s mouth to release the suction. Babies may become unhappy if they are unlatched from breastfeeding, but it is preferable for everyone involved if the baby is able to latch on again and feed without discomfort.
Point your nipple up.
Nibble toward the ceiling of your baby’s mouth when they have their mouth open. This will allow you to get more of the areola and breast tissue into the mouth, facilitating a successful latch.
Place your baby’s chin against your breast.
While breastfeeding, keep your infant close to your body with their chin raised slightly upwards in a relaxed position. To maximize the absorption of breast tissue, rest your baby’s chin on your breast.
This might be worrisome for new mothers because it often results in the baby’s nose pressing up on the breast. If a baby is having trouble getting enough air, don’t worry; they can breathe via their mouths or the sides of their noses.
Focus on your baby’s lower lip.
The misplaced pressure that results in a lipstick-shaped nipple can be avoided by placing the baby’s lower lip on the breast initially. Position your lower lip so that it is parallel to the outer edge of your areola, which is not near your nipple. The next step is to lift the upper portion of the mouth toward the chest.
Compress your breast.
Your infant may be able to get more of your nipple and areola into their mouth if you cup your hands into a “U” shape and squeeze your breast before offering it to them.
Try different feeding positions.
Changing your nursing position may help your baby achieve a better latch. Newborns benefit from being held in a variety of positions, including the cradle hold, the cross-cradle hold, the football hold, or just on their side while being fed. Your baby’s spine, shoulders, and neck should be in a straight line no matter what breastfeeding position you choose.
Get a nursing pillow.
For the duration of my breastfeeding journey, I never went a day without using my nursing pillow. The infant can be propped up in a more relaxed and upright position and brought closer to the breast with the help of these cushions.
And they do a great job of supporting the mother’s back and relieving the stress it places on it. These cushions are not only fantastic for breastfeeding, but also for a wide variety of other uses.
Try using a nipple shield
Only mothers with severe latch problems should use a nipple shield, and even then, only temporarily and under the supervision of a lactation consultant. When breastfeeding a premature baby who may not be able to generate enough suction on their own, or when breastfeeding a woman with a flat or inverted nipple, a nipple shield may be helpful.
Talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant to see if a nipple shield could help if your baby is having trouble latching and you’re always getting lipstick nipple. While still allowing your baby access to the extended tip of the nipple shield, these protectors can help keep the nipple from forming into a lipstick shape.
How Do I Know if I Have a Good Nursing Latch?
. Your baby’s body is in good alignment. When feeding, your baby’s head should never be turned to the side or crooked at the neck.
. Your baby’s chin touches the breast, with lips relaxed and turned out.
. Your baby’s mouth takes in a lot of the areola and breast tissue, not just the nipple.
. You hear and see your baby swallowing.
. Your baby’s ears move slightly when feeding.
When the nipple is flat or inverted, it can be tricky to obtain a good, secure latch. However, keep in mind that in order for your baby to breastfeed, he or she will need to latch on at both the nipple and the areola. This means that even nipples that are flat or inverted can be used effectively, and that in many cases, the nipples actually grow larger as breastfeeding progresses.