Q: Hi ma’am. Please, kindly advice. I had a baby in June this year and have not been able to breastfeed. Firstly, it was because my nipples are too flat which makes it difficult for my baby to suck. Secondly, at the moment there is no breast milk at all in my breast. I am really disturbed and not happy because I want my baby to breastfeed even if it’s for 3 months.
A: Hello dear. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy. He/she will be a blessing to his/her generation!
Now, the reason why it seems that your breast is ‘empty’ is because your baby is not sucking. If your baby sucks, the let-down reflex ensures that your breast fills up with breast milk. Flat nipples can appear to be a challenge for breast feeding, especially for first time mothers but remember that babies are supposed to latch on to the areola (the black area surrounding the nipples) and not on to the nipples. Press on the areola with your thumb on top and fingers underneath and push back against your chest wall while pressing in with your thumb and fingers. This helps elongate the areola and so, provided you position the baby properly on the areola, breast feeding can go on with no issues.
To help with the flat nipples, you could use a breast pump before feeding your baby. The gentle sucking action will help ‘pull out’ the nipples.
If you’re still not sure how to go about this, please go to your hospital. Any of the midwives/lactation consultants will be happy to help you start the process of breastfeeding. Worse case scenario, use a breast pump to express breast milk. This serves a dual purpose: It helps pull out the nipple while ensuring that your baby has sufficient food to eat 🙂
Be sure that you’re eating healthy and taking sufficient water to help the breast milk production along.
Have a great day, y’all 😀