Breastfeeding is the most natural way of feeding your little one. However, there’s more than letting nature run its course. In case no one told you, breastfeeding can be draining both physically and mentally. And the key to making this journey stress-free is to ensure your baby has a good latch.
Speaking of latch, have you ever experienced your nipple coming flattened out or slanted like unused lipstick after breastfeeding? If yes, stick here to find out what that is and how you can fix it.
About Lipstick Nipple Latch
A lipstick nipple latch is a condition that temporarily changes the shape of your nipple during nursing due to misplaced pressure. This will cause your nipple to appear like the tip of a newly opened lipstick tube.
This condition is quite common in women. So, if you notice your nipples changing shape and resembling a newly opened lipstick tube, take the right steps to rectify it. Doing so will ensure you’re not having painful breastfeeding and you have a sufficient milk supply.
There are various ways you can do to stop and prevent lipstick nipple latch. These include finding a proper latch. Here are tips to help you fix the lipstick nipple latch.
How To Fix Lipstick Nipple Latch
Irrespective of the method you use, the main goal is to encourage your little one to get a deep latch. So, try what works best for you and your child.
Unlatch And Latch Again
If you experience any discomfort when your kid latches or realizes an irregular shape, few minutes of breastfeeding, unlatch and latch again.
It’s okay to pull your child off the breast anytime you feel you have a bad latch, however, ensure you first break the suction with your fingers. Yes, your baby will become fussy, but it’s better to figure out a good latch before proceeding to feed.
Aim Your Nipple To Your Baby’s Mouth Roof
Time your baby when they have a wide-open mouth (at least a 90-degree angle), then point your nipple to their nose. The nipple will end up near the roof of your child’s mouth, helping them bypass their gums and more of your breast tissue into the mouth.
Ensure Your Baby’s Mouth Opens Wide
A comfortable and proper latch occurs when your little one’s mouth fully covers the areola and the nipple and their lips are curled outwards. Your baby’s lips should not be secured around the base of your nipple. And if that occurs, gently pull your kid’s chin down to encourage them to open their mouth wide.
Focus On The Lower Lip
Focus more on the lower lip and ensure it’s the first to make contact with the breast to avoid a lipstick nipple latch. Align the bottom lip with the edge of your areola as far from the nipple’s base as possible. Then bring the rest of the mouth onto and upward the breast.
Check Your Baby’s Body Position
Ensure your child’s body is supported and aligned correctly. Their shoulders, neck, and back should be in a straight line and your baby shouldn’t have to turn their neck to nurse.
Ensure Your Baby’s Chin Touches The Breast
Tuck your little one closely so their chin touches your breast, helping them get more breasts into their mouth. Don’t worry if their nose touches your breast as babies can breathe around the sides of their noses.
Try A Different Feeding Position
Several positions are great for breastfeeding a baby. Here, you’ll have to try different positions to determine which is the best and most comfortable for you. The football hold and laid-back positions are specifically excellent at preventing lipstick nipple latch. Other positions include the cradle hold, cross-cradle hold, and side-lying.
Create A U-Shape To Compress Your Breast
Cup your breast between your fingers and breast to make a U-shape. Doing so helps your baby get more of your nipple and areola in their mouth. With time, this may assist correct the lipstick nipple latch or prevent it from occurring.
Ensure Your Baby Doesn’t Have a Posterior Tongue/Lip Tie
A tongue tie is a condition where the strip of skin connecting the baby’s tongue to the mouth’s bottom is shorter than usual. Lip ties usually accompany tongue ties, and the two may coincide. Babies with this condition have a hard time nursing and often get a lipstick nipple latch.
Your baby is usually examined for these conditions by a paediatrician during early postnatal appointments. However, this may sometimes slip through the crack. So, if your kid has lipstick nipple latch and repeated issues with having a good latch, take them to your paediatrician for a checkup.
The paediatrician can contact a pediatric dentist who will correct the issue with a minimally invasive procedure.
Use A Nursing Pillow
A nursing pillow is excellent at helping you try different feeding positions. Such pillows help support your baby’s weight and bring them closer to your breast. A good nursing pillow will also help relieve back pain and excess strain on your body.
Use A Nipple Shield
Nipple shields are great at protecting your breast and allowing the lipstick shape to correct. So, if your little one has consistent and continued latching problems, use a shield to alleviate the pressure and prevent further trauma to your nipple.
Ensure Your Baby’s Head Is Straight
When your child latches on, ensure their chest and stomach rest against your body. Doing so will ensure their head is straight and does not turn sideways to keep the good latch throughout the feeding session.
If your baby turns their head, the nipple may slip down in the middle of the feeding. This may expose the baby’s gum causing more pressure on the nipple.
Having a lipstick nipple latch can result in pain and lower your breastmilk supply. But the good thing is that you can easily reverse the condition by working on finding a good latch for your baby.
Try to latch and unlatch again, use a good nursing pillow, and ensure you use the right feeding position. If nothing seems to work, consult a lactation specialist on the best way forward.