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Will I have difficulty breastfeeding with flat nipples?

Not necessarily, there are plenty of women who breastfeed with flat nipples. Babies are very versatile at adapting to their mothers and often breastfeed successfully without any problems.

Large numbers of women ask if there is anything they can do whilst they’re pregnant to ensure successful breastfeeding and there is mixed advice. Research continues as to the effectiveness of nipple preparation. There are a few products on the market which claim to help prepare your nipples for feeding, particularly if you are concerned you will have problems. These are simply a syringe attached to a nipple shaped cup which, when used, works to encourage the erectile tissue to form a shape which, in theory, is easier for a baby to latch onto. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, which is usually to use the device for two to three months, preferably before or in the first six months of pregnancy to prepare your nipples for feeding.

The clinical trials that have been carried out for these products so far seem promising but, the best advice is still to consult your midwife or lactation consultant. Inform your midwife at the time of the birth of your baby so that she will assist you with the initial ‘latch on’ of your baby to your breast – the first experience of your baby breastfeeding needs to be as fulfilling as possible.

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