Is your nipple come out flattened or slanted like unused lipstick after breastfeeding? Find out what lipstick nipple after nursing is and how to fix it to prevent a low milk supply.
Whether you are a first-time mom or a veteran mom, breastfeeding is challenging for the first few months. If you haven’t invested your time learning about breastfeeding during pregnancy, you could face many problems in your breastfeeding journey that will mentally and physically exhaust you. It takes a lot of self-encouragement to continue breastfeeding until you get the hang of breastfeeding.
The success of breastfeeding depends on understanding how breastfeeding works and doing things right from day one.
Breastfeeding success depends on getting the correct latch from the beginning. And if you get a good latch from day one or at least know how to work toward getting a good latch, you are avoiding many breastfeeding challenges down the road.
Many women who have not invested their time learning about breastfeeding before the birth of their babies face many issues like a sore nipple, clogged nipple, milk blebs, or mastitis. Most of these problems are related to the baby not latching on properly.
In addition, the poor latch can lead to lipstick nipple after nursing. While the lipstick nipple is not painful, the consistent poor latch can lead to severe consequences like a decrease in your milk supply.
Let’s talk about what lipstick nipple is and how to fix lipstick nipples after breastfeeding. And if you want to learn how to breastfeed, check out this affordable breastfeeding class that will teach you everything about breastfeeding in 90 minutes.
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What is Lipstick Nipple?
When your baby has a poor latch, you will see your nipple flattened or slanted in appearance after breastfeeding your baby.
And because the nipple comes out of the baby’s mouth looking like a slanted tip of an unused lipstick after nursing, this issue is referred to as a lipstick nipple.
Lipstick nipple is a very common problem among breastfeeding mamas. It indicates that your baby has a shallow latch.
While lipstick nipple is not painful, it can lead to other breastfeeding issues like milk blebs and a sore nipple, and if the poor latch is not corrected, it can decrease your milk supply.
How to Fix Lipstick Nipple Latch
Lipstick nipple is a common issue among breastfeeding mothers, and it is easy to fix. All you need to do is fix your lipstick nipple latch.
Encourage your baby to get a deep latch. Let’s look at several ways to fix your lipstick nipple latch.
1. Encourage Baby to wide open mouth
The first step for getting a deep latch is getting your baby to open their mouth wide. It will help them get enough breast tissue inside their mouth.
When you first offer your breast to your baby, lure them by touching their upper lips with your nipple to encourage them to open their mouth wide.
If your baby is not opening their mouth wide enough, gently pull their chin down to help them open their mouth.
2. Aim your nipple above the baby’s top lip
Once the baby opens his mouth wide, aim your nipple to their nose or above the top lip. Make sure that your baby’s chin isn’t tucked into their neck.
Aiming the nipple above the baby’s top lip will help get enough breast tissue inside the baby’s mouth.
In addition, it will help the nipple get away from the baby’s gum and protect them from excessive pressure causing a change in nipple shape.
3. Concentrate on lower Lip
When you are trying to get a deep latch to avoid lipstick nipples, the baby’s lower lip should be the first one to touch breast tissue in a way that they are away from the base of your nipple.
A baby’s lower lip should be turned outward like a fish. Then bring the baby’s head forward and onto the breast. Your breast should feel your baby’s mouth.
4. Make sure Baby’s head is Straight
When the baby latches on, make sure that their chest and stomach rest against your body.
It will help ensure their head is straight and does not turn sideways to keep the good latch throughout the feeding session.
If the baby turns their head, the nipple might slip down in the middle of the feeding, exposing them to the baby’s gum (causing pressure on the nipple).
5. Support your Breast to encourage a good latch
When the baby latches on, compress your breast with thumb and fingers from underneath the breast.
It will help get more breast tissue into the baby’s mouth and enable a good latch.
6. Look and Listen
Once your baby is latched on, listen carefully for their suck and swallow. At first, you will watch for short and rapid suck to stimulate the milk flow.
Once the milk starts flowing, you will hear slow and deep sucks and swallow with regular pauses. You will see their jaw moving. It’s a good sign for a deep latch.
If you hear a clicking sound while feeding, you may need to unlatch and latch them again.
Clicking sound while nursing indicates that your baby is breaking seal or suction while feeding. It can happen if the baby is retracting or curling the tongue up while breastfeeding.
If you hear a clicking sound while nursing, your baby may be in a poor position and have difficulty maintaining a good latch at the breast.
7. Latch and unlatch
When you are trying for the first time, you may not get a good latch. If you experience pain or discomfort when your baby is sucking, gently insert your clean finger into the baby’s mouth to break the latch and try again.
You want to latch and unlatch until you get a good latch. With practice, you will get a deep latch on the first try in a few days.
8. Feeding position
To prevent lipstick nipples, you need to make sure that you and your baby are comfortable in a feeding position.
Because feeding takes 30-45 minutes in the first few days, you want to be comfortable to maintain a good latch throughout the feeding session.
Choose the feeding position that is most comfortable for you. When you are trying to get a good latch, a football hold works the best.
However, once you get the hang of getting a deep latch, you can feed your baby in any position you are comfortable in. Here is a good video on how to position a baby for feeding and how to get a deep latch.
9. Use a Nursing Pillow
A nursing pillow helps bring the baby closer to your breast and supports your baby while feeding.
It also helps keep the mother’s body straight and alleviates back issues, which is quite common for breastfeeding mothers.
10. Check for tongue tie or lip tie
If you are not getting a good latch after trying and getting lipstick nipples after nursing frequently, you may need to get your baby checked for a potential tongue tie or lip tie. Your pediatrician will be able to diagnose tongue tie or lip tie if that is the case.
A tongue tie is a condition where a short and tight skin tissue tethers the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
Babies with tongue tie will often have a hard time latching on and sucking. A pediatrician can easily fix a tongue tie or lip tie. So, if you suspect that is the case, consult your pediatrician.
11. Get help from a lactation consultation
Lactation consultants are a great help in showing you how to get a good latch. If you think you are having trouble getting a good latch, get your latch checked by a lactation consultant.
My first baby did not learn how to latch on while we were in the hospital. But appointment with a lactation consultant in the first few days helped us learn how to get a good latch and avoid lipstick nipples after nursing.
So, if you are struggling with a good latch, a local lactation consultant can be of great help in figuring out your issues.
Why is my Nipple Slanted (Lipstick Nipple) after Breastfeeding?
A poor latch can cause your nipple to look slanted after breastfeeding. Also, improper pressure from your baby’s gum while breastfeeding can alter the shape of your nipple.
A proper latch requires a good amount of breast tissue into the baby’s mouth. When babies have a shallow latch, they compress on the nipple rather than breast tissue to get the breast milk. The improper pressure on your nipple can cause your nipple to change its shape.
Does Lipstick Nipple mean Bad Latch?
If your nipple looks flattened or slanted after each nursing session, it is an indication of a bad/shallow latch.
Because of a bad latch, the baby is putting improper pressure on your nipple, causing nipple shape change. A bad latch can also feel like a baby biting on the nipple.
However, if you see your nipple slanted after feeding not as frequently, it could not be a bad latch.
Sometimes, a change in a feeding position or baby falling asleep while feeding and nipple sliding down during the feeding can also lead to lipstick nipple.
My nipple used to look like a lipstick nipple after feeding my baby in a lying position for a midnight feeding session.
It was mainly due to both of us falling asleep while breastfeeding and breast tissue slipping from the baby’s mount, creating pressure on the nipple.
However, when you have a lipstick nipple and experience shooting, stabbing pain while feeding or after feeding, it may indicate that you have a bad latch.
How to find out if you have a Good Latch?
If you are a first-time mom, it’s hard to tell if you have a good latch initially. However, as you get used to breastfeeding, you will have a better idea of the visual sign of a good latch.
- Rhythmic suck, swallow, and breath pattern
- Baby’s chest and stomach rest against your body and straight head.
- Breast touching baby’s chest
- Baby’s lips turned outward
- Baby’s ears move slightly
- Comfortable and painless nursing session
Is Lipstick Nipple Permanent?
No, the lipstick nipple is not permanent. My experience says that the lipstick nipple goes back to its normal shape a few minutes after breastfeeding.
For me, the lipstick nipple went back to a round shape in few seconds after a feeding session.
If you think your lipstick nipple is not going back to its normal shape, you might need to readjust your latch and ensure that your nipple is not slipping from the baby’s mouth while feeding to prevent unnecessary pressure on your nipple.
Can Lipstick Nipple create a Problem?
When you have a lipstick nipple after each nursing session, it means that your baby has a shallow latch.
While the lipstick nipple is not painful most of the time, your baby’s shallow latch can create breastfeeding issues if not addressed in a timely manner.
A shallow latch can lead to
- Baby not getting enough to eat
- Sore nipple
- Baby not emptying your breast efficiently leading to breastfeeding issues like engorgement, milk bleb, clogged milk ducts, and even mastitis
- Decrease in your milk supply
What Shape should Nipple be after Breastfeeding?
If your baby is latching on to your breast correctly, your nipple should come out slightly elongated (longer than normal) and rounded at the end.
When you have a shallow latch, your nipple is getting flattened and slanted from the baby’s jaw pressure.
Does the shape of the nipple Affect Breastfeeding?
The size and shape of the nipple do not affect breastfeeding. As long as you are getting a deep latch, you can breastfeed your baby. Nipple comes in all shapes and sizes. Some women have a flat nipple that does not stick out, while others have an inverted nipple that points inward.
I exclusively breastfed both my babies for more than a year with my one flat nipple. It did not affect how I breastfed them.
So, as long as you are getting a deep latch, the shape of the nipple does not affect breastfeeding. Yes, there are challenges if you have a flat nipple or inverted nipple, but you can breastfeed successfully with proper strategies.
And you are worried about the shape of your nipple affecting your breastfeeding success, talk to a lactation consultant or doctor. They will help you with the next step to correct the issue.
Can you use Nipple Shield to fix Lipstick Nipple?
A nipple shield can be used temporarily if you have a sore nipple or cracked nipple after breastfeeding. A nipple shield will help protect your nipple, allowing it to heal or lipstick nipple shape to change.
However, it shouldn’t be used for every day to prevent lipstick nipples after breastfeeding.
Because prolonged use of a nipple shield may reduce your milk supply, check out this article if you want to learn how to use a nipple shield correctly.
Easy tips to Fix Lipstick Nipple after Nursing: Conclusion
Lipstick nipple is one of the common challenges for breastfeeding mothers. Frequent lipstick nipple after nursing indicates that the baby has a shallow latch.
Once you get the hang of getting a deep latch, the lipstick nipple won’t be a problem anymore.
If you think your baby has trouble latching on or you have pain while breastfeeding, talk to a lactation consultant or doctor.
A shallow latch can lead to other breastfeeding challenges or even affect your milk supply.
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