It’s All About the Nipple

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Breast, bottle, pacifier: They all have one thing in common – a nipple.

Let’s start with a mother’s nipple. Its function, of course, is to deliver milk produced in mom’s body, through the milk ducts in her breast to her baby’s hungry mouth.

The breast nipple is not flawless, however. While most breast nipples stand at attention, kick off the famous letdown and squirt milk somewhat like a showerhead, some need a little encouragement. An estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of women have inverted nipples, which means the nipple does not protrude and needs to be coaxed out enough for an infant to latch onto. Usually gentle rolling between the fingers will do the trick, if it doesn’t, you can buy breast shells. These are ingenious small plastic discs with a hole in the center, which are worn inside your bra. They exert slight pressure to encourage the nipple to stand out. [1] Even if you don’t have inverted nipples, some pregnant women prepare their nipples for nursing by massaging and rolling them regularly.

For sore nipple issues, the NUK® Barely There® Nipple Shield is made of soft silicone, is designed to protect sensitive nipples. It comes in a hygienic storage case.

If you experience sore nipples and don’t want to use a nipple shield while nursing, you can try a soothing nipple cream such as NUK® Natural Lanolin with Avocado. It’s a non-sticky formula that’s safe for baby, and protects sore nipples.

Women who are planning to breastfeed often hear horror stories about the dreaded “nipple confusion.” Here’s the thing: Nipple confusion is actually the baby preferring a typical bottle’s nipple over your breast’s nipple, mostly because the flow of milk from the breast is slower. There is no magic to it.

You can make the transition between bottle and breast easier by choosing a nipple that works most like yours: The NUK® orthodontic nipple, which comes on both the NUK® Orthodontic Bottles and NUK® Orthodontic Pacifiers, is designed to comfortably fit the roof of your baby’s mouth when she sucks, just like your nipple does during breastfeeding. And because the hole is at the top of the bottle nipple instead of at the tip, milk mixes with your baby’s saliva and digestion starts right away.

You should know that not all pacifiers are created equal, unlike most pacifiers; NUK pacifiers have a unique orthodontic shape that is asymmetrical. This means the top and the bottom were developed to fit baby’s mouth just like a mother’s nipple during breastfeeding. The soft rounded top fits baby’s upper pallet while the flat bottom allows for proper tongue movement. Because NUK pacifiers were designed to be most like mom while breastfeeding, babies have an easier time transitioning between breast and pacifier and back to breast.

1. Estronaut, A Forum for Women’s Health; http://www.estronaut.com/a/inverted_nipples.htm

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