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Types of Nipples, Medications, and Fathers be Supportive and Helpful during Breastfeeding
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Each breastfeeding woman has to find her own routine with settings and positions that work best for her and the baby.  Each woman experiences a unique experience while breastfeeding.  It is not unusual for breastfeeding mothers to return to jobs outside of their homes after a baby is born.  When a woman does return to work after a maternity leave, the breastfeeding routine will have to change. 

With the help of a breast pump, many mothers continue to breastfeed successfully. If you are considering breastfeeding your baby it is helpful to know what type of nipples you have.  There are basically three types of human nipples. 
They are: 

  • Flat nipples
  • Inverted nipples
  • The normal protruding nipple

The flat nipple lies flat against the areola.  The areola is the darker circular area around the nipple.  This nipple version is in contrast to the nipple that protrudes outward. 

The normal nipple is one that protrudes outward.

The inverted nipple seems to be pushed inward to the areola.

Flat and inverted nipples can make correct latch-on for infant nursing more challenging.  The flat and inverted nipple has little for the infant to grab in his or her mouth for mealtimes. 

There are solutions to these problems.  Wear a breast shell.  A breast shell is a round, plastic shell that fits around your breast in your bra.  The breast shell is an excellent device to help create a moist environment around the flat and inverted type nipples to help them protrude for easier infant latch-on. Medications Do you keep a record of all the medications you use before the birth of your baby? 

It is important to know exactly what medications you are taking and what medications you may have to take after the birth of your baby.  You need to know how the medications will affect your baby through your breast milk.  Everything you eat, drink and take internally while breastfeeding can affect your baby either positively or negatively.  Have a talk with your health care provider about the safety of the medications you take or might take while breastfeeding.  Ask for alternative treatments that won’t affect the baby adversely. 

If you become ill during breastfeeding an infant and have to take medication, be sure to tell your health care provider that you are breastfeeding.  If you become ill and have to take medications that can affect the baby adversely, it may be possible to pump and discard your breast milk temporarily when you are taking the medication. During this time, use previously stored breast milk or formula to feed your baby. 

Pumping the milk during your illness helps to keep your breast milk supply at a level that will meet the baby’s need when your treatment is over. Breastfeeding an infant means more than just a method of feeding, it is a lifestyle.  Fathers and other special support persons need to be and can be involved with the breastfeeding experience.  It is fact that no one but the baby’s mother can provide breast milk; however, during the process of breastfeeding, it is helpful for mother and baby if the father and other support people encourage the breastfeeding relationship.

A father should show his appreciation, affirm his love and approval for the mother’s work and time that she puts into breastfeeding.  At this time, a father needs to be a good listener and provide understanding to the mother’s and the baby’s needs to accommodate breastfeeding in the home or when traveling.  In other words, fathers need to look for ways to help mom and baby as much as possible in the breastfeeding process. 

Fathers can also be a great help to mom and the baby by giving emotional nourishment through playing and cuddling when the mother begins to wean the baby from breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding can be a time of great bonding between baby, mom and dad that will continue throughout a lifetime.

By Connie Limon
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