“I have flat or inverted nipples.”
If you're one of the 3 to 9 percent of women with flat or inverted nipples, talk to a lactation consultant before your baby is born for tips to draw your nipples out. She may recommend devices or suggest pumping briefly before nursing to draw out your nipples. If all else fails, she may show you how to use silicone nipple shields to help baby latch.
“None of my friends or family members nursed.”
Seek out nursing moms via online or local support groups. Facebook's “Breastfeeding” group boasts more than 55,000 fans, and many regularly provide comments to questions. Or check out the forums at kellymom.com or theleakyboob.com.
Your Best Bosom Buddies
1. The Expert
Lactation consultants come armed with answers whether your question is about the frequency of feedings, pinpointing an infection or something else. Find one near you during pregnancy so you're prepared after delivery. Some offer services at pediatrician offices. Visit llli.org or, for immediate assistance, call La Leche League at 877-452-5324.
2. The Been-There-Done-That Buddy
Look for other nursing mothers at local moms' groups, in an online forum or in your own circle of friends and family. Your local La Leche League leader can also pair you with an experienced nursing buddy.
3. Your Other Half
Your partner may not be able to breastfeed, but he or she can still encourage you. Ask for help with other chores to ease workload stress and remind him that he can bond with baby during baths, bedtime, diaper changes and more. Show your partner how you nurse and describe how it feels.