|Content|| | Breastfeeding with inverted nipples or flat nipples If you have inverted or flat nipples, breastfeeding may be more challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible! Some babies can struggle to latch on to flat nipples, causing nipple soreness. In addition, an inverted or flat nipple might not reach the roof of your baby’s mouth, which means that the sucking reflex may not be triggered. But remember, many women with these types of nipples have no breastfeeding problems at all. In fact, you may find that as your breasts change during pregnancy, your nipples become more prominent anyway. However, if this isn’t the case, you may want to try nipple formers. How do Medela nipple formers work? Nipple formers apply gentle pressure on the areola (the circle of darker-coloured skin around the nipple), which can help to gradually draw out a flat or inverted nipple. When can I start using nipple formers? You can start to use nipple formers during pregnancy, from about 32 weeks onwards. However, if you have a medical condition known as an incompetent (weakened) cervix or have been told your baby may be born prematurely, speak to your healthcare professional before using nipple formers, as nipple stimulation may bring on contractions. Begin by wearing nipple formers for one hour a day and gradually increase to around eight hours per day. If necessary, you can continue wearing them after your baby’s birth, between feeds (for 30 minutes to an hour before breastfeeding). However, avoid wearing them at night, to prevent tender nipples developing. Medela nipple formers: How to use Medela nipple formers come in two parts: a soft and supple silicone membrane that is gentle on skin, and an outer shell with holes in the top that allow air to circulate, preventing humidity. The shell’s shape has been optimised to create a snug, comfortable fit, and it has a low profile so it won’t show through your clothes. To use, follow these simple steps:
- Gentle pressure can help shape inverted or flat nipples to prepare them for breastfeeding
- Supple membrane feels soft on your skin
- Snug, comfortable fit against the breast
- Low-profile design guarantees a natural appearance under clothes
- One size fits all mums
- BPA free
While wearing nipple formers, some breast milk may collect in the shell. Do not feed this to your baby, simply discard it when you clean the shells (see below). How to clean nipple formers Like all breastfeeding accessories, you’ll need to keep your nipple formers clean. You should sanitise them before using them for the first time, and then once a day after that, but this is quick and easy to do:
- Put the silicone membrane on the shell, making sure it snaps on all the way around.
- Once assembled, place the nipple former inside your bra, with the membrane’s opening centred over your nipple. The ventilation holes must point upwards.
It’s also important to clean nipple formers after each use by separating the parts and washing them with a mild cleaning solution, then rinsing thoroughly in cold water and drying on a clean cloth.
- Separate the parts and put them in a small pan filled with cold, preferably distilled, water. If you use tap water, you can add a teaspoon of citric acid to help avoid limescale build-up.
- Bring to the boil, and continue to boil for approximately five minutes.
- Carefully drain off the water and place the nipple former parts on a clean cloth to dry.
- Alternatively, you can use a microwave sanitising bag.
At a glance
The benefits of feeding expressed breast milk When you’re breastfeeding and pumping milk for your baby, there’ll be times when you need to store it to use later; for example, if you’re breastfeeding and working fulltime, going out for an evening, or simply want a stock of expressed breast milk for another caregiver to feed to your baby while you take a break. In addition, if you have an oversupply of breast milk it’s a good idea to store it safely rather than wasting it – expressed breast milk retains most of its health-giving benefits, so it’s better for your baby than formula. How to store breast milk: A convenient, hygienic solution If you’re expressing your milk straight into bottles, transferring it into Medela breast milk storage bags for storage and transport makes sense. These stand up upright for easy handling, yet can lie flat once sealed, for storage in the fridge, plus they can be frozen, too. Milk storage bags also make life easier later on, when you want to defrost and warm your frozen breast milk to feed to your baby. If you want to express your milk directly into milk storage bags, take a look at our Pump & Save bags. Peace of mind on the move Medela breast milk storage bags come with a handy transport pouch that keeps them together and organised without taking up lots of space. The pouch is also printed with clear, illustrated instructions, so you can feel confident when using the bags on the go. There’s no need to worry about leaks, either, as each breast milk bag has double zip protection and double walls, and the seams are heat sealed to prevent tearing, splitting or cracking. While expressed breast milk remains safe at room temperature for up to four hours,1 if you have to transport it for longer periods of up to eight hours you’ll need to keep the milk storage bags in a cooler bag with ice packs. For more details, read our article on travelling and pumping. Hygiene when using breast milk storage bags Good hygiene is vital to ensure stored expressed breast milk is safe for your baby to drink. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and drinking-quality water, then dry them with a fresh towel or a single-use paper towel, before touching the milk storage bag. Try not to touch the inside of the bag. On the subject of hygiene, Medela breast milk storage bags are only meant to be used once. Don’t ever reuse the same bag, as this could cause cross-contamination. The good news is that, as they come in packs of 25 or 50, you’ll have plenty to keep you going. Freezing expressed breast milk Breast milk storage bags are ideal for freezing your expressed breast milk, as they’re freezer-proof, ready to use and easy to label – simply fill in the panel on the front of the bag to keep track of the dates. Remember that, like all liquids, breast milk expands as it freezes, so don’t fill the milk storage bags past the 180 ml mark, which is clearly labelled. Thanks to their flat shape, the bags are easy to slip into the freezer – and quick to defrost, too. Thawing frozen breast milk To avoid losing all the vitamins, minerals and other important ingredients in your breast milk, always thaw your frozen breast milk storage bag inside the fridge. This will take around eight hours, so make sure you factor the time into your preparations. Don’t try to speed things up by heating a bag in the microwave or putting it in a pan of boiling water, as these methods can cause ‘hot spots’ in the milk that are a scalding risk. How to warm breast milk Your baby may prefer your expressed milk if it’s at body temperature, because it seems more like milk that’s come directly from the breast. It’s easy to warm your milk in a Medela breast milk storage bag: either place it into a bowl of warm water or a bottle warmer, or run it under a warm (maximum of 37 °C or 98.6 °F, which is body temperature) tap.
- No leaks with double zip protection and double walls
- No tearing, splitting or cracking with heat-sealed seams
- Bags stand upright for easy handling and lie flat for storage
- Transport pouch included to keep breast milk bags organised and clean
- BPA free
Breastfeeding with Contact Nipple Shields
Medela Contact Nipple Shields protect the nipples during feeding and help the baby to latch on. The special shape offers high skin contact. The BPA-free shields are available in three sizes and come in a practical storage box.
Medela Contact Nipple Shields offer a durable, comfortable and convenient way to make breastfeeding easier. These Medela nipple shields are designed to help mums breastfeed babies with latch-on difficulties by providing a larger, firmer target for latching. They can also be used to help mums with flat, inverted or sore nipples or an overactive let-down to breastfeed. The Contact Nipple Shields are specially designed and constructed to provide close contact for the baby.
Benefits of Contact Nipple Shields
- Available in three sizes: 16mm, 20mm and 24mm
- Unique cut-out shape allows for high skin contact between the mother and baby
- Enables breastfeeding despite latch-on difficulties or sore, flat or inverted nipples
- New PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield – a whole new pumping experience, personalised to you
- Medela 2-Phase Expression® technology mimics babies’ sucking for a more natural pumping experience
- Compact, portable and easy to use
- Closed system prevents breast milk from entering the tubing.
Shaped around you
Every mum is different. Your breast shape is unique and can change throughout your breastfeeding journey. With our new PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield
, you can easily adapt the way your Medela breast pump fits to help you find the most comfortable, effective, position to express. A more natural pumping experience
When your baby latches on, he sucks quickly at first to start the milk flow, then more slowly to feed. Medela 2-Phase Expression®
technology mimics these instinctive rhythms for a more natural-feeling and comfortable pumping experience. Simple to operate, comfortable to use
Medela Swing has a very simple design and is extremely portable. It’s easy to assemble and take apart for cleaning so all parts can be sanitised quickly.
At a glance
Compact, light and portable Manual breast pumps like Harmony™ are perfect for busy schedules, as a backup to your electric pump, or for occasional use if you normally breastfeed your baby. Small enough to fit into your handbag and with no need for batteries or wires, mums love their on-the-go hand pumps. PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield With a 105-degree opening angle, soft rim and oval shape for a better fit, the PersonalFit Flex™ shield puts less pressure on your milk ducts than traditional breast shields, resulting in a more effective and comfortable pumping session. More comfort for you, more milk for your baby – clinically proven.1 Ergonomic handle This intuitive 2-Phase Expression technology handle allows you to mimic your baby’s sucking rhythm2,3, making Harmony™ one of the best manual pumps to choose from . To fully benefit from handle’s functionality, first use the short side at a fast pace to stimulate milk flow. After you see breast milk flowing, use the long side of the handle to extract your milk. It’s as easy as 1 - 2! Perfect on the go and for occasional use: Lighter, quieter and easier to use than electric pumps, Harmony™ is one of the best manual pumps thanks to 2-Phase Expression technology and the PersonalFit Flex™ breast shield. Simple to use and easy to take anywhere, hand breast pumps are great for on-the-go pumping and occasional use. For mums who pump more frequently, a double electric pump like the Swing Maxi Flex™ or Freestyle Flex™ may be a better choice.
- Compact, light and portable: take the Harmony™ anywhere you go.
- Discreet & quiet: pump with it confidently anytime and anywhere.
- PersonalFit Flex™ breast shields: for increased comfort and more milk1.
- 2-Phase Expression technology: its unique handle helps you mimic your baby's natural suckling rhythm 2, 3.
- Simple to use: intuitive and ergonomic design.
- Easy to clean: stripped-down assembly and disassembly, also washing and sanitizing Harmony™ is child's play.
- Closed system prevents breast milk from spilling.