Nipples come in all shapes and sizes and not all nipples point out away from the breast. Some nipples are flat while others are inverted and pull into the breast. Or, nipples may fall somewhere in between. The amount of fat in your breast, the length of your milk ducts, and the density of connective tissue beneath your nipples all play a role in whether or not your nipples protrude, lie flat, or are inverted. The shape of your nipples may also change during pregnancy. Sometimes, flat nipples push out during pregnancy and the first week or so after the baby is born.
Preparing to breastfeed
Can you prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy?
All you have to do is understand the process and trust that your body will know what to do when your baby is born. When you reached puberty, hormones released during your menstrual cycle—estrogen and progesterone—triggered breast development. Between weeks 16 and 22, your breasts begin to make colostrum: The super-concentrated first milk produced for your baby. The areola dark area of skin surrounding the nipple usually darkens and gets larger as does the nipple. Even now, you may notice some clear, yellow or white drops of colostrum leaking from your nipples, particularly when you take a warm shower or bath.
Information is Your Ally in preparing to breastfeed: 10 Tips for Success
From the moment your baby is born, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances for breastfeeding success. In many cases it is even possible to have your baby with you immediately after a caesarean birth. Try and use the first few days to get your position and attachment right, this may help to avoid potential problems down the track. Breastfeeding is a skill that both you and your baby are learning and for some mothers and babies it is harder than it is for others.
From your first trimester of pregnancy, your breasts have been growing—milk ducts have been enlarging and fat stores have been increasing. While your uterus and other internal organs have been nurturing and growing your baby, your breasts have also been changing throughout your pregnancy—preparing for the job of breastfeeding your newborn. Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your new baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and continuing to breastfeed for the first year and beyond, as long as it is beneficial for both mom and baby.