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Indian Pediatr 2011;48: 651-652

Retracted Nipple- Innovative Solutions

Ritesh Singh

Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and J N M Hospital,
Kalyani, West Bengal, India.
Email: drriteshsingh@yahoo.com


A recent article in Indian Pediatrics was an interesting read [1]. The method suggested by the authors for treatment of retracted nipple, though not innovative, but is certainly worth noting. The age old techniques of using a syringe to protract the nipple may not work in all circumstances. Another recent article suggests tying a latex rubber band around the base of the nipple during feeding, with the help of a syringe applicator, to make it prominent [2]. Mothers could achieve latching at the breast with good attachment within one month. The other bedside technique for helping mothers with retracted nipple is "Make" a nipple. By holding the breast well back on the areola using index finger on the lower side and thumb on the upper side, more breast tissue can be put into baby’s mouth. Mother needs to press in with thumb and fingers while at the same time pushing back towards her chest wall. This elongates and narrows the areola, which enables baby to latch on more easily. Whatever method a health worker suggests for the treatment of inverted nipple, the most important message which needs to be given to the lactating mother is correct latching technique. If a mother properly holds the baby to her breast, half the battle is won. At the same, time instructing the mother to start lactating soon after birth is of paramount importance. With flat or inverted nipples, it is particularly important to put baby to mother’s breast as soon after the birth as possible.


1. Rathi S, Mandliya J. A Novel approach to correct retracted nipples. Indian Pediatr. 2011;48:245.

2. Chakrabarti K, Basu S. Management of Flat or Inverted Nipples with Simple Rubber Bands. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2011 Jan. 8 (E-pub ahead of print).


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