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Our baby was born last week and my partner is struggling with soreness from breastfeeding. One thing we have noticed is that the nipple (not the areola) is left out of shape post-feeding; it's oval shaped, it's not sloping off to the sides etc. so it appears the baby is centred on the nipple, but the shape is consistently that the wide points of the oval line up with the corners of the mouth, and the narrow points of the oval between the nose and chin. She is also describing spells of a sudden and hard biting/chewing type of sensation during feeding, and there is a bit of clicking noise as he suckles.

Is this oval shape indicative of a particular problem in the process? If the latch is good should the nipple come away from feeding rounded?

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    By nipple are you meaning just the tip, or the whole areola? – Acire Sep 11 '16 at 0:57
  • the nipple, not the areola – rg255 Sep 11 '16 at 9:18
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It's not normal having pain while breastfeeding. If she feels any pain, the latch maybe it's wrong. The nipple has, beside this oval shape, the tip like a lipstick? That sometime it is a sign from short tongue tie. If the baby's tongue has the tip like a heart when you see it, maybe it's that. Or your baby doesn't put enough areola in her/his mouth. When a baby it's eating, the only noise you have to listen is the swallowing, the cheeks looks like it's chewing, they "puff". I recommend a breastfeeding consultant to check the latch.

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Given it's only the nipple and not the areola that's affected, most likely the baby does not have a good latch. A good latch should be well up on the areola, with the nipple going into the baby's mouth far enough that the sucking comes more from the throat than from the mouth. This should also help cut down on the chewing and biting, and make them less uncomfortable when they do happen as they will be distributed across a larger area rather than concentrated just on the nipple.

She may need to hold the baby's head up and support it further onto the nipple. If the baby is small, she could try alternative holds - for our 6-7 pound firstborn, a one armed "football" hold worked well. A breastfeeding consultant might be a good idea.

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