Not necessarily, there are plenty of women who breastfeed with flat nipples.
Babies are very versatile at adapting to their mothers and often breastfeed
successfully without any problems.
Large numbers of women ask if there is anything they can do whilst they’re
pregnant to ensure successful breastfeeding and there is mixed advice. Research
continues as to the effectiveness of nipple preparation. There are a few products
on the market which claim to help prepare your nipples for feeding, particularly
if you are concerned you will have problems. These are simply a syringe attached
to a nipple shaped cup which, when used, works to encourage the erectile tissue
to form a shape which, in theory, is easier for a baby to latch onto. Follow
the instructions provided by the manufacturer, which is usually to use the device
for two to three months, preferably before or in the first six months of pregnancy
to prepare your nipples for feeding.
The clinical trials that have been carried out for these products so far seem
promising but, the best advice is still to consult your midwife or lactation
consultant. Inform your midwife at the time of the birth of your baby so that
she will assist you with the initial ‘latch on’ of your baby to
your breast – the first experience of your baby breastfeeding needs to
be as fulfilling as possible.