Breastfeeding: Nipple compression stripe

When my baby comes off my breast I notice a stripe across my nipple (slightly whitened) and the nipple appears a bit compressed. I am having a bit of pain while nursing. Why does this happen?


Kathy Kuhn

Kathy Kuhn is a registered nurse who has been working with breastfeeding families since 1981. She has been an International Board Certified... Read more

The type of nipple pain and appearance you describe is not a normal or expected part of breastfeeding. Any soreness that lasts past the baby's tenth day of life is often caused by poor position and latch.

When a baby has a good deep latch the lips are widely flanged with only a very slight angle at the corner of the lips. If the baby's lips appear to be "kissing" the breast or puckered that can indicate a shallow latch. The best way to ensure a deep latch is to wait until the baby opens very wide, like a big yawn, before allowing the baby to latch.

A shallow latch can also be an indicator of other breastfeeding concerns and can sometimes inhibit the baby's ability to get milk from the breast efficiently. Be sure to address this concern as soon as possible with a board certified lactation consultant for a complete evaluation of the situation. Luckily, this concern is an easy fix once you make simple changes in your technique.

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