Breastfeeding with Large Breasts:
If we were designed for this, why is it so hard?
Ah, the joys of breastfeeding: the quiet moments of bonding, the feeling of satisfaction that comes from nourishing your baby, being able to eat an extra 500 calories, it's heavenly bliss.
Most of the time,
but we also have to deal with sore nipples, breast infections, embarrassing milk leaks, backaches, and WAY bigger boobs (which is great unless you're already huge).
It's a common myth that women with large breasts have an easier time nursing. This just isn't true!
In fact, women with a large chest face challenges that are uniquely theirs. Being informed and having support from family, friends, and if needed, professionals can help make breast feeding easier for both baby and mom.
One of the most important things a well-endowed mommy can own is a nursing bra designed specifically for a full figure.
There are a lot of nursing bras out there, but only a select few can give the support and comfort that we need. Know what to look for when shopping for a nursing bra.Why do women's breasts get bigger while nursing?
To answer this question it's important to understand some breast anatomy. A woman's breast is composed, of fat, lactiferous ducts (milk ducts), mammary glands (the milk bags), and connective tissue like collagen.
During nursing, the mammary glands fill with milk causing the breasts to grow larger.
That's the simplified version, but you get the idea. Breasts grow during pregnancy because they are transforming from fashionable accessories, into full blown milk factories.
Do large breasts produce more milk?
This is a common misconception. Breast milk is produced by mammary glands. A woman with a bra size of 32A can have just as many mammary glands as a woman with 38DD's, therefore producing just as much milk.
There are other factors that can influence the amount of breast milk production, but breast size alone usually isn't one of them.
One of the hardest things about nursing, regardless of breast size, is getting the baby to latch on correctly.
Sore nipples, prolonged engorgement, and feelings of frustrations can result.
Some large breasted women also suffer from flat or inverted nipples. Flat nipples can either be caused by heredity, or reportedly by the weight of the breast.
No matter the cause, flat and inverted nipples are quite common, even among males
(men don't have to breastfeed, but they do face going topless at the beach, so we women should send a little sympathy their way).
Because it is so common, there's nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It is quite possible to breastfeed with this condition, and there are tips, exercises, and products that can make it easier.
TV and the media can make nursing seem so easy. Hold the baby to the chest and Viola, instant breastfeeding. This is rarely how it works for any woman. Holding a newborn and trying to juggle two large breasts can be a daunting task.
There are recommended nursing positions that can help make mom comfortable and make it easier for baby. The football hold is one of them.
Breast PumpsSometimes it is necessary to use a breast pump.
This can be a lifesaving piece of equipment that can help you to continue breastfeeding when you have to return to work, have engorgement, or if you just want to give dad a chance to experience a late-night feeding.
There are a whole range of breast pumps available from terrible to terrific. Some come with special features for added comfort if you're nursing with a big bust.
Public vs PrivateMany women don't mind breastfeeding in public and they have a right to do so.
although my personal opinion is that 'it' shouldn't be whip out in church, at public eating areas, or during presidential debates.
This raises yet another challenge of being large chested and nursing. For those of us who desire some privacy while breastfeeding, how can we hold the baby, hold the breast, cover ourselves with a blanket (if desired), and see what we're doing, all the without drawing the attention of a crowd?
"Hey everybody, gather around! The large breasted woman is trying to nurse!"
All joking aside, public nursing can be difficult. When shopping for nursing apparel keep your eyes open for ones that will facilitate breastfeeding the best. There are also some tricks that will make public feedings easier.
There is a lot of information available for nursing mothers. The most important thing is to do what's best for your baby (and for you.) The La Leche League is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping women breastfeed.