If you’re worried breastfeeding with large breasts will cause you problems then these tips are for you. People often assume that having large breast makes it easier to breastfeed, yet the the extra breast tissue in large breasts can create challenges for you. If your breasts are on the larger side (DD and upwards) then these tips are for you. Mama Milk want to help you to tackle these obstacles and help give you a positive breastfeeding experience.
Breastfeeding with Large Breasts
Challenge 1: Nursing Positions
Positioning your baby correctly for feeding can be difficult when you have large breasts. A downward pointing nipple is not a good position for you or for baby to attach properly. Imagine trying to drink a can of juice with your chin tucked in or whilst lying down and you’ll see the difficulty. Think how you would normally drink the juice? With your head upright and slightly tilted back? This is exactly how a baby needs to breastfeed.
The best breastfeeding positions for large-chested mothers are the cradle hold, rugby/football hold, lying down, cross over position, sit position and biological nursing. To save you from painful arm ache and a sore back we recommend buying a good breastfeeding pillow. It will help you to support and lift baby in the correct position.
Challenge 2: Nursing Bra to Fit
With large breasts you will need to find a good bra to support them whilst breastfeeding. A special nursing bra is particularly important if you have large breasts. A bra which is too tight or digging into sections of your breast can restrict milk flow and cause painful conditions like blocked ducts and mastitis.
By the third trimester your breasts will slow in growth but will increase in size when your milk supply comes in after birth. We recommend waiting you until this time to get measured for a nursing bra. An alternative is buying a bra extender to tackle the fluctuation in size whilst your milk supply settles. A cotton bra will help to keep yours breast comfortable and free from the dreaded heat rash.
Challenge 3: Choosing a Breast Pump
Large breasts more than often mean large nipples and areola. You will need to take this into consideration if you are looking to buy a breast pump. A breast pump will only work effectively if your nipple and areola fit into the breast shield correctly.
If you think you will need a larger sized breast shield then you’ll want a breast pump model that comes with optional shield sizes. A standard size shield is 24-25mm so you can try out these model which have a variety of shield sizes ranging from small to XXL. Check out the Medela breast shield fitting guide.
Breast pump models which offer large fit breast shields:
Challenge 4: Breast Hygiene
It’s natural for new mums to sweat a lot to get rid of the excess fluid from pregnancy. If you have large breasts you know this is going to mean the dreaded heat rash under and between your breasts. Hygiene is essential to prevent bacterial growth which can lead to a painful itch and possibly infection. Regular washes will help to keep bacteria at bay. Use unscented washes and dry thoroughly to keep skin free from fungal infections.
Try to have some ‘bra free’ time during the day so your breasts have time to let air circulate. When buying a nursing bra, cotton is best as it will allow the air to circulate and is naturally anti bacterial.
Challenge 5: Nursing in Public
If your breasts attract a lot (unwanted) attention, this can leave you feeling self conscious about your body. Feeling this way can make it really difficult to attempt breastfeeding in public as discreetly as possible. We suggest practising to feed in front of a mirror to see just how much is on show before taking on the feat of nursing in public.
If you are worried about everything falling out then a cover up is a great option. A nursing cover or cloth baby sling will cover over your breasts but allow you to still have eye contact with baby.