If you have large breasts — whether you started out that way, or they got very big during pregnancy and the first few weeks post pregnancy — you may have some concerns about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding with large breasts can be very difficult for first-time moms. It can be a challenge to find a comfortable position where you can see your baby’s mouth and your nipple making it harder to get the baby latched on correctly.
It can also be awkward and uncomfortable to hold both your breasts and your baby, especially if you are recovering from the delivery. Plus, you may be worried that your breasts are so big that they will block your child’s nose, and you’ll suffocate your little one while they’re nursing.
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All of these concerns are normal and well-founded. However, with a little help, you can get your breastfeeding off to a good start. Once you’re feeling more comfortable, your baby is latching on well, breastfeeding will become way easier and more natural. So here’s how you make breastfeeding easier for both you and your baby:
11 Tips for Breastfeeding When You’re Large Breasted
Doesn’t Hurt to be Prepared
If you can, take a breastfeeding class while you’re pregnant to learn how to latch your baby in different positions and holds. Buy a breastfeeding book, borrow a few from the library, or do a search for the basics of breastfeeding online. When you have little knowledge and information ahead of time, it can help you feel more comfortable and confident once your baby arrives.
Support your Breasts
Large breasts full of breast milk are heavy. A supportive nursing bra will hold up the extra weight of your breasts and help prevent back pain. Invest in a few nursing bras in your new size. You may even benefit from a bra fitting to get the right size, fit, and support.
Get some aid from the Beginning
Getting breastfeeding off to a good start begins with the very first breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in a comfortable position is important for all moms, but it’s especially important for moms with bigger breasts. The weight of your breasts alone can put a lot of strain on your back and neck, and breastfeeding in an uncomfortable position will just add to that. A good position can also help you to learn to latch your baby on to your breasts, which is another thing that may be even more difficult with bigger breasts. Consult with the nursing staff, a lactation consultant, or your midwife to show you which positions work well for breastfeeding with larger breasts and learn how to use bed pillows for additional support.Don’t worry, it won’t be long before you can do it by yourself.
Learn how to use the C-Hold
The C-hold is one of the ways you can hold your breast while you’re latching your baby on. When you have larger breasts, the c-hold can help you to support your breast and aim your nipple toward your baby’s mouth. This breast hold may make latching on easier, especially when you’re first starting out.
Breastfeed in Front of a Mirror for Help
If it’s difficult to see your baby’s mouth and your nipple, try breastfeeding while sitting in front of or next to a mirror. The mirror can give you a better view of your breast and your baby as he latches on to your breast.
Keep Massaging your Breasts
Try softening your breasts if they are hard and full of breast milk. If your breasts are tense and overfull, you can use a breast pump or hand pump some of your breast milk before you start breastfeeding. By removing some of your breast milk before you start nursing your baby, it will soften your breast and make it easier for your baby to latch on.
Check if your Breasts are Engorged
It is recommended to go to the doctor and do a check-up to treat breast engorgement and an overabundant breast milk supply. Even if you have small breasts, they may become swollen and large if you suffer from severe breast engorgement or an overabundant supply of breast milk. Talk to your doctor and learn how to deal with and treat these issues so they don’t lead to more serious complications.
See your Baby’s Doctor Regularly for Health Checks
Since breastfeeding issues such as a low breast milk supply or an overabundant breast milk supply can affect large breasted women, you should have your baby’s growth monitored by their doctor. You want to be sure that your baby is getting enough breast milk, but you also want to make sure that he is not gaining too much weight too quickly.
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Listen to what your Child is Trying to Say
One positive thing about having bigger breasts when you’re breastfeeding is that they may be able to have more breast milk than smaller breasts. As your baby gets older, they may be able to get more breast milk at each feeding and be able to wait longer between feedings. Pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and weight gain to prevent overfeeding them.
Realize that it’s Okay to ask for Help
It’s totally normal to be worried and have questions, and it’s okay to ask weird questions and seek help. All moms need support and reassurance, whether they have large, small or average-sized breasts. Your doctor is always there for you and a great starting point when you need help, so talk to them about your concerns. A lactation consultant can also provide encouragement and moral support.
Keep trying Various Breastfeeding Positions
Not all mothers can manage the c-hold or can sit up in a position to feed her baby in those positions. With the advice of nursing consultants, you can try feeding your baby using the football hold position (by cradling your baby like a football) or by lying down on your bed sideways and propping the breasts in such a way that your baby can feed off of them.