Today I'd like to talk about breastfeeding with large breasts. It's a common misunderstanding that large breasts are better for breastfeeding. Some think they make more milk. The reality is that breasts of all sizes are suitable for breastfeeding; so long as milk supply is there, the size doesn't matter.
Large breasts can pose a challenge to breastfeeding as some women find it difficult to maneuver their breasts in a way that doesn't block their infant's nostrils. They also find their breasts to be too heavy and they struggle to hold their baby while holding their breast. I frequently encounter moms who need help breastfeeding when they have larger breasts. There are a few holds/positions that can make things easier.
Enter my friend Roxanne Branford-Bogalis. She is a mom to a 27 week preemie and is married to a talented musician (that part is important!). Breastfeeding, babywearing, and cloth diapering have become her passion on her journey through motherhood. She loves helping moms any way she can and as a large breasted woman herself jumped at the chance to help me educate moms on this topic.
Read on to hear her best tips and be sure to watch the video at the top for her tips on babywearing and breastfeeding with large breasts both in a sling and a soft structured carrier. Thanks Roxanne!
Practice Makes Perfect
"Having larger breasts may seem like a hinderance, but with practice nursing your baby in several different positions it is rather easy.
When your baby is little you may be concerned with suffocating the baby. Rest assured if baby can't breathe, baby will unlatch. I know this can be frustrating so hopefully this helps.
The Modified Football Hold
I found that when my daughter was smaller a modified football hold or laid back nursing were the best options for allowing her to nurse without me having to hold my breast away from her nose.
For a modified football hold I would lay baby's back flat across my forearm and place my breast on top of her tummy, and then bring baby up toward my nipple. You can use a pillow or boppy to take some strain off your arm.
Laid Back Nursing
For laid back nursing I found that the larger your breasts the farther back you should lay. I found laying flat on my back with a pillow supporting my head was most comfortable. I would lay baby belly to belly in a T shape with me, and once latched, turn her face to one side so that her face is visible to me. This would allow my breast to slightly pancake out and I wouldn't have to worry about her being able to breathe.
The Thumb Press
And, if necessary, you can press your thumb gently on your breast (so as to not break the seal) to allow a little room around the nostrils."
As time goes on and your baby grows and becomes more efficient at breastfeeding, things will become easier and the size of your breasts will be less and less of an issue. I found these tips and pictures to be so helpful and I hope you did too! Thanks again Roxanne.