Breastfeeding is a challenging experience for many mothers. Women who have large breasts have difficulties women with smaller breasts do not experience. Although breast size does not correlate to milk production, women with a bra size of DD or larger may experience issues achieving a good latch, finding a comfortable nursing position and nursing in public. If you experience difficulty breastfeeding or have any questions, consult a lactation consultant or health care professional knowledgeable in breastfeeding.
Achieving a good latch is one of the most important aspects of breastfeeding. A good latch is essential in preventing nipple soreness and it ensures that your baby is able to remove the milk from your breast effectively. Large-breasted women sometimes have difficulty with this due to the awkwardness of trying to hold both the baby and breast at the same time. Larger breasts may also have larger areolas, which may be difficult for a newborn to latch onto. Breastfeeding requires that babies take not only the nipple, but a good portion of the areola into the mouth as well. The nipple needs to hit at the soft palate toward he back of the mouth.
Breastfeeding mother’s can hold their newborns in a variety of ways. Large-breasted women may benefit from using the football hold. With this technique, your baby is along your side, with her head in your hand and the rest of her body tucked into the crook of your elbow. This hold is titled the football hold because it is similar to the way a football player holds the ball as he is running down the field. This hold helps because it allows one hand to control the baby’s head while the other hand is free to position the breast.
In the early days of breastfeeding your baby following his birth, it is especially important to hold your breast. Forming your hand into the shape of a C, with your fingers underneath the breast and your thumb on top will compress your breast, making it easier for your baby to latch onto the nipple. Women with very large or full breasts may need to maintain this hold throughout the nursing session. This hold helps keep the weight and fullness of the breast off of the baby, ensuring that he can breathe properly.
One very frustrating aspect that larger breasted women experience while breastfeeding is finding a good-fitting and supportive nursing bra. It can be difficult to find a nursing bra in sizes larger than DDD in many stores. Ill-fitting nursing bras, especially those with underwire, can cause problems including plugged ducts and mastitis because the milk isn’t able to completely drain from the breast. Large-breasted women may benefit from visiting a specialty boutique or website specializing in larger nursing bras, or even having bras custom made, if necessary.