Breast comes in different shapes and sizes, and all of them work just fine for breastfeeding. Naturally, some mothers have large breasts, while many others find their breasts to have increased to an extent after pregnancy.
Normally, the size of a woman’s breasts, be it large or small, doesn’t reflect their milk-production capacity, nor how easy breastfeeding is. The glandular tissue in the breast is responsible for milk production.
As a first-time mom, positioning and attachment is the key. Some mothers and their newborns breastfeed well from the start, while some may take a little more time and effort.
Regardless of the breast size, in this article, we discuss easy breastfeeding positions for large breasts that can help make your nursing experience easy and also some nursing tips to follow.
- 1 Breastfeeding Positions For Large Breast: 7 Best Positions
- 2 Other Breastfeeding Tips For Women With Large Breasts
- 3 Preparation is Half the Work
Breastfeeding Positions For Large Breast: 7 Best Positions
According to Jess Willis, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and the owner of Sunshine Lactation in Jacksonville, Florida, she tell Romper “I observed that for mothers with very large breasts, positioning a baby and the breast at the same time can be somewhat overwhelming; it can feel like you need five hands.
Breasts consist of fatty tissue, glandular tissue, and connective tissue. It can be trickier to get the best breastfeeding position that works when you have a large breast. As you may know, knowing the best position and attachment that works better can make practice perfect.
Here are some best breastfeeding positions for large-breasted mum. Try any of them out and see what works for you
1. Cradle Hold
According to Krystal Duhaney, RN, IBCLC, and founder of Milky Mama she says the cradle hold position is usually common for nursing newborns. And many other breastfeeding experts recommend this as a first hold to try when breastfeeding your baby.
However, the cradle hold position can also be a good option for moms with large breasts, if they modify the hold slightly, allowing the baby to rest on their forearm to make sure that they have one hand free to support their breast and ensure a good latch.
2. Football Hold
The “football hold” position is frequently taught to large-breasted moms at the hospital says, Jess Willis. To practice this position, the baby’s body is tucked under your arm like a football, while his/she’s facing you.
Get something to support your breast like a pillow, rolled towel, or a rolled receiving blanket. This will help you find a way to take breaks so you don’t get tired.
The “football hold” position can be very helpful, as it allows parents to see the latch, and place the nipple into the baby’s mouth.
However, Jess Willis says that this can result in shallow latching, as very often baby’s chin tucks into their chest in this position. She suggests that if this happens, you should try another position that can deepen the latch.
3. Side Lying
Jess Willis says “I find that the Side-Lying is often the most comfortable position for moms with large breasts.
To practice this, nursing moms should lie down and lay the baby next to her, bringing the baby to the bottom of her breast to latch the nipple.
And with a pillow placed behind the lower back, or between the knees, and a rolled blanket behind the baby’s back, moms with large breasts can feel supported and comfortable while nursing their baby.
If you choose to nurse in bed, move your baby to a different surface for sleeping as soon as they are done eating, to reduce their risk of SIDS says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
4. Baby In Lap
One advantage to having large breasts is that it may make using a breastfeeding pillow unnecessary says the Australian Breastfeeding Association noted that. Normally, your baby can sit directly on your lap and latch properly.
They recommend bringing the baby to your breast, rather than your breast to the baby, and make sure there’s a wide, deep latch by squeezing your breast like a sandwich allowing your baby to open wide before letting them latch.
Read Also: Breastfeeding in Public (11 Helpful Tips)
6. Laid Back
This position, which is often termed as “biological nurturing,” can help relieve pressure for both the mom and baby say Duhaney. To practice this, you need to lie on your back while your baby is supported by your body.
The laid-back position is considered biological because it is used by animals in nature. Your baby will latch on properly without having to manipulate your breasts.” And by instinct, babies will turn their head so they aren’t face down in your breast says Duhaney.
One of the advantages for moms with large breasts is this position flattens your breast, making it easier for your baby to latch taking the weight of your breasts off your baby.
Duhaney suggest also “Having large breasts doesn’t instinctively mean you have a large let-down, but if it happens, this will make your milk release more steady for your baby because your milk isn’t fighting gravity”.
6. Supported Breast
Duhaney suggests that if your breasts are too large for you to hold with a free hand, roll a receiving blanket or using a pillow underneath to lift your breast and take any weight off your baby.
She tells Romper that you can create a ring sling from a scarf by putting it under your breast, tying it behind your neck ease your hands.
Duhaney added that this practice can be used with any position; just ensure that it’s safe so it doesn’t affect your baby’s airway.
7. Cross-Cradle Hold
According to Duhaney, this position is the same but opposite of the cradle hold. “Cross-cradle hold position supports the back of your baby’s head with your hand while your forearm supports their back. Your baby’s bum is resting in the crook of your arm.
Now put your baby across your body to feed on the opposite breast from the arm you’re using, so that your arm on the nursing side is free to position your breast or your baby’s latch, this gives you more control.”
The cross-cradle hold position is best for new moms or moms who are working on getting their baby to latch because it allows you to have a really good hold on your baby and you can easily position them says Duhaney.
Read Also: How To Lose Belly Fat While Breastfeeding
Other Breastfeeding Tips For Women With Large Breasts
1. Ask For Help
Many mothers often refrain from asking people for help. This could probably be because they are proud, shy, or reserved about something so intimate.
Usually, with first-time moms, they might feel that they are supposed to know this intuitively, and asking for help might undermine their parenting skills or make them look like a bad mom.
All these are not true. It is best advised you ask for help and resolve your questions as much as possible. Mothers with all types of breast size or shape need help and assistance in getting a hang of breastfeeding.
2. Learn From Your Baby
Large breasts tend to hold more milk than others. This leads to your baby feeding a lot more than usual, and with time, having a long feeding cycle with longer gaps in the between as well.
As necessary as it is to follow a guideline of breastfeeding, it is important to learn from the baby as well and know the signs of his hunger. Once your baby gets the hang of the breasts, he/she can easily latch on to them, big or small.
3. Make Use of the Mirror
Learning with a mirror can help you understand the placement of the baby’s mouth and the location of your nipple.
It’s difficult for you to see it from your point of view with a large breast. Therefore checking the mirror’s reflection and making adjustments accordingly can help make the job easier for you.
4. Monitor Your Baby’s Weight
Since large breasts can hold a lot of milk, they can however end up with not enough milk at times, too. And this cannot be attributed to the frequent feeding cycles of the baby. Hence, it is important to have a doctor or the nurse keep a check on the baby’s weight regularly.
Neither should your baby be lacking in the appropriate weight gain over time nor should her milk consumption be too much, that her weight gain is massive. Rather sticking to a healthy balance makes it best both for the mother as well as the child.
5. Handling Engorged Breasts
Some mother’s breasts are medium to small before pregnancy. However, after giving birth, their breasts seem to swell up a lot more than they expected.
Such a condition is known as breast engorgement, and this can also be due to an overabundant production and supply of breast milk.
These can be painful for the mother and cause further challenges in being able to feed the baby properly. It is important to talk to your doctors about these conditions since they could result in complications later on.
Read Also: How To Relieve Sore Nipple Breastfeeding
6. Keep the Breasts Soft
With a large production of breast milk, the breasts can easily get full, even when it’s not time for nursing. This makes the breasts extremely dense and heavy, which makes it difficult for the mother.
More so, when the baby attempts to feed, she can’t latch properly since the breast is hard and she can’t get her mouth completely over the nipple.
Hence, you must retrieve the excess breast milk either by using your hands to pump it naturally or using a breast pump and storing your milk for later use.
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Preparation is Half the Work
Large breasts can cause back pain and neck pain to mothers. If you’re a first-time mom with large breasts or seem to see quite an enlargement of breasts during pregnancy, it is wise to educate yourself and be conscious of the possible difficulties and techniques you can explore to make your postpartum life easier and stress-free.
Motherhood challenges come in all sorts and forms. And with large breasts, these are further enhanced to make it even more daunting than before. However, a proper and more suitable position is important for the baby to feed properly.
And knowing the right information and being aware of the best breastfeeding positions for large breasts, you can reduce your anxiety and take care of your baby to keep both of you, safe and healthy throughout the journey.