Breastfeeding with Hypoplastic (Tubular) Breasts

Breast tissue develops when you hit puberty between the ages of eleven and thirteen. However, there are conditions which prevent it from fully forming. They are often undetectable until after you get pregnant and give birth. This article will help you understand more about this condition, known as breast hypoplasia, as well as how to breastfeed with hypoplastic breasts.

What are Tuberous Breasts?

Hypoplastic or tuberous breasts are basically breasts which have not matured fully. In this case, women have insufficient amounts of breast tissue that support milk synthesis. Tuberous breasts result in greatly reduced milk supply or lack thereof.

What are the Causes of Breast Hypoplasia?

There are several causes of hypoplastic breast syndrome, such as:

  • A shortage of progesterone levels in the body can result in underdeveloped breast alveolar tissue, which produces the milk.
  • Another possibility for breast hypoplasia is the number of pesticides in the diet. Women who live in farming valleys have been shown to have poorly developed breast glands.
  • Reduced production of thyroid hormones, that is hypothyroidism, has also been implicated in tuberous breasts and reduced milk productions.
  • Conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), also affect the proper maturation of breast tissue.
  • PCOS can cause hypoplasia. The best person to see about this issue, if you have PCOS, is an endocrinologist because the regular FP or OB/GYN won’t know how to help you.

Symptoms of Hypoplastic Tubular Breast

Some common breast hypoplasia symptoms include:

  • Tuberous breasts are considerably smaller and extended or tubular in appearance. They are also spaced away from each other.
  • The areolas and nipples of these breasts are expanded in size and tend to bulge at the tip.
  • Hypoplastic breasts are generally of different sizes, making them lopsided.
  • The breasts may not change in size during puberty, in the course of pregnancy or even after giving birth.

Diagrammatic comparison of tuberous and normal breasts

Can You Breastfeed with Hypoplastic Breasts?

It is certainly possible to breastfeed with hypoplastic or tuberous breasts. This depends on the milk-production tissue in your breasts, as sometimes there might be sufficient amounts to produce enough milk. Another likelihood is that the condition might affect just one breast, that is you might have properly developed breastmilk production tissue in the other breast. Tubular breasts breastfeeding might need supplementation in many cases as well.

Tips to Improve Breast Milk Supply with Tubular Breasts

Even with breast hypoplasia, there is no reason why you should not be able to feed your baby. Here are some tips to improve breastfeeding with tubular breasts:

  • One method of stimulating milk production is by massaging your breasts.
  • It is important that you consult with a lactation expert during your pregnancy to ensure you can successfully feed your baby after birth.
  • It is helpful to start using a breast pump a day or two after birth. This is because pumping breast milk can increase production as it stimulates milk synthesis. The pumped breastmilk can be used to feed your baby when your breasts aren’t making enough.
  • Breast hypoplasia treatments include managing metabolic conditions like hypothyroidism and PCOS.
  • You can also consider supplemental methods of feeding such as using milk from donors or prescribed formula. You may also consider lactation aids such as feeding tubes and nursing.
  • Among the most common reasons when it comes to lactation or nursing problems are incorrect breast latching and positioning of the baby when breastfeeding. Fixing these can improve suckling and milk production.
  • You may also inquire about using natural hormone treatments, such as progesterone, which can promote the development of breast glandular tissue in the course of pregnancy.
  • Another technique to promote stimulation is feeding your baby on demand, that is whenever they want to be fed rather than on a strict regimen. You can also pump in between nursing times to keep a steady supply of milk.
  • One of the most important things to do is consume a nutritious balanced diet consisting of all food groups, as well as remain hydrated and well rested. This will help improve the production of breastmilk.

It is possible to surgically reform hypoplastic tubular breasts, but while this can fix the physical symptoms of the condition, the chances of breast tissue development are very low. This means it is unlikely that surgically including milk glands will result in increased milk production.

Also Read: Breastfeeding with Flat or Inverted Nipples