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Some women naturally have large breasts, while many others find their breasts to have increased substantially after pregnancy. Initially, this might seem like a welcome proposition for both the mother and the child. But when you start to figure out how to breastfeed with large breasts, it will feel like an entire challenge by itself.
Concerns Regarding Breastfeeding With Large Breasts
In the initial stages, the baby and the mother both are learning to figure out the basics of breastfeeding and what works for them. In such a case, having large breasts can get difficult for you to figure out where your nipple is exactly located and where the baby’s mouth is. This can result in quite some time and struggle in making sure that your baby has latched on to your breast properly.
In certain pregnancy cases, women experience some pain after delivery. If you are one of those, sitting in a position that appropriately supports your breasts and the baby while controlling your pain, can get quite difficult.
Large breasts can cause you to worry that while the baby breastfeeds, the breast might end up suffocating him by covering his nose or the entire face. Or that he might end up drinking a lot of milk, resulting in other problems.
Nursing Tips for Women With Large Breasts
Here are a few tips you can keep in mind when breastfeeding if you have large breasts.
1. Ask For Assistance
Many mothers tend to refrain from asking for help. This could probably be because they are slightly shy or reserved about something so intimate. Or at times, especially with newer mothers, they might feel that they are supposed to know this intuitively and asking for help might make them look like a bad mother.
None of this is true and you should ask for help and resolve your queries as much as possible. All sorts of mothers with all types of breasts require help and assistance in getting a hang of breastfeeding.
2. Learn From Your Baby
Large breasts have a higher capacity to hold milk than others. This can result in your baby feeding a lot more than usual, and over time, having longer feeding cycles with longer gaps in the between as well. As important as it is to follow a schedule of breastfeeding, it is just as required to learn from the baby as well and know the signs of his hunger. Also, once he gets the hang of the breasts, he can easily latch on to them, big or small.
3. Keep a Tab on the Baby’s Weight
If large breasts can hold a lot of milk, they can also end up with not enough milk at times, too. And this cannot be immediately evident with the frequent feeding cycles of the baby. Therefore, it is necessary to have a nurse or the doctor keep a check on the baby’s weight regularly. Neither should he be lacking in the appropriate weight gain over time, nor should his milk consumption be so much, that the weight gain is tremendous. Adhering to a healthy middle makes it best both for the mother as well as the child.
4. Handling Engorged Breasts
Certain mothers have medium to small breasts prior to pregnancy. However, after pregnancy, their breasts seem to swell up a lot more than expected. Such a condition is termed as breast engorgement, which could also be due to an overabundant production and supply of breastmilk. These can very quickly get painful for the mother and cause further obstacles in being able to feed the baby properly. It is necessary to get a doctor’s opinion in treating these conditions since they could result in complications later on.
5. Keeping the Breasts Soft
With a large production of breastmilk, the breasts can very quickly get full, even when it isn’t the time for the baby’s feeding. This makes the breasts extremely dense and heavy, which is uncomfortable for the mother. Moreover, when the baby does try to feed, he can’t latch properly since the breast is hard and he can’t get his mouth completely over the nipple. Therefore, it is necessary for you to retrieve the excess breastmilk by either using your hands to pump it naturally or using a breast pump and storing it for feeding later.
6. Learning With A Mirror
A proper and comfortable position is extremely necessary for the baby to feed properly. Making use of a mirror can help you understand the placement of the baby’s mouth and the location of your nipple. Since large breasts can make it difficult for you to see it from your point of view, checking the mirror’s reflection and making adjustments accordingly can help achieve it rather easily.
7. The Tried-And-Tested C-Hold
This is one of the easiest and simplest techniques of ensuring successful breastfeeding in case of large breasts. In the c-hold, the mother holds the breasts in the area of the nipple and flattens it such that the baby can easily hold it in his mouth. This makes it easier to aim the breast and let your baby latch on properly onto it.
8. Other Breastfeeding Positions
Not all mothers can master the c-hold or can sit up in a position to feed her baby accordingly. With the guidance and 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 them.
9. Supporting The Breasts
Large breasts are heavy and can cause back pain and neck pain, especially when accompanied with long cycles of breastfeeding. Purchase new nursing bras that can keep your breasts supported as well as allow easy access to the nipple for breastfeeding. Don’t try out previous bras since their sizes will not be appropriate.
10. Preparation is Half the Work
If you already have large breasts or seem to see quite an enlargement of breasts during pregnancy, it is helpful to educate yourself and be more aware of the possible problems and techniques you can employ to make your postpartum life easier and pain-free.
Breastfeeding challenges come in all sorts and forms. And with large breasts, these are further enhanced to make it even complicated than before. By staying informed and aware of breastfeeding positions for large breasts, you can reduce your anxiety and take care of your baby to keep you and him, both safe and healthy throughout the journey.