This post may contain affiliate links. This means I will earn a small percentage from each commission, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase through my links.

Misconceptions of a Busty Breastfeeding Momma

A large bust does NOT mean you are going to be:

A Natural at Breastfeeding

There are no guarantees with this experience.  Some women and their babies simply take to breastfeeding easier than others.  In fact, larger chested women usually have to put in a little more work to breastfeed successfully.  It is common for bigger busts to never experience the “hands-free” nursing abilities that smaller chested women are able to enjoy.  Sorry Ladies, it’s a sad but true statement.  The good news is that you can save yourself a few bucks and skip the nursing pillow, as you don’t need that extra reach to get to babies mouth!

A Super Milk Making Machine

The size of your breasts does not determine how much milk you are going to make.  Busty mommas can over or under produce just like their “regular” sized counterparts.  I had no issue with my first two babies, but with my third child I experienced severe under production, and my bust size was the biggest it had ever been (Yikes!!!).

large, chest, breast, bust, breastfeeding, plus size

Busty Momma Breastfeeding 101

In my experience breastfeeding three kids, I have learned a few lessons.  Life has gotten a little easier each time, but I do wish I had known all these things before my first was born.  Breastfeeding can be such a taboo topic, which means good advice is not always readily available.  Here are a few important things I wish I had known sooner:

Invest in a Supportive and Professionally Sized Bra

Finding a great fitting bra is a very important part of your breastfeeding journey  Bras that are too loose do not provide any support, which can leave you looking saggy, cause back pain and you are more likely to experience leaking. A bra that is too tight will compress your breasts, which can cause issues like clogged ducts or mastitis (which is the worst thing EVER, trust me). Continual compression can also result in a decrease in milk supply.  In olden days when breastfeeding wasn’t so popular, women would bind their chest in tight garments to literally suffocate their bodies from producing milk.  #themoreyouknow

Professional Bra Sizing

After baby arrives and your milk comes in, take a trip (and an extra set of hands to care for baby) to the mall.  I suggest going to Nordstrom, as their staff is professionally trained.  They will make sure you know your correct size and help you find a great fitting nursing bra.  Norstrom can even convert a regular bra to a nursing bra if you find one you love but does not have the function to feed your baby built in. I will warn you, these bras are not usually cheap. The investment in a quality bra is 100% is worth it, but I know that a pricey bra is not in everyone’s budget.  If you choose not to buy at the department store, you can take your measurements to a different store and find something that will meet your needs. This extra step to get measured is a huge time and patience saver. Spending hours in a dressing room leaking all over the place with the ‘trial and error’ technique of finding your size is no one’s idea of fun. You can read more on this topic here.

Practice Good Hygiene

I know this sounds obvious, but being postpartum adds an extra layer of difficulty.  During this time your hormones tend to be going crazy which commonly makes women sweat.  In addition, you are holding a very warm little infant in your arms almost constantly, and showers may not get to happen as frequently. All of this is very normal.  During this time, however, an opportunity opens up for bacteria to get in and cause rashes, yeast overgrowth, or thrush. These occurrences can be very painful for both you and baby and are best to be prevented as much as possible.

How to Keep Clean without Showering

Even if you don’t have time to shower as often as you would like, take the time to wash your chest a couple of times a day with a washcloth, especially if you are experiencing excessive sweating.  Dry your skin thoroughly.  I’ve even seen some people suggest using a hair dryer to make sure the areas are bone dry.  After doing this, consider applying a small amount of coconut oil on your skin.  Coconut oil is antibacterial and will help to prevent yeast overgrowth.  It can even be applied directly to the nipples, just make sure you’ve rubbed it into the skin well.  Depending on the time of year your little one is born, you may want to consider finding a cotton bra to help with breathability and to keep excess moisture off your skin.

Find your Favorite Breastfeeding Position(s)

Football 

When your baby is brand new, the easiest hold is often the football hold. This is commonly the first hold you are taught while in the hospital.  With you sitting up, baby lies against your side cradled in one arm.  Your hand is holding the back of babies head, while their feet and bum are supported by your elbow and forearm.  The opposite hand is holding your breast.  This is a great hold, but the baby may grow out of it quickly, so make sure to experiment with a few of these below.

Cradle 

Baby lays across your front, belly to belly with you.  Your arm is supporting babies head, with your hand holding their bottom/legs.  The opposite hand is holding your breast.

Baby in Lap

The same hold as the cradle hold except you are not belly to belly.  If the baby is lying in your arms, their belly will be facing up.  If the baby is assisted sitting in your lap, their belly will be facing off to the side.

Side Lying

This is my favorite infant breastfeeding position.  You and baby are both lying down.  You are on your side, using the bed to support the weight of your breast.  Your arm against the bed holds babies head in place.  The opposite hand holds your breast in the correct position.

Laid Back

Another great position for a newborn. You lay back in a reclined position while baby lies against your belly.  This can be done in one of two ways, either you can hold the baby in a cradle hold across your body, or baby can lay in the same direction as you are belly to belly.  Support their head with one hand and your breast with the other.

Find your Favorite Breast Hold

‘C’ Hold

Your hand holds the breast in a ‘C’ shaped position. Your thumb is compressing the top of your breast holding it away from baby’s nose while your four fingers are supporting the bottom.

‘U’ Hold

The palm of your hand is under your breast with your thumb and fingers on either side.  This is particularly useful for the cradle position since baby is in a laying position across your body.

‘V’ or Scissor Hold

This is my chosen hold.  Your thumb and first finger are on top of the breast holding the breast away from baby’s nose, with the other three fingers supporting underneath.  I have found that this hold is better than the ‘C’ hold when your infant gets older and wigglier.  It is easier to move the nipple to them than constantly reposition baby to reach your nipple.

Seek Help if you are Struggling

This is probably the most important lesson I’ve learned.  Is breastfeeding your baby is painful? – seek help.  If baby is always fussy and seems endlessly hungry – seek help.  Does baby is constantly breaking away from the breast during feedings – seek help. Talk to your pediatrician or OB, they can often refer you to a lactation consultant or local La Leche League group.

Don’t ever feel that you alone are the problem when struggling to breastfeed.  Even after having your second or third baby, there is no guarantee things will go smoothly. Every baby is different.  This journey is a partnership between you and your baby, and it’s common for baby to need a little extra guidance to successfully feed.  There is no shame in asking for help, your nursing relationship may depend on it.

Please visit the La Leche League website here, to find your local chapter.  The support and friendships you can make within this group are invaluable.  Another great resource website for breastfeeding is KellyMom, which can go more in-depth about breastfeeding techniques, tips, and your rights regarding breastfeeding in public.

Congratulations on your new little one, Momma!  May you find success during your breastfeeding season.

Melissa, xoxo, Sign off

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge