Large breasts: Positioning pointers

I have very large breasts -- 44 H. I nursed both of my children -- the first for eight weeks and the second for 16 months. I found it very difficult to position my babies at my breast. I would like to get some ideas that may help me to nurse my next baby more easily.

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

It can sometimes be quite challenging for the large-breasted woman to find a comfortable position in which to nurse. There are several that seem to work well for the nursing mom with large breasts:

  • You could try feeding your little one while sitting back in a roomy recliner. Hold your baby at your side, on her back, supported to breast level. Pillows may be of help, but don't forget to hold your baby firmly. Support her neck and bring her to your breast. Leaning back in the recliner allows your breast tissue to flatten slightly, making it easier for your baby to access your nipple/areola. She will need to take in approximately one inch of your areola to properly access your milk.
  • Another position, the Australian hold, can also work well. In this position, you lie on your back with your baby on top of you. This works best once your baby has good neck control.
  • A large nursing pillow, designed for twins, can also be of much help to the large-breasted mom. Again, babies like to feel well-supported. Continue to hold your baby, even when pillows provide much of the support.

To support large breasts while nursing, you could use a rolled up diaper or baby blanket, placed underneath your breast. Or you might try a soft, stretchy piece of fabric, worn around your neck, and brought under one breast, gently supporting it. (Stitch or tie at one end, like a necklace.) When using your hand to support your breast, keep fingers and palm underneath, and thumb, back toward your armpit. Be sure that all your fingers remain back from your areola. Whatever method you choose to support your breasts, make sure that they are well supported without distorting their shape.

Hoping these suggestions help to make nursing your next baby a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

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