breastfeeding with very large breasts

Ladylaws - posted on 02/23/2012 ( 31 moms have responded )

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have very large breasts and having trouble feeding. I am a 44H! Help, I am on the verge of giving up. I can hardly see my baby over my huge boob when I try to feed and I have no clue what to do

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Kate CP - posted on 02/23/2012

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What positions have you tried? For larger breasted mommies (like muh-self) the cross-cradle hold is good or the football hold. Laying down on your side may be even better for you. Here is a great guide with pictures to help you out! Kellymom.com is a great resource for nursing moms. :)



Edited to add:



It would help if I included the website, huh? :P



http://www.kellymom.com/bf/start/basics/...

Leonie - posted on 02/26/2012

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Oops sorry the lanolin cream is called Lansinoh. Also I bought a a breast sling (it clips onto your nursing bra, picture a bra cup but it's a sling that helps support a larger breast when feeding). I got this through Mothers Direct which is a subsidiary of the Australian Breastfeeding Association. There website is www.mothersdirect.com.au. Sorry for the long winded advise but all the best

[deleted account]

I breastfed my son with HH boobs. You have to experiment with different holds. I was only able to do 1 type of hold for each side. Football on the left and cross cradle on the right. I could not do it in bed so don't feel bad if you can't. The breast just got in the way.



It's frustrating and I so sympathize with you. Seriously, try different holds, don't worry about switching them up. Find one that works ifyou can.

Malika - posted on 03/10/2012

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i am 48G and i am managing well i use my nursing bra which allows me to pull a small amount of the breast out in order to feed my daughter.

Esme - posted on 02/24/2012

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It is important to support your breasts. You can do this by rolling up a small towel or nappy and put it underneath your breasts. You might find the laid-back nursing position helpful.



Here is more info on laid-back nursing. It is from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding:

laid- back breastfeeding, or Biological Nurturing, means getting

comfortable with your baby and encouraging your own and your baby’s

natural breastfeeding instincts. See biologicalnurturing.com for further

information.

• Dress yourself and your baby as you choose.

• Find a bed or couch where you can lean back and be well supported— not

fl at, but comfortably leaning back so that when you put your baby on

your chest, gravity will keep him in position with his body molded to

yours.

• Have your head and shoulders well supported. Let your baby’s whole

front touch your whole front.

• Since you’re leaning back, you don’t have a lap, so your baby can rest on

you in any position you like. Just make sure her whole front is against

you.

• Let your baby’s cheek rest somewhere near your bare breast.

• Help her as much as you like; help her do what she’s trying to do. You’re

a team.

• Hold your breast or not, as you like.

• Relax and enjoy each other.

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31 Comments

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Ludshy - posted on 03/02/2012

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thanks everyone! I am still pumping, but I must admit not as much and my milk supply has gone down. Im pumping like 3 times a day. So he's getting about half breast milk and half formula a day. Just had his check up and he is looking great and everything so I don't feel as guilty, but I really would love to have had that bond mothers talk about when their baby latches on. One good thing is that everyone in the household gets to help with feeding so I get a full's nights rest several times a week and that has really helped me recover from everything. At this point I am ok with pumping, I usually do it around my favorite shows and it's relaxing, but again I would have loved if he would latch. I don't even know if it's too late at this point with the quick and easy flow he gets from the bottle.

Krista - posted on 02/28/2012

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I had the same issues, Ladylaws, and it was really a case of trial and error. The nurses and LCs were pushing me to use the cross-cradle hold, but it was just too damned awkward.



What I found helped was to put a pillow at my side (of whatever breast I was using, and rest the baby on the pillow, supporting his head with that hand. I held him in the "football" hold, but angled up a bit, so he wasn't laying completely flat.



With my opposite hand, I could then lift and position my breast. I found it MUCH easier to see what I was doing, that way. With the hand holding the breast, I'd hold it back an inch or so from the nipple, with thumb on top and fingers underneath, and would draw back my thumb ever so slightly, to raise up my nipple a bit. So instead of aiming my nipple for the back of his throat, I was aiming it more for the back of the roof of his mouth. When he'd latch, it would then draw it down into a normal position.

Lisa - posted on 02/27/2012

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Sounds like a lot of great advice and much that I am familiar with. Best advice is to relax and don't give up. Once your baby and you figure it out, it will be soooo easy to nurse. Boppy pillow or pillows are great for the baby and support for your breast (breast feeding does not have to be uncomfortable). I had to use a nipple shield with my first one and push my breast away from his nose so he could breath. Yes my breast were a lot bigger than his head and was funny to see. Be patient, the first couple of months were the hardest, but it does get easy. My second child started out easy. I think I was less afraid and my breast were conditioned. Hang in there!! :)

Kirsty - posted on 02/27/2012

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hi im a 36 h my daughter is 23 months and im still feeding her get a widgey nursing pillow is the first step it makes it easier to support the baby so not as much strain on your arms or back (ive only just got around to getting one a few weeks back and have suffered horrible backache, wish id got one when preg) you have to hold your boob in a c shape with your hand when the baby is little making sure the breast doesn't cover their nose once the baby gets bigger they take over a bit as they are used to it and pull the extra out of the way alot of the time on their own, its a bit frustrating at first i admit, but once you have the hang of it it becomes second nature and you do it without thinking x

Tara - posted on 02/26/2012

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I used a "football" hold with my girls. You just hold your baby kind of like a football at your side rather than across your chest which is the standard hold. It worked great for me with both girls. The only reason I wasn't able to continue breastfeeding is my milk never came in with either girl.



I completely get the frustration though. Not a lot of info gets put out on how to breastfeed if you are really big-busted.

Genevieve - posted on 02/26/2012

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As a natural 36 G I went up to an H while nursing. I found that sitting in a nice comfy chair like our La-Z-Boy and putting a pillow from our bed accross my lap would give me the support to hold my baby and find a good position for my breasts. My daughter would lay across the pillow and it worked really well. I had to make sure I was really comfortable and not straining to sit in an uncomfortable way. I also liked nursing in bed, lying on my side. Keep trying! It takes a bit to figure things out but once you get the hang of it you will wonder how it took you so long in the first place! Just get comfy and go for it.

Leonie - posted on 02/26/2012

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My breasts went from a DD cup size to a F/G cup when my milk came in. I found placing a rolled up cloth nappy under the breast that I was feeding baby from a big help. Experiment with different positions and try to relax. I used pillows and found laying on my side to feed bubs helped. After my milk settled and became established with bubs feeds it has become very easy. Seek assistance from a lactation consultant, they are wonderful. I also found letting the nipple air dry after feeding helped avoid any cracking. Here in Australia there is a wonderful cream called Lanisol. It is a lanolin cream that helps sooth nipples when they are sore or cracked (which can happen when bubs is learning to attach). Good luck with it, I didnt succeed with breastfeeding my first son but have with the second and it has been very rewarding.

Kate CP - posted on 02/25/2012

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I'm assuming you meant IMPLANTS, Pamela. Also, that usually doesn't affect a woman's ability to breastfeed her baby.

Schkeima - posted on 02/25/2012

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okay i also have more then the average jo but i can say the best way for me was side by side or football hold.hold your brest right at the nipple to give a lil air space .good luck on ya quest .

Pamela - posted on 02/25/2012

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Did you have transplants? Please do not give up. Ask for your doctor's or nurse's advice about a proper position that might aid your situation.



BREAST MILK is the gift the Creator gives women to nourish a child and it carries antibodies that cannot be given to the child in any other way. Do the best you can and I would suggest that if you have implants you get them removed after you finish breastfeeding this child before you have another.

Alexis - posted on 02/25/2012

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I lay down during feedings as much as possible so I don't have to hold the baby. I can just concentrate on not suffocating her and I can see her better. Just lay baby on its side and you lay on your side and nurse with the breast that is on the bed or whatever you are laying on. you should be able to have baby far enough away from you so that as long as you are wearing a good supportive bra the other side won't get in the way. If it is the you can always feed with the breast that is on top so it won't be in the way, but that is not as comfortable and it's a little more difficult.

Erin - posted on 02/25/2012

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Another thing...



Do NOT worry about losing weight at this time..you've got enough to deal with (not that I think you need to lose weight...I'm responding to one of the comments below me -- I cannot even believe that woman had the nerve to post that when you're obviously stressed out about breastfeeding and don't need any added stress.) just focus on your baby for now :)

Erin - posted on 02/25/2012

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One more thing...



Make sure to breastfeed in the corner of a couch with arms so that you are leaning against the arm, put the pillow over the arm and your lap and then position baby so your breast is resting on the part of the pillow resting on the arm and baby's head is resting in front of your breast also over the part of the pillow resting on the arm. :)

Erin - posted on 02/25/2012

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Hang in there! I feel your pain and went through the same thing - we're the same bra size.



I tried a number of pillows and had nothing but issues and got so frustrated because the first issue when breast feeding is to get comfortable -- you NEED to be comfortable because you'll be doing it a LOT and for long periods. The pillow that worked best for me was the boomerang shaped with a nice cozy cover (http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?... -- if you're in the US, Amazon.com sells them). This pillow works best with our curves and will put the baby's head out front of your boob so you can see it :)



The position that worked best for me was The Cross-Cradle or Crossover Hold (http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_n...). I tried the football hold because the LCs all thought that with my massive boobs that'd work best but it didn't. My baby's body got lost LOL You know what I'm talking about :)



Take a deep breath, get a big glass of water, get yourself comfortable, get the pillow positions, then get the baby positioned and then persevere. You can do this!! I promise you can do this and although it's going to be hard, uncomfortable, and holy crap hot and sweaty, you will thank yourself for persevering and so will your baby!



Feel free to email me directly eyulka at gmail.com - I'm happy to help and offer you support. I've been there!!!

Catina - posted on 02/25/2012

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Anna-Maree mentioned a breast feeding pillow that straps around you. I used the brestfriend pillow http://www.mybrestfriend.com/ with my son and loved it. I didn't use it with my daughter. She was thick, and it didn't seem to work for her. I'm an F and didn't have trouble not seeing either of my babies while breast feeding. My babies were usually supported by some kind of pillow, so they were in front of my breast. I hope you get the help you need, because breast feeding is great for the baby and the baby mommy relationship. Blessings :)

Amy - posted on 02/25/2012

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I'm a G and was an H cup while nursing each of my 4 kids. I didn't have any problems at all. It may sound harsh and I don't mean it to be but I think the bigger problem is being heavy... my rib cage is only 36. As hard as losing weight is, it might be the answer. Until then maybe a boppy pillow would help.

Alexandra - posted on 02/25/2012

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a lactation consultant can help you a lot. But if you are like me, and nothing really works, then (if you want to continue breastfeeding) the only solution is just to pump. I had to pump every two hours during the day and every three during the night while i was breastfeeding. a lot of hard work!

[deleted account]

I'm a G and getting lactation assistance was a big help as other moms have recommended. If you're engorged, try pumping beforehand to reduce some of the swelling before breastfeeding. This will also help draw out the nipple and make it easier for baby to latch.



There's breast supports that you can get that go under the breast but as another mama pointed out you can use a burp cloth or something to prop up the breast. Football hold was good after you figure out how to get the baby up to your breast without having to lean over.



Baby's head will grow and it's so rewarding, hope you can find some help.

Anna-Maree - posted on 02/25/2012

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Hi, don't give up. I struggled too. Try putting baby on some pillows on your lap to lift him up or try the football hold. Once again, put baby on pillows to lift them a bit and help you hold on to him/her. I saw a really nice breastfeeding pillow in America that almost looked like a tray that you put on your lap and tied around your waist. Worth the investment. Good luck.

Autumn - posted on 02/25/2012

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I had the same problem! I agree with several other posters, a well placed pillow and the football hold worked for me. I also found it necessary to push down some of my breast so my daughter could breathe, but that's pretty common. I also found that at night I could put a pillow under her and lay slightly on my side and feed her while laying back. Keep trying things, it takes some experimentation but it's totally worth it!

[deleted account]

I often have to push my breast away from my son's nose so he can breath. I agree that the football hold is a lot easier for that, but it can become impractical depending on where you are feeding. I find it a pain to do in a dinning chair.



I sometimes feed my son in the craddle hold reclined almost completely.

Kayla - posted on 02/25/2012

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Its ok everybody has that problem just prop the baby up to the side of ur breastso u can she her and when u begin to feed just pull down on ur breast right above the nipple so u can see her better it worked for me let me know if it helped.

Laura - posted on 02/25/2012

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Keep at it!! I know how frustrating it can be to n ot see your childs face because your breast is bigger then their entire head. With my first two children I had to put a pillow beside me and lay the baby on the pillow so I was essentially "hands free". With one hand I could now help the baby latch on and with the other I had to hold my breast away from the babies nose so they could breath. It was tricky and I stuggled for months with my first. But I held in there and they grew like weeds. Good Luck!

Tam - posted on 02/25/2012

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I'm large breasted too - though not quite like an H! I'm on the larger end of D. But what worked for me is the football hold if I needed to be upright, or laying on my side. If you get your hands on a nursing pillow, that should help too. Also, if the baby is having problems latching properly, look into getting nipple shields. They will lessen the pain aspect by providing a little protection for your nipples, plus give the baby something that is easier to latch onto in the case that he/she can't get their mouth open enough to latch without pain or frustration.



Oh, and don't try to nurse when engorged. If you don't have a pump, use a warm shower or a warm washcloth to help get the milk flowing so you aren't fighting with a rock-hard breast on top of everything else.

Lucia - posted on 02/24/2012

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The best think that u can do it to use a breast pump and feed y baby from a bottle don't give up it the best think u can do for y child . Lol

Michelle - posted on 02/23/2012

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I would find a lactation consultant to help you.



How are you holding your baby? I have seen women with lager breasts hold baby along their side under their arm so baby's feet are around you back and the head in front (of course lol). Prop baby on pillows/cushions so they are at the right height, hold baby's head with the hand on the side they are lying and hold your breast with the opposite hand.

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