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Breast feeding from small boobs ? is it really possible??

(43 Posts)
Zil131 Wed 21-Oct-09 11:11:12

I?ve never been blessed with boobs (AA normally), although TBH it?s never really bothered me.

However with DC1 I tried to breastfeed, but after 12 days and nights of endless screaming, 1.5 hour feeds and coming off hungry, drastic weight loss by DC, and still no poo; a midwife suggested I try a bottle ? and suddenly there was my happy smiley baby, and I never looked back? (although like so many I still have feelings of being a failure)

I now have 7 weeks to go to DC2, and am struggling to fill an A cup! I?ve read all the ?anyone can breastfeed leaflets?, and it?s ?best for baby best for me?, but how can that be possible?
I really want to give it another go, but am dreading the stress again, and feel I will give up even sooner this time round.

Anyone got any success stories / advice for me??

Or 100 years ago would I be one of those women with a thin sicky child desperately searching for a wet nurse??

NotQuiteCockney Wed 21-Oct-09 11:14:54

Breast size and shape generally has no effect on one's ability to breastfeed. I am a B cup normally, and have breastfed fine, I have friends with smaller breasts who have also done fine.

That being said, some women have 'tubular' breasts: see here, and these are associated with supply problems.

What sort of support did you have with DC1? It's likely the problem was bad latch, rather than anything to do with you. Midwives are experts on labour, not necessarily on breastfeeding. Now is a good time to look around and find local breastfeeding support, so you know where to find it, if you need it next time.

IdrisTheDragon Wed 21-Oct-09 11:15:37

My mum has very small breasts (32AA I think) and she breast fed both my sister and me for about 9 months (me) and 12 months (sister).

Mine aren't massive and I bf both ds and dd.

I hope you are able to get support this time and that bf works for you this time

Blackduck Wed 21-Oct-09 11:18:03

My mum is tiny in the nork department...she breastfed all three of us, infact with me she had so much milk they used to express it and use it for the babies in neo-natel unit (probably not allowed these days!)

HairyMaclary Wed 21-Oct-09 11:20:33

I am tiny, also struggle to fill and A cup and fed both of mine for 15 months. The first was v prem and I exclusively expressed for 6 weeks till he could latch on. I have had no real issues so it can be done! It was the only time I ever made it to a B cup!

CarGirl Wed 21-Oct-09 11:21:57

I just looked at the those photos and am shock that now I know why I produced so much milk despite having small boobs - mine are really really broad at the base but don't stick out much IYSWIM.

You learn something new everyday.....

GreenMonkies Wed 21-Oct-09 11:25:30

Zil,

You say you are not much bigger, have your boobs changed at all? Are they tender? Can you squeeze colostrum out of them? When you had DC1 did your milk "come in"?

It's true some women don't make (much or any) milk, but boob size is not normally an indicator. I would find a Baby Cafe or LLL group near you and make contact with some real bf experts so that when DC2 arrives you have people who can really assess the latch/position or check for tongue tie etc. All these things need to be ruled out before you decide you have no milk. And they can be done long before 12 days of screaming and weight loss!!

Sari Wed 21-Oct-09 11:30:13

I have boobs your size and breastfed all three of mine for up to 18 months. I had loads of milk and all three were at top of charts for weight. It really isn't to do with boob size and I hope it works out for you.

Zil131 Wed 21-Oct-09 11:50:57

Thanks all.
No I've noticed no boob change really. I didn't last time - never felt engorged, never leaked...
At least some positive stories are helping me feel more positively about trying again.
You are right, I must find local support grops now before I'm in the thick of the strss again. Last time I just spoke to the community mid wives, who were very nice and looked at my latch, but were possibly more concerend about 'signing me off' but couldn't coz of DCs weight loss.

GreenMonkies Wed 21-Oct-09 12:50:23

See if you can squeeze any colostrum out, generally your body starts to make it after 28-30 weeks, so you might get something if you squeeze gently. Are your boobs tender, lumpy/grainy feeling? Sadly most community MW's have very little specialist bf training, so may not know a bad latch of it hit them in the face! Get to the Baby Cafe/LLL now!!

NotQuiteCockney Wed 21-Oct-09 13:17:10

No engorgement last time means your milk didn't come in, or not much. That can be down to insufficient stimulation from the baby, again from bad latch.

My boobs never changed much in pregnancy, and I never had leaking colostrum. So you can bf successfully without these things. Do your breasts look like the picture I posted?

Zil131 Wed 21-Oct-09 14:18:53

No, thankfully my boobs are a bit fuller than that.
So 'we' need to work on latch; and I wonder whether I was eating / drinking enough - I just remember being tired and constantly trying to feed baby (and probaly not myself!) Will get DH more primed to fill me up with high calorie foods!

NotQuiteCockney Wed 21-Oct-09 14:42:44

Food and water are unlikely to make a difference, unless you're actually starving. Positioning, attachment and latch are key.

QueenOfFrighteningEveryone Wed 21-Oct-09 14:50:27

I have v small boobs and BF my DD with no problems at all.

My exMIL said to me once, "Are you sure you're big enough up top to feed her yourself?" which made me snort. If breast size was a reliable indicator of successful BF then you'd think she'd have managed it with her kids, what with her having breasts to her knees an ample bosom grin

notyummy Wed 21-Oct-09 14:56:06

I'm a AA and had a dd on the 98th centile via bf. I also never got any colostrum etc whilst pregnant, and they only got slightly bigger until my milk came in properly afterwards. Perhaps some more help with your latch?

TanteRose Wed 21-Oct-09 14:56:20

I have small boobs (32AA) and tiny nipples too....and I fed my DCs with no problem - DS until he was 3.
Actually, it was the first time I felt really proud of my boobs - the fact that such tiny appendages could nourish two human beings into toddlerhood grin
It was really a case of "So that's what they're for!"

needtomoveon Wed 21-Oct-09 15:03:26

Good luck with the birth of your second DC. Boob size has nothing to do with ability to feed but if your confidence is low then you might find it harder to trust your body.

Can you find out from your midwife whether there are any baby cafe or breastfeeding support groups so that this time round you get the help that you need. It sounds like your baby wasn't getting any milk which could be down to the way he was positioned. Sometimes just a bit of help is all you need. Also find out the phone numbers of your local breastfeeding counsellor(s). Try 0300 330 0771 (free to call NCT bf line) for their details. Sorry I don't have the other bf charities' details to hand. Get help, ideally go to a group before you have a baby then at least you've met some people. You really should have been given more help last time. 12 days without a poo is not normal sad. Unfortunately, it is often down to mothers to go looking for help which should automatically be provided. Best of luck smile

needtomoveon Wed 21-Oct-09 15:04:11

Sorry should be insufficient milk not any^

Catitainahatita Wed 21-Oct-09 15:23:04

Just wanted to add my encouragement to the multitude. I have no breasts either, in fact an AA cup is too big for me. I wear teenage vest top thingies as a rule.

During my first pregnancy I no change/growth etc but, I still I managed to bf DS1 for 6 months without many problems. I'm 37 weeks with DD at the mo and this time I have colostrum already. I think perhaps my body is more clued up this time.

All this just to say that whatever it was that impeded you establishing bf last time, it wasn't the size of your breasts. With the right help you'll probably find it much easier second time round.

If no one has mentioned it, the La leche league are excellent sources of advice and encouragement.

Zil131 Wed 21-Oct-09 16:49:22

Hurray for all your small boobed mummies!
I'm glad I posted this thread, I was dreading BF again, but now I feel so much more confident - thank you.

(and just had a check - colostrum appears to be ready!)

GreenMonkies Wed 21-Oct-09 18:42:24

Zil, if you have colostrum already then I can't see why you won't have milk later. Did you have a very difficult, medicated labour last time or perhaps a big bleed? All these things can impact your supply, from the stress alone. This is one of those situations where knowledge really is power!

I'm actually quite jealous of all you pert-breasted mummies, I have a pair of 32F's (G's at thier peak!!) and finding bras is really hard work and I can't wear strapless anything, whilst feeding my beautiful girls has made me love my boobs as something more real than just Man-Magnets, it can be quite wearing when blokes have entire conversations with my cleavage, there are times when I really wish I had a nice B or C cup bosom that did as it was told and didn't require scaffolding!

defineme Wed 21-Oct-09 18:46:17

I fed 3 dc with AA cup boobs and I think they may eventually have gone up to an A at one point.They didn't get bigger when I was pregnant even with twins. Try La Leche or something?

Sospan Wed 21-Oct-09 18:49:16

Another fairly flat chested BFer here too! Mine didn't change during pg either (much to my disgust wink) but have been BFing my nearly 9 month old DS with no problems.

I actually found it was easier to BF discreetly in public than some of my bigger boobed friends - less to cover up!

Hurrah for the colostrum and good luck.

Zil131 Thu 22-Oct-09 15:54:31

GreenMonkies - I'm in awe of your knowledege... Yes I had a very long labour, succumbed to an epidural, and had a large bleed!

I've found contacts for LLL and a baby cafe 2 miles away, so will be visiting in the next few weeks.

Ineedmorechocolatenow Thu 22-Oct-09 20:08:53

My mum is very flat-chested and BF us three fine. Good luck. I had a horrible first time experience with DS (gave up after 1 days - for different reasons) and was dreading feeding this time round.

20 weeks later and still BF DD..... you can do it! grin

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