Tubular breasts/ breast feeding worries

(16 Posts)
LuckyCat22 Fri 09-Oct-20 11:43:09

Hi, I'm currently 27 weeks pregnant with my first and I have been concerned that my breasts have not grown at all throughout pregnancy. I have always had very small boobs, some A cup bras do not even fit and I basically live in crop tops... I was really hoping to see some growth during pregnancy.
After worrying I won't be able to breast feed and doing a bit of research, I have found that I may have tubular breasts due to the shape and size of areola etc and I just wondered if anyone else like this has experienced issues with breast feeding or if anyone who knows they have tubular breasts has had problems? I will speak to my midwife about this at my next appt but thought i'd reach out here first smile

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Seventytwoseventythree Fri 09-Oct-20 11:47:32

I don’t know anything about tubular breasts sorry but breast growth during pregnancy doesn’t affect your ability to feed. Mine didn’t grow at all until my milk came in on day 5 and then bam, 3x the size literally overnight (and the stretch marks to show for it!). I also never leaked until the milk came in. We are 4 months in and exclusively breastfeeding so try not to worry yet. I would suggest looking into independent lactation consultants in your area (must have the qualification IBCLC) as some of them are doing home visits. I found having the phone number of one nearby (who I knew would come out to me if needed) very reassuring. Best to do your dear happy now not in a hormonal sleepless haze!

Seventytwoseventythree Fri 09-Oct-20 11:48:51

Best to do your research now *

RoseGoldEagle Fri 09-Oct-20 12:07:10

Not sure about tubular breasts (though having just looked that up mine do fit that description!), but I’m like you in that I wear A cups but don’t really even fill those, I wouldn’t really need to wear a bra at all (but wear padded ones for a bit of shape).

Mine didn’t grow at all during pregnancy, much to my disappointment. When my milk came in- they did then become bigger (still only somewhere between and A and B probably), I exclusively breastfed both DD and my second baby DS for 6 months with no problems at all (would have considered topping up with formula if I’d needed to, am not trying to sound smug!! I just genuinely didn’t have problems with supply, and neither of them were small babies!), and I continued breastfeeding both of them alongside solids until they were around 18 months. Have a friend who also has tiny boobs that didn’t have any problems either. I think breastfeeding problems are common in general, but I don’t think the size of your boobs matters, not in my experience anyway. Currently pregnant with number 3 and hoping it’s as straightforward a third time!

LuckyCat22 Fri 09-Oct-20 12:20:01

@Seventytwoseventythree thanks for the info, I hadn't heard of independent lactation consultants so I will def do some research on that.

@RoseGoldEagle thats really reassuring, thank you. sounds like we have very similar breasts so good to know that growth does not affect supply! As its my first I don't know what to expect but hoping to try BF and see how it goes, maybe do a bit of both so baby daddy can get involved too. x

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addler Fri 09-Oct-20 12:34:27

I'm in a similar position, I've thought I had tubular breasts for years due to the shape/spacing etc although they're not very small, but then again I think most of what I stuff in a bra is fat tissue. I have PCOS so there's correlation there. I never went to the GP as thought it was just cosmetic, and it wasn't until I started researching breastfeeding I found it can cause problems.

My breast haven't changed at all, which although like PP said doesn't necessarily mean there will be a problem it does make me anxious when combined with the other symptoms of IGT. My nipples have darkened and became slightly larger, and I can express drops of colostrum but unfortunately that doesn't correlate to sufficient supply.

There are support groups on Facebook but won't let me join until I've had one child and actually had problems feeding, so it's just a case of wait and see. There are things called SNS which is a supplemental nursing system in which you use a very thin tube attached to your nipple and a bottle of supplemental milk, so you can nurse your baby while supplementing them if you can make some breast milk but not enough.

I'm 33 weeks so will try and remember to post back here in two months and tell you if I've had any luck!

Frazzlerock Fri 09-Oct-20 12:41:02

Hi @LuckyCat22 this sounds like hypoplasia which is what I have.

I wasn't able to produce enough milk with my first two babies but this was 15 and 11 years ago now and the support just wasn't available. I'm now 33 weeks pregnant and much better prepared.

I recommend finding a lactation consultant, you could start with La Leche League as they are brilliant in my experience. They can take a look and see if they think its hypoplasia.

Sadly, the breastfeeding world still doesn't recognise low supply and very often will ignore it rather than broach the possibility of it. If you can find a good LC who knows about true low supply then you're onto a winner. You may find you will never be able to BF exclusively but there are ways around it. You can buy or make a SNS system to work alongside BFing, and also pumping as much as possible too keep whatever flow you have going.
You can take domperidone which can help supply as well as many natural supplements (please research this as some can actually hinder supply depending on the cause of the low supply). You could start by taking Alfalfa capsules which you can take during pregnancy. Then from 36 weeks you could start taking Goats Rue (not before though). I've also heard good things about Black Seed oil. Avoid Fenugreek if you have any thyroid issues (it can dry your supply up if so)

I recommend a book called 'Making More Milk' by Lisa Marasco and Diana West, it is full of useful resources. Also, if you're on FB, there is a really useful group called IGT and Low Milk Supply Support Group. I've found it invaluable TBH.

You may find you don't have a problem. Even with hypoplasia, you could produce enough. It's mostly whether or not you have insufficient glandular tissue along with it, and you won't really know if you have a problem until baby is here, unless you've had problems BFing before.

Please let me know if you have any questions smile

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Frazzlerock Fri 09-Oct-20 12:41:46

Hey @addler! <waves>

Frazzlerock Fri 09-Oct-20 12:43:21

Ahh annoying you can't join the FB groups if its your first baby sad

I wonder if I can send you the resources somehow...

addler Fri 09-Oct-20 13:08:07

Hello @Frazzlerock! Thank you for reminding me to PM you blush my brain is a sieve at the moment. Also thanks to you I now have a lovely shelf full of reusable nappies all lined up in colour order which brings me immense joy to look at grin

Kimblebee19 Fri 09-Oct-20 14:09:24

My breasts didn't grow during pregnancy and I didn't have any soreness or anything either and I too worried it would cause issues. I needn't have worried, DS took to it straight away no issues, I exclusively breastfed for 6 months and still going now at 21 months! Don't worry, your body knows what it's doing (even if you feel like you don't sometimes as a new mum!). Good luck on your breastfeeding journey, it is a wonderful thing.

whattodooooooo Fri 09-Oct-20 14:13:54

Mine didn't grow or leak in 2/3 pregnancies. Had no issues breastfeeding though. I know some midwifes get a hard time about breastfeeding knowledge but some are fab so definitely speak to them.

Somethingsnappy Fri 09-Oct-20 17:42:42

Hi OP. If you do have hypoplasia, it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to breastfeed. It can reduce supply, but not always. Sometimes one breast may produce more milk than the other. It depends on the amounts of milk production tissue in each breast. You may need to supplement with formula, but you mentioned combined feeding anyway. Ask your doctor about natural hormonal treatments, like progesterone which can promote development of breast glandular tissue during your pregnancy.

After your baby is born, it can help to start expressing as well as putting baby to the breast, to really kick start milk production.

Good luck!

CodenameVillanelle Fri 09-Oct-20 17:45:17

Yes I do - but didn't self diagnose until I had problems with milk supply. Mine didn't grow or engorge at all and I never produced enough. If I'd known in advance I would have asked for a prescription of domperidone and rented a hospital grade pump as they may help, but also accept that you might need to supplement and/or breastfeeding may not be sustainable for long. Make your peace with it now.

CodenameVillanelle Fri 09-Oct-20 17:45:39

Seventytwoseventythree

I don’t know anything about tubular breasts sorry but breast growth during pregnancy doesn’t affect your ability to feed. Mine didn’t grow at all until my milk came in on day 5 and then bam, 3x the size literally overnight (and the stretch marks to show for it!). I also never leaked until the milk came in. We are 4 months in and exclusively breastfeeding so try not to worry yet. I would suggest looking into independent lactation consultants in your area (must have the qualification IBCLC) as some of them are doing home visits. I found having the phone number of one nearby (who I knew would come out to me if needed) very reassuring. Best to do your dear happy now not in a hormonal sleepless haze!

It does if you have tubular breasts!

LuckyCat22 Fri 09-Oct-20 17:55:44

Thank you so much everyone for these helpful comments. I will defo speak to the midwife but it sounds like I will just have to see what happens when baby is here. but good to know about a few things I can do in the meantime smile

OP’s posts: |

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