Congratulations on welcoming your new little bundle of joy! Now it’s time to tackle the one thing every new mother is worried about… breastfeeding. You probably have all the common concerns of a new mom when it comes to breastfeeding: Will my baby latch? Does my baby have a lip or tongue tie? Will I have enough milk? Rest assured you are not alone. Breastfeeding is like labor – everyone has a different experience. For some women, breastfeeding comes easily but there are some women who struggle and that’s okay – everyone’s story is different.
Another unique challenge that nobody talks about: How to breastfeed with large breasts? If you have larger breasts, you may think that your breastfeeding sessions mimic a western showdown versus a sweet bonding experience between you and your baby! Holding your baby as you try to wrangle your breast, position your nipple, and avoid feeling like you’re suffocating your baby is a well-conducted orchestration that requires time, patience, and ingenuity.
Here are six tips from one large busted nursing mom to another:
#1 TAKE A BREATH
The more frustrated you get, the worse this experience will be and the more likely you are to give up breastfeeding altogether.
#2 FIND A GOOD NURSING BRA
A good design is one that only exposes a little bit around your nipple and not the entire thing. This makes it so you don’t have to wrangle your entire boob.
#3 GET COMFORTABLE
Find somewhere comfortable to nurse until you get the hang of things. I preferred a recliner for the first couple of weeks; it provided more support than nursing in the bed (it’s totally up to you). Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are your nursing skills. Give you and your baby time to get the hang of it before you start nursing in public. Of course, if you have to, then do your best because your baby won’t know the difference!
#4 USE A PILLOW
One brand to consider is Bobby, but definitely, research which pillow will meet your needs (some even wrap around your waist and attach via velcro). Once you have the pillow ready, you can bring your breast to your baby (e.g. leaning over while baby lays on the pillow). I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal to bring your breast to your baby’s mouth BUT it will literally KILL your back. I recommend bringing the baby up to your breast. Remember, you don’t just have your breasts to contend with, you also have breasts engorged with milk, and you leaning over multiple times a day to nurse could be a recipe for disaster or pinched nerve (just talking from experience)!
#5 TRY DIFFERENT NURSING POSITIONS
The cradle position does not work for my son and me – I can only nurse him using the football position on the left side and then do a combination of half cradle/half football on the right. It is just what is most comfortable for us, so do what works best for you!
#6 USING A BREAST PUMP? INVEST IN A GOOD PUMPING BRA
This allows you to pump hands-free (meaning you do not need to hold flanges to your breasts the entire pumping session). They have a few available that I would recommend like Simple Wishes that are compatible with all pumps including the Naya Smart Breast Pump. Fun fact: you get a Simple Wishes bra free with your purchase of a Naya Smart Breast Pump.
Remember to stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet (Oreos and Doritos as snacks once in awhile does count), and try not to stress. All of these things can affect your supply. I know you are worried but just remember – you got this! You have already accomplished something amazing and that is becoming a mother.