5 Breastfeeding Tips for Moms With Large Breasts

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While breastfeeding presents challenges no matter who you are, breastfeeding with big breasts is another ball of wax entirely. For starters, your already large boobs get larger. Then you've got to find a nursing position where both you and baby are comfortable for long stretches of time. Luckily lactation consultants have found solutions to these challenges and more that plague large-chested moms.

 

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Heed the advice below to make breastfeeding smoother sailing no matter your breast size:

1. Experiment with positions. While finding a comfortable position to nurse in can be tricky, it is by no means impossible. Try these options for starters:
Cross cradle. "This looks very much like the traditional cradle or 'Madonna' position, except mother cradles infants head in one hand while supporting her breast in the opposite hand," says Irene Zoppi, a lactation consultant and education specialist at Medela. "This allows the mother to look directly at the infant’s face and helps her visualize her nipple and her infant’s mouth simultaneously."
Football hold. This is achieved in very much the same way as cross cradle, except the mother holds her infant like a football under her torso.
Lying down. "Simply lie on one side with your arm on that side above your head," says Zoppi. "This position prevents mother from having to hold her infant or her breast."

More from CafeMom: 8 Breastfeeding Positions to Make Nursing Easier on Mom

2. Keep breast tissue away from baby's nose.A big breast can block an infant's nasal passages and keep him from breathing easily -- but luckily there's a workaround: place your thumb on your breast near the areola right under your baby's nose and press in. This gives baby's nose the space it needs to breathe.

3. Reduce skin irritation under and between breasts. "Lactating breasts generate a lot of heat, so you'll want to prevent moisture from occurring in skin folds," says Zoppi. Talcum or baby powder can be used, but just make sure not to shake the container of powder since you may breathe it in. Instead apply the powder with a cloth or cotton ball. If a rash occurs, anti-fungal powder and creams can be obtained from a doctor to help.

More from CafeMom: The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding

4. Alleviate back and shoulder pain."This may be due to the increased weight of breasts during lactation or straining while positioning the infant to nurse," says Zoppi. The solution? Prop yourself (or baby) on pillows to prevent leaning over or straining. Place a rolled cloth or baby blanket under your breast for lifting and holding it in place while breastfeeding so your arms don't have to do the heavy lifting.

5. Find a properly fitted bra. Properly fitting bras aren't always readily available for large-chested women, nursing bras even less so. That said, "Well-fitted nursing bras are essential, since an ill-fitting one can put pressure on the breast milk ducts and breast tissue that may lead to plugged ducts and shoulder and back strain," says Zoppi. So if you can't find one in your size nearby, check online; the breastfeeding support group La Leche League International actually has its own line of nursing brasin a broad range of sizes.

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