Let’s squash some common milk supply concerns and cover some top tips that can make breastfeeding with smaller boobs easier.
The truth is, boobs come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s common for their shape and size to change during pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding your little one once they’re born. But, if your boobs are on the smaller side, you might be worried that your cup size could impact your ability to breastfeed.
Don’t worry though, we’re here to put your mind at ease. Let’s squash some common milk supply concerns and cover some top tips that can make breastfeeding with smaller boobs easier.
Does having smaller breasts mean I'll produce less milk?
No, the size of your boobs doesn't directly influence your breast supply.
Your breasts are made up of fatty, glandular, and connective tissues. Their size reflects how much fatty tissue there is, but it’s the glandular tissue in your breasts that produces breast milk. Because of this, people with smaller breasts can still experience under or overproduction of breast milk.
How can I increase or improve my breast milk supply?
If you are wanting to increase your breast milk supply, there are a few things you can try…
- Try lactogenic foods: Some foods are thought to help increase your breast milk supply.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can affect your milk supply, so drink enough liquids – at least six to eight glasses of water a day.
- Skin-to-skin: Maintaining contact with your baby and cuddling them can help your body release hormones that stimulate breast milk production.
- Breastfeed on demand: Your boobs make more milk in response to demand. So, responding to your little one's feeding cues (such as sucking on their fingers and ‘rooting’) can help form a good milk supply. The more you feed, the more breast milk you’ll produce.
- Use a breast pump: Expressing using a breast pump is a great way to stimulate the production of more breast milk.
- Feed from both boobs: You can switch which boob you begin each feed with, and when your baby slows down or stop feeding from one breast, offer them the other.
What are the best positions for breastfeeding with small breasts?
This small-boob-friendly breastfeeding hold is also known as the scissor grasp, and it’s another way to hold your breast while your baby is latching on to breastfeed. You may find that it feels more comfortable than the C-Hold that’s designed for women with bigger boobs.
- Place your nipple and areola between your index finger and your middle finger.
- Your thumb and index finger should be on the top of your breast.
- Your middle finger, ring finger and little finger should be on the underside of your breast. Your hand should look like a scissor.
- You need to be able to spread your index and middle fingers very far apart so that they will be well behind your areola. If your fingers are too close to your areola, they may stop your baby from getting a good latch.
Football, rugby, or clutch hold with a pillow
In this small-breast-friendly position, your baby is supported at the side of your body (like how a football or rugby player carries a ball).
- If you're feeding from the right boob, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
- Then, put their head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
- Gently hold the base of their head with your right palm. Popping a cushion or breastfeeding pillow underneath your right arm can help support their weight.
- To protect your back, don’t lean down to your baby, bring them to you instead. Reverse this process for your left boob.
Whichever breastfeeding position you find works best for you, remember…
- Rather than leaning in towards your baby, bring them to your breast and let them latch on.
- Hold them close to you, and check that their ear, shoulder, and hip are all in a straight line.
What else can I do to make breastfeeding with smaller boobs easier?
- Although you may not need much extra support if you’ve got smaller boobs, finding a comfortable nursing bra is still important. Look for one that gives you easy access so you can feed whenever, wherever.
- Ensuring the proper latch and position will help your baby to suck and swallow enough milk.
Whether your boobs are small, big, or somewhere in between, you should take pride in the fact that you’re breastfeeding and helping your baby grow and thrive. By tracking your baby’s growth and development with the help of your doctor, midwife, health visitor or lactation consultant, you can be reassured that they’re growing at a normal pace, feeding well, and getting all the goodness from your breast milk.
Taking care of yourself and your baby is all that matters, but if you're struggling to breastfeed your baby, don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. Lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups, other parents, and local resources can all support you during your breastfeeding journey.