This question is for my sister. What is a good position to breastfeed
a baby for a large breasted woman? She has been using the football
carry, but at four weeks her daughter is getting harder to support
in this position. Any other ideas?
The mother with large breasts (DD or above) may find that she
has to experiment a little to find positions and techniques
in order to have a more successful breastfeeding experience. The
football hold, or clutch hold, works well for many large breasted
"C" hold is also often effective. The optimal C hold involves
using your outside hand (the one on the same side you're nursing
from) to support your breast. Put your palm gently under the breast,
with your thumb curved around the top and side, forming a "C."
Be sure to keep your finger and thumb well behind the areola,
because if your fingers are in the way, your baby can't compress
the milk sinuses effectively. This can cause soreness as well
as keeping him from obtaining the hind milk that he needs to grow.
Some mothers find that rolling up a washcloth and placing it under
the breast during the feeding provides extra support. You may
need additional support only while you are getting the baby latched
on, or you may need to support the breast throughout the entire
feeding. Once your baby is older and has better muscle control,
you may find that you don't need as much support as you do in
I have had
lots of experience in working with mothers whose breasts are all
shapes and sizes over the past 25 years, but since I have no firsthand
experience on this topic (I wear an A cup), I consulted an outside
expert: my friend Angie, who has successfully nursed two beautiful
baby girls, and whose breasts are currently size 40 H ( they'll
get bigger before long - baby number three is due in November!)
Here's what Angie had to say:
have found several ways to compensate for the awkwardness that
having large breasts can cause when nursing, especially in the
early months. The most convenient, especially if this is your
first, is to nurse lying down. It provides you with a good reason
to lie down and rest a bit, and is less taxing on your arms
and back. Lie the baby on his/her side, with a pillow at baby's
back if needed, and support your breast with the opposite hand
- across your body.
possibility is to use the cradle hold, but prop your forearm
on a bent knee, again using a pillow if needed. Two suggestions
for this might be:
you have a rocking chair and a stool - prop your feet on the
stool, which brings your knees up. Then, lay the pillow/s
in your lap, and rest your forearm on the pillow/s while holding
your baby. I also sometimes rested my elbow on the arm of
the rocker, when my girls got larger, and heavier!
you have a recliner - kick out the foot -rest, and place your
feet on it with the knees bent, and sort of snuggle your baby
in the space between your knees and chest, again using a pillow
if you need one and resting your forearm on your knees for
on your supply of milk, you may find it unnecessary to nurse
on both sides at each feeding. As the baby gets older, and you
often find yourself nursing somewhere other than at home, it
can be convenient to only need access to one breast at the time.
Especially the more tissue you have to manage and rearrange
back into your bra! Just follow your child's lead on this one,
every situation is different, and every baby is different!
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