Breastfeeding can already feel daunting as a first-time mom. Your breasts go through a lot of changes, especially in size. Whether you started pre-pregnancy with a larger chest or got bigger during pregnancy and the first weeks postpartum, it can be even more challenging for many women with larger breasts to worry that their size will block their baby's nose while breastfeeding. But don't worry: If your baby's nose gets blocked, they will stop breastfeeding, release the latch, open their mouth, and breathe. These concerns are expected, and let us offer you some tips!
Support your breasts.
Larger breasts are heavy. It is essential to have high coverage bra that keeps your breasts contained, comfortable and supported. Investing in a good maternity bra and postpartum bra is very important because, no matter what, your breasts will be changing shape along your journey. A wire-free, seamless bra is ideal to provide the stretch you need and accommodate your changing shape. Having knit-in support zones specifically around the cups will provide extra support and lift and will help prevent back pain. Very important: look for a bra with molded cups as they provide extra capacity for your breasts without causing compression. Look for bras that are specially designed for full cups and you will also benefit greatly by being properly fitted.
If you can, take a breastfeeding class while you're pregnant to learn different positions and holds. When you have more knowledge and information ahead of time, it can help you feel more comfortable and confident once your baby arrives.
Soften your breasts if they are feeling hard and full of breast milk.
If your breasts are engorged and overfull, use a breast pump or hand express some of your breast milk before you begin breastfeeding. This will soften your breast and make it easier for your baby to latch on.
Learn the c-hold.
The C-hold is one of the ways you can hold your breast while you're latching your baby on. When you have larger breasts, the c-hold can help you to support your breast and aim your nipple toward your baby's mouth. This breast hold may make latching on easier for your baby. But try lots of different positions. There is no perfect position, and it can be different for every mother. You can even try breastfeeding in front of a mirror. The mirror can give you a better view of your breast and your baby's latch.
Don't Be Afraid to Seek Out Advice and Support.
It's OK to be worried and have questions. Seek help and support. Your doctor or, even better, a lactation consultant is always a good resource and starting point when you need assistance, so talk to them about your concerns. A breastfeeding support group can also provide encouragement and support. Never feel concerned about how much help you need when learning to breastfeed. Nearly every mother finds some aspects of breastfeeding challenging at first and will have good and bad days….remember, it’s a journey!