Not Enough Breast Milk?

Does size really matter?

Well, it depends what you’re talking about, amiright? But in this case, we mean nipple and breast size and how they relates to breastfeeding. And, since your interest is probably as piqued as a nipple in the wind, the answer is likely no, size usually doesn't matter.


Women with all shapes and sizes of breasts can nurse successfully. Having a DD cup doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have more breast milk than a mom who’s an A cup. A bigger breast might hold more milk at a given time so baby may be able to nurse less frequently, but your little one will still get the right amount of breast milk out of a smaller boob too. Similarly, nipples of all shapes and sizes are often just fine for breastfeeding. An inverted nipple might need some extra help, but nursing is still possible.

That said, there are always caveats. A mom who has had breast surgery may find nursing more difficult. Another issue a woman may encounter is something called Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT for short).

WHAT IS IGT?

A mom who can't seem to supply enough breast milk to her child may suffer from IGT. It’s important to know about it, even if this issue affects less than 5 percent of the population

California-based Lactation Consultant Kathleen Huggins has studied IGT in depth. According to her website, there are often tell-tale signs.

SIGNS OF IGT

A woman may have: 

  • Underdeveloped, tube-shaped breasts, called hypoplasia
  • Often one breast is noticeably larger than the other
  • A flat space on the chest between their breasts
  • Breasts grow very little during pregnancy and don’t swell up with milk after delivery

There is a site dedicated to women who have difficulty supplying breast milk to their babies called Not Everyone Can Breastfeed. The self-diagnosis page is a good start for women to reference if they think they may have this condition. Of course, it's important to consult a medical professional for a definite diagnosis. But Not Everyone Can Breastfeed is more than just a diagnostic resource. It's a great way for moms who feel alone to reach out to others who are going through the same thing.

 

The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.