All Breasts Are Unique but None are Bad
Having worked with over 90,000 moms, we’ve come up against our fair share of nursing and pumping problems. Women all over the world want to breastfeed their babies but that doesn’t make it easy or natural. Our individual biologies might present us with unique situations but no one has a bad boob - and we’re here to prove it.
Our problem isn’t a bad boob, it’s bad information, or more accurately a lack of information. Many mother’s today were bottle fed themselves. This means that we don’t have the previous generation or two to help impart the important knowledge to make breastfeeding work. This isn’t to shame our mothers. We’re proud of the gains they made and the sacrifices they made for our families. If anything we are building on what they accomplished. Now many of us are working and breastfeeding or trying.
Reasons Moms Think They Aren’t Capable of Breastfeeding
It’s important to remember that when we use the term breastfeeding it is inclusive of both nursing and pumping. We view the two as equal in terms of providing nutrition for your baby. Both are a labor of love, take a bit of work, and are very rewarding.
One of our most frequently read blog posts is all about elastic nipples. You can find a link to it here. Essentially a mother’s body produces a hormone during pregnancy and postpartum called relaxin. Much like it sounds, this hormones job is to help various parts of the body relax or loosen up. It helps with our hips during pregnancy and birth, and with our skin when we nurse our babies. Some moms have nipple tissue that stretches too much and can make it a challenge to breastfeed. We said it can be a challenge, not that it’s impossible.
Breasts and nipples come in different shapes and sizes. Some moms have everted nipples, some have elastic nipples, and some have nipples that are flush with the rounded shape of their breast. These nipples are typically referred to as flat nipples. Flat nipples don’t preclude you from breastfeeding. They might need a bit of stimulation or shaping to help baby latch.
Just like the name suggests, this type of nipple is when a nipple is a bit recessed in the breast like a dimple. You might think that this type of nipples makes it impossible for a mother to breastfeed but that isn’t true. Similarly to flat nipples, moms with inverted nipples might need to use a nipple shield, or eversion aid but they can breastfeed!
There is a common myth perpetuated that the size of your breast determines that amount of milk it can produce. Mothers with breasts of any size and shape of breast are capable of nursing and pumping. When it comes to milk production with breasts it’s just like people, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Inside your breast are special tissue, glands, and ducts. These form over the course of your pregnancy. Moms with bigger breasts have more tissue but not the kind needed for the production of breast milk.
Our body has a specific way of letting us know that something is wrong: pain. Don’t believe the old wives tail that breastfeeding can hurt, or that it hurts at first and dissipates as your nipples toughen up. Pain while breastfeeding is our body telling us that we need to make an adjustment. For a nursing mother that might mean trying a different position to facilitate a better latch. For a pumping mom this might be an indication that we need a different flange size.