Attachment Problems and Breast Type

Matilda 6
Creative Commons License photo credit: shingleback

We all know that breastfeeding our babies for the first six months is important. From the time we first share our good news with friends and loved ones, we’re inundated with the mantra: Breastfeed your baby. Overall, this is a good thing.

Breast milk is healthiest for babies. There’s no serious dispute on that issue. What do you do, though, if you have trouble breastfeeding your baby? In many cases, the problem is not due to any fault of your own.

Most women have been blessed with “normal” breasts, and are able to breastfeed without any problems. At the very least, their problems are not due to the equipment they were born with. However, when it comes to breastfeeding, not all boobs were created equal.

A recent study considered the effects of several types of non-typical breasts. The following “abnormalities” were considered:

  • Flat nipples
  • Inverted nipples
  • Large nipples
  • Large breasts

The study found that any of the abnormal breast types studied could have a negative effect on a baby’s weight gain during the first weeks of life. The study found that babies of those women who had normal breasts gained weight during their first seven days of life, while babies of women with abnormal breasts (on average) lost weight during their first week of life.

The study concluded that the reason why babies of women with large breasts and/or flat, inverted, or large nipples have trouble gaining weight during the first week of life is due to improper latching on. The size or type of breast hindered the baby from being able to breastfeed sufficiently.

This is not to say that women who have any of these breast types should forego breastfeeding. There are simply too many benefits for your baby. Women who have the breast types identified should work closely with a lactation coach or doctor. In most cases, strategies can be taught which will help you breastfeed your baby effectively.

Even women who find that they cannot effectively breastfeed their babies can express breast milk. This doesn’t offer all of the psychological benefits to mother and baby that breastfeeding does, but it does offer the nutritional benefits of nature’s best food for babies.

Do you have “abnormal” breasts? How have they affected breastfeeding for you?


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