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Breastfeeding with large breasts

No matter what size your breasts are, getting positioning and attachment right is the key.

Breastfeeding with large breasts

Positioning your baby

Here are some tips to help large-breasted mums to position their babies. Try them out and see what works for you:  

  • Using the cradle hold, football hold or lying back positions. You may need to support your baby and / or your breast with a pillow. Or try propping up your breast with a rolled-up cloth nappy or bunny rug underneath your breast. This can help to lift it high enough for you to more easily see your baby's attachment.   

  • Supporting and lifting your breast also helps to keep it from covering your baby's nose, so baby can breathe and swallow properly.  

  • You may find that you don't need a pillow. Larger breasts mean you can hold your baby lower during a feed and part or all of your baby's weight is supported by your lap. You may need to experiment to see what suits you best. 

  • It can be helpful to let your breast fall naturally (rather than hold it or prop it up). Then bring your baby to your breast, rather than moving your breast to your baby. 

In this video, Dr Theresa Nesbitt and Nancy Morhbacher IBCLC explain feeding positions that may work for large-breasted women.  

Helping your baby to attach

If your baby is attached well to the breast, their chin will be touching the breast and their nose will be clear. You won’t need to press your finger into your breast to enable baby to breathe. 

If you hold your breast to support it as your baby is attaching, remember to keep baby and your breast at the same level. If you let your breast go, the weight of it may pull some of the breast out of your baby's mouth. This can be uncomfortable and may cause damage to your nipples as baby may not be attached properly.   

You can try shaping your breast with your hand to make it easier for your baby to get a good mouthful of breast tissue.  

  • Be careful to shape your breast in a way that makes it easier and not harder for your baby to attach. To help you work out this, think about how you'd hold a sandwich, so you can take a bite. Hold your breast in the same way so your baby can take a good mouthful. 

  • If you are shaping your breast, do it gently. Try not to press or squeeze your breast. 

  • Keep your hand and fingers away from your areola and your baby's mouth.  

  • Try breastfeeding in front of a mirror if you can't see your nipples. 

Tips for keeping comfortable

Large breasts can be hot, sweaty and heavy. Here are some tips which other mums have found helpful: 

  • Get properly fitted for a maternity bra to maximise your comfort. 

  • Lying down to feed may be easier for large breasted mums. 

  • In hot weather, you can lie on your side to feed and your baby can be a small distance from your body. 

  • You may find it easier to feed with your baby lying on your lap, rather than having to support baby's weight in your arms. 

Feeding away from home

Under Australian federal law, a mother is allowed to breastfeed in public anywhere at any time. However, feeding your baby in public can seem daunting while you're still learning how. You might also feel self-conscious about your large breasts.  

There are a few things that might help when you're feeding away from home.   

  • Wear clothing that allows your baby to easily access your breast.  

  • Position your pram carefully so you can rest your feet as well as create a little more privacy.  

  • Use a scarf or bunny rug to cover your shoulders and upper chest, if you feel self-conscious.  

  • If you would prefer to feed in a more private area, you might like to check your local shopping areas for locations of baby feed and change rooms.