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Is Breast Size Linked To Breast Milk Supply?

4 min read

You might have heard a lot of speculation and argument over several topics in connection with pregnancy and about bringing up the baby after the delivery. Lots of doubts regarding the milk production and breastfeeding can pop up in your mind, especially, if you are a first-time mother. Among them, the question asked most often is the connection between the breast size and milk production.
Small breasted woman

Does My Breast Size Influence The Milk Production?

No. When it comes to breast milk, bigger is not better!
Even though most of the people think that breast milk production is directly proportional to the breast size, the amount of milk the body produces actually depends on upon a great deal of elements and the breast size is certainly not one of them.
The size of the breasts is determined by the fatty tissues in the breast. More the quantity of fatty tissue more will be the size of the breast and vice versa. The milk producing capacity of the breasts is determined by the number of glandular tissues – which secrete the milk – in the breast. Hormones that are released by the baby’s birth and then by her sucking trigger the mammary glands to produce and push breast milk into the milk ducts, to be available to the baby while nursing.
What hinders with the milk production (in respect of abnormalities of breast shape) is having a tubular breast or a breast that does not grow at all in size throughout the gestation period.

How Do My Breasts Change During Pregnancy?

Understanding the features of the normal breast during is important as it will help you to notice the changes that demand your attention.
Normal breast consists of two types of tissues:

  • Glandular tissue and
  • Stromal tissue

The glandular tissues consist of lobules and ducts. In breastfeeding mothers, the lobules produce the milk which is moved through the tiny tubes (ducts) to the nipple. During pregnancy (due to the pregnancy hormones), the glandular tissue starts to increase in numbers. In the meantime, the stromal tissues start to decrease in number. Towards the last trimester of pregnancy, the number of glandular tissues increase significantly and the number of stromal tissues also decrease noticeably. This increase in the glandular tissue is the reason behind the growth of breasts during the pregnancy. Usually the breasts almost double in weight by the end of pregnancy (compared to the pre-pregnancy weight of the breast). The stromal tissues are supportive tissues that are made up of fat tissues and fibrous connective tissues which give the breasts its size and shape.

What Are Tubular Breasts?

Tubular breast is an inborn abnormality of breast shape that results from the variation in the development of breast tissues. It is characterized by narrowed and elongated shape and possesses wide space between the breasts. There will be only negligible breast tissues or no breast tissues at all in the lower half of the breast. This insufficiency in the breast tissue obviously reduces the milk producing cells (glandular tissues) inside the breast. This will either lead to very low milk supply or no milk supply at all.
Woman breastfeeding baby

Is My Breast Growth During Pregnancy Significant?

Yes. Even though it doesn’t matter how much the breasts have grown during pregnancy, there should be some increase in their size during the pregnancy. No breast growth indicates insufficient glandular tissue and hence very low or no milk supply at all.

Does Breast Size Influence Breast Milk Storage Capacity?

The answer is yes. The breast size is linked with the storage capacity. Bigger the breast more milk can be stored. But a woman with small breasts can overcome this problem by frequently feeding or pumping the milk more often. Despite the fact that irrespective of the storage capacities the mothers produce enough milk for their babies, the mothers with greater storage capacity are capable of taking longer gaps between the feeding without affecting milk supply and infant’s development.

Is Breast Asymmetry Some Kind Of Cautionary Sign?

Nearly half of women possess a visible sign of breast asymmetry – one breast size varies from the other one. In spite of this fact, a well-marked difference in the breast size, especially when the smaller one does not grow much during pregnancy, can be a warning signal of low milk production or ‘nil’ milk production.
Generally, breast milk production depends on the supply and demand policy. The more it is consumed (suckling) the more it is produced(breast milk). There are several small breasted women with exceptional milk supply and big breasted women with poor milk supply and the other way round too. There are several other factors that hinder the milk production, most of which can be corrected. There are also several tips to increase the breast milk. And in case of ‘over-production‘, there are numerous methods to slow down the milk production also. So, no need to worry about the size of your breast.

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