14 July 2011

Nursing Stories: Nursing with Large Breasts

This is the second post in my Nursing Stories Series. The first part talked about Why I don't like Lactation Consultants; you might also be interested in my thoughts on Nursing In Public and a tutorial How to Make Your Own Nursing Bra.

Please know that I'm not bashing Lactation Consultants as a whole, I think it's a wonderful profession and doesn't have the regard or the influence that it should have. However, I am talking about my experiences which were less than stellar. I think if there were more demand for LC services then by sheer experience the LCs I have come in contact with would have been better equipped to handle my particular problems. I hope that my negative experiences will not steer women away from using an LC, but encourage them to ask for second opinions and keep looking for answers until a problem is dealt with. I also hope that if I have problems with future children that I will not allow these experiences to keep me from asking for help.

Since I wrote yesterday's post I've been trying to find the website that helped me so much. I can't. Other than remembering vaguely that it had a lavender background, I have no idea what the URL is or what search terms I used to find it. So if you know of a good site for info and tips for nursing with large breasts please comment with the link or email me!

Leg Supported Cradle
For this hold, use your forearm to support baby's head, and support his body weight with your thighs.

Your opposite hand is free to support your breast or do other things.

As baby gets bigger (Jaron is 8.5 months in the pic) I find that it's most comfortable for both of us to let his rear sit between my legs, so one thigh supports his back and the other his legs.

This is one of my favorites, I usually have the laptop next to me and can work one handed. Or cuddle a toddler.

This is the lying down position but on an incline. I really dislike lying flat or lying on the couch to nurse because it's hard to see Aedyn running around from that position.

So I make myself a nest of pillows and then lie on my side at about a 45 degree angle, Jaron lies next to me on his side supported along the same 45 degree incline.

For this one, sit criss-cross applesauce, or Indian style (depending on what part of the country you're from) with baby's head on your knee or lower thigh.

If you need to you can add a pillow under that knee to raise baby's head. I just sit up straight and I'm good to go. This leaves both of my hands free to fold laundry, read a book, write a blog...

Opposite breast while lying down

Simply move your body a bit away from baby and rotate towards the baby until your opposite breast is level with baby's mouth.

I usually end up almost on my stomach, which is nice because I'm a stomach sleeper anyway. This is great when there's a toddler up against your back and switching sides will wake the whole family!

Car Seat Nursing
This serves great on road-trips, I got it pretty well perfected when Aedyn was about 8 weeks old and I didn't want to have to stop for an hour every 2 hours on a 20 hour drive.

Baby is strapped into a rear-facing seat, I loosen my seat belt just enough to lean forward and let him latch.

It's not exactly comfortable, but can save a ton of time. It saved us 5 hours on that one trip!


You will eventually create positions that work for you and your baby, but sometimes it's just nice to have somewhere to start from. You'll also find that as your baby grows, favorite positions will become awkward and things that didn't work before are wonderful when they can hold their own weight or sit up alone. Nursing is a journey, unfortunately you can't hit cruise control for very long, so just do what you need to do and don't try to make your unique baby fit into a text book mold!

Tomorrow, I'm going to be talking about making too much milk, and how/why that meant slow weight gain for Jaron, where we are now, and what I'm thinking about doing next!
Do you have any holds that you invented? Or any tips to share? Many on the holds I mentioned aren't limited to large breasted moms, have any not-so-large moms tried them? What did you think?

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This post was submitted as part of the Breastfeeding BlogHop hosted by Jen at Life With Levi, check out some other great resources from everyone involved!


  1. I was actually using the leg-supported cradle as I read this, lol. It allows me to do stuff with my free hand while nursing.

  2. I've used all of these positions- the carseat one for the first time just last week :) and the co-sleeping position (opposite breast) has afforded my daughter and husband many, many extra uninteruppted hours of sleep for sure! Thanks for your encouragement :)

    carrie :)

  3. Oh!! And I forgot to mention that I'm probably in the not-so-large category! :)

    carrie :)

  4. I'm a 36 I. I found my go-to position when my son was about 2 months old (He's now 2 and we still use this position): I sit at the end of the couch and cross my legs with the leg that is farther away from the arm rest on top. (If the arm rest is on my left, my right leg is on top) Then I use my thigh to support his head, his butt goes on my other leg, and his legs go over the arm rest. Then I can use one arm to support my breast and do whatever I want with the other one.

    And if we're nursing in bed, I can usually just lay on my back (I have off-center nipples, so they're more toward the outside of my breasts) and let him nurse.

  5. That's awesome! Thanks for sharing, I love getting ideas for as my little guy gets bigger and heavier and I'm definitely going to try those out.

  6. I've used all of these positions- the carseat one for the first time just last week :) and the co-sleeping position (opposite breast) has afforded my daughter and husband many, many extra uninteruppted hours of sleep for sure! Thanks for your encouragement :)

    carrie :)

  7. This is great stuff!! I'm so glad you shared it on the hop this week. I've heard lots of women complain that breastfeeding was difficult due to large breasts - next time I have someone ask about it, I'm sending them to this post!

    Next week is World Breastfeeding Week - I hope you'll link up to the Breastfeeding Blog Hop again!

  8. Thanks! I just found the Blog Hop so I'm planning on participating more!


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