Making Nursing Easier for Plus-Size Moms
You can now find nursing bras in a variety of fits and sizes, whether you prefer underwire or soft cup. In the past, obstetricians cautioned against using underwire bras because the wiring might constrict the milk ducts, but most well-made nursing bras won’t cause problems.
According to Mohrbacher, the key is to find the right fit—not too snug, not too tight. Talk to a bra-fitting specialist or to your lactation consultant to make sure that your bra fits properly. Once hard to find sizes such as cups sizes past D or E are now much easier to track down online. For example, in 2005 Medela introduced more sizes in its popular Beautiful Beginnings Seamless Bra line. They offer nursing bra cup sizes in F, G, and H with underwires for extra support.
The Anna Pillow allows women to adjust the height of the pillow by adding or taking away layers of padding. The pillow contains three, two-inch padding layers so that you can support your back while comfortably holding your baby to nurse. The rectangular-shaped pillow wraps around the front of the body and has a belt strap to keep it in place. You can find the Anna Pillow at various Web sites for approximately $49.95.
Once you’ve made your baby comfortable with a nursing pillow, support your breast with an Utterly Yours™ pillow. The pillow slips between the breast and your rib cage, propping up the breast to make it easier for your baby to reach the nipple. Women with larger breasts will find this especially helpful. The memory foam conforms to the shape of your breast and the outside cover can be removed and machine-washed. Find the breast pillow at www.utterlyyours.com for $19.95 for sizes small through large (cup sizes C through G) and $29.95 for extra large (cup sizes H and I).
There are a variety of breast pumps on the market, and the one you choose will depend on your needs. You may or may not need larger breast shields and flanges—the funnel-shaped cups that fit over the nipple and areola during pumping. If you have very large breasts, these larger cups can help you pump milk more comfortably and efficiently. Medela, Lansinoh®, and Ameda are three well-established manufacturers of breastfeeding products that offer flange kits designed for larger-breasted moms.
Breastfeeding not only creates a bond between you and your baby, but it provides the nourishment that your baby needs. If you have any problem nursing, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your OB-GYN or midwife, or contact a lactation specialist through the La Leche League or the hospital where you delivered.
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