You’ve likely heard people say size matters. After all, no one wants a small coffee or a small paycheck. But does size matter when it comes to your boobs? Culturally, many people have been programmed to think that bigger boobs are better, at least aesthetically speaking. But has the bigger and better idea also infiltrated your ideas about breastfeeding? Unfortunately yes, and the myth about breastfeeding and boob size is not only wrong, but possibly dangerous.
People, for some reason, believe that bigger boobs make and hold more milk. And while that may make sense in theory, it’s complete BS. “Breast size is not exactly related to milk supply,” Leigh Anne O’Connor, an international board certified lactation consultant, tells Romper. “It is about how much mammary tissue is in the breasts.” Also known as glandular tissue, mammary tissues become activated by hormones when a woman becomes pregnant and, as a result, produces milk. A woman with large breasts doesn’t automatically have large amounts of glandular tissue, it varies. “I have worked with woman with size A cups with robust exclusively breastfed babies, and I have worked with people with large breasts but they are nearly empty of mammary tissue,” O’Connor says. Therefore, the ability to make milk is really about a woman’s individual physiology, not the outward appearance.
Additionally, mom’s have different storage capacities, which vary woman to woman. Your storage capacity is determined by the volume of milk at your fullest time of the day, as pointed out on an infographic made by international board certified lactation consultant and author Nancy Mohrbacher. Your storage capacity also has nothing to do with the size of your breasts, which is more determined by fatty tissue than anything else. So basically, you could have small boobs, and a large storage capacity or huge boobs and a small storage capacity: it really just depends on the individual. Furthermore, your storage capacity may not even determine your milk supply. “A person can have a smaller storage capacity in their breasts, but have a good supply, the breasts just may need to be emptied more frequently,” O’Connor says.
Ultimately, there is one thing to keep in mind with breastfeeding and boob size: “The size of your breasts does not limit your ability to meet your baby’s needs,” Tori Sproat, author and international board certified lactation consultant with Tiny Tummy Lactation Services, tells Romper. No one on the boob spectrum, small or large, needs to feel like their size will determine how well they feed their baby. Each woman has unique physiological attributes that will make her breastfeeding journey different. None of it is determined by the size of her breasts.
So next time you hear someone, presumably from a generation or two before you spew this myth, shut it down. And be confident knowing that size does not matter. It is literally what’s inside (your boobs) that counts.