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Jealous of Your Breast Complaints, Terrified of Post-Pregnancy Body (Wren)

September 26, 2011

pictures:
-4.5 months pregnant (closest I have to pre-pregnancy)
-6 months
-last three are me at 7 months

Age: 20
Number of pregnancies: 1 (8 months along)

I couldn’t wait until after birth to post something because every time I come to this website I ache to share my own story. I’m not generally an insecure person; I don’t do my hair, wear make-up, or strive to be super-skinny (140 lbs, sz 9 prepregnancy). But I have tried so, so, so, SO hard to accept and love my breasts and continually find it impossible. I dealt with them all right before, but pregnancy has made it almost obsessive. At about 3 months it occurred to me what my post-breastfeeding boobs might look like, which began the inevitable downward spiral. Then, upon doing breastfeeding research I discovered that I might have a milder case of hyperplasia, or tubular breast deformity. Meaning they are underdeveloped, lacking “normal fullness” and breast tissue with the aboslute WORST part being that I might not be able to breast feed. Having my breasts officially labeled as “deformed” was too much for me to handle and then not being able to breastfeed.. as if it isn’t awful enough to have ugly breasts, but they don’t even WORK? It was all I could think about for a few days and it depressed me incredibly, to the point of me getting hysterical when a pair of nice breasts popped up in a movie that I was watching with my boyfriend. It made me feel horrible. My boyfriend and I have been together 2.5 years and I -know- he’s tired of hearing me complain, even though he always reassures me that he loves them. I just don’t see how he could ever be aroused by such a sad excuse for breasts. I tell myself that I wish I could love and be proud of them, but even then I think I would feel as if I’m lying to myself, I feel so justified in hating my breasts and that’s an awful feeling. Aesthetically, they’re just so ugly. Not round, not perky, not anything good, just ugly. I try to look here or on 007b.com to make myself feel better but to look at all the girls with beautiful breasts hating on themselves only makes me more sad. I try to look for support online for girls with this condition and all I can find are breast augmentation boards, which obviously makes me feel worse. I feel ugly and unfeminine, like I’ve been deprived a right as a woman, like my wonderful boyfriend deserves pretty breasts and mine are such a disappointment. I’m terrified of my post-pregnancy body and how I’ll handle it emotionally but I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I come to it. On the bright side, I have had an easy pregnancy so far and only gained 18 lbs, not counting 10 that I lost and re-gained because of awful morning sickness. I can’t wait to meet my precious baby girl and start a family with the love of my life, and I feel so selfish to be so worried about my body issues. But it’s such a deep-seeded horrible feeling, I feel like it will never go away. Some days are better than others, but then I see breasts on mannequins, in pregnancy books, or cleavage on other girls and I just get that useless “why-me” syndrome, it’s a vicious cycle. Hopefully having my baby can somehow change my view of my body and I hope to god that I am able to breastfeed. I very much look forward to posting post-pregnancy!

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38 Responses to “Jealous of Your Breast Complaints, Terrified of Post-Pregnancy Body (Wren)”

  1. Erin Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I have been following this website closely since the birth of my first child 3 years ago (I now have three). I completely understand where you are coming from. My breasts look exactly the same as yours do. I have never had the courage to post because I was so embarrassed about it, so I commend you for that!!All too often I have people come up to me and comment on how great I look and the only thing I can think is “Ha, if you only knew what was UNDER my clothes!”

    Reading your thoughts was like a window into my own mind. Once I was diagnosed by a lactation consultant,I was amazed at how little information there is out there on the condition. I It can be REALLY hard some times. I try to tell myself that it’s not important what they look like, but as you said, even the functional side doesn’t work as it should. That being said, I have nursed all three of my children for well over a year. I have major struggles with my supply and always end up having to supplement, but I am learning to be “okay” with giving my babies whatever I can. I came across a great book called “Mother Food” during my last pregnancy and found that it has helped some in building a little more of a supply this time. Also remember, everyone is different, so you may have a completely different experience than I have. Whatever happens,don’t let it get in the way of establishing a wonderful bond with your baby through nursing, even if it is just for a short time.

    My heart goes out to you. Many blessings for an uncomplicated delivery and a healthy baby!

  2. Janice Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 8:37 am

    You are so beautiful! What a lovely baby bump you have!
    Your breast are very sexy. My close friend has breast just like yours and they worked wonderfully to feed her son.I have 3 kids and breastfeed 2 of them my last baby was born sick so I dident get to. For me, breastfeeding was painful the first week or so, as I an baby learned.I think your breast are going to suprize you with their ability to feed your new lil one and you will have a new found love for your beautiful breast.

  3. Mina Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I get the impression from the men in my life that there is pretty much no such thing as “ugly breasts”…so I’m guessing your boyfriend isn’t lying to you :) I’m sure he’s perfectly happy with your breasts.
    Regarding your concerns with hyperplasia – have you spoken with your doctor about those concerns? I don’t know enough about that condition to advise you other than maybe talking to your doctor or even a lactation consultant now about your strong desire to breastfeed would be a good idea – one of those professionals might be able to put your concerns to rest, OR give you some things you can do beforehand (perhaps get a SNS or something to have it ready in case you need it, rather than just worrying). Hugs, mama.

  4. knuckles Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    you look beautiful, along with your breasts. I am not seeing why you’d think they are ugly. we’re always so tough on ourselves. Just wanted to mention that post-breastfeeding didn’t really change the shape of my (small) breasts. Age is doing it now, but breastfeeding didn’t make a noticeable difference to my eye. Anyway, enjoy your pregnancy and new baby!

  5. Been there Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Hugs, mama. It will be ok. I have breasts like this and I did have a lot of difficulty breastfeeding my first baby, but much of that had to do with the one size fits all nature of breastfeeding advice, and breastfeeding books. Don’t listen to anyone who has to wear pads to sop up leaky breasts or has ever complained about a too-speedy let down. Things may just work differently for you, and it’s ok. I have even seen lactation consultants who dismissed hypoplastic breasts/low supply as though we just don’t really want to try to breastfeed.

    Ignore all of this, take a breath, and have some formula handy if you find that you need it. Prepare yourself mentally for the idea that you may either breastfeed every 10 minutes all day long, supplement, or both. With my first child, I listened to a lot of bad advice and was never able to keep up with her demand. I eventually ended up supplementing quite a bit, but she never developed “nipple confusion” and we did just fine.

    With my second, I had decided not to drive myself crazy worrying about nipple confusion and mama guilt and all that crud, and just have some formula ready to go. We used it maybe 4-5 times in her first 3 months of life, she was fine with my supply as long as we breastfed very often. (Like, every 10-15 minutes all day/night. Co-sleeping was an absolute necessity)

    That having been said, I am sure your breasts are different from mine and it might not work that way for you. Your situation may be more difficult, or you may have no trouble at all. Give yourself permission to deal with what is actually happening with you and your baby and tune out everyone else, unless they are actually supportive.

    I know many wonderful, loving moms with smart, healthy, normal weight children who for one reason or another did not breastfeed past the first few months or weeks. You have to do what *you* have to do, save all that grief for the first time your child says she hates you. :)

  6. bekah Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I think I have the same thing. I never knew it was a thing, I just knew I hated my boobs. Before having babies, my breasts were 34B and I NEEDED to wear a bra to keep them up. I hated the way I looked without a bra. Now I’ve had four children (breastfed all 4 and am still nursing my 2.5 year old son) and while they’re bigger, they still look like that.

    I just get a good push up bra and have fun. The only one who sees my boobs (other than my nursing child) is my husband, and he loves them.

  7. M. Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Breastfeeding just made my large and saggy-ish boobs bigger and more saggy. Three kids later I’m pretty much “whatever” about them by now.

    I don’t see anything wrong with yours, and if your boyfriend says he loves them then he probably does. ‘Cause you know what? They’re boobs! And guys love boobs. Small, large, smooth, lumpy, perky, saggy… Really, men aren’t nearly as picky about them as us women, especially when they’re allowed to touch.

    And if you aren’t able to breastfeed? Well, I know a woman with “normal” but ginormous breasts who wasn’t able to breastfeed either. It happens to lots of women for lots of different reasons. If you have your heart set on breastfeeding, contact La Leche League and get with a lactation consultant now so that you’ll have the best possible chance of making it happen for you and your baby.

  8. Big Momma Holly Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Wren,

    My friend Bonnie linked me to your entry, and I couldn’t help but reach out to you. Our stories are so similar, but I don’t want you to think that this means that you are doomed to fail at breastfeeding, or that you are broken. You have a beautiful body, breasts included. If your boyfriend sees nothing wrong with your breasts, please see them through his eyes. Breasts are all shapes and sizes, and while yours might not be typical (especially if you view breasts through western society’s gaze), they are not ugly or deformed. They are yours. <3

    I noticed early in my pregnancy that my breasts didn't change, didn't feel different, and it worried me. I asked my midwife about it and she assured me not to worry about it, because worry does no good. I wish she had told me to educate myself but avoid worry, which is the advice I'll give you. :)

    Your nipples look enlarged and darkened. This is a very good sign. It means that there is breast change happening. There is no way to know how your body will react post-partum, but you can prepare now for any eventuality. :)

    1. Find a Le Leche League now. The leaders and members will be immensely important in your early post-partum days, and are usually available by phone at any hour.

    2. Ask your midwife or LLL Leader about a referral to a trusted IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Keep this handy for those first days.

    3. If you are on WIC, ask at your next appointment about the possibility of renting/borrowing a pump from them. They are only supposed to let them out for 2-3 days, but when I was pumping, they let me have it for months. A good WIC nurse will help you succeed.

    4. Remove any stumbling blocks from your view, be it objects or people. No bottles, formula samples, pacifiers, mainstream parenting mags (which have a plethora of formula ads), people who don't understand your choices. Tell your boyfriend early and often that, while he will feel helpless while you struggle to learn the art of breastfeeding, his job isn't to run for formula at the first sign of trouble, but to reach for the phone to call your helplines when you just can't think to do it. I'm sure you will be a natural pro at it, but there is still a learning curve and men can feel so helpless when they can't help. :)

    5. Read as much as you can about breastfeeding. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, The Breastfeeding Book, and so many others cover all kinds of issues and unique situations. being informed will give you power to see little issues as just that: little.

    6. If you are on FB, like the pages of HM4HB Global Network and your closest chapter. If there is struggle, you can still find donor milk. It's not ideal, but it is an amazing resource.

    7. Spend time before the birth envisioning yourself holding your baby against your skin, with the baby suckling. Watch youtube videos of nursing babes. Look at pictures. Go to LLL before the birth. Immerse yourself in it, normalize it. :)

    8. After birth, let the baby latch ASAP, preferably skin to skin. Anytime the baby makes a sound, offer your breast. You might not feel any milk come out. You might not feel engorgement as you've been told you'll feel it. But keep going. It is worth it.

    9. Create yourself a little haven for your postpartum time. Find a comfy spot (I used my futon, folded out), get lots of entertainment (hello laptop, TV, radio, books, knitting), a HUGE water bottle, lots of diapers and baby things in a bag nearby, and a small cooler to hold lots of healthy foods. Plan on camping for as long as it takes to feel like you've got it. The rest is good for your body to heal, the time is good for bonding, and it will only help you learn to breastfeed. :)

    10. Know that even if you can't offer all of the breastmilk your baby needs, suckling at your breast is good for more than nutrition. It's good for jaw development, their little inner ears, bonding, hormone release for you. And there are lots of tools that let you supplement your own supply without having to offer the baby a bottle.

    I know you're worried and stressed. I hope I haven't scared you. I know other women with breasts like mine who have had abundant supply. Remember that women who truly cannot offer any milk are less than 1% of the population. This isn't to say that people don't have issues, but to remind you that those issues are rare enough that if you know someone with supply issues, you probably won't have them. Being prepared but hopeful will take you so far.

    I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, or just want someone to chat with, I'm available at sweet.pea.passion (at) gmail (dot) com. Have a blessed birth and a beautiful babymoon.

    -Holly the Milkless Lactivist

  9. Amnesty Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I’d talk to your doctor first, before worrying about being able to breastfeed. You might be worrying for nothing. If it turns out your suspicions are correct, you can work with your doctor or an LC on what you can do in order to make nursing as successful as possible, and still an enjoyable experience. It doesnt need to be all or nothing. Every bit of breastmilk is good, and if you have to supplement, so what? Even going to all formula doesn’t make you a bad person.

    As for hating how your boobs look, well, by now you should know that MOST women have some body part they hate. For me, it’s the baby belly and my neck…there’s nothing wrong with it…I just don’t like the way it looks. And it’s ok, because there are other parts of me that I love…it all balances out. I don’t think there are any women who can honestly claim to love every single thing about themselves all the time. And that’s ok, too, as long as it’s not making you miserable about other aspects of your life. If not liking your breasts is preoccuping you all the time, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about that, too.

  10. Missy Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    After scrolling down to look at the pictures, my first reaction was “Wow, those aren’t bad at all!”

    A guy friend once told me that most men are not disappointed with any breasts they get to personally interact with. :) I doubt that truly describes all men, but I don’t think they are near as picky as we are about what our boobs look like. And really, who would want the ones that are pickier than us??

    I can understand your concern over breastfeeding. I’m a big believer in using affirmations during pregnancy since beliefs about labor play a major role in how it progresses. Maybe for the rest of your pregnancy you can stop focusing on the look of your breasts, and start focusing on telling yourself (everyday, multiple times a day) “My breasts are beautifully equipped to feed my baby!” or whatever works for you. Tape it to the bathroom mirror (because I KNOW you have to pee every 10 minutes)and say it at least twice every time you go in there!
    Best of luck! Come back and post later on to let us know how things go!

  11. Jess Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:06 am

    If I didn’t know better, your nude pictures could be mine. The only give away is that my baby belly had massive, dark stretch marks ALL over it!

    I have hated my breasts ever since they came in during middle school. They don’t look “normal” (in my mind). I have said over, and over again that when we’re done having kids I would get them “fixed”, but now I’m not so sure. On one of the forums I belong to there was a woman asking for prayers for her friend. The woman had undergone some type of elective plastic surgery and something went wrong with the anesthesia and she ended up in a coma. Her husband ended up having to pull her off life support and she left behind not only her husband but her young child. I know she’s likely a small percentage of people who have issues during surgery but after hearing that story it was really the first time that I started thinking that this is the body I was given. For better or worse this is what I was designed to look like, and when I think about it my body has done some amazing things. It’s grown 2 gorgeous children, undergone 2 c-sections and recovered from them quickly. It’s training for a 5k race, it chases my kids, it’s traveled the world, and it’s done all these wonderful things for me that I’ve ignored for so long because I was too busy hating it.

    I wouldn’t go so far to say that I’m completely comfortable with my breasts now but they are what they are and for *me*, I’m not willing to take the chance of leaving my children behind because I was on a crusade to make my breasts “better”. My husband is the only one who sees them (other than myself and doctors of course) and he’s fine with them and has been since the beginning.

    This breast condition *can* cause nursing problems but they don’t HAVE to! Not everyone has nursing issues :) I wasn’t able to nurse my babies as long as I would have liked but I had other issues going on. My supply was fine!

    My point is–your body looks the way it does because that’s how you’re supposed to look and it’s wonderful the way it is. It’s done great things for you and will continue to do them! Besides, even the most “perfect” women have things about themselves they don’t like. I think we could all stand to appreciate our bodies more and what they DO for us, not what they LOOK like.

  12. Anonymous Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    You have the right attitude! You have made the decision to nurse and now do the best you can before the baby is born to prepare to nurse. If you can get a quality breast pump and practice pumping to get your breasts tough and used to nursing that may help. But even if you don’t do that you can be successful. What helped me was to have my babies on my bare chest immediately after birth. As long as the baby is fine and you didn’t have a C-section you have the right to have your baby immediately, and to tell the nurses not to give the baby anything so the baby would want to nurse. The first couple of hours is crucial. Have the lactation consultant there with you in the room and even after you go home. Have people who support breast feeding around you, like the La Leche League. If you feel up to it the baby can stay in your room with you while you are still in the hospital. Be vocal! My submission is My Story Is Long (Anonymous) describes what happened to me. I have never heard about Hyperplasia before, you and Erin should get together to get this information out for other women who have the same problem. Good luck Sweet Momma! I think you are and will continue to be beautiful!

  13. Jen Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Wren, that could have been a picture of me while pregnant (except I had WAY more stretch marks!). My breasts are identical to yours. And I’m not going to lie to you, they disappointed me after my sons were born, too. But I want you to please take this post as a big “I’ve been there, I understand you and I support you” hug. And: your mileage may vary. Those breasts that frustrate you might make plenty of milk. You can’t really know ahead of time, but you can be prepared with a variety of options – it’s a lot less frustrating and depressing than doing it with baby blues!

    The condition is actually hypOplasia, hypo- meaning ‘under’ or ‘not enough’ and -plasia referring to tissue, in this case breast tissue. I personally made enough milk to sustain a dormouse because I just didn’t have enough working milk ducts, but I was determined to breastfeed my kid! My very pro-bf doctor was supportive but insisted I supplement him because he was on the verge of a failure-to-thrive diagnosis. I stubbornly bought a Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) and taught myself how to use it. It was the start of a 3+ year breastfeeding relationship.

    I will warn you: most doctors, nurses and even IBCLCs know jack s*** about hypoplasia. I even got a dismissive e-mail back from the most prominent pro-bf’ing doctor in Canada telling me it was in my head and that I simply must have been doing it wrong. La Leche League leaders told me I just needed to keep him at the breast more often to get my supply up. But only one single IBCLC suggested it might be my case… and then went on to sort of shrug and imply “hey sucks to be you!”.

    I would underscore Mina’s suggestion above to find a lactation consultant now – and find one who has experience with supplementing at the breast. I think they are few and far between but it also seems the lactation communities are tight-knit and they should be able to point you to somebody. But if you can’t find one, have confidence that you can do it on your own. You can, even if it means you have to supplement at the breast or with a bottle after nursing.

    If you want that breastfeeding relationship, go after it – it’s yours. Breastfeeding is about so much more than breast milk, it’s about love, closeness and comfort. I weaned my son off of the SNS at 1 year and he continued to nurse for comfort and snuggles (and his tablespoon of mama’s milk) for 2 more years until he weaned himself naturally. Your boyfriend isn’t lying to you – you are beautiful. Maybe you’ll be surprised and your supply will be fantastic but even if it isn’t, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t breastfeed your baby!

    I am not a doctor but I’ve been there, so if you ever wanted to just vent or get a sympathetic ear, you can drop me a line at onlywhoiam at gmail. All the best bringing that new little one into the world!

  14. your breast friend Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    It’s such a relief to see this post… i am your identical, darker-complected boob twin. My son is now 3. My breasts went from a very modest A to a full-ish C after giving birth and while breast feeding. I had enormous troubles with milk production, I never had enough and only experienced engorgement twice. I researched, drank teas, went to a Lactation Consultant, ate a strict diet designed to increase milk production, posted on forums, and once spent two full days with my son at my chest, urging him to use me as a pacifier (as this was said to increase production).

    No dice. I was told that I had failed from the beginning by ever supplementing with formula when my son drained me and cried for more. I felt awful. At 3 months I finally gave up, as I was going back to work and pumping only gave an ounce or two per breast, and then only if I waited several hours between trying.

    It wasn’t until my son was 2 that I consulted a plastic surgeon and learned of my deformity. I learned why I struggled so much before and CURSED those La Leche b**ches for making me feel so terrible without ever mentioning the possibility that the shape of my breasts might be the problem!

    The good news is, my breasts look the same as before I got pregnant, just pierced now. Also, be thankful you don’t share my last insulting ‘defect’… I’m dark skinned and share the Family Fuzzies. A lovely shadow of black peach fuzz covers my torso, including my breasts! Its not obvious in a mirror, but when I look down it’s very apparent!

  15. Anon Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I, too have a mild case of tubular breast deformity, and no, I couldn’t breast feed any of my 3 kids, though God knows I tried. One thing I have to say is, IF you are unable to breastfeed, it’s not the end of the world and please don’t let anyone make you feel that it is. All 3 of my kids are perfectly healthy and intelligent. In fact, my 8 year-old recently underwent testing for giftedness and she scored in the 99tg percentile. People are so hung up on “breast is best” that they often, in their “encouragement”, just make women that can’t breastfeed feel terrible. As if we don’t already feel bad that our bodies don’t work the way we want. When I had my first child I spent the first month with a pump attached to my breast almost non-stop, trying to get my milk up. Didn’t work and I was miserable. I was a single mom and already under a lot of stress trying to do everything alone. When people found out I’d given up, you’d have thought I was the devil – I was, gasp, bottle-feeding?? Didn’t I know my daughter would be less healthy and intelligent and we wouldn’t have a good bond?? Total BS. I was so traumatized by the experience and people’s attitudes that I refused to even try breast with my second child. With the third I did try again, desperately. Again for the first 3 months the breast pump was pretty much part of my body. I tried clinics, books, etc. All I could ever get was about 2oz every 6 hours or so, no matter what I did.
    I truly hope you get to experience breastfeeding but if not, don’t feel bad about it – your baby will still be healthy, happy and your bond with her will still be just as close. And please, please don’t let anyone make you feel bad or like you’re not doing enough – try your best but sometimes our bodies just won’t do what we want them to. Don’t make yourself crazy trying.

  16. Ceunei Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Just try breastfeeding, that is all you can do.

    Frankly, all I see are little boobies. That is what the men I worked with for 10 years would call them. They look like they are filling out normally to produce milk, and, believe it or not, where the nipples are aiming is where they need to be to feed a baby.

    You look very good and healthy, pregnant. No high medical risk? Very lucky.

    I’ve always hated my entire body, but realized I cannot do that to myself, anymore, because my daughter needs an example of someone who loves her body, and, that example is me! You may, for the sake of your child, have to give up hating on your self…

  17. Mina Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Big Momma Holly’s advice is awesome…gives you a focus rather than worry. I wish you the best!!

  18. Shana Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Wow, I saw your pictures and honestly, right down to the belly, your pictures could have been mine. I did struggle with breastfeeding my daughter and now my son but I was prepared for it going into the nursing relationship with my son. I actually recently wrote a 2 part blog post on it. http://www.peacelovepoop.com/?p=939
    and part 2: http://www.peacelovepoop.com/?p=1048

    Anyway, what hurt me the most was all the well intentioned individuals telling me to just try harder, to try this and that when honestly it just wouldn’t work. With my 3.5 month old I’ve accepted that I’m one of the women who no matter what I do won’t be able to fully exclusively breastfeed and my post-partum experience has been much better. I am making more milk this time around, partially because it’s my second child, and also I do accredit the fact that I did placenta encapsulation this time around. There is some research that suggests that it can help grow breast tissue. Check the PDF under lactation: http://peacefulplacenta.com/PlacentaStudies.aspx

  19. Kim Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Huh. If you do have hyperplasia, it must be VERY mild. From the pictures you posted, your breasts look pretty normal to me.

  20. whimsicalmusing Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I’m going to tell you things I wish someone had told me when I was pregnant with my first. My breasts are just like yours, and though I went to breastfeeding classes, and the like I never knew what tubular breasts were or that they could cause BF difficulties. So here are some things I wish I had heard. I also wish I was as brave as you had been to express your dissatisfaction with my breasts even before my baby was born:

    Deformity is a fancy medical term for uncommon. Tell yourself this when you look in the mirror. No, your breasts don’t look like other women’s but they are yours. They are healthy, and they will offer your child comfort, no matter the struggles you may have to make milk. They are soft, warm, and smell like you and that will be a scent your baby will cherish even when he/she is grown and half forgot what it felt like to be on you. And some women go on to nurse their baby just fine despite the shape of their breasts.

    If you have trouble with supply, mourn the loss of what you wished and hoped could have been, and try to be proactive for what can be so that you can take pride in this. There is no shame in sharing your feelings, wanting to nurse your child is a natural desire. For me the measures I took meant trying the medication domperidone in addition to herbs. Herbs did not do much for me, but domperidone was amazing and while I still had a deficit I was, after a month of diligent work, able to give my second baby most of the milk he consumed. My first baby I didn’t know as much and he was formula fed after 5 months and a huge part of that was because I was too ashamed to ask for help. There are a lot of communities to help you through supply issues and options. If you would like information I’d be happy to help you.

    Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. I have no shame asking my Doctor for asthma medicine, yet I felt like less than a woman if I asked LLL or the doctor or a lactation consultant for help. Why? My womb still nourished and developed beautiful children. When they were born I loved and cared for them. I couldn’t complete the circle with breastfeeding but I was blessed enough to have a baby grow in my womb, something I thought would never happen. Asking for help isn’t a sign that you are a bad mom, they are a sign that you’re a great mom doing what you can to give your baby the best possible start.

    Do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Pamper and love yourself because when you’re happy and have a positive outlook, your baby will feel this and in turn feel good too. You already have one thing to congratulate yourself on: the immense bravery that it took to share your insecurities. I do hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. I wish you a wonderful delivery and a happy healthy baby.

  21. Laurie Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t think you have “deformed” breasts or that they are ugly! They are kind of shaped like mine. My areolas aren’t as big, but mine are very similar and a little smaller I think. I had trouble nursing, but found out it was a thyroid issue. Don’t take the word of a generic self diagnosis! Go talk to a lactation specialist and make sure you have all the RIGHT info. Don’t give up before you try, just be totally informed and ready. Set up a milk donor for the “in case” and then do everything you can to ensure possible success in breast feeding. Also, give yourself a break if it doesn’t work out. That is NOT what defines you as a mother. You will excel in other areas that will more than make up for not being able to breast feed. I couldn’t bf my first more than 3 mos without extreme difficulty. My second I got to 7mos and third only to 4 mos. This time, I am armed with knowledge about my thyroid and taking medicine and everything else I gleaned. Good luck, and… YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

  22. Charlotte Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Based on the photo, I immediately recognized it as “hypoplastic (not hyperplastic) tuberous breast deformity” – it can lead to breastfeeding difficult but not always – so hope for the best! You’re beautiful, and your bf thinks you are too otherwise he wouldn’t be with you. Best iwshes for a beautiful pregnancy

  23. Stacy Says:
    September 26th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    You are beautiful! And your breasts are amazing!

  24. Wren Says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I cannot thank everyone enough for all the replies. I don’t know exactly what I was looking for when I posted here but after reading these replies I feel so amazingly secure and ready to take charge. I’m due any time and can’t wait to see how breastfeeding goes. Thank you all SO MUCH.
    I’m going to go about trying to find a good LC and such. I do receive WIC and had called and talked to one LC who told me to check with my doctor. When I asked my midwife she didn’t say too much about it, she just said that my nipples look normal (of course my left one wasn’t doing the weird puffy thing that it usually does) and that the best thing I can do is put baby immediately to the breast, which I had planned on doing anyway. It just makes me so happy to read all of your reassuring comments and know that there are so many who have been where I am. I’m trying to love and appreciate my body and I’m sure that after birth I will have even more respect for it and what it can do. I’ve also gotten over the “deformity” thing. I read on another website something about, would you call someone with an ugly nose a deformity? And it did make me realize how unproductive that kind of thinking is. Not deformed, just different. Also, when you hear them referred to as “deformed” breasts, it’s usually from a plastic surgeon who obviously want to point out every “deformed” thing about you. Thank you all for caring enough to share your stories and kind words with me, it means SO SO MUCH! You will definitely be hearing more from me after my sweet baby girl arrives :)

  25. Linnea Says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Having experienced your worries, and successfully exclusively breastfeeding my little girl for the last 4 months, I want to echo every bit of Holly’s great advice.

    One book I highly recommend is “Making more milk”. Really, do find an IBCLC in your area who has some experience with hypoplasia.

    I was VERY concerned about my milk production before my daughter was born. I have suffered from PCOS and a very stunted puberty. My breasts are misshapen, underdeveloped at the chest wall, widely spaced, and very lopsided (the left side was always bigger, but now is seriously twice the size of the right) My breasts didn’t really change with my pregnancy.

    I’m not sure what of the steps I took pushed me over the top to succeed, so I will tell you all. During my last trimester, I drank a 1 qt infusion of goat’s rue tea every day. Every morning throughout my pg I took my prenatal vitamin, b-complex, and dha. Every evening I took a liquid calcium/magnesium with a drop of liquid vitamin D in it. After J was born, I added lots of mother’s milk tea (yogi brand is my fave) and fenugreek several times a day. After I was certain my supply was established, I cut down on the fenugreek, but still take 3 caps every morning (because, what could it hurt?)

    I latched my daughter onto my breast within minutes of her birth, and spent most of our first couple of weeks together naked at home with her. Neither of us wore more than underwear (or diaper) unless we absolutely needed to be out in public somewhere. I tried pumping (and definitely recommend lining up a good pump to use in case you need it, as Holly advised), but nothing was as effective as our constant nursing. And she gets annoyed when I am pumping and tending to my other breast while she nurses.

    Whatever you do, don’t buy formula unless you are sure you need it. Just keep a close eye on her after she is born, nurse her as often as possible, and check her weight every couple of days. Some of the hospital staff where we had our birth tried to scare us about her weight and they checked it every 12 hours until we left. J was born 6 lbs 8 oz, at four days she was down to 5 lbs 15 oz. By ten days old she was back to her birth weight. :)
    Now at four months she has doubled her weight!

    Just please don’t give in unless you have to! I know I’m lucky, but I also took steps to improve my chances and that may have helped. A friend of mine from the new mama’s group we attend was not as lucky and has insufficient supply. She still nurses with the supply she has, and uses a makshift SNS (A tube stuck through a large hole on a bottle nipple) to supplement. Even better, she has never had to formula feed because other mamas from the group bring her pumped milk every week.

    Even when it doesn’t work out as you wished, things can still be great!

    Hugs and blessing mama! Your pregnant body is beautiful, and so will your postpartum body be. It is nourishing your little love, and that is a glorious thing!

  26. Dee Says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Your post made me so sad. Your breasts may not look like a supermodel’s, but really, whose do? I used to enjoy looking at women (being bisexual), but now most of the time when I see a pretty woman I just get jealous, especially of their tits. After pregnancy mine went from C’s prepregnancy to small B’s/large A’s postpartum. I was really upset, but there’s not much I can do short of surgery.

    Seriously, though, there’s nothing wrong with your breasts! They’re not deformed. Good luck to you being a new mommy and with breastfeeding. Hang in there! Looking forward to an update. :)

  27. misty Says:
    September 27th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I have to say, “you ha ve beautiful breasts and an amazing mommy tummy”. You’re nipples are very nice and I have to agree that your boyfriend is telling the truth… From my experience men just love breasts!! They come in all shapes and sizes and they are all fun for a man to enjoy :) in my own experience my breasyfeeding varied with each child (I have three) and all of my friends say the same, best advice: talk with your dr., have a good support system, find every breast feeding resource available, but most of all RELAX… And enjoy this new adventure!

  28. Joanne Says:
    September 30th, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I think that your breasts are very nice, all breasts come in different shapes and sizes :) Mine are large and saggy at this point. I need a miracle bra (which I don’t yet own!!) to hold them up so they look half way decent, so I do understand the disgust at your breasts. However, they are lovely and trust me if your boyfriend didn’t think so, you’d know ;)
    I hope that everything works out for you and breastfeeding.

  29. Sarah P. Says:
    October 2nd, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    You are a beautiful, beautiful woman! That’s why your boyfriend finds you physically attractive. He loves your HEART, which is why he finds your soul attractive. You could be breastless and he’d love you still! That’s the thing about love – you don’t need to meet any qualifying factors for anyone to love you or for you to love anyone else.

    As for the way you look, I think you have a cute little body and very nice breasts. I pray very hard that you can breastfeed! I loved it and I think you have a very good chance at breastfeeding. My favorite resource online is Kelly Mom. :) Your Lactation Consultant will be invaluable to you. I found that online support was really helpful as well. I found a few great boards and was able to get a pat on the back whenever I needed it. :)

    Good luck and congratulations to you on your sweet little girl! :)

    I must add… my breasts would be considered unattractive by some. They’re straight flat to my chest and feathered with white stretch marks. I’m currently pregnant, so they’re full, but on the “off season”, I can pinch the skin and pull out quite far haha. You know, though, my husband loves to touch them and I like them small! I don’t have to worry about them hurting my back or anything when I’m older and bras are cheaper! ;) We’re all built differently and our differences are what make us beautiful.

    Best of luck! :)

  30. Amy Says:
    October 4th, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so I could be repeating someone, but good for you for wanting to breastfeed in the first place! And you know what, some breastmilk is better than none if you do wind up having supply issues due to the shape of your breast (or any other reason for that matter). My own boobs are shaped like yours, just a little fuller, and I was always self conscious that my nipples pointed down instead of being all perky like they “should” be. But they worked just fine and fed my baby girl exclusively for a whole year! Just take breastfeeding one day at a time, and the first couple months will be very painful and very frustrating, but if you make it through that you will be fine! And if you don’t, your baby will be just fine with forumula! (You will just have stinkier diapers to deal with!)

    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, delivery, and breast feeding, you look great so far!

  31. April Says:
    October 11th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I think you look beautiful!

    I also have tuberous breast deformity and I was very concerned about being able to breast feed my first child. I was surprised by how little my doctor and lc knew about the condition.

    I partially breast fed my son for 8 months, and I refused to feel guilty about needing to supplement. I fed him often, pumped after every feeding, and took fenugreek. I was able to give my baby about 1/3 of what he needed, but I figured that some breast milk was better than none and I thoroughly enjoyed the bonding experience of nursing. By the way, he had no problem with nipple confusion, which I was concerned about.

    Don’t be discouraged! I completely understand how you feel because I felt the same way. Be kind to your self and have good attitude. You won’t know how much milk you can make until you try. I am currently 8 months pregnant with my
    second child. I am planning to breast feed as much as possible again this time, and I refuse to feel guilty if I need to supplement.

    I wish you the very best!

  32. Wren Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I’m going to do an “official” update but I just thought I would comment and say that I am on day 8 of breastfeeding my AMAZING little girl and everything is going wonderful so far! I don’t know what the future holds but I’m so happy to be able to feed her for now.

  33. Michelle Says:
    October 19th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    My breasts are even smaller than yours.. They are an A cup and have not grown since I was 14 and a half years old.. So they grew for six months, and stopped. :/ I knew from about age 16 that I wasn’t “normal” and after researching found out that I do have tubular breast deformity.. a pretty severe case at that. My mom and all the other women in my family have C cups or larger, so it just doesn’t make sense. Anyway.. I am worried about BFing when it comes time for that, but for now I’m happy to be married to a man that loves all of me, just as I am.

    So happy to hear about your success with your baby girl!!! You really did look beautiful pregnant! :)

  34. Sally Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 3:23 am

    There’s nothing wrong with the way your breasts look – we all look different. Take comfort in the fact that yours will still be perky when you are 45 (my age), whereas my E cups are hanging waaaaay low after years of gravity and five years of breastfeeding three babies :)

  35. Berry Says:
    April 3rd, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hello Wret,
    Though I am not pregnant yet, I have the same questions, the same fears as you when it comes to my breasts… and the same disgust, too. We are almost the same age,I am 19, and my breasts are very similar to yours, that’s incredible! I now read that you were able to breastfeed perfectly, at least during the first days? Did you have any trouble with breastfeeding? How are you and how is your little girl? Do your breasts still produce a full supply? You know, you have given me some hope, because after having read all these negative stories of mothers unable to breastfeed because of this “issue”, I had become more and more reluctant to become a mother someday! I hope you will see my message, I really hope so, and oh, it makes me so glad to see that we are not alone to struggle with this issue witouht thinking about getting “fixed” with surgery! I don’t think surgery would fix, It would just hide the difference. To me, being fixed would be to get some milk producing cells more, which is unfortunately scientifically impossible :( Thank you Wret for sharing your story and thank you to all of the women who posted nice and warming messages above, because there are many women like me who read them, and who just needed to hear what you said to wret to feel a little better about themselves. Though maybe just for a while. Pardon my mistakes, I am french, but I study English :)

  36. mlf Says:
    April 9th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I’m so glad to see you are successfully breastfeeding your baby! I was a “barely B” as my bra was so helpfully labeled for EVER. Even having and breastfeeding 2 babies didn’t make them permanently any bigger, just a little less perky. Suddenly, about age 30 (when my youngest was 7) I got boobs! I was ecstatic … until I realized they come with their own headaches. Embrace your perky breasts and love your beautiful body.

  37. Shannon Says:
    April 21st, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    What holly said. YES!

  38. Sasha Says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 1:00 am

    I’m 19, I just found out that I have tuberous breasts. I knew they never looked normal compared to what I’ve seen on television or movies, but I always thought they’d end up getting normal. I have been aware of it, very self conscious of them. I lost my virginity to my boyfriend of three years, my first and only. He never saw anything wrong with them, like you all he is very pleased, says they are perfect. Trys to bring up my spirits. I love him for that, but I still dislike my chest. I wish they were normal for him. Just like in the movies. When I looked into the situation more, I couldn’t help but keep on crying. Can’t stop thinking of “why me”. Especially when they put it as a deformity, just made me feel worse. I want children, I want to enjoy breast feeding my future baby without trouble of lack of supply or not even being able to feed my little human. I want to experience that, do what God blessed us women with. I know I should accept them, but I just can’t, it’s hard. Honestly though, knowing there are other women out there, just like me, feeling, thinking and going through the same thing as I, comforts me. I’m not alone. We’re not alone. Together we can help support one another emotionally and mentally.

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