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Can a small-breasted woman make enough milk for her baby?
Q: I’m 26 weeks pregnant. I have small breasts, and I’d like to breast-feed. Will I be able to make enough milk for my baby?
A: Good news: in this department, size doesn’t matter! Small breasts can breastfeed just as well as large breasts.

Breast size is largely determined by the amount of fat tissue in your breast. The milk producing apparatus in women’s breasts is similar for women of all sizes. This means that a woman with small breasts can produce as much milk as her baby needs. In fact, a newborn may find it easier to latch on to a smaller breast than a larger one. That’s because a tiny mouth may initially have difficulty latching on to a large nipple and areola, but this will resolve as a baby grows.

While all women are capable of producing the same amount of milk in a 24-hour period, women vary in their capacity to store it. Women with a smaller storage capacity may need to nurse more frequently than women with a large capacity. However, both types of women can make plenty of milk for their babies, and breast size is not the determinant of storage capacity.

I recommend that you attend a breastfeeding class before your delivery. You can learn the cues your baby will use to let you know he’s hungry or full, the best body positions for comfortable nursing, and tricks of the trade to help you get started. Good luck!

Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist