After every trick in the book failed to increase supply with all 3 babies lactation specialists etc etc. my last lactation specialist diagnosed me with this because she actually took the time to examine my breasts. The previous ones were too shy to ask to feel my boobs I guess. LOL. She was the one that made me realize I had done the best I could and had not failed my children or as a mother. As she said the words " you did all you could" I held my last newborn daughter and wept, thank you for giving me those words. She hugged me and said never let anyone tell you that you did not try. Here is why I could not breast feed. Some women with this, can go on to breast feed but some can not. I was one of the unluck ones. I am posting this from a La Leche Leage web site. This does exist. My breasts did not grow in pregnancy are small and widely spaced. They are some what tubular shaped but not totally. Like it says all women with this present differently and just because a woman likes like her breast are fully formed does not mean they are.
I post this not for debate but for information sake. That person you may or may not judge for giving formula, you perhaps don't know her private pain and struggle to attemp to breast feed.
ETA: This post is NOT to judge those who did not choose breast feeding. If you fed your baby and loved your baby, you did what was right for your family for your reasons. I used to work in CPS and picked up babies who the parents chose not to feed, that will change your outlook. I wished those parents had given their babies formula.......it was sad. So if you feed your baby,love your baby and don't neglect them, you are being a good mom.
Also this is posted for information sake. If you have had these symptoms check with a lactation consultant or doctor. There are ways to help some women.
The unfortunate reality of hypoplasia is that, although it is often easy to recognize in hindsight, the first clue that a mother has insufficient glandular tissue is usually primary lactation failure; her body simply does not produce milk. Even when everything else is in place for a good start to breastfeeding, the milk does not "come in" or is not enough to sustain her baby. The Breastfeeding Answer Book cites a 1999 estimate that 1 in 1000 mothers experience primary lactation failure, which can be due to hypoplasia or other causes. However, with an increasing number of mothers becoming pregnant and delivering healthy babies who previously could not, thanks to assisted fertility and hormonal support, more cases of hypoplasia are being encountered. This increase has occurred because many conditions that underlie problems achieving and sustaining a pregnancy coexist with insufficient breast development. Some of these red-flag conditions may give a mother or her health care providers clues to a future lactation failure if they are aware of them early in pregnancy.
What are the visual markers of hypoplastic breasts? In a study of 34 mothers by Kathleen Huggins, et al. (2000), the researchers found a correlation between the following physical characteristics and lower milk output:
- widely spaced breasts (breasts are more than 1.5 inches apart)
- breast asymmetry (one breast is significantly larger than the other)
- presence of stretch marks on the breasts, in absence of breast growth, either during puberty or in pregnancy
- tubular breast shape ("empty sac" appearance)
Additional characteristics that may indicate hypoplasia are:
- disproportionately large or bulbous areolae
- absence of breast changes in pregnancy, postpartum, or both
Hypoplastic breasts may be small or large. It is breast shape, placement, and asymmetry that indicate hypoplasia -- not necessarily size. Normal-sized breasts that are lacking glandular tissue may be made up of fatty tissue that will sufficiently fill a bra cup.
Most of the existing medically documented literature on hypoplasia can be gleaned from the plastic surgery field, since women with hypoplasia, concerned with the appearance of their breasts, may seek surgical augmentation (implants) of their breasts. If these women go on to have babies and attempt to breastfeed them, we may mistakenly assume that the presence of breast implants has caused milk production issues, when in reality the cause is the absence of glandular tissue that preceded the augmentation surgery. If a mother presents with milk production issues and has had breast augmentation surgery, it may be helpful to inquire about the shape of her breasts before she received her implants. She may offer to share "before" photos, which can also provide some insight. An excellent resource for mothers who have breast implants can be found here: http://www.bfar.org/possible-augmentation.php.
Without a lactation expert seeing or palpating a mother's breasts during or before her pregnancy, it can be difficult to assess whether she may have trouble lactating. It is important to note that even mothers who display the above-mentioned physical characteristics of hypoplastic breasts could go on to produce a full milk supply for their babies; the only true indicator of whether a mother will not make enough milk is, unfortunately, insufficient milk despite proper breastfeeding management and breast stimulation in the early days and weeks. Additionally, breasts that look perfectly normal, even breasts that are large or pendulous, cannot be assessed for glandular tissue versus fatty breast tissue by visual measures alone; palpation of the breasts by a qualified and experienced health care professional may reveal more information.