Breast Health is a growing subject of interest these days and more and more women are looking to the Internet for answers as Medical Professionals become more expensive and less user friendly. Busy women need answers and don't have much time to ask so here we are. A collection of answers for some of the most common questions about breast growth development and health concerns and with a close look at their main function, breastfeeding.
Please use this info as a general guideline as everybody is different. One of the reasons it is often difficult to get answers from health professionals is that everybody is different and without extensive testing , it is dangerous to give advice that may adversely affect peoples health. However, the majority of women will find this info useful and true.
If you want to buy or sell, breast milk, pumps, TENS units or other related paraphenalia, just post your name and email address with a description of the item and the State you live in on the Contacts comments page. No posts will be accepted from those looking for partners or using profanity.
Lets start with development.
Breasts begin to grow when a girl reaches puberty and her hormones start to change. Yes breast growth is controlled by hormonal activity in the body but diet can also affect growth greatly as they are largely made of fat tissue. Some girls with extra fat on their bodies have larger breasts but not always. Prolactin (support-milk) is the hormone responsible for both breast development and milk production. Women with more prolactin at puberty have larger breasts. Prolactin also aids in stimulating the desire to nurture. That is why so many men like larger breasts, its the natural selection method of ensuring procreation continues.
Their development has finished when a woman nurses her baby and they are producing milk. Until a girl is pregnant the breasts don't finish developing and remain in an adolescent state. The nipples are small and the breasts are mostly made of fat. For this reason it is a simple task to make them smaller. Just starve yourself or take up marathon running.
When a woman becomes pregnant, the hormones in her body tell her breasts to get ready to produce milk. They begin to grow acini (alveoli) glands which will produce the milk when stimulated by suckling.
They will not actually produce any milk until regular suckling takes place.
Before that, about the fifth month of pregnancy, they will be able to produce colostrum, a thick yellowish milk like substance that is designed to ease baby into eating milk. Colostrum is full of anti bodies (which baby lacks) and is the most easily digested substance known to man. The colostrum is only produced around the time of the birth of the baby and is soon replaced by milk when the suckling has stimulated the production enough. The nipples will grow larger and especially the aureole's will grow much larger. After weaning they go back to a semi ready state.
When will they grow? How long is a piece of string? Most girls reach puberty around early to mid teens but not all. Some late bloomers begin around 18 years of age and the earliest recorded pregnancy was age 8. When seems to depend on heredity. When did your Mom begin? Or your Grandmother? You could take after either, or your father's mother. It is possible that a family with two girls will see one with large breasts and one with small as they each take after a different family member.
Many young women want to know if there is anything they can do to change the process and the Good news is, there is.
Help, I'm twenty years old and my boobs are so small, still an A cup. Is there anything natural I can do?
As mentioned it is hormone activity that determines their size so changing the hormone production can help. Some women find them growing after they start using the birth control pill. Which one is best? Well that depends on you! Everybody is different and reacts differently. Most women on the pill also put on weight. Putting on weight might increase their size but will probably increase the size of your hips as well. For many women it seems that your hips grow faster than your breasts and when dieting, your breasts shrink faster than your hips. This is reversed when nursing.
Another way to change hormone activity is to manually stimulate the nipples. This causes signals to go to the pituitary gland at the base of the brain which tells your breasts to grow acini glands to get ready to make milk.
This process does not rely on pregnancy as some think but is directly caused by nipple stimulation at regular intervals each day, as when you breastfeed a baby. Note that you will not likely produce any milk unless you actually remove any milk made from your breasts each time. A well known radio show hostess grew her breasts to size 40 DD by stimulation. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Destination-DD-Adventures-Breast-Fetishist/dp/097886994X
Manual stimulation using your fingers is the easiest and cheapest way but some like to use a breast pump or a TENS unit. Make sure you don't wear a tight bra as that will reduce blood flow to your breasts. Going bra-less while exercising may also help.
Herbs that stimulate female hormones can help but most women report that they do not make much difference unless one is already lactating. Fenugreek has been used for centuries and Fennel has also been helpful to some. Tea seems to be the best way to use it.
Help, one breast is bigger than the other?
This is a very common problem and fortunately caused by the fact that each breasts can operate completely independently. They were designed so that a woman with a problem can still feed her baby with only one, or two babies with different appetites. That means that there is something we can do about it. Stimulating the nipple on the smaller side can cause the acini glands to grow on that side only and thereby increase the size of the smaller breast. Regularity is the key with 2 or 3 times a day being a minimum.
Sagging breasts are also a concern for many these days. There is good news and bad.
Firstly, gravity is the major cause of sagging and so don't expect any miracle cure.
Secondly a major cause seems to be the habit of wearing bras all day everyday. Bras lend support to breasts and thereby remove the need for the natural supporting system to function.(Coopers ligaments) It atrophies and stops working! So not wearing a bra so much may actually make them sag less. See www.breastnotes.com for an in depth Doctor's opinion.
A recent survey on breast sag rates shows that breastfeeding has no great effect on sag rates but that smoking does as it affects the elastin in the skin.
Lymph flow diagram.
Should I wear a bra?
The diagrams above show breast construction and lymph fluid flow paths. The 1st diagram shows the Coopers ligaments that support the breasts and gives them their shape. Wearing a bra constantly causes the ligaments to atrophy and stop working and also prevents their natural movement which stimulates blood flow and lymph flow. Bra wearing has only been popular in relatively recent times and only in western affluent countries, the same places where breast cancer rates are highest. It seems that bras may be a major cause of poor breast health and not wearing one may be a better choice. Some wear one to make their breasts perkier and more attractive (to who?) while others wear one to reduce their noticeability (nipple protrusion) I recommend no bra to retain their natural shape and wear a camisole for an extra layer of fabric. I personally know a woman who having breastfed two children over 25 years ago still has perky breasts, like they were 25 years ago, and has never worn a bra a day in her life.
This page has more explanantyion about the relationship between bras and breast cancer.
My breasts are too big, can I make them smaller without surgery?
The short answer is No. You can reduce their size a little with extreme measures such as marathon running or protein dieting to reduce fat content in your body. You could also try wearing a tight bra but these measures are not good for your health long term. Better to maintain a positive attitude about them and enjoy them as you can. Your husband will probably appreciate them.
My large breasts make my back ache?
Being heavier in front can put extra strain on the back but the main cause of pain is not your breasts but your posture. You are tempted to lean forward to try to make them less noticeable and that puts more strain on your back. An erect upright posture will take the tension out of your back and be better for your health. Be proud, stand straight and life will get easier for you. People are more tempted to take advantage of a cautious person than a proud one.
Big can be beautiful too
This woman wanted them bigger and now holds the record for the biggest implants.
This lady holds the record for the worlds largest natural breasts. She says they were embarrassing until she got married and then she found some wonderful things she could do with them. She also says her back never aches from the weight. She has learned to stand correctly.
My nipples are inverted, how can I get them to look normal?
Inverted nipples are quite common and the solution is quite simple. It is caused by the soft tissue being held back by connecting tissue that should not be there. It can be trained or stretched into the normal position. Gently squeeze the aureole until the nipple pops out, then gently draw it out with your forefinger and thumb. Now massage the area directly behind the nipple to encourage the connecting tissue to release or stretch. 3 times a day for 10 minutes each time should have them out permanently after a few weeks.
You can also try wearing nipple rings inside your bra. They put pressure on the aureole but not the nipple to encourage it to protrude all day. A combination of these two methods should work faster. It also helps to prevent cancer. See therapeutic nipple stimulation further down the page.
I haven't heard of any major health issues caused by inverted nipples but it can make breastfeeding difficult and painful.
Avent makes a range of products to help mother get her inverted nipples ready to breastfeed. You could try making your own. get a plastic syringe and cut the end off. reverse the plunger and use it to suck the nipple out before feeding.
I have hairy nipples (and moustache)?
Hair growth is also a hormonal function and usually means an excess of testosterone. Also causes a deeper voice sometimes. This is another problem that can be overcome by the balancing action of regular nipple stimulation or breastfeeding. The prolactin released suppresses the other hormones (natural HRT) and keeps you more womanly. I have even heard testimony of a lesbian woman who induced lactation to breastfeed her girlfriend. After a few weeks of breastfeeding she began to notice her desire for men had increased and she actually left her girlfriend for a man.
This link is to a site showing many different size and shape breasts all of them within the parameters of "normal"
Making milk is the main function of breasts and one's ability to make milk can vary a lot but there are a few simple guidelines which will help to keep your production where you want it. The usual process is to get pregnant and then the hormones in your body tell your breasts they will soon be needed. They begin to grow the acini glands which will produce milk when suckling begins. The aureoles also grow in size and darken.
Please note that pregnancy does not cause milk production but that regular nipple stimulation is the trigger mechanism.
The acini glands produce milk in response to nipple stimulation and to make milk requires that they be stimulated regularly and for prolonged periods. (Usually by a hungry baby, 20 minutes each side) For this reason most women do not get any milk immediately after giving birth but it takes a few days for production to begin. The more often you put baby to the breast, the sooner it begins to flow. The rule of thumb is every 3 to 4 hours per day. Every 2 hours is ok at first but is a bit too much and doesn't give Mom much time for rest in between, which brings us to the next point. The usual rules are plenty of rest, good nutrition and emotional support. Drink more water but the number one way to ensure good production is to make sure you empty all the milk completely each time..
Will nipple piercing affect my ability to breastfeed?
Many women breastfeed after nipple piercing but, if can cause trouble. It can be more painful and reduces the amount of ducts available and scar tissue can sometimes form a large lump in the nipple. Also increases the chance of choking from loose jewellery.
How do I increase my milk supply?
To increase production it is a simple process of telling your breasts that they need to make more by feeding more. That is suckle or stimulate longer each time. The amount of times is important too. Optimal seems to be regularly at 4 hourly intervals, say 6am, 10 am 2 pm, 6pm, 10 pm and 2 am. But after successful feeding is established you can probably cut out one or two feeding times and still continue ok. Your breasts will get used to your schedule and cooperate after a time. To increase supply you need to make sure you empty them completely each feed.
Herbs and herb tea have been found useful by many and the Chinese say fish soup is good for increasing milk supply. Mrs Luo of Chong Qing is currently producing 2 litres per day but hasn't been asked what she eats. (2009)
Pumping is one way to increase milk supply or just to make extra to store for emergencies. Many women have used pumps to induce lactation when they do not have a baby for a pending adoption for example.
Some women find that pumps just don't work for them, maybe not enough emotional attachment to the job. Others find doing it themselves better! There are many types of pump available from manual singles to dual electric. The more expensive ones are usually better and later model pumps have been engineered to simulate baby suckling.
If you are a beginner pumper, start with fast cycle and low suction for maximum stimulation and low stress. Some find hard suction too much.
Be careful not the let the nipple rub against the edge of the pump as it will cause pain. just reposition to suit. If you have very big nipples you may need to get a bigger cup size or use vaseline.
Fenugreek is one of the most commonly quoted herbal breast milk stimulants and contains phyto-estrogens and can have a powerful effect on a woman’s body. It has also been used to control Diabetes, cholesterol and libido. It is well known as a breast growth stimulant and to help increase milk production. One site claims it can increase milk production 500%. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it has little effect on breast growth and milk production until after lactation has been established and then more like a 5 - 25% increase.
Fenugreek has also been proven useful for digestion disorders tho it looks like it is the mucilage content that helps.
The Side effects appear to be limited to a strong smell that also changes the flavor of breast milk and can result in nausea.
How many ounces should I feed my baby each time?
The short answer is, "don't worry about it!". Why? Because the breastfeeding system was designed to be entirely flexible to suit you and your baby. That is; its a demand and supply system. The more your baby demands, the more you make! This means that whether your baby is rapacious or just a snacker, you will make enough (give or take a day) Your milk also changes consistency during a feed time beginning with a thin sweet consistency and ending with more fat content. This helps to make junior strong and takes weight of your hips! The consistency also changes to suit his age! Marvelous system! Relax and enjoy it!
Will taking calcium supplements improve my milk quality?
No, breast milk has the perfect balance for your baby and is modified every feed time to make sure your baby gets what it needs. There is actually very little calcium in breast milk but the active bio ingredients in the live milk give all the nutrients complete 100% absorbtion. Another reason why formula cannot compete.
I'm exclusively breastfeeding my baby but she has green poop, what 's wrong with my milk?
There is nothing wrong with your milk but your feeding style needs adjustment.
Breast milk changes consistency throughout a feed time as well as throughout a baby's early life. It changes consistency over time from birth until 2 years of age when the child has mostly developed what it needs to live without mom's hourly intervention. At the beginning of a feed the milk is thin and has very low fat content and later the fat content increases to help baby put on weight. (chart with the average consistency breakdown further below)
The reason your baby has green poop is because you are stopping feeding too soon and the fat has not come through yet. The fat is needed to balance her digestion.
There are a couple of options for you. 1. just feed longer.
2. Feed on one side only and either pump the other or just wait for the next feed and alternate sides. Be careful not to get engorged.
My Milk is Orange, what's wrong?
Your milk is directly related to what you eat. Have you been eating carrots? The carotene in them can discolor many things including your skin if you have too much. Milk can actually change color and is not naturally exactly white but more a creamy color. Richer mixture may be darker.
It also reflects the flavor of whatever you have been eating. Many say that babies love chili flavor. Try to avoid giving your baby a chocolate addiction.
I have HIV, will my baby get sick from drinking my breast milk?
HIV antibodies are transmitted thru breast milk from an infected mother and Doctors warn mothers not to breastfeed but the antibodies are the agents that fight AIDS infection not the disease itself. There have been very few cases of babies reported as contracting AIDS thru breastfeeding. HIV anti bodies are transmitted in the first 2 months of a baby's life but not the disease itself. So far only @ 6% of babies test positive for HIV antibodies after 2 months. All the mothers antibodies are transmitted to baby to protect it from disease. The figure for babies who are not breastfed is 14% showing that breastfeeding protects babies from disease including HIV. Another way to put it is 86% of children born to HIV positive mothers will not get HIV.
Most figures available for AIDS infected children are calculated below age 15 which include sexually active children over 12 and so there are few figures for breastfeeding babies deaths. Perhaps because its so small it doesn't warrant its own category. Most of the deaths recorded appear to be the result of ignorance or poor nutrition not the disease itself.
So over all it appears that breastfeeding when HIV positive is still better than not. Breast milk still protects babies and increases a baby's resistance to HIV by 50%.
Help, I am making too much milk, what can I do? In such cases it can be a problem if you don't use it all each time. Leaving a large quantity in the breasts can lead to engorgement and possibly mastitis, a painful infection of the ducts. I suggest you find someone else to feed, remember that childrens' immune systems are not fully developed until the age of five. Breastfeeding children until then is entirely beneficial for their health. Mothers best is the best form of nutrition known to man, perfect for human consumption. Another possibility is to express or pump and sell it or donate to the local hospital. They use it to feed premature babies or those whose mothers have a problem nursing. They also sometimes sell it to cancer patients as the immune properties help them to remain stable while undergoing chemo or radiotherapy and it is the easiest thing for their fragile stomachs to digest. If you prefer the natural approach , you can manually express your breasts using the Marmet technique.
Position the thumb above the nipple and your first two fingers below the nipple, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the nipple, though not necessarily at the outer edges of the areola. Use this measurement as a guide, since breasts and areolas vary in size from one woman to another. Be sure the hand forms the letter “C” and the finger pads are at 6 and 12 o’clock in line with the nipple. Note: The fingers are positioned so that the milk reservoirs lie beneath them. Avoid cupping the breast.
Push straight in to the chest wall. Avoid spreading the fingers apart. For large breasts, first lift, and then push in to the chest wall.
Roll thumb and fingers forward at the same time. This rolling motion compresses and empties milk reservoirs without injuring sensitive breast tissue.
Repeat rhythmically to completely drain reservoirs. Position, push, roll ... Position, push, roll ....
Rotate the thumb and fingers to milk other reservoirs, using both hands on each breast.
Source:Marmet Technique copyright 1978, revised 1979, 1981 and 1988. Chele Marmet and the Lactation Institute, 1616 Ventura Blvd., Suite 223, Encino, California 91436Marmet Technique copyright 1978, revised 1979, 1981 and 1988. Chele Marmet and the Lactation Institute, 1616 Ventura Blvd., Suite 223, Encino, California 91436
Breastfeeding 8 yr old:
Ouch, breastfeeding hurts! What's wrong?
Breastfeeding is the most natural function of a woman's breasts but not always easy or pain free. However it should be pain-free. There are several reasons why it may not be pain-free and these can be overcome.
Correct latch has part of the aureole as well with the nipple right inside.
Great simple video on latching.
Incorrect latch and putting them away wet can cause very painful cracking. Air drying after feeding will help prevent this. If you already have cracked nipples then try Aloe vera for skin repair but it tastes horrible. Vitamin E cream may also help but natural drying is important. Too much cream will be counter productive.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk?
Well the benefits of both breastfeeding and breast milk are numerous and medical researchers are constantly finding more. We are very fortunate to live in times when research is capable of studying minute physiological details and reporting them via internet, across the world. Below are some of the findings.
Some mothers claim they use breast milk to cure scratches and cuts and even eye infections. (topically) It seems to have antiseptic qualities. Researches in Sweden found it actually kills cancer cells! (link on contacts page) Some call it their "medicine chest".
Psychologist and author Dr John Townsend writes that children learn how to relate and trust others at their mother's breasts. Breastfeeding , the pouring in of a mother's love day after day, week after week, year after year is what enables a child to develop the ability to trust and depend on others, essential for healthy marriages. Mother you are the key to an emotionally healthy society.
If Someone told you that they had a pill that could give all these health benefits you would not beleive them or they would cost a fortune!
Of course they will. The glands that produced milk are no longer being used. Use them or lose them! They will shrink to the size they were before if you are lucky. For some women they go even smaller. Regular nipple stimulation may help to keep them at a reasonable size as well as preventing cancer. It is best to wean slowly over serveral months to avoid rapid weight loss and to then end up looking like the pic below.
Breast Cancer surviver is there a natural estrogen blocker I can take?
Yes, once again nipple stimulation is a natural way to increase prolactin and prevent estrogen production.
It is listed as a powerful Antioxident. It may also be useful as a natural HRT treatment for menopause for those who don't want the schedule of nipple stimulation or prefer oral alternatives.
|VITAMIN||HUMAN||COW||GOAT||FORMULA *||DEFICIENCIES **|
|D||0.03||0.03||0.03||0.06 ug/100g||All Lo, except F|
|C||5.0||1.0||1.3||6.1 mg/100g||C+G very low|
|B1 (thiamin)||140||400||480||68 ug/100g||-|
|B2 (riboflavin)||36||162||138||101 ug/100g||-|
|Pantothenic acid||200||300||300||304 ug/100g||-|
|Biotin||0.8||2.0||2.0||3.0 ug/100g||all OK|
|Nicotinic acid (niacin)||200||100||200||710 ug/100g||F OK, all other LO, particularly C|
|Folic Acid||5.2||5.0||1.0||10 ug/100g||F OK, others LO, particularly G|
|Vitamin B12||0.3||0.4||0.1||0.2 ug/100g||All LO, particularly G|
|Vitamin B6||11||42||46||41 ug/100g||-|
Why people want to do this
Health benefits for nursing
extended breastfeeding lowers cancer risk
therapeutic stimulation lowers cancer risk
milk made into tumor killer
human milk science
Breastfeeding prevents food allergies
Breastfeeding in the bible
Advantages of breastfeeding
Biblical sex and ANR
trust and intimacy hormones
TENS unit sales.