UPDATE June 14th, 2015:
In the last several years, more research has come out, and I want to edit this post in light of that.
Many of the breasts presented in this post show markers of insulin resistance, which has been linked to insufficient lactation. Diana Cassar-Uhl talks about it here: http://dianaibclc.com/2014/05/06/insulin-resistance-and-lactation-insufficiency-faq/
We are all unique. No two breasts are exactly alike, and in fact, barring surgical procedures, you'd be hard pressed to find two perfectly symmetrical on the same chest.But just as there are many variations of normal, there are also variations of (and I hate to call it this) abnormal.
Below, I have posted pictures of breasts that have all struggled with milk supply. A huge THANK YOU to all the brave, beautiful women who were willing to share pictures of themselves in the hope that maybe they can help another mother who is struggling with milk supply and looking for answers. IGT has many faces. Just because you don't fit the cookie cutter type 2, 3, or 4, does not mean you don't have IGT.
Typical characteristics of hypoplastic (AKA under-developed AKA tubular or tuberous AKA Insufficient Glandular Tissue) breasts:
- High mammary fold - the base of the breasts is higher than normal, usually at rib 5.
- Narrow (flat) breast base - the breast is oval or flattened at the base where it attaches to the rib cage rather than round
- Breast tissue cascades over mammary fold producing ptosis even in small breasts - breast tissue droops over the high mammary fold
- Central herniation of breast tissue into the areola resulting in plump nipples
- Patchy areas of milk producing tissue
- Little or no prominent veining
- Large areolas
- Darkly pigmented areolas
- Widely spaced breasts > 1.5’
- Marked asymmetry
- Stretch marks
- Little or no growth during pregnancy
- Little or no engorgement
- Normal prolactin levels
Not every woman with IGT will have ALL of these characteristics, and not every woman with these characteristics will have trouble breastfeeding. The only way to know if you have low milk supply due to IGT is to TRY breastfeeding and keep a close eye on baby's diaper output and weight to determine milk supply.
Onto the boobs!
Pictures of Hypoplastic Breasts (with Type 1 being a normally-developed breast)
- Type 2 – Hypoplasia of lower medial quadrant
- Type 3 - Hypoplasia of the lower medial and lateral quadrants
- Type 4 - Severe constrictions, minimal breast base
|Hypoplasia of lower medial quadrant |
|Hypoplasia of the lower medial and lateral quadrants |
|Severe constrictions, minimal breast base |
Everything in Between
bilateral breast enlargement (under muscle.) 5.5 months postpartum. Child was exclusively breastfed on larger breast.
34, breastfeeding for 6 months (so far).
Age 18, pre-breast augmentation photos.
|1 pregnancy, nursing with partial supply 9 mos.|
|29, 2 pregnancies, nursing this time 8.5 months (+2 months 1st time around)|
|31, 1 pregnancy, nursed for 5.5 months, pumped to 7 months.|
|24, first pregnancy, nursing for almost 3 months.|
|Age 29, second pregnancy first birth. Been nursing/pumping for 3 1/2 months.|
|Age 24, has 2 children, nursed/pumped 1st child 2 weeks, nursed 2nd child 6 weeks, pumped until 2nd child was 3 months old. |
"I am now 23 yrs old, pregnant with 2nd baby but 3rd pregnancy and nursed and pumped for 5 months. BUT in the picture i gave you, I was 22 years old, 2nd pregnancy but first baby. This was 30 hours into labor (during pushing stage). i was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant."
39.5 yrs old and nursed one child for 6 months (and pumped a TON) Just stopped pumping 2 months ago, at 8 weeks pregnant. 16 weeks pregnant in picture.
Same mom at 32 weeks pregnant.
Mom of three, nursed with supplementation Son #1 for approx 6 weeks, same
with son #2. Son#3 is approx 30% breastfed. Seems to be some increase in supply this time.
Nursed for 5 1/2 years (including 8 months tandem) and counting!
26 year old mother of 3. Able to exclusively breastfeed her third child.
Mom of 4, and one on the way.
Age 20, first pregnancy, nursing for 2.5 months (at time of picture.)
Mother of 2, 8 weeks pregnant with third.
Same mom, 6 months postpartum and still nursing. Nursed a total of 17 months (at time of picture.)
Same mom, 10 months postpartum and still nursing.
These pictures were collected by me, and are not to be copied or used for any purpose without explicit, written consent. They are intended only to show other moms possibly dealing with IGT what it can look like, and to show those with IGT that they are not alone.
Have IGT? Want to share your story? Willing to share a picture of your breasts? E-mail me at email@example.com RE: IGT
Email Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC and mammary hypoplasia awareness advocate your pictures so that she may use them in her presentations to help doctors and lactation professionals recognize the markers for IGT. Please send them to DianaIBCLC@gmail.com with the subject line "IGT photos."