Q: Will I have a harder time breastfeeding if I'm overweight?

A: You most likely have nothing to worry about. Simply having a larger body type and bigger breasts should not inhibit your body's ability to produce milk or your baby's ability to latch on to your breast. You may have to experiment with different nursing positions that work better than traditional holds (trust me, getting a comfortable hold and latch can be tricky for any new mom), but this is an easy hurdle to overcome. Most plus-size women can breastfeed just as well as other women.

However, if you're overweight because of a hormone or endocrine problem, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disease, you may have issues with your milk supply, since these conditions can also affect production of the hormones that trigger your body to make milk. But having PCOS, thyroid disease, or other hormone-related illnesses doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to breastfeed. You may just have to supplement more often with formula to keep your baby fully nourished. If you're worried, it's a good idea to talk to a lactation consultant to help you and your baby get the hang of nursing if you run into problems.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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