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-   -   Can you lose glandular tissue?? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/27-breastfeeding/1105790-can-you-lose-glandular-tissue.html)

RunnerDuck 07-01-2009 07:21 PM

I know people have blamed lack of milk supply on having "insufficient glandular tissue" - and by "blamed" I mean that is the cause, not that they made up some lame excuse because they wanted to use formula.

I had no problems nursing my son. I don't know how my boobs compared size-wize with him when I was done nursing, compared to before I had him... I think they were the same.

I did not make enough milk for my twins.

I recently weaned them both (I have had no PPAF and I am not getting any younger, with PCOS and all I don't feel like I can afford to wait much if I want another...) ... there was no engorgement whatsoever during the first few days without. (With my son I had porn star hooters for a few days)

When I feel them now... I swear I feel like I have less than ever. Less breast tissue, that is. And it's not like I was ever blessed in that area. (I am soooooooooooooooo jealous of moms who can wear shirts that show cleavage... )

I am wondering if I have another, a singleton, if my hopes to exclusively nurse one more baby won't happen? Is it possible I have lose glandular tissue since I had my son??

Seems like you hear of people not having enough milk for one baby, then it works the next time. Doesn't usually work the other way. I don't know if my problem was having two babies or if I am actually losing boobs!

Ruthla 07-01-2009 07:29 PM

I don't think it's possible to lose glandular tissue, except surgically. But I certainly don't know everything!

I'm a little bit confused- you had engorgement after your son was born, but not after your twins were born, or are you talking about engorgement after weaning?

If it was lack of engorgement after giving birth, then it's likely that the PCOS led to hormonal imbalances, and the "lack of the right hormones" meant that your breasts didn't make enough milk, even though you had the glands to do so. It can be very difficult, sometimes impossible, to recoup milk supply if it's not properly established in the first few days/weeks after birth.

It's also possible that you were making the same amount of milk after each birth-perhaps enough for 1.5 babies. That would mean too much milk for one baby, but not enough for two.

RunnerDuck 07-02-2009 01:34 PM

Sorry, what I meant was, when I weaned my son, I was REALLY full for a few days. With my daughter (only one was still nursing past 12m) I had NO fullness. I even thought about nursing her again 2 days later or so but it was like empty city. NO fullness at all after weaning. I guess my supply was pretty much down to zip even while I was still nursing... I really wonder if there was ever a point with these two where I was making enough for ONE baby. (They had bottle and breast till 4 weeks or so, then breast only till 4 or 5 months when they were starving - I was trying so hard not to supplement... Then they had both again till 1 year at which point one went on a bottle strike and would only nurse, which is why I had to wean the other one - the nursing one was getting solids, too, luckily, or she probably would have been starving...)

Hope that makes sense.

I just feel like I have less boobs than I used to and don't know if that is even possible! I can understand losing fat but it feels like my milk making abilities are gone, too.

Maybe it's just that the whole pregnancy and delivery and newborn days were so crappy... maybe more ideal circumstances there would have meant more milk... Everything with my son was perfect as can be.

spughy 07-02-2009 02:47 PM

It's not possible to lose glandular tissue.

What is possible is that for second or subsequent babies, the prolactin receptor sites on the alveoli can be insufficiently stimulated, resulting in less milk production and less secondary engorgement, particularly if the birth was traumatic or there was significant separation between mama and babe(s) after birth. PCOS can also mess with this.

What is also possible - and likely - is that over time, the connective tissues in the breast lose their resiliency and strength, resulting in a less-firm feeling. If your breasts were small to begin with you might not notice the droop, and there might not even BE a droop, depending on your physique. But it's largely inevitable and largely simply an aging thing.

SophieAnn 07-02-2009 03:37 PM

I thought it was possible to lose breast tissue, but that it's an old-age thing. As in, after menopause breast tissue is lost... which is why you see the.. uh... deflated balloon look in National Geographic...

I did a quick search and found some backup (gerontology book):
http://books.google.ca/books?id=vYon...sult&resnum=10

"In women, after menopause and the resulting decrease in estrogen levels, there are changes in breast tissue that result in less glandular tissue, reduced elasticity, and more connective tissue and fat. These changes lead to a sagging seen in older women's breast tissue, but the size of the breast may not change, as the glandular tissue is replaced by fat."

So yes, glandular tissue can be lost, but I would think in the absense of some major hormonal imbalance it shouldn't be occuring before menopause.


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