The Tubular Breast

Tubular Hypoplastic Breasts

Tubular breasts are underdeveloped breasts. This is when a woman has insufficient breast tissue “milk producing cells" inside her breasts. This will cause her to either have no milk at all or a very low milk supply.

This condition is also called hypoplasia, tubular breast syndrome or tuberous breast.

What do Hypoplastic Breasts Look Like?

  • Tuberous breasts are usually flat against the chest wall and often look like empty hanging sacks.
  • The nipple and areola area is often swollen (or enlarged) and bulging at the tip.
  • Hypoplastic breasts are usually far spaced from each other.
  • They often have a tubular appearance to them and are mostly quite small.
  • The two breasts are also often not the same size “lopsided“.

Other signs associated with tubular breasts

  • Lack of breast changes during puberty.
  • The breasts don’t seem to become larger or engorged during pregnancy.
  • There is no engorgement after giving birth.

Wikipedia definition of tuberous breasts (external link)

What Causes Tubular Breast Deformity?

  • A lack of progesterone prohibits the growth of the alveoli “milk producing cells".
  • Pesticides have been linked with this condition. Women who live in agricultural valleys have been found to have poor breast gland development.
  • PCOS can cause hypoplasia. The best person to see about this issue if you have PCOS is an endocrinologist because the regular FP or OB/GYNs won’t know how to help you.
  • Hypothyroidism.

How to Produce more Milk with a Tuberous Breast Deformity

  • Fixing metabolic issues such as PCOS and hypothyroidism can help.
  • Increased stimulation like breastfeeding on demand and pumping in-between feedings.
  • Ask your doctor about natural progesterone during your pregnancy. Progesterone will stimulate the growth of glandular tissue during pregnancy.
  • Try natural herbs or other galactagogues for increasing milk supply.
  • Try breast massage for extra stimulation
  • Use a supplementary feeding device, so that you can breastfeed while your baby is receiving formula if needed. This will stimulate your breasts while your baby is feeding.   Read more on how to use a lactation aid.
  • Women with tubular breasts have been found to produce more milk with their second or third pregnancies, because of the hormones produced with each that increase growth of milk glands.

Tubular Breast Reconstruction

Hypoplastic tubular breasts can look normal after surgery, but a woman must then realize that her chances of breastfeeding after surgery are very slim since surgery cannot fix hypoplasia internally by adding glands, it can only fix the outward appearance and during surgery there is always some glandular tissue that is destroyed.

Other pages on “breastfeeding problems" connected to this page on breastfeeding with tubular breasts

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