Tubular breasts are a structural malformation of the mammary gland that leads to an atypical mammary structure and can affect a woman’s ability to produce breastmilk.
How to identify tubular breasts?
Breasts that develop in this way can be identified with the naked eye due to their asymmetry and shape. They can develop in a conical shape, presenting clearly scarce breast tissue in the lower part of the breast, and areolas are exaggeratedly prominent or ringed. In addition, these breasts are neither symmetrical nor hemispherical.
It is possible to start to distinguish the alteration of the breast in puberty or already in the process of lactogenesis I when the breast does not develop normally during pregnancy.
Tubular breasts and milk production
Breasts with these characteristics are related to an inability to produce enough milk to maintain exclusive breastfeeding. This does not mean that milk is not produced at all; there is always milk, but it can happen that the amount is not enough. If the mother wishes to breastfeed, she can do so with the help of supplementing.
Identify previous surgeries
Different surgical interventions, such as mammoplasty or mastopexy, may have modified the appearance of these breasts, but this does not mean that they have improved milk production capacity. They simply have changed their appearance. In fact, the intervention can be a cause of hypogalactia, especially in interventions with an areolar approach with complete remodeling. Those interventions can cut or damage ducts and nerve endings that always alter the capacity to maintain breastmilk production.
When attending to women with difficulty in maintaining exclusive breastfeeding, among other things, we need to revise the breast structure in case there have been previous surgical interventions. Keep in mind that many of those women have been wrongly told that such surgery does not compromise their future ability to breastfeed.
It is important to remember that our recommendations will depend on the intentions of the mother, who will be able to choose between trying to offer the breast exclusively during the first few days and assessing continuous evolution or opting for mixed breastfeeding or weaning.