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, because 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. This breast is neither symmetrical nor hemispherical.
It is possible to begin to distinguish the alteration of the breast in puberty or already in the process of lactogenesis I when the breast does not develop normally in gestation.
Tubular breasts and milk production
Breasts with these characteristics are related to an inability to produce enough milk in order to maintain exclusive breastfeeding. This does not mean that milk is not produced at all, there is always milk, but what can happen is that the amount is not enough. If the mother wishes to breastfeed, she can do so with the help of supplementing.
Identify previous surgeries
There are different surgical interventions such as mammoplasty or mastopexy, which may have modified the appearance of these breasts, which does not mean that they have improved milk production capacity, they simply have changed their appearance. In fact, the intervention itself can be a cause of hypogalactia, especially in interventions of areolar approach with a complete remodelling. Those interventions can cut or damage ducts and nerve endings that alter without a doubt the capacity to maintain milk production.
When attending to women with difficulty in maintaining exclusive breastfeeding, we need to, among other things, revise the breast structure in case there have been previous surgical interventions. It should be remembered, that many 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.