HomeHealth articlesbreastfeedingWhat Is Tubular Breast Deformity?

Tuberous Breast Deformity Treatment to Allow Breastfeeding

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Tuberous breasts or hypoplastic breasts often lack glandular tissue leading to insufficient milk production. Read the article to learn more.

Written by

Dr. Pallavi. C

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sanap Sneha Umrao

Published At May 3, 2023
Reviewed AtAugust 23, 2023

What Is Tubular Breast Deformity?

Tubular breasts are also known as hypoplastic breasts, underdeveloped breasts, or breasts with insufficient glandular tissue. They have little breast tissue that may produce inadequate milk. Breasts with hypoplastic tissue might be uneven, tiny, thin, or tube-shaped. The areola could appear to be enormous, and they could be very far apart.

Individuals born with tubular breasts have breast tissue that does not fully develop. Until they get pregnant and give birth to a kid, they might not even be aware that their breasts are underdeveloped. Tubular breasts may not significantly change during pregnancy. They might not fill up with breast milk following the birth of the child.

What Leads to Tubular Breast Deformity?

There have been many theories related to the causes of tubular breasts. Here are a few common reasons associated with tubular breasts.

  • Genetic predisposition.

  • Lack of progesterone prevents the alveoli from growing (milk-producing cells).

  • This is found to be more common in women who work in agricultural areas due to continuous exposure to pesticides.

  • Generally, women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) tend to develop tubular breasts due to hormonal issues.

  • Hypothyroidism.

What Are the Traits of Tuberous Breasts?

Breast size and form can vary widely, and this is often seen during puberty. Tubular breasts can be of any size and share some traits in general. These consist of:

  • Cylindrical breast tissue as opposed to spherical breast tissue. The tissue often has the same form from the breast's base to its tip.

  • Tissue constriction near the breast's base.

  • An unusually raised lower breast fold that causes the breast or breasts to appear sagging (where the breast meets the chest).

  • An enlarged areola characterizes areola hypertrophy compared to expected.

  • Sometimes only one breast is impacted; in contrast to the other breast, a tubular breast may appear underdeveloped. Few people have unevenly shaped breasts on both sides.

What Are Different Types of Tuberous Breasts?

  • Type I: Lower medial quadrant hypoplasia.

  • Type II: Type I with enough skin in the subareolar region.

  • Type III: Type I without enough skin in the subareolar area.

  • Type IV: Characterized by significant breast constriction and a small breast base.

What Is the Relationship Between Breast Size, Breastfeeding, and Milk Storage?

However, there are at least two ways that breast size does impact the breastfeeding connection. First off, due to their small mouths compared to the areola they are intended to take into their mouth and suck on, babies of large-breasted moms sometimes struggle to latch on at first. As the baby gets older, this issue typically goes away.

In addition, Peter Hartmann's research has revealed that each woman has a very different amount of milk storage capacity. Breast milk is continuously generated and builds up in the milk ducts between feedings. A newborn usually empties between 70 and 80 percent of the milk in the breast while feeding. In his research, Hartmann discovered that while all the women produced the same amount of milk over 24 hours, some of them had storage capacities that were three times more than others. Larger breasts would naturally have more storage space in general, but it was noticed that breast size was not always a reliable indicator of production or storage capability.

Why Is a Lactation Specialist Important in Tuberous Breasts?

  • A lactation specialist is necessary so that the patient may set breastfeeding objectives and aim to increase the milk output.

  • Always visit a board-certified lactation consultant skilled in helping parents with breast hypoplasia (inadequate breast size).

  • A lactation consultant can assist with the first issues; for instance, during the first few weeks, while the baby is developing a proper latch, the specialist will guide the mother in adequately positioning the infant for feeding.

  • Patients can also get assistance from medical professionals apart from lactation specialists in ruling out any additional probable reasons for low milk production.

How to Increase Milk Production Despite a Tuberous Breast Deformity?

  • Increased stimulation, such as pumping in between feedings and on-demand breastfeeding.

  • Managing metabolic conditions like PCOS and hypothyroidism might be beneficial.

  • Inquire with the doctor about using natural progesterone while pregnant. During pregnancy, progesterone encourages the formation of glandular tissue.

  • To enhance milk supply, try using natural herbs or other galactagogues (substances that can help increase milk production in lactating women).

  • To increase sensation, try getting the breasts massaged.

  • While the infant is receiving donor milk or formula, continue to breastfeed using a supplemental feeding device. While the child is nursing, this will stimulate the breasts.

  • Because of the hormones generated during each pregnancy that promote the growth of milk glands, it has been shown that women with tubular breasts produce more milk during their second or third pregnancies.

How to Manage Breastfeeding With Tuberous Breasts?

  • Ensure that the infant is properly positioned and latching onto the breast.

  • Give baby breast milk frequently. Individuals can try to promote breast milk production as much as possible by nursing the infant often.

  • Ask a pediatrician to keep an eye on the baby's weight.

  • Consult the doctor or a lactation specialist before using any herbs or drugs that may increase breast milk production. Given that it is thought to strengthen breast tissue and promote milk production, goat's rue (a popular herb to increase breast milk) may be a wise pick.

  • It is okay to give the infant a supplement if necessary.

  • Individuals can give infants extra nutrients while breastfeeding using a nursing supplementer gadget.

  • Mothers can produce extra breast milk by pumping. After each feeding, using a breast pump could further activate the breasts. Breast milk they have pumped since then can be used as a supplement.

  • Consume a nutritious, balanced meal with adequate calories to promote the development of breast milk. Be sure also to get plenty of water and rest.

  • For help and support, sign up for a local breastfeeding support group.

Is Breast Augmentation Helpful in Tuberous Breasts?

  • Breast augmentation is chosen by some ladies who have hypoplastic breasts.

  • Take advice from the doctor before planning for breast surgery.

  • It is preferable to wait until after having children and weaning the last child before breast surgery.

  • Suppose a patient has not already had it but is thinking about it and planning to have a baby. Breast surgery could make it harder for her to produce enough milk.


Some people may experience worry and emotional anguish due to having tubular breasts. Although tubular breasts are not physically hazardous, some people wish to have surgery to make their breasts look more symmetrical. The individuals can opt for surgery after weaning the last child. The individuals should consult the doctor before breast surgery.

Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Sanap Sneha Umrao
Dr. Sanap Sneha Umrao

Obstetrics and Gynecology


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