Breastfeeding with mammary hypoplasia/IGT: a study!


One of our biggest frustrations in the lactation/breastfeeding support arena is that we have so little information to offer mothers who have a physiological barrier to breastfeeding — their bodies just don’t produce milk, even after other problems have been solved.  I described this condition in this post at

Penny Liberatos, PhD (New York Medical College) and I have finished collecting responses for this study, which sought to understand the relationship between various factors and breastfeeding/lactation outcomes for mothers with insufficient glandular tissue.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this study — data analysis and manuscript preparation are underway.  The time and care that went into each response is evident and is immensely appreciated. We will be sure to share where and when our findings may be published.

22 thoughts on “Breastfeeding with mammary hypoplasia/IGT: a study!

  1. Pingback: Supporting Birth & Breastfeeding Research

  2. I’m thrilled to see someone doing a study about IGT, but having trouble answering some of the survey questions. The majority seem to assume that the survey-e became aware that their problem was caused by IGT with the first baby they tried to BF. I had issues with baby 1 and 2 but did not learn about IGT until between babies 2 & 3, I just knew I didn’t make enough milk.

  3. Thanks for your question. For the first baby questions, answer about how you felt when you realized you weren’t going to make enough milk to exclusively breastfeed. Answer the questions about hypoplasia for when you heard about hypoplasia, regardless of when that was. Feel free to fill in anything additional in the open-ended questions at the end of the study.

    Thank you so much for your contribution!

    Additional questions can be sent to — I’m sure to see them there.

  4. I have not been diagnosed with this condition (I don’t currently have a family Dr, as there is a shortage in my area) however I have one breast that is smaller then the other and slightly tubular in shape. I am currently breastfeeding my 3rd baby and this breast has always been a poor milk producer, where as the other produces well, for this reason I primarily nurse on the full breast and am therefore able to exclusively breastfeed. I am thin and was married young with a baby coming soon after, I did not notice a tubular shape (since both sides were small due to my thin frame) until after weening my first baby. I now wear an insert to equalize their appearance underclothes, with the plan to equalize them surgically once I am finished with pregnancy and breastfeeding. I’m not sure if my experience would be helpful in the study or not as this is about women who did not exclusively breastfeed due to this issue. Any info you have would be appreciated, as I’m happy to be of help to other women, if I can be. Thank you in advance.

  5. I decided to participate in the study even though my experience may not be exactly what they were looking for. Any information could be helpful in increasing understanding of this condition.

  6. I’m excited to take this when I have a little quiet time! Thank you for what you’re doing, I found your site today. I have IGT, also not diagnosed due to a loss of insurance, but have every sign and issue of IGT.

  7. Hi! Can you participate in the study if you were able to exclusively breastfeed? I don’t know the true source of my supply difficulties but have struggled with it from the beginning. I stopped producing milk on one side entirely and have nursed from one side only for almost 18 months now and have been nursing for almost 22 months total. Thanks!

  8. Kerri, I too had to nurse exclusively from the right side when the other (with symptoms of IGT) slowly stopped producing milk. I continued to nurse on that breast for a full year. And yes you should take the survey even if you could breastfeed exclusively. Every experience shared helps to understand the condition more.

  9. This survey brought back a lot of emotions but I am glad to be able to contribute my experience to helping better understand this condition. I’m very interested in seeing the results.

  10. I was apart of the study and I was wondering when it will be complete. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have IGT, especially since I am a very busy doula who sees breastfeeding all the time. I really want the education to get out there on this subject.

    • Thank you so much! We are analyzing data now for our first presentation, which will be at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Boston in November. The manuscript that we are generating from that analysis will also be submitted to academic journals and hopefully will be published.

      We have hopes to publish other findings, as well, mostly dealing with the origin and quality of support that works for breastfeeding mothers with low milk output.

      Thank you for participating and especially for your work with mothers and babies.

  11. I completed your survey after the birth of my daughter. Now my second baby will be here in less than three weeks, and I’m hoping to have better success this time. Will you present your findings here? I’m anxious to hear any initial results. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much for participating in the study. We do hope to publish findings and I will link to any articles on this blog post, yes. Our first findings were presented at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting last month. We shared elements of clinical support that enabled mothers with IGT to breastfeed longer than those who did not receive those particular elements of support. We are planning to submit those findings to a journal soon. Thank you again for participating.

  12. I’m assuming that I’m a little late to the party and the survey is closed?
    I had IGT and it was sooo frustrating trying to figure out what was wrong.. I’d love to help someone else avoid that who frustrating journey.

  13. Looking forward to receiving your book Monday. So little research has been conducted r regarding IGT, so many of us need knowledge and support…so many educators and physicians need to be sharing and preparing women for IGT effects… if I had known anything about it before I gave birth-my life since the birth of my son would have been very different. I encourage you to continue spreading the word and investigating the causes as it may be a preventable malady.

  14. Hello Diana,
    I’m trying to determine if I have this condition as I have some of the characteristics. But I was wondering if you could clarify something: can breasts with IGT get engorged? I had mastitis with my first baby. And I felt constantly engorged. I can also self express quite a bit of milk. Both of my children had posterior tongue, and my first baby’s wasn’t released until she was 8 months. After that she nursed awesome, though she was on solids. My 2nd baby is a slow gainer even after tongue tie revision, and he had it done twice. He’s 4 months, so I’m using a lactation aid to supplement. My breasts did not change much with this baby, though I got pregnant with him a month after I stopped Breastfeeding my first. I was wondering if your book covers this topic. I’m just concerned because last baby I noticed a change in breasts (engorged, veiny, leaking),but not so much with this baby.

  15. Hi,
    I just came across this site whilst looking for any research that had been conducted on IGT. I had my first baby 3 months ago and was decades to learn that I had IGT and nowhere near enough milk to breastfeed him. I had my heart set on this and having to supplement has been really difficult for me. I use a lacy aid to supplement at the breast so he can get any milk he can and to try and preserve he breastfeeding relationship. I was wondering if the study results were published anywhere??…I’m keen to learn all I can and hope I might be able to make more milk with my future children as I’ve heard that this is possible with IGT. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s