I guess if The Simpsons are a sufficient source for a claim, then this should be as well...

The purse girl hits everything on my checklist: creamy skin, straight teeth, curly hair, amazing breasts. Not for me... for my children. The Schrutes produce very thirsty babies. - Dwight Schrute (From the episode "Hot Girl" of The Office)

The implication here is that Dwight (and possibly other human men) can judge the quantity of milk produced by a human woman by the appearance of her breasts while clothed. While Mr. Shrute seems to be only concerned by the quantity of milk produced, I'm also interested in quality of milk--if such a thing can be measured.

Is it true that the quantity and/or quality of breast milk produced by a human female is in any way correlated to the natural appearance of her breasts? (And specifically, while fully clothed.)

  • Presumably silicone implants don't count? – matt_black Oct 20 '11 at 20:29
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    This isn't really a notable claim, is it? The debate isn't entirely settled, but I don't think the writers of the Office were really suggesting that Dwight's justification was sensible. Given that (short of another claim being cited) no-one is thinks this is true, why should we spend time investigating it? – Oddthinking Oct 21 '11 at 4:49
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    @Flimzy, that would be some (suggestive, but not strong) evidence of an answer to your question - but it doesn't show that anyone believes it to be true. We have a strange rule for on-topic - someone needs to have made it was a notable claim that it was true. Just coming up with your own speculation in a pub (or while watching TV) isn't enough. That would encourage people to come up with more nonsense claims (and thus waste our time researching it), which has to be the opposite goal of anyone committed to rationalism. – Oddthinking Oct 21 '11 at 6:18
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    Everyone who would love to see showtime do a mythbusters special on this raise your hand... – Chad Oct 21 '11 at 13:20
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    I would hypothesize that more attractive and youthful looking breasts correlate with milk in done way, but sexual selective pressures are not always useful. Take the bright red penis of the probiscus monkey as an example. – fredsbend Jun 19 '17 at 7:16

If there is an effect of breast size on milk production, it is not a large one.

This study looked at 319 healthy women (who were "predominately older, married, Caucasian, college graduates in a moderate- to high-income group, who delivered vaginally", so not terrible diverse).

Prenatal breast size did not correlate with final lactation outcome; however, too few subjects were distributed in the very small and small categories for adequate statistical analysis. Only three women were judged to have very small breasts at the prenatal examination, two of whom experienced lactation insufficiency.

This suggests if there is an effect of breast size, it isn't strong enough to become apparent in a moderately sized sample.

Note: They did find an effect based on the amount of natural breast enlargment experienced during pregnancy and engorgement postpartum and also due to surgery, but they are different questions.

  • As far as my SO experience goes, her milk production depended way more of what she eat and how often she extracted her milk than anything else. I wonder if the study controlled for those variables, too... – T. Sar Jun 20 '17 at 14:09

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