Can I Breastfeed After Having a Breast Reduction?



Can I Breastfeed After Having a Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction surgery is commonly done on women who have had functional problems including consistent back pains, shoulder pain and even hygiene issues.


It is a well-known fact that women’s breast tend to enlarge after having a baby, so this can bring significant problems to a mother who already had existing issues with larger breasts.

Naturally, this concerns mothers who are currently breastfeeding their newborn babies. There is popular confusion about potential effects the surgery will have on a woman’s breastfeeding ability, especially with numerous experts who lacktrue medical experience.

Here are some guidelines that will help separate fact from fiction regarding breastfeeding after having a breast reduction.

Overview of Breastfeeding Post-Surgery

Biology can be quirky at times. Not all things have the same effect on different bodies; the pill that one person takes to relieve a headache may not necessarily have the same effect on someone else.

The same principle applies to women after a breast reduction surgery. There are too many variables at play to stick all women in the same box, and often it’s on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not breastfeeding is still possible and safe.

Milk Ducts

Milk ducts are one of the most common areas of breasts that get cut during a breast reduction surgery. Depending on the type of operation needed, doctors will do their best to leave the blood supply as-is and the nerve pathways uncut. This is especially true when doctors are operating on women who are of childbearing age. Ask your doctor beforehand if he thinks your particular breast reduction surgery will heavily effect your breast feeding abilities, as different incision areas will yield different results.

The Amount of Tissue Matters

The amount of tissue lost is another major factor to consider. The greater the amount of glandular tissue that is removed, the harder it becomes to producing adequate amounts of milk.

This includes whether the entire nipple section was removed and repositioned, such as in a free-nipple technique, in which the blood supply is completely severed to the nipple and areola.

Although there are rare cases where milk ducts regrow back to normal, these cases are few and far between.

Breastfeeding is often linked to bonding the newborn to their mothers in ways that are impossible for fathers to understand or achieve. However, to minimize the fear that mothers have of losing this special time period with their newborns, they should work closely with their doctor to manage the entire process as efficiently and as transparently as possible.

August 5, 2014

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