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Is Breastfeeding Possible after Breast Reduction Surgery?

At our office in Newport Beach we frequently get asked whether or not breastfeeding is possible and allowed after breast reduction surgery. While the answer, is “yes”, it’s not the same as if you didn’t have breast reduction surgery. The truth is, any breast surgery can affect lactation but there are ways we plastic surgeons can preserve lactation capabilities for women who plan to breastfeed children after have breast reduction surgery.  Because many women who come in for breast reduction do so out of discomfort or for other reasons they may not be able to or want to wait until they are done having children.

Breast reduction (a.k.a. reduction mammoplasty) is a procedure we frequently do here in Newport Beach for a variety of reasons. Although breast reductions are typically performed by plastic surgeons, it is generally not considered to be solely a cosmetic or aesthetic in nature because it is often done for to relieve the negative physical effects of carrying disproportionately large breasts. Thankfully, most health insurance carriers cover this surgery for reasons that it can cause physical discomfort or may worsen other medical problems. Breast reductions are also done for many psychological reasons.  Sadly too often damage to self-esteem can occur especially to young girls who may receive unwanted attention because of their large breasts. Whatever the reason, we aim to make all our Newport Beach clients as comfortable and happy as possible in their bodies.

So back to the issue of breastfeeding. Since many women undergo breast reduction surgery at an early age and may have plans to breastfeed children in the future, the issue of breastfeeding is often a primary concern, and it is a valid one. The truth is that with any type of breast surgery, lactation capabilities may be affected but there are methods that can preserve the lactation capabilities more than others.  After having breast reduction surgery regardless of technique though, most women do not have a full milk supply for the first baby after the surgery.

For the first baby post-breast reduction surgery even if you do not have a full milk supply, it is important to know that many mothers breastfeed very successfully without a full milk supply by supplementing their breast milk. Of course an obstetrician or pediatrician would be the best resource, we’ve had some of our Newport Beach clients tell us that some ways to increase milk production include pumping, breast compression, deeper latching psychological conditioning, and galactagogues (substances that increase milk production). We recommend you discuss all options of breast milk supplementation with your obstetrician or child’s pediatrician.

Regardless, it’s important to understand that not having a full milk supply and needing to supplement, while more cumbersome, should not discourage you from trying to breastfeed after having a breast reduction surgery. Each pregnancy after breast reduction surgery seems to produce more breast milk so not having a full supply of milk for the first child after surgery hopefully will not be a deterrent from having breast reduction surgery if it is indicated and needed.

If you are in the Newport Beach area and have any questions or concerns about breast reduction surgery contact our office today. Dr. Sajjadian we will be more than happy to answer your questions.