Breast Reduction and Breastfeeding

I had breast reduction surgery last November. I am 24 years old and have not had children yet. Can I breastfeed even if had a breast reduction? My doctor told me that I have a 90 percent chance of being able to breastfeed. How long do I have to wait before getting pregnant? And, will my breast size go back to DDD cup?

-- Audrey


Many women have been able to breastfeed, whether fully or partially supplying their infant's breastmilk needs, after a breast reduction. There is evidence that milk ducts can "recanalize" or reconnect after being severed during breast reduction surgery. The amount of time between the surgery and successful breastfeeding will vary from woman to woman.

The key to breastfeeding after reduction is taking a "wait and see" attitude along with working closely after childbirth with a lactation professional. Some women will be able to develop and maintain a full milk supply, while others may need to supplement their baby's diet while breastfeeding. Even if a full milk supply is not possible, breastfeeding in itself has much value for mother and baby. Support from your health care professional and family will mean a lot to you and your baby as you build your breastfeeding relationship.

According to Dr. Sears' The Pregnancy Book, breasts typically increase one cup size during the first trimester and another cup size during the rest of pregnancy, with the most dramatic increase occurring between two and four days postpartum. When the pregnancy lactation cycle is completed, breasts usually return to their pre-pregnancy cup size.

-- LLLisaJ

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