Breastfeeding After a Reduction

by Mrs. BWF on August 2, 2012

Can a woman breastfeed after having a breast reduction? Danialle shares her experience doing just that.

“Your website is beautiful and touching. My daughter is 3 1/2, but reading this made me go back and revisit her birth and all the love
and fear I had! The one thing I’m so glad I did, but wished I had your website for…breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding was something I so strongly wanted to do for my daughter, but there was a cloud of “can I?” hanging over me since I had previously gone through breast reduction surgery in 1996. I thought I had read enough and asked enough questions, but I wasn’t nearly prepared for the struggle once she got here, mixed with my hormones and feelings from her birth in general. It has been hard. Tears, frustration, waiting and some moments of bliss, and hard hard hard work.

Everyday, with the help of a circle of great moms helping, lactation consultants and my own intuition, we’ve got better and better and figured out a decent routine. I’m now expressing actual milk, something I wasn’t ever sure I’d do!

I still can’t breastfeed exclusively as I’m not sure I’m making enough, at least until they give me the all clear at her appointment, but it doesn’t matter. She gets to nurse several times a day and I wouldn’t give that up for the world.

My ability to comfort her and feed her, even a little, makes me so incredibly happy.

I had a breast reduction and felt so unsure! Now I know I can do anything. I even had my sister share her milk to supplement.

Anyways…thought you’d enjoy a pic of me on my first successful time with Adelaide. That grin on my face sums up everything!! Thank you for making women feel amazing (because we totally are!).”

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine S August 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

One of my close friends breastfed two children after a breast reduction. She fought through mastitis and an absess with one and through double mastitis with the second. Even though she wasn’t able to exclusively breastfeed, she did an amazing job of nursing her babies. She is absolutely my hero.

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Tara August 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Thank you. I feel like this post is just for me. I emailed you Mrs. BWF a few months ago about my feeling so broken after my breast reduction and with my last birth I wasn’t able to breastfeed. I feel like birthing without fear is the easy part for me. I’ve been terrified of the breastfeeding, or rather the possibility of it being just as hard and not working out again.

This time I am being proactive. I have been on the BFAR website and am having meetings with a wonderful lactation consultant before baby arrives so that I will have a game plan on paper and will have a list of things to try next when I’m having difficulties. I was heartbroken last time I couldn’t breastfeed. This time, I feel like I actually have some things working for me. I would love to be able to nurse even one or two times a day.

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Jennifer August 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Danialle! I remember your story from flickr! We both had babies at the same time and I struggled to nurse my daughter as well. I just wanted to say it’s so good to hear your story! I wanted to add that I had a reduction and had issues nursing my first, but my 2nd has been a breeze! It can be done!

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Jennifer December 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Thank you so much for this encouraging post. I had a breast reduction when I was 19 (I was a size 36G!)…but at that age, breastfeeding was the last thing on my mind. Now, 5 years later, my husband and I are trying to conceive but I am terrified that I wont be able to breastfeed. I know it is the best thing, but what do I do if i simply cant? I am praying that the doctors took my age into consideration and was able to salvage my milk ducts!

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