Breast feeding after surgery
Reduction surgery and breastfeeding
( BFAR ) “Breast feeding after breast reduction surgery”
Many surgeons inform moms before a reduction surgery, that they have a 50 % chance of successful lactate afterwards.
Almost all women who have had a breast reduction are able to lactate, but sometimes it does happen that a large part of the lactation system is hurt during surgery. Moms after a reduction surgery will usually have milk, but how much milk is the question.
Surgeries that are done on the areola and nipple almost always affect
breastfeeding. Some surgeons are skilled enough to move these without
severing them completely making breastfeeding after reduction easier.
If you are thinking about going for a reduction or breast lift surgery and would still like to breastfeed afterwards it would be best to ask your surgeon about the pedicle procedure in which these important parts of your breasts are kept intact making breastfeeding after breast reduction more possible.
Most women that have had their nipples and areolas completely removed will be able to give baby colostrum because it is hormonally produced, but will later find that they cannot produce enough milk for baby since milk is triggered through nipple and areola stimulation.
Research shows that women who have had any breast surgeries will have a greater chance of being successful at breastfeeding if their surgeries are at least five years before trying to breastfeed. This is a result of your body repairing its mammary system through a process called recanalization. With each pregnancy breastfeeding will become easier as breast tissue grows during these times to get the body ready for lactation.
Moms can usually tell before pregnancy whether they will be able to breastfeed by noticing whether the nipple and areola are sensitive to touch or hot and cold stimulation. The more you “feel” the better your chances will be to lactate. Touch sensitivity is a sign that the nerves have repaired themselves. A woman that has had a good milk supply before a breast surgery will usually not suffer from a lack of breast milk supply after surgery, but if she already had problems before her surgery she will most likely have an even lower milk supply after surgery.
Increasing breast milk supply after surgery
- Herbal supplements that are safe during breastfeeding that will increase breast milk supply
- Breast massage techniques to increase breast milk supply
- Other methods that will increase supply for breastfeeding after surgery
- Use an at breast supplemental breastfeeding system. This will stimulate breast milk production while feeding baby formula.
- Use alternative feeding methods with a supplementary nursing system
- Breastfeed on demand and for comfort
- Breastfeed and pump in-between feedings
NB – Remember that any small amount of breast milk will benefit baby
How to know if your baby is getting in enough milk?
- Baby eats at least 8 times, every 24 hours.
- You can hear baby sucking and swallowing
- Five urine diapers and two wet stools daily
- Baby should gain at least 4 ounces per week
- Baby is alert and happy most of the time
Breast implants and breastfeeding
“breast augmentation and breast feeding”
Can you breastfeed with implants?
Breast feeding with breast implants is easier than breastfeeding after a breast reduction because the breast tissue is still intact. Implants that are inserted through a periareolar incision “through the nipple area” are more likely to cause problems for breastfeeding.
If you still want to breastfeed after surgery you should ask your surgeon about placing the implant under your chest muscle or under through your arm pits, this reduces any risk of damage to your breast tissue and nerves.
Implants can also cause problems sometimes because they put pressure on the breast tissue which can damage the breast tissue.
Problems that occur during breastfeeding after getting breast implants
- Women breastfeeding with breast implants have an increased risk of mastitis
- Increased risk of galactorrhea “breast milk production by a woman who is not pregnant or who has not recently given birth”
- Risk of galactocele “milk filled tumor in a blocked breast milk duct”
- Implants and breast feeding have been associated with low milk supply
- Extra breast engorgement in the beginning of breastfeeding
Lumpectomy and breast feeding after surgery
Sometimes the area where the lump has been removed might become hard and painful, some of the breast tissue might have been severed during surgery, but the rest of the breast tissue will usually not be affected.
Most times mom has only one breast that has had a lumpectomy surgery done, and can breastfeed with the remaining unaffected breast tissue. Ask your surgeon to cut as few ducts as possible during surgery because of your desire to breastfeed.
Breast lift breastfeeding
With a breast mastopexy only the old skin is removed, the underlying tissue is not altered as a result it does not cause any complications or problems with breastfeeding unless the nipple has been completely removed.
Breast feeding after surgery is possible, if you have had breast surgery and are worried about whether you will be able to breastfeed or not you should talk to a lactation consultant. If you are planning to get surgery done it would be best to talk to your surgeon about ways of doing the surgery that will protect as much breast tissue as possible.
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.