Northwest Face & Body

Can You Breastfeed After A Breast Reduction?

Dr. Ludwig Allegra

July 9, 2024
Can You Breastfeed After A Breast Reduction

You’ve been dealing with the struggles of large breasts for as long as you can remember. Your bra straps dig into your shoulders (when you can even find a bra that fits and supports), you have back, shoulder, and neck pain, and you struggle with posture issues. You found a possible solution in breast reduction surgery, and you looked into the procedure several times. But each time, you hesitate because you might want to get pregnant in the future and breastfeed your baby. You’re worried about the possibility of a breast reduction interfering with your body’s ability to produce milk for your newborn.

So, what’s the actual effect of breast reduction on breastfeeding? Can your body still produce milk after this surgery? Will the supply be too little, or will it be enough to support your newborn’s rapid growth and development? Let’s talk about breast reduction and how it can impact breastfeeding.

How A Breast Reduction Can Impact Breastfeeding

Specific methods of breast reduction may impact breastfeeding more than others. If your surgeon has to detach the areolae and nipples completely, you may still be able to breastfeed in the future, but you may see a decrease in your milk supply. However, your surgeon may not need to detach this tissue fully. 

Regardless of your surgeon’s method, your body can regenerate to form a renewed milk duct system. It takes quite a bit of time to heal and repair after the surgery, and you may need additional time for your body to be able to supply milk again. Surgeons usually recommend having your breast reduction a minimum of five years before you plan to get pregnant.

Can You Still Breastfeed After Breast Reduction Surgery?

It’s possible to still be able to breastfeed after a breast reduction, though it’s essential to notify your doctor about your previous reduction when they confirm your pregnancy. You can take steps to increase your milk supply after your baby is born. Your doctor will give you even more tips and suggestions. Plus, they’ll monitor your baby for proper weight gain to make sure that your supply is enough to help your baby grow at a healthy pace.

How To Know If You Are Producing Milk After A Breast Reduction

Your doctor will likely have a list of tests and things for you to keep an eye on to see if your milk supply is adequate. During the first two weeks postpartum, you should exclusively breastfeed your baby to establish a good routine and allow your body to produce enough milk. You should feed your baby every 2 to 3 hours to help increase your milk supply. If you or your doctor are concerned about your baby not gaining enough weight, you will likely need to supplement formula to provide the necessary nutrients.

Breastfeeding After A Breast Reduction

Many women are still able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery. Your body may have nerves or glands that suffer damage during the procedure. These changes can alter how much milk your body will supply. Fortunately, nerves and milk glands can heal, meaning you can exclusively or supplementally breastfeed your baby.

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons of breast reduction and decided you’re ready to take the next step, contact Northwest Face & Body today. Our team can guide you through breast reduction surgery to help you feel more comfortable and confident in your body. Call us at (425) 576-1700 or book your free consultation online to see how we can help you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Ludwig Allegra

Dr. Ludwig Allegra has provided Bellevue, Kirkland, and the surrounding areas with premier plastic surgery procedures for over two decades.