Breast reduction surgery can be a life-changing experience for many women. A world where you don’t have to suffer backache, neck pain, and the other many symptoms that go hand-in-hand with Mother Nature’s over-enthusiasm in the provision of your feminine assets.

However, one worry many women have is whether or not you can breastfeed after having a breast reduction. The following information dispels the myths surrounding the subject and looks at the reality of the situation.

Can you breastfeed after a breast reduction?

In the past, undergoing breast reduction meant that the ability to breastfeed post-surgery was unlikely. Happily, today this is not the case. Surgeons use very different techniques to those of the past – ones that are designed to preserve this ability to all or some extent. There is still some risk that breast milk production might be reduced. However, in such cases, milk can be supplemented alongside natural feeding, and there are medications (domperidone is the most usual) that can help stimulate your milk supply.

Advanced techniques

The procedures used today are gentle enough to help preserve the delicate lactation-related structures of the breasts. The most vital of these is the ducts through which the milk travels and the nerves that stimulate supply. Using methods that don’t completely sever the nipple and areola means both can regenerate over time, allowing the natural production of milk to occur.

Milk production increases over time

The above-mentioned regeneration of lactation structures does take time. Because some or all of the breast ducts are, by necessity, severed during surgery, they need months or years to regrown and map their reconnection. In the past, it was mistakenly believed that this didn’t happen, but now there’s strong evidence that some of them do, indeed, create a natural bypass around the site and “recannualize” milk transportation system.

This is also further stimulated by the act of lactation and breastfeeding, so many women find that even if they have reduced milk production with a first child, second or subsequent pregnancies it increases even more.

The same applies to nerves that are damaged or severed during surgery. Nerve tissue regrows (albeit slowly) and the longer the time between surgery and wanting to breastfeed the better the chances of producing a reasonable amount of milk.

Optimizing milk production

Mothers can help optimize milk production in many ways, including pumping, the use of galactagogues, breast compressions, and, most importantly, skin-to-skin contact with your baby.

Questions to ask your surgeon

Any woman considering breast reduction surgery should exhaust all avenues of questioning before committing to the procedure. If breastfeeding is likely to be something you wish to do in the future (even if it’s only the slightest of chances) then this needs to be communicated at the consultation stage.

It’s vital to understand that while it is possible to breastfeed after a breast reduction procedure, there is a risk of reduced milk production. Your surgeon will be able to advise as to the extent of this and explain the exact procedure he or she will utilize for the optimal results.

Choosing the Best Surgeon for Your Breast Reduction Surgery

Selecting the professional who’ll carry out your breast reduction surgery isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Fort Lauderdale-based, Palmer Cosmetic Surgery, offers the extensive experience of Dr. Palmer, a highly renowned clinician with an unblemished safety record.

Offering personalized treatments tailored to each individual he treats, he ensures that every aspect of the procedure is explained and understood – and he can advise on everything you need to know about your likely ability to be able to breastfeed after a breast reduction.