Breast reductions are growing in popularity. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast reductions increased by more than 10% from 2016 to 2017 and have maintained their numbers since. Also known as reduction mammoplasty, a breast reduction removes and rearranges excess natural breast tissue for a more proportionate size and enhanced shape. In addition, it will lift your breasts to a youthful position.
Most patients considering a breast reduction experience back pain, neck pain, or migraines. They also struggle with mobility and regular activities like exercising due to their large breasts.
Many women ask whether they can still breastfeed if they choose to add to their families after the procedure. While the operation does not make it impossible to nurse a baby, this surgery can affect the glands that produce breastmilk, possibly making it more difficult to breastfeed.
If you have been considering a breast reduction and have questions regarding breastfeeding after the surgery, schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to learn the details in addressing this and any other concerns.
Nursing Your Baby After a Breast Reduction
You need glandular tissue and a neurohormonal reflex to produce and release breast milk. A breast reduction may disturb this process to some extent. Could this surgery affect your ability to breastfeed? That depends on factors like these.
Damage to vital nerves or milk ducts
Your surgeon’s decision to reposition the nipple/areola complex
Whether the blood supply to the breasts stays intact
How much glandular breast tissue remains
The surgery’s duration
How Breastfeeding Works
A baby’s suckling stimulates a nerve close to your nipples, which triggers the release of the hormones oxytocin and prolactin. Oxytocin signals the glands in the breasts to let milk down, where it gets transported through tiny ducts to the nipples. Prolactin signals milk production. Any nerve, duct, or glandular tissue damage can affect the breastfeeding process after a breast reduction.
Should You Have a Breast Reduction Before Having a Baby?
One of the earliest bonds you will experience with your baby is through breastfeeding. If nursing your child is important to you, Dr. Landis suggests you wait until you are no longer planning to have children. Not only will you remain able to produce and deliver milk, but you can also be confident that pregnancy will not compromise any aesthetic improvements, like uplifted breasts.
Are You a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
The decision to have breast reduction surgery is intensely personal. Get the necessary information and support to choose wisely by visiting board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. George H. Landis.