Breast Feeding after a Breast Reduction

  • I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with my second child.  I had a breast reduction when my son was 8 months old, after I had breast feed him for 6 months.

    My doctors have given me a 50/50 chance that I will be able to breast feed again.  I was wondering if anyone else had success in breast feeding after a reduction.  I am currently leaking and have been for some time.  The books that I have read say that I will probably have to supplement in between breast feeding.

    Any feed back would be appreciated.

  • I had a breast reduction as a teenager and was never terribly interested in breast feeding, so I didn't try.  I found that I did become painfully engorged with both of my children, however, I did not experience many of the symptoms that some of my friends who breastfed their children spoke of.  I barely leaked (even in the shower under the hot water) and I wonder if I would have even been able to breastfeed if I had tried.  Unfortunately, you won't know until you try!  Good luck!  Smile

  • Congrats on your pregnancy! It is true that breast reductions often cause difficulty with breast feeding. The surgery can sever nerves that allow milk to let down and create a successful situation for breastfeeding. However, this varies from woman to woman, as you've been reading. Some women need to supplement breastfeeding and others are able to produce enough milk on their own. When you baby is born, make sure the staff know about your reduction and can help you monitor his/her intake and output. Breastfeed early and often to maximize your milk production and carefully watch your baby for signs of poor intake such as not enough diapers, not being satisfied with feedings, too much weight loss, etc. Your pediatrician should be able to help you evaluate how your supply is doing. Consider pumping in addition to feeding for the first week to maximize supply. Seeing the Lactation Specialist when you delivery is always helpful too. Hope this helps! 

  • I had a reduction 11 yrs before I had my baby and my doc said she was surprised as to how much I did. Takes a lot more effort than someone without a reduction and every woman is different due to the duct channels but I had pretty good success. It was very stressful because I thought I was going to starve her. I would breast feed, supplement, and pump. It sucked! But I did this until she was almost 4 months old. I probably could provide 1/2 to 3/4 of her daily feelings with breastmilk but was not easy. I know now with my next baby I can breast feed more and not pump as much because I was making enough until she started getting older. I give you props for you trying, my doc was very supportive of me. I did notice when I pumped it took a full 30 min to empty out and sometimes I had to push on my boobs to get more milk to empty. Very worth the time and effort so that I could give her breadtmilk but don't blame you if you don't do it long. Lots of time, I don't have other kids and it was time consuming but very do-able best of luck to you :)

  • I had a reduction 13 years ago and just had first baby.  I started leaking a few weeks before birth and was able to breast feed without knowing if I could. I didn't have to do anything special, just got lucky. FYI - my reduction done with anchor cut and nips were removed and then repositioned.

  • Oh, I had to change to formula due to baby unable/not willing to latch and I couldn't keep up with pumping band had to suppliment