Breastfeeding after breast reduction

Breastfeeding after breast reduction

24th Aug 2019



Many women who want to get breast reduction surgery wonder whether they can retain their breastfeeding capability following the procedure. Even though the common answer is that we can’t tell with surety, there are certain factors and things that you can do that can impact your capability to breastfeed after breast reduction. I will explain in this article as to what factors and activities can affect breastfeeding after the surgery and what you can do to increase your milk production and supply. 

Breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that is used to decrease the size and weight of overly large breasts. During the surgery, the plastic surgeon will make incisions on the breasts and then remove the excess glandular tissue and fat from the breasts. As such, there is a risk the operation will affect your breastfeeding ability. 


What factors will affect your breastfeeding capability?

While the risk that breast reduction surgery may affect your breastfeeding capability cannot be entirely ruled out, the good news is that plastic surgeons are now performing the procedure in a way that ensures the safety of your lactation. What this means is that you can expect to be able to breastfeed afterward. However, it also depends on how much excess glandular tissue is available in your breasts and the amount of tissue that is removed during the surgery. When a large amount of epithelial tissue is taken out from the breasts or when the milk ducts are injured or damaged, you may experience a reduction in or loss of milk production. 

Different plastic surgeons use different incision techniques when performing breast reduction, depending on how large your breasts are and to what extent you want to have them reduced. Patients are advised to discuss the surgical techniques and incision options with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. If you want to retain your breastfeeding capability no matter what, you must tell it to the surgeon during the consultation session. 

Fortunately, more than 80 percent of women who get breast reduction can breastfeed after the procedure. When choosing your plastic surgeon, make sure he is board-certified and has extensive experience in breast reduction. A qualified and experienced plastic surgeon will perform the procedure while making sure you retain your breastfeeding capability. 

It is also essential to take into account the timing of the surgery. If you gave birth to your baby many years ago, then the chance of you being able to breastfeed after breast reduction will be higher. Moreover, even if you are not able to breastfeed your first baby after breast reduction, you still have the chance to breastfeed your second baby after the procedure. Keep in mind that at the time of pregnancy and breast stimulation, the breast tissue regrows and regrows. 

In any case, almost all plastic surgeons advise women to get breast reduction surgery when you no longer want to get pregnant. There are two reasons for this: the first one being the fact that pregnancy can affect the shape and size of your breasts. When your breasts are reduced after breast reduction, there is a risk pregnancy can cause them to enlarge again. Pregnancy after the procedure can also cause your breasts to sag and become loose. 

Secondly, there is a risk that you won’t be able to breastfeed or experience a reduction in your milk production after breast reduction. It is recommended that you should first complete your family and undergo the procedure only when you no longer want to give birth. 

Furthermore, you must not breastfeed until six months after breast reduction surgery. Breastfeeding before this period will introduce aesthetic problems to your breasts. Also, your baby may experience health problems if you breastfeed before this period. 


How to increase milk production and supply after breast reduction 

So, you have undergone breast reduction surgery and now want to get pregnant again. You must be worrying as to whether you will be able to breastfeed and whether you will have enough milk production and supply. What you can do to prepare to breastfeed after getting breast reduction is to educate yourself even before the birth of your baby. 

To start with, you can take breastfeeding classes that are offered by the IBCLC. You can do your research and find the resources available online as well. Also, there are many free support groups out there where you can get great ideas on how to breastfeed correctly after breast reduction. During a breastfeeding class, you will get to know how much milk you may produce and supply to your baby, week by week. It can also help decrease your stress and anxiety. 

Keep in mind that breast reduction surgery is not performed when you are pregnant. Undergoing surgery during pregnancy will not only be life-threatening to your baby but also create many serious health issues for you. You may opt to get pregnant at least six months after your breast reduction surgery. Once you give birth to your baby, you must breastfeed the baby regularly.

Keep in mind that initially, you may feel like you are not producing enough milk for your baby. However, this is nothing to be concerned about. The more you breastfeed your baby early on, the more your breasts will be stimulated. When the breasts are constantly stimulated, your milk production and supply will surge. 


Is supplementation necessary for milk production? 

If you are not able to produce enough milk for your baby after breast reduction surgery, you may use supplementation. No matter if you have a lower level or no supply of milk, you can supplement your baby by establishing a delightful breastfeeding relationship by feeding your baby any milk produced from the breasts. You have the option to use the supplemental nursing system that has been developed to help moms produce more milk. 

There is also the option of feeding the baby with the slow-flow bottle. However, experts recommend that you should not use a bottle until the baby is latching correctly and effectively on the breasts. This can take about three weeks to happen. SNS supplementation is the best to use until the first 3-4 weeks following the arrival of your baby. You can then move to a combo of SNS and bottle when your baby is at least four weeks old.

You can use the supplementation with your pumped milk or milk from another breastfeeding mom, or you can even use formula milk. Keep in mind that getting support before and after the birth of your baby following breast reduction can have many positive and long-term effects on your breastfeeding experience. Women who have undergone breast reduction may require extra help and resources specific to their circumstances after breast reduction. The best online place to find support is the Breastfeeding After Breast and Nipple Procedures website that is dedicated to helping women breastfeed after any breast surgery. The advice given on this website are provided by healthcare professionals, besides a community of women who have gone through the same circumstances as yours. 


Undergo breast reduction when you don’t want to have more babies

The resources mentioned above and the recommendations are aimed to help you breastfeed your baby effectively after breast reduction surgery. However, getting pregnant and breastfeeding can be overwhelming after the breast reduction surgery. 

Furthermore, pregnancy and breastfeeding after the procedure can introduce new aesthetic flaws in the breasts. Your breasts may become excessively large again during pregnancy. Additionally, your breasts can become saggy and the nipples will start to point downward. Plus, there is no guarantee that you would be able to breastfeed or produce enough milk to feed your baby after the procedure.

For the reasons mentioned above, it is always recommended that you should get breast reduction surgery only when you no longer want to get pregnant. If you’re going to get pregnant, you should defer your plan of undergoing a breast reduction. Even after giving birth, you must wait for at least six weeks to get the breast reduction surgery. If you are breastfeeding, you should undergo breast reduction at least four months after you stop breastfeeding. 



Breast reduction surgery is a significant plastic surgery procedure that effectively reduces the size and weight of excessively developed breasts. If your breasts are huge and the condition is affecting your quality of life, you may opt to get the breast reduction. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the excess glandular tissue and fat from the breasts. Many women wonder whether they can breastfeed after breast reduction. In this article, I have explained the subject of breast reduction after the procedure. I have also given advice as to what can women do to breastfeed or increase milk production after breast reduction surgery.  


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