Q: Can I still breastfeed after having a breast reduction?
A: Probably, but since every woman and every surgery is different it's hard to know for sure until you actually start trying to breastfeed. Generally speaking, if the nerves, milk ducts, and blood vessels in your breasts were preserved, there's a very good chance you'll be able to breastfeed. Give your plastic surgeon a call if you're unsure about how your surgery was performed.
As your milk increases, watch the supply closely and be prepared to supplement your baby's feedings with formula if necessary. It may help to meet with your hospital's lactation consultant before you go home with your baby, since she'll be able to offer more specific advice once you have a better idea of how your body is responding to breastfeeding.
Because you won't know for sure whether or not you can breastfeed fully until your baby is actually born, it's important to be realistic and ready for any outcome. Remember, an inability to breastfeed is not a failure. Any lactation consultant will tell you that there's more to breastfeeding than just milk -- there's a physical closeness and bonding with your baby that is equally important. So even if you don't end up breastfeeding, you can still hold and snuggle your baby while she eats to make bottle feedings a unique, nurturing time as well.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.