Thinking about breast reduction, can I still nurse?
I am thinking about a breast reduction, because I think that it may be the reason I have so many back problems. I am only 23 years old, and I am worried that doing something like that may prevent me from being able to nurse when I have children. Do I have anything to worry about?
With the techniques that most plastic surgeons are using now you should be able to breast feed at a later date. I've included an abstract below about this.
[Breast feeding after breast reduction].
[Article in French]
Ann Chir 1992;46(9):826-829
Caouette-Laberge L, Duranceau LA
Service de Chirurgie Plastique, Hopital Sainte-Justice, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Few authors have addressed the feasibility of breast-feeding after a reduction mammoplasty.
Nowadays, the majority of plastic surgeons perform breast reductions with techniques preserving the continuity of the nipple-areola complex with the retained breast tissue.
These pedicle techniques should permit lactation as opposed to the free nipple grafting technique used earlier.
To find out how many women nurse their children after a reduction mammoplasty, we reviewed 806 charts to identify 243 women having had a pedicle technique breast reduction, between 1967-1987, at the age of 15 to 35 years.
These women were contacted and 98 of them were reached. Eighteen women had become pregnant after their surgery. They agreed to answer a questionnaire regarding their decision to nurse their children, the duration of breast-feeding and the difficulties encountered. Eight of eighteen mothers (45%) nursed their children up to 32 weeks (mean 11 weeks).
Among them, 3 nursed for less than 3 weeks and 5 nursed from 3 to 32 weeks (mean 20 weeks). Only one mother had to supplement nursing with formula. Two mothers used mixed formula and breast-feeding when they returned to work. Ten of eighteen mothers (55%) did not breast-feed for the following reasons: 6 by personal choice, 2 due to premature delivery, one was advised that nursing was not feasible and one had no lactation.
We believe that the nursing capacity of the breast is preserved after a breast reduction and that women should be encouraged to nurse their children.