Breast reduction surgery or breast augmentation are common place cosmetic procedures undertaken by modern women. While the cosmetic enhancement is definitely a great high for all women who undertake the procedure, breast surgery offers certain challenges in terms of breast feeding the baby.
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure where a portion of breast tissue is removed from the breasts to reduce its overall size. While the doctors might try their best to retain some of the milk ducts, it is always not possible to do so which can result in breast feeding problems later on. Here are some issues you could be faced with if you have had a breast surgery and ways to tackle them.
Ways To Breastfeed After Breast Surgery
Assess the surgical procedure that you have undergone. If it is breast augmentation, you might have a better chance of breast feeding than a breast reduction surgery. Breast augmentation does not require breast tissue to be removed and hence milk ducts would still be very functional though you will still have problems like numbness around the areole and nipples. Talk to a doctor about numbness well before you even plan your pregnancy.
Try herbal supplements to increase breast milk supply if you have low milk supply. Herbs like fenugreek, oats, alfalfa, goat’s rue, blessed thistle etc. are very helpful in increasing breast milk. However with breast reduction surgery, the results could be limited due to loss of milk ducts.
Consulting a lactation expert will help in tackling the situation adequately. This must be done much before your delivery so that he/she has adequate time to assess your situation and suggest methods by which you can make your breastfeeding a pleasant experience.
With breast reduction surgery, there is always the need for introducing supplements early on as the milk supply could be less and not adequate for the baby for exclusive breast feeding. Make sure that you keep watch on the baby’s weight and his bowel and urinary output in order to ensure that he is adequately nourished. Mothers who have had breast surgery may not be able to assess whether the baby is getting enough milk due to the loss of sensation in their nipples.
You might want to breastfeed your baby as often as possible to increase breast milk. Breastfeeding frequently will help in increasing breast milk and so all mothers who want to breastfeed their babies on a long term basis must make sure that they feed every hour or as frequent as possible.
If none of these work and you still want your baby to be on mother’s milk, you can put your baby on donated milk. There would be many who would be willing to supply breast milk. The only other option that you can try is to put your baby on formula milk along with breast feeding as exclusive feeding may not be possible for mothers who have had breast reduction surgery.
If breast feeding is always there in your agenda, you must always make it a point to postpone breast surgeries for cosmetic purposes.