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Breast Surgery and Breastfeeding

August 5, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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two women talking while one holds a newborn baby

 

Some types of breast surgery can create challenges for breastfeeding.

If you have had or are considering breast surgery, you may wish to find out if the surgery can affect your ability to breastfeed.


Biopsy

Small incision made in the breast to check a lump.

  • Not usually a problem for a breastfeeding mother.

Breast augmentation

  • Breasts are enlarged. 
  • Usually not a problem for breastfeeding unless an incision along the edge of the areola (the brown part of the nipple) causes more damage to the breast. This may decrease the amount of milk a mother makes. 
  • If you've had a breast augmentation, start breastfeeding as soon as your baby is born. If your baby shows signs of needing more milk, check with your healthcare provider. 
  • Your baby may be able to continue breastfeeding while you find alternate ways of providing milk.

Breast reduction surgery

  • Breast size is reduced. 
  • Often a problem for breastfeeding; however many mothers can still make milk.
  • If you've had this surgery, start breastfeeding as soon as your baby is born. If your baby shows signs of needing more milk, check with your healthcare provider. 
  • Your baby may be able to continue breastfeeding while you find alternate ways of providing milk.
  • Some babies can get extra milk through a tube while they breastfeed. 

Can Women With Small Breasts Breastfeed?

Absolutely! Small breasts may have less fatty tissue but they still have the cells that make milk for babies.


Resources & Links:
Healthlink BC: Successful Breastfeeding
Healthlink BC: Successful Breast-Feeding After Breast Surgery

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