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Old Feb 10th, 2017, 14:16 PM   1
Lullabye
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Breastfeeding after reduction.


I had a breast reduction years ago, and, surprise surprise, I had huge difficulty with supply after I had DS1. I was able to feed plenty of colostrum the first few days, and I definitely made some milk, but it didn't seem like enough and I didn't get much support from my midwives or health visitors.

It doesn't help that I have small, flat nipples that made latching hard. I was crying through feeds because of pain and gave up after three weeks.

Now that I'm pregnant again, I'm hoping to plan ahead in hope of having more success this time around. Is there anyone on BnB in a similar situation? Have any of you ladies had reductions or another kind of breast surgery?



 
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Old Feb 10th, 2017, 14:28 PM   2
misspriss
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I am interested to hear as well, my husband's cousin's wife had a reduction and had trouble breastfeeding. I went from a DDD to an M since I have had 2 kids and breastfed. They are huge and mostly skin, not full, they could probably reduce me a lot just taking skin no tissue! But the nipple repositioning is what worries me.

Now I am pregnant again though, so just a future thought...



 
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Old Feb 10th, 2017, 14:36 PM   3
Lullabye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misspriss View Post
I am interested to hear as well, my husband's cousin's wife had a reduction and had trouble breastfeeding. I went from a DDD to an M since I have had 2 kids and breastfed. They are huge and mostly skin, not full, they could probably reduce me a lot just taking skin no tissue! But the nipple repositioning is what worries me.

Now I am pregnant again though, so just a future thought...
Over all, it was a great decision. I gained a lot of confidence and the ability to be more active.



 
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Old Feb 11th, 2017, 02:43 AM   4
noon_child
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It really depends what they did during surgery. If they reposition the nipple while it is still attached to all internal structures it shouldn't cause problems. Even if they removed some glandular tissue (the lobes full of alveoli that produce the milk) these cells grow and divide during pregnancy to ensure milk supply and all women have different amounts to start off with so it doesn't necessarily mean a supply issue.

I think difficulties you experienced sound a lot like those experienced by most women who decide to stop breastfeeding. If latching isn't working properly your body will start reducing the amount of milk it makes and baby will be hungry. Getting the right support to get the latch working (using shields if you have flat nipples if necessary) and gaining an understanding of how babies will behave to stimulate your supply (growth spurts, cluster feeding, head bobbing, grabbing with their hands etc. - that can all look like baby is frustrated with lack of milk but is normal baby behaviour at the breast) is vital to establish pain free effective feeding.



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Old Feb 11th, 2017, 05:16 AM   5
Lullabye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noon_child View Post
It really depends what they did during surgery. If they reposition the nipple while it is still attached to all internal structures it shouldn't cause problems. Even if they removed some glandular tissue (the lobes full of alveoli that produce the milk) these cells grow and divide during pregnancy to ensure milk supply and all women have different amounts to start off with so it doesn't necessarily mean a supply issue.

I think difficulties you experienced sound a lot like those experienced by most women who decide to stop breastfeeding. If latching isn't working properly your body will start reducing the amount of milk it makes and baby will be hungry. Getting the right support to get the latch working (using shields if you have flat nipples if necessary) and gaining an understanding of how babies will behave to stimulate your supply (growth spurts, cluster feeding, head bobbing, grabbing with their hands etc. - that can all look like baby is frustrated with lack of milk but is normal baby behaviour at the breast) is vital to establish pain free effective feeding.
Thanks for your response. I understand the phases of breastfeeding and infant behaviour well, as I've had to support patients of my own as a nurse, and previously as a doula before I did my nursing degree. My son was a big cluster feeder! My flat nipples were partially to blame for the difficult latch, and the way my breasts move post-reduction. The lactation consultant who saw me in the hospital said that it was really tricky to get my breast into the right shape for a proper latch.

I pumped loads between feeds to try to keep my supply up, and manually expressed, thinking that if my son couldn't feed directly, then maybe I could express enough into bottles. Alas, it didn't work. He was losing weight. Couldn't get a good latch. I was bleeding. No support.

Hopefully I'll have more luck with forward planning this time.



 
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