Nursing & Breast Reduction
By Barbara Wilson-Clay
Today, thanks to better surgical techniques, many women who have had breast reductions find that they can breastfeed. It is hard to predict in advance whether a woman will make a full or a partial milk supply, but it is worth it to give breastfeeding a try.
Tell your baby’s health care provider about your surgery so that your baby’s growth may be monitored. Medela 1-800-TELL YOU can help you locate the nearest IBCLC.
Begin breastfeeding as soon as possible after giving birth. Frequent feedings will help bring in your milk quickly. Watch for plenty of wet and soiled diapers as a sign that the baby is getting enough to eat. Breastfed babies normally have 6 or more wet and 3 or more bowel movements every 24 hours. Let your doctor know if the baby goes 24 hours without having a bowel movement.
Tell your LC or doctor if your breasts become engorged and the baby cannot soften them. Intense engorgement can be a sign that milk is not draining well.
Weigh the baby often at first. If there is a problem with the baby getting enough milk, an SNS™ (Supplemental Nursing System™) can ensure that the baby gets plenty to eat and helps preserve that special closeness. It may take a while to see just exactly how much milk you will be able to make. Even if partial supplementation is required to protect the baby’s growth, just remember that every drop of milk you make is important to your baby’s health.
D Brzozowski M Niessen, H Evans, et al. Breastfeeding after inferior pedicle reduction mammaplasty. Plast Reconstr Surg 2000, 105(2):530-4.
N Powers. How to assess slow growth in the breastfed infant, Pediatric Clin North Am 2001; 48(2):345-363.
D West, Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery,, La Leche League International, Schaumberg, Il, 2001.
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