Understanding Breastfeeding When You Have Had Breast Surgery

A lot of mothers these days have had breast surgery of some kind or the other. Even if all goes well during the surgery, the problem arises when these women think of having a child of their own. The moot question that they run into is- will I be able to breastfeed?

Well, in cases of understanding the nuances of Breastfeeding and Breast Implants, it is difficult to tell right at the very beginning whether you will be able to breastfeed or not. A lot depends on the surgery that you have had and what has been severed or what has been kept intact during it.

The importance of milk ducts

Within the mass of breast tissue lies the glandular tissue. When a woman becomes pregnant and eventually gives birth, these glandular tissues begin to produce milk. The milk that is produced here it brought to the nipples with the help of milk ducts. Whether or not milk will be produced in a mother’s body, does not depend on the milk ducts, but whether or not it will reach the baby is solely dependent on them. While in some surgeries, your milk ducts will not be tampered with, during some your milk ducts might be severed off or injured. While some time these milk ducts heal and function normally, some milk ducts do not and that depends on the type of surgery you have had.

Breast surgery types

Women generally undergo two types of surgeries- breast augmentation and breast reduction. While augmentation includes the increase in the size of the breast, the other one reduces it. In case of increasing the size of the breasts, implants made of saline or silicon are used. Now these are inserted below the existing breast tissue and hence the milk ducts ideally should not be tampered with. Sometimes in order to prevent scarring, surgeons make an incision near the aureola which might damage the milk ducts. If it does then you will have problems reaching the milk to your child and hence the baby might not receive the proper nutrition that it needs. However in most cases Breastfeeding after breast augmentation is not a problem and mothers can provide their child with the amount of milk that it needs.

Breast reduction, however, is a little tricky. When it comes to decreasing the size of your breasts, some important tissues like your milk ducts have a very high chance of getting severed. In such cases you will have problems breastfeeding your child. The glandular tissue will continue to produce milk, but if the milk ducts are not functional, the milk will not reach the child. If that happens then the milk will get stored, leading formation of bumps on your chest which won’t  go down for days and will lead to pain and discomfort. Sometimes some milk ducts remain functional while others don’t. In a scenario like this the baby will receive some milk, but not all the nutrition that it needs.

So if you are thinking about breast surgery and are yet to have a child, then consider the risks that come in case of breastfeeding and then take the call.

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