Breastfeeding After Breast Lift: What You Must Know

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Most women have opted for many surgical procedures, breast lift being one of them.

Breast lift is a surgical procedure that seeks to restore the breast upright look without removing any tissue.

Breast lift prevents sagging of breast and achieves that, full, firm and round shape which women desire most.

So can new moms breastfeed their newborns after breast lift? Yes, New mothers who have undergone breast lift or nipple surgery are advised to still breastfeed their newborn babies. The first milk (colostrum) is highly recommended for newborns, even if there are droplets the baby is getting antibodies from the mom.

Women, especially breastfeeding mothers are always asking themselves if they can still breast-feed after the breast lift. This means that the breastfeeding and nerve system is not interfered with.

The technique does nipple re-positioning without separating them from the glandular tissue. Because of non-interference of the lactating system, the mother will still be able to do breastfeeding.

Other breast procedures like reduction in breast, might lead to loss of tissues, which will greatly interfere with lactating system, making it hard for the mother to breastfeed her newborn.

Breast lift techniques 

i). During the procedure

During the procedure, the surgeon applies two incision techniques known as per areolar, which goes around the nipple, and the other, on inverted current position of the nipple.

The desired outcome of the patient is all that determines the method applied. 

ii). Augmentation

If the nipple is on or way above the base of the breast, technique of per areolar is applied. If the nipple is under the base of the breast, the vertical scar or inverted T method is used.

Procedure known as argumentation is usually performed together, to enhance the breast firmness.

Breastfeeding after Breast lift

  • New mothers, who had previously undergone Breast lift, can actually breastfeed their babies. This is because all new moms produce some colostrum, which protects the baby from any kind of infection. The possible cutting of milk ducts and breast nerve endings, commonly influence the milk supply. 
  • Not all women are the same; some women will continue producing sufficient milk, even after the breast lift while others will greatly reduce the supply. And note that before a woman gives birth, she can be able to tell whether she produces enough or less milk but until after the delivery. 
  • The primary caregiver, expectant of the lactating mum should take cognizant of woman’s previous breast lift surgeries, to track the milk supply of her. As per the La Leche League; you might have a good supply of milk, when you undergo breast lift five years before becoming pregnant. This is very practical irrespective of the technique used in the surgery.
  • Breastfeeding moms who have undergone breast lift requires a close monitoring of the baby to track on weight change. Also they can supplement their feeds with donor milk or human milk formula.

How to increase breast milk after breast lift 

1). Maximize milk output

The most essential way to increase the supply of milk during breastfeeding is, maximizing the milk output during the first two weeks of delivery. Vigorous baby will help you maximize the output.

The more milk is removed from the breast; the more milk is produced. This is because, in the first 2 or 3 weeks of breast lifting, your body determines the amount of milk needed for breastfeeding.

2). Milk expression and pumping

Other method that works well in removing breast milk, apart from breastfeeding in the first few weeks is by doing manual expression and pumping.

After the milk is released, it can now be removed manually through pumping. Moms are advised to manually express or pump after feeding or after the baby have latched.

3). Long breastfeeding period

breast needs to empty in order to increase breast milk production. Allowing your baby to breast-feed for longer time will work best in emptying the breast.

Other techniques of increasing breast milk are by relaxing during breastfeeding and using herbal medicine that increases milk supply.

4 Things To Consider During Breastfeeding 

i). Lose of function:

Breastfeeding after breast lift is actually very possible, but the experience cannot be the same as when you have not undergone breast surgery.

Most women can breastfeed to some extent after the surgery; their lactating system might be loosening its functionality arising from the surgery. These loosening comes as a result of tempering with a nerve duct.

You cannot notice the impairment unless you breastfeed. Having a nipple sensitivity indicates whether the breast lift will be successful or not.

ii). Nipple sensitivity:

Regaining nipple sensitivity can take even up to five years after the breast lift.

It’s advisable that after the surgery, it is good for you to delay pregnancy to ensure that your breasts have fully recovered.

In case you breastfeed before the surgery, then there is a likelihood you will breastfeed after the surgery, though the supply of milk will go down. It is recommended that you consult your doctor about your intention to breastfeed after the procedure.

By doing this your surgeon will be able to apply the appropriate techniques that will have less impact on lactating system.

iii). Augmentation:

If it happens that you undergo both breast lift and augmentation procedure, there is a likelihood that the two will be very complicated and can cause a great risk.

The time between you having a breast lift and breastfeeding can also have a potential impact on breastfeeding.

This should not worry you because there are so many ways to boost your milk production, if at all, you fail to produce enough milk after breast lift.

iv). Change in breast appearance:

Generally, breastfeeding and pregnancy will actually alter the outlook of the breast.

When a woman is pregnant, her breast increases in size, but will eventually reduce in size after delivering and breastfeeding. The decrease will leave excess skin layer.

If you are planning to do breastfeeding in the coming days, you probably need to reconsider not to do the surgery and to wait until the pregnancy time has passed.

Planning to become pregnant on many times  means you will expect change in shape in the succeeding pregnancy.

General Overview: Breast lift

Why is it done?

Now let us go a little deeper as to why breast lift is an option to some women. Generally, as you age, the breasts tend to change and start to lose its elastic and firm nature.

There are a number of reasons as to why your breast changes at some point in your life. These reasons include:

  • Pregnancy: The supporting ligaments that support your breasts usually stretch when you are pregnant. This is because of the fact that, the breast starts becoming full and heavier. As the stretching continues, it will make your breast sag after delivery, even if you are not breastfeeding the baby.
  • Weight fluctuations: Any change in your weight makes your breasts sag and lose firmness. Anytime you lose or gain weight, the tissues around breast tend to lose its elastic nature and the ability to contract to a new shape will be impossible. However, this should not worry you because not all weight change will affect the firmness of your breasts.
  • Force of gravity: We all know the force of gravity from our elementary science class. This applies to your breast because after sometimes the gravity, which forces objects downwards, will make your breast to sag.

As mentioned earlier, breast lift surgery prevents sagging and uplifts the nipple position and dark areas that surround the nipple.

Areola size is also reduced during the procedure, as this will make it proportional to a new shaped breast.

Areola size

Other reasons for breast lift include:

  • If the two breasts are not on the same level.
  • Stretched Areola that is not proportional to the breast.
  • Both the nipple and Areola faces downwards.
  • If the breast is unsupported, the nipple falls under your breast.
  • If the breast is much longer and flattened.

Factors to consider before opting for breast lift

  • Suitability: It is wise to note that breast lift is not for all. For a woman who want to get pregnant in the near future, she might need to postpone breast lift surgery. This is because your breasts will stretch when pregnant and trigger the desire to have breast lift.
  • Breastfeeding: You need to put into consideration your breastfeeding. Though I mentioned earlier, breast lift cannot tamper with lactating system because, internal breast tissue are not detached from the nipples. Some women might find it hard to produce sufficient milk for the baby.
  • Breast size: The size of the breast also matters, as it defines the outcome of the procedure. This is to say, those women who have large sagging breast may not achieve long lasting results as compared to those with small size. This is because large breast are always heavy, which will likely sag once again after sometimes.

Risks associated with breast lift.

Just like any other type of surgery, breast lift comes with a lot of potential risk. It is advisable that before you opt to do the surgery, consult widely to avoid unnecessary troubles.

  • Infections: Breast lift causes infection around the breast area. It appears within six hours after the surgery and it is characterized by pain, redness and swelling. It is advisable to seek medical attention immediately to prevent more risks.
  • Hematoma: This is where blood accumulates around the incision and causes a lot of pain and infection immediately after the surgery or during the recovery process. Some are small but others are big and require to be removed.
  • Reaction to Anesthetics: Some women are very allergic to anesthesia and can be a very serious complication of breast lift. The allergic reactions causes vomiting and headache, heart attack, stroke or even death.

Conclusion

New moms are advised to breastfeed their newborns even if they have had previous nipple surgery or a major breast lift. Although the breast may not produce much milk but droplets of the first milk contain antibodies for the baby.