By Renee Christel Rispin x

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Will I be able to breast feed after a breast reduction? - Part one x

This Saturday my husband and I attended our last NCT class which was dedicated to the art of breastfeeding.  I call it an art as I have discovered these last few months, being able to breastfeed isn't an automatic given.

During my early twenties I underwent a breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, an operation to reduce the size of my mahooosive breasts.  From my early teens I had learnt to live with my giant boobs, swaddling them away under hammock style bras and layerings of camisoles. However during my twenties gravity took hold and my once perky pair rested on my desk top like 2 unwelcome balloons.  My back began to go and so did my self confidence.

Therefore I took the decision to have my 32GG's reduced to a more fashionable 32C. At the time correcting my posture and restoring my self esteem outweighed all the risks.  Risks such as scarring (I hid them anyway) and loss of nipple sensation (still hidden) were insignificant, however not being able to breastfeed has always played on my mind. As my operation entailed removing my nipples from my milk ducts, I would potentially never be able to breastfeed my babies.

Which brings my story back to present day, will I be able to breastfeed after my reduction?

Unfortunately I will not know the answer to this question until our Little Monkey arrives. But never one to sit back and wait, I still wanted to be prepared incase I can.  Therefore I went to class armed with lots of questions...

The class took place in a lovely Mother and Baby centre called 'Big You, Little You' in Garston Liverpool. Run by a lovely woman called Anna Martin, a breastfeeding specialist as well as a birthing mentor.

Big You - Little You - Facebook

The class was highly informative and covered everything from latching on to babies development. Anna advised that within 30minutes of your baby being born, it has the reflexes to work its way from your tummy to your breast to look for milk. It uses its developed senses and newly formed feet and legs to seek out its first meal. Despite being such an amazing story, I couldn't help but feel sad that our baby might make its little trek, only to find empty mummy.

NCT Breastfeeding Link    

Anna unfortunately didn't cover in the class my options, however she did promise to forward me course material. She did however talk about the options I had if I couldn't breast feed.

Baby Formula 
- This would be my last resort after trying the breast. However Anna advised that skin to skin was still important initially for bonding with baby. The obvious pro with bottle feeding is my DH can also feed our baby.

Donor Milk
- Many hospitals offer donor milk from other mums that has been pasteurised. This is something I would consider if our baby is premature, as results have shown this has helped with baby development. However, I if born full term, I would resort to formula first.

Suplemental Feeding Device 
- Supplemental feeding devices consist of a container that hangs on a cord around your neck and two pieces of tubing. One end of the tubing is attached to the top of the container; the other end is positioned near the mother’s nipple. When the baby breastfeeds, milk (flows from the container, through the tubing, to the baby.

Its important for me to try and give our baby milk in the first 2 weeks to collect those vital anti-bodies to help build its immune system. Therefore if I can produce some milk, this is a great way for the baby to get the best of both worlds.

Despite my above options,  I still feel there is more research to be done and further options to explore. Therefore tomorrow I am attending a NHS breastfeeding course at the Liverpool Women's Hospital. Therefore to be continued...x
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