Can I breastfeed after a breast reduction or lift?
As a surgeon and a father of three, I recognise that being able to make the choice to breastfeed is very important for women and their families! That’s because when I perform this surgery, I invest the time to protect the milk ducts, nerves and breast tissue as much as possible.
As a result, many women I operate on go on to successfully breastfeed after a breast reduction or lift surgery.
And while many women think the nipple is removed in a breast reduction, the technique I use does not involve removal. Instead, I reshape the areola and position it with the nerves and milk ducts intact to the new position on the chest wall.
Some patients of mine who have had breast reductions between babies have actually reported that they weren’t able to feed the first time around due to the excessive size of their breasts, but were able to breast feed the second baby after their reduction.
But of course, there are no guarantees! Just as with women who have not had surgery, some women are not able to breast feed at all and others will need the assistance of a lactation consultant to help manage early feeding issues.
Patient case study
This 17 year old patient depicted above presented with extraordinarily large breasts when she first came to see me. Her goal was to reduce the volume of her breast tissue and lift the breast weight off her shoulders and back to improve overall quality of life and reduce pain.
A breast reduction and uplift with liposuction techniques using the anchor technique was performed to reduce her breast volume from a JJ bra size to a DD.
In the years following her breast reduction, this patient became a mum and was successfully able to breastfeed.
Is it better to wait until after children before breast reduction/lift?
If you are thinking of having children within the next year or two, I would advise to wait until you have finished having your family. This will maximise the chance of being able to breastfeed and to get the maximum longevity from your surgery.
But if babies are more than a few years away, why not have a breast reduction or lift now and enjoy the benefits before becoming a mum?
I do see many young women from 16 years of age who think babies are 10+ years away. For them the benefits for their health and self-confidence outweigh the risks of impact on feeding.
Want to discover more?
A great way to ‘Try before you buy’ is to come in and have a $50 Vectra 3D photo simulation with my Practice Manager Jessica.
The Vectra simulation gives you an idea of what your options are based on your own body. This service is ideal for small to moderate reduction patients. For very large breasts the simulation is less accurate but the appointment is an opportunity to talk to Jessica about the surgical process, costs and review of previous patient case studies.
More information on the website
Discover more about breast reductions/lifts (also known by the medical term of reduction mammoplasty or mastopexy), including information on hospital arrangements, recovery and a 3D animation of the procedure by visiting our breast reduction or breast lift page.
Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon
About Dr Moncrieff
Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and body lifts.
He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.
Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than two decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.