What If I Get Pregnant After Breast Reduction?

Reduction mammoplasty, or breast reduction surgery, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed each year, with some of the highest rates of patient satisfaction. Surgical removal of excess breast tissue has relieved numerous women of significant discomfort—from back, shoulder, and neck pain to experiencing feelings of insecurity or self-doubt.

Mother with baby, showing breast reconstruction patients can have a safe, successful pregnancySo there’s no doubt the procedure is a winner, but women who plan to be moms in the future often wonder about the best time to get a breast reduction. We hear many questions: How soon after surgery is it safe to get pregnant? How does pregnancy affect breast reduction? Is breastfeeding an option?

Every patient has different needs, meaning the definition of “best time” will be somewhat up to you in the end. Here are a few facts to ease your mind and help you decide on timing:

When is it safe to get pregnant after breast reduction surgery?

Because pregnancy can have a dramatic affect on the body, it’s best to wait at least three months after your reduction to get pregnant. This ensures sufficient healing of internal and external incisions and reduces the risk of complications during the recovery process.

Will my breasts change during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, hormones shift and cause breast growth. While these size fluctuations are temporary and your pre-pregnancy breast size should generally return, the shape of your breasts may be somewhat altered.

Will pregnancy ruin my breast reduction?

Individual and hereditary factors, such as skin elasticity, can affect post-pregnancy sagging. Although we cannot predict with certainty the effects of pregnancy and childbirth on a patient’s breasts, many women remain completely satisfied with their surgical results after childbirth. For those who experience changes they’d like to later correct, breast lift surgery may be an option to consider.

Can I still breastfeed after my breast reduction surgery?

The good news is that many plastic surgeons are able to preserve a significant amount the glandular tissue during breast reduction, leaving the milk glands intact and working properly. A majority of post-reduction women are successfully able to produce milk and retain the positive results of the surgery. But it’s important to note that, no matter how skilled the surgeon, there is still some risk you won’t be able to breastfeed afterward—and that not all women can successfully breastfeed, whether or not they’ve had a breast procedure!

Although waiting until you are finished having children before having breast reduction may be the preferred choice, it is not your only choice. There are a number of things to consider before your breast reduction:

  • The breast reduction technique you opt for can influence your future breastfeeding, so be sure to quiz your surgeon about options. If your nipple is removed during surgery and grafted to a reconstructed breast, milk production may be limited due to potential damage to the nerves or milk ducts.
  • A majority of women with an intact nipple and areola can breastfeed their infants. If breastfeeding is proving difficult, there are a number of supplements and methods available to help increase milk supply.
  • Women who breastfed prior to a reduction mammoplasty have a greater chance of successful breastfeeding after the procedure than women who have never breastfed before.
  • If breastfeeding issues arise, it might be easy to point the finger at your breast reduction. However, even women with unaltered breasts can experience difficulties with breastfeeding for a number of reasons.

Because a variety of factors can influence childbearing after breast reduction surgery, there are no simple answers to these questions, and it’s very important to speak in person with a qualified plastic surgeon. Contact us today to learn more about reduction mammoplasty and to schedule an initial complimentary consultation.


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