Can I Breastfeed after a Breast Lift?

Breastfeeding is a natural instinct that every woman deserves to honor if she so chooses. The physical changes that can result from pregnancy and breastfeeding can’t hold a candle to the joys of these experiences. However, the altered appearance of the breasts, droopy and deflated, may cause a woman to feel less satisfied and confident about her body. Breast augmentation with implants doesn’t have to be the answer. In many cases, what is really needed is a lift. 

What is a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, is a tissue-sparing procedure in which the breasts are repositioned through the meticulous modification of overlying skin tissue. The nipple is often repositioned during a breast lift to restore appropriate forward-projection. To move the nipple takes a delicate touch; tissue remains attached at a point to preserve circulation that supports healing after full reattachment to surrounding skin. 

Breast Lift Surgery and Breastfeeding

Breast and body procedures after childbirth can be incredibly rewarding. Because the body changes so significantly during pregnancy and months of breastfeeding, surgeons generally encourage women to undergo plastic surgery only after they have completed their family unit. As we all know, there is no way to predict the future. Which brings up the question, can a woman breastfeed after undergoing a breast lift. 

The general answer is “yes.”

However, some things may be different. 

Nipple Sensation

Many women may understand that a breast surgery will temporarily alter nipple sensation. What they may not understand is how long it could take for nipple sensation to be completely reinstated. According to studies, it can take up to five years. This is an important detail because nipple sensation is also a necessary aspect of breastfeeding. The sensation of suckling in a breastfeeding mother stimulates a neurohormonal reflex that results in active milk glands. If sensation is diminished, milk supply may be as well. 

Milk Duct Function

As careful as a surgeon is to preserve functional structures during breast surgery, there is no way to predict this. If milk ducts are disrupted during a breast lift, the quantity of milk supply may be less than anticipated. This usually does not keep a mother from breastfeeding, but it could certainly change the frequency or duration of feedings. 

For more information on breast lift surgery, contact the Chicago Breast Center at 312.266.6240.

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Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery

(312) 266-6240
676 N Saint Clair St. | Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60611